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Atherosclerosis. 2008 Aug;199(2):432-9. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Effects of plant stanol esters on serum cholesterol concentrations, relative markers of cholesterol metabolism and endothelial function in type 1 diabetes.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, PO Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.


We investigated the effect of plant stanol esters (STAEST) on serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations and endothelial function in subjects with type 1 diabetes (T1D). In addition, the changes in the relative serum markers of cholesterol metabolism were recorded. In a parallel, randomized, double-blind study the intervention group (n = 11) consumed STAEST spread (2g/day stanols) and the control group (n=8) the same spread containing no added stanols for 12 weeks. At baseline, brachial artery diameter was negatively correlated with serum HDL cholesterol concentration (r = -0.476, P < 0.05), but not with total or LDL cholesterol concentrations or serum non-cholesterol sterol ratios to cholesterol. Flow-mediated dilatation was positively associated with serum absorption marker ratios to cholesterol, significantly so with the sitosterol ratio (r = 0.467, P < 0.05). During the intervention, serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations were reduced by 4.9 and 6.9% from baseline in the STAEST group, and by 10.8 and 16.1% from controls, respectively (P < 0.05 for all). No significant changes in HDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride concentrations were found. The STAEST consumption reduced serum campesterol and sitosterol ratios by 17-21% (P<0.05) from baseline, but the relative serum synthesis markers were not changed. Brachial artery diameter and flow-mediated dilatation did not change during the investigation. In conclusion, STAEST significantly reduced serum total and LDL cholesterol concentrations and serum plant sterol ratios without affecting HDL and triglyceride concentrations in subjects with T1D. STAEST had no effect on endothelial function.

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