Plant sterols and sterolins
January 20 2016

There are a number of plant sterols including beta sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and brassicasterol. Certain herbs have a high concentration of phytosterols, for instance, saw palmetto. Plants are not the only ones that contain sterols. Many fish and crustaceans also have a good amount of sterols. For instance, molluscs, such as oysters, contain a number of different sterols with cholesterol present as the major sterol. trans-22-Dehydrocholesterol, brassicasterol, 24-methylenecholesterol, and campesterol.

Noncholesterol sterols are present in the body in very low concentrations compared with cholesterol. Minor structural changes in sterols give them completely individual biological activities. Steroid hormones are the best known example of this. The knowledge of other relatives of cholesterol, particularly plant sterols, cholesterol precursors and oxysterols, their properties, physiological effects, significance in disease processes and diagnostic applications has recently undergone a rapid increase.

Plant sterols cholesterol
Atherosclerosis. 2013. Phytosterol capsules and serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemia: a randomized controlled trial. Faculty of Health, Nutrition and Management, Akershus University College LillestrÝm, Norway. Plant sterols are recommended in combination with diet therapy to reduce elevated LDL-cholesterol level. Meta-analyses indicate a 10% reduction in LDL-cholesterol from intake of approximately 2 g phytosterols/d incorporated into fat-based foods. However, the cholesterol lowering effect from capsules containing plant sterols is less documented. The pre-specified primary endpoint of the present study was to investigate the effect of capsules with phytosterols on circulating LDL-cholesterol in patients with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia.METHODS:In a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study, 41 men and women were randomized into two four-weeks intervention periods with softgel capsules containing either phytosterols (2.0 g/d) or sunflower oil. There was a three-weeks washout period between the intervention periods. No significant difference in total- or LDL-cholesterol between the phytosterol and the placebo period were observed after four weeks intervention. Daily intake of capsules containing 2 g plant sterols did not reduce total- or LDL-cholesterol significantly in a highly relevant target group for the use of phytosterol products.

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013. Cholesterol-lowering efficacy of plant sterols/stanols provided in capsule and tablet formats: results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Plant sterol / stanol supplements as part of a healthy diet represent an effective means of delivering LDL-cholesterol-lowering similar to plant sterols/stanols delivered in various food formats.

Drug Discov Today. 2002. Sterols and sterolins: new drugs for the immune system? Since the discovery of glucocorticoids, we have had a single strategy for manipulating the immune system in cases of destructive diseases mediated by uncontrolled immune responses. However, long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs can lead to the threat of opportunistic infections and malignancies. As we learn more about regulatory subsets of T lymphocytes and their cytokine profiles, the thrust has been on developing new ligands that ultimately give us more site-specific control. Our group has developed a patented mixture of plant sterols and sterolins that has anti-inflammatory properties and profound immune modulating effects on subsets of CD4+ T cells. We have tested this mixture in several clinical entities and we believe that it has wide applications in reverting immune abnormalities.

Risk
I take 1,000mg plant sterols for cholesterol and prostate. I just read an article at News Medical net that says plant sterols are not safe because they accumulate in heart valves. Would you comment on this please? I appreciate your web site.
   There is a possibility high amounts could accumulate in heart valves and lead to stenosis.