Bismarck, N. D. – Last year, Minnesota growers planted about 40,000 acres of sunflowers, many of which were NuSunª varieties. For those growers, the future may be a bit brighter, thanks to the results of a new diet study.

Initial results from a study comparing a NuSun sunflower oil diet, an olive oil diet and an “average” American diet showed a diet incorporating NuSun reduces total cholesterol by 4.7 percent and LDL cholesterol by 5.8 percent over the average diet. The olive oil diet showed no significant cholesterol reductions compared to the average American diet.

Results were obtained from Pennsylvania State University, which evaluated 31 men and women with slightly elevated cholesterol.

The research suggests NuSun’s balance of fats lowers cholesterol. NuSun oil contains monounsaturated fat, similar to olive oil, along with adequate amounts of polyunsaturated fat. It is also low in saturated fat. This profile makes NuSun a shelf-stable oil that doesn’t require hydrogenation and works well for commercial use. Several large food processors, including Frito Lay, Proctor & Gamble and Barrel O’ Fun, already use NuSun oil for cooking some of their products.

“This is definitely positive news and will help us tell the story of this healthy product and help us get it on the map,” says Ruth Isaak of the National Sunflower Association. “We hope the results will help us create long-term demand.”

“These performance characteristics É should help create demand for the product that ripples all the way to the producer,” says AURI scientist Max Norris. AURI was one of several organizations supporting the dietary study. “The toughest thing about introducing a new product is creating demand. NuSun has suitable characteristics that consumers will demand.”

For more information on the NuSun findings, visit the National Sunflower Association Web site at www.sunflowernsa.com.