Phytosterols are plant sterols, mainly campesterol and sitosterol, and their respective stanols (5 alpha-saturated derivatives), which chemically resemble cholesterol. They are present in a normal diet bur less than 0.1% of serum (in the blood) sterols are plant sterols.
Examples of phytosterols found in plants
There are a number of phytosterols in plants including beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and brassicasterol. Certain herbs have a high concentration of phytosterols, for instance, saw palmetto. A phytosterol supplement is available that includes campesterol as part of the complex.
Saw Palmetto Extract, 320 mg
Phytosterol complex with beta sitosterol and campesterol
Supports Healthy Prostate Function
Saw palmetto extract contains pure saw palmetto extract guaranteed to supply 45% fatty acids and beneficial plant sterols, which are the herb's key active ingredients. Extraction is done using carbon dioxide, the finished product is free of solvent residues.
Amount Per Capsule
Saw Palmetto extract Berry 320 mg
Fatty Acids 45% fatty acids
Learn more about saw palmetto product.
Benefit of Phytosterols
Phytosterols inhibit intestinal cholesterol absorption, and fat-soluble plant stanol esters were introduced as a functional food for lowering serum cholesterol in the early 1990s; plant sterol esters entered the market at the end of the 1990s. Inhibition of the intestinal absorption of cholesterol stimulates cholesterol synthesis, a factor which limits serum cholesterol lowering to about 10% with phytosterols. Enrichment of the diet with plant stanol esters reduces absorption and serum concentrations of both cholesterol and plant sterols, whereas enrichment of the diet with plant sterol esters, especially in combination with statins, lowers serum cholesterol but increases serum plant sterol levels. Long-term cholesterol lowering, needed for the prevention of coronary heart disease, may be successful with plant stanol esters, which lower serum cholesterol in both genders over at least a year.
Campesterol in blood
Like cholesterol, campesterol and other phytosterols are transported by lipoproteins, mainly by LDL, and secreted unchanged in bile.
Merkens LS, Myrie SB, Steiner RD, Mymin D.Editors In: Pagon RA, Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Bird TD, Dolan CR, Fong CT, Smith RJH, Stephens K, editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2014.2013. Sitosterolemia is characterized by: Tendon xanthomas or tuberous (i.e., planar) xanthomas that can occur in childhood and in unusual locations (heels, knees, elbows and buttocks); Premature atherosclerosis which can lead to angina, aortic valve involvement, myocardial infarction, and sudden death; Hemolytic anemia, abnormally shaped erythrocytes (stomatocytes), and large platelets (macrothrombocytopenia). On occasion, the abnormal hematologic findings may be the initial presentation. The phenotypic spectrum of sitosterolemia is probably not fully appreciated due to underdiagnosis and the fact that clinical findings in infants are likely to be highly dependent on diet. Increased plasma concentrations of plant sterols (especially sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol) are observed once foods with plant sterols are included in the diet and have accumulated in the body. ABCG5 and ABCG8 are the only genes in which mutations are known to cause sitosterolemia. Because the proteins sterolin-1 (encoded by ABCG5) and sterolin-2 (encoded by ABCG8) form a heterodimer transporter, affected individuals have biallelic mutations in either ABCG5 or ABCG8.