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Metabolism. 2006 Mar;55(3):391-5.

Phytosterols mixed with medium-chain triglycerides and high-oleic canola oil decrease plasma lipids in overweight men.

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School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Qu├ębec, Canada H9X 3V9.


Phytosterols (PSs) have been recently added to various mediums. Nevertheless, matrices with functional properties, such as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), should be precisely examined for supplementary advantages. The objective of this study was to identify the existence of combined biological actions of a functional oil enriched in PSs within MCTs and high-oleic canola (HOC), relative to a control (olive oil), in overweight, hyperlipidemic men using a rigorously controlled dietary intervention. Twenty-three overweight, hyperlipidemic men consumed both types of oil in a randomized, crossover trial for 6 weeks each. Fasted plasma samples were collected on the first and last 2 days of each study period. Body weight decreased -1.22 +/- 0.35 kg (P = .0019) and -1.68 +/- 0.47 kg (P = .0016) after the 6-week study period in the olive oil and functional oil groups, respectively. The end points for total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in the functional oil group (P = .0006) were lower than in the olive oil group (P = .0002). Total cholesterol values decreased from comparable baseline to end point of 4.71 +/- 0.16 mmol/L (P < .0001) in the functional oil phase and 5.14 +/- 0.19 mmol/L (P = .0001) in the olive oil phase (P = .0592). In addition, LDL-C demonstrated a similar drop, to an end point of 3.12 +/- 0.16 mmol/L (P < .0001) and 3.54 +/- 0.18 mmol/L (P = .0002), for the functional oil and olive oil groups, respectively, with significant changes (P = .0221). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels did not change in either treatment. Triacylglycerol end points decreased in functional oil and olive oil groups (P = .0195 and .0105, respectively) to the same extent from baseline. Results indicate that PSs mixed within an MCT- and HOC-rich matrix lower plasma LDL-C, without significantly changing the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, in hyperlipidemic, overweight men, and may therefore decrease the risk of cardiovascular events.

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