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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2009;18(2):179-86.

The effects of phytosterols/stanols on blood lipid profiles: a systematic review with meta-analysis.

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West China School of Public Health SiChuan University, Chengdu, China.


The objective of this work is to conduct a systematic review that investigates the efficacy of phytosterols/stanols in lowering lipid concentration in individuals with non-familial hypercholesterolemia. Randomized controlled intervention trials were identified through selected international journal databases and reference lists of relevant publications. Two researchers extracted data from each identified trial and only trials of sufficient quality were included in the review. Main outcomes of interest were differences between treatment and control groups in terms of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and triacylglycerol. Of the studies reviewed, 20 out of 76 studies were of sufficient quality. The results of the systematic review indicated that phytosterols/stanols could significantly decrease low density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol and triacylglycerol in treatment groups compared with control groups and that the mean differences were [-0.35 mmol/L, 95%CI(-0.47, -0.22), p<0.00001], [-0.36 mmol/L, 95%CI(-0.46, -0.26), p<0.00001] and [-0.1 mmol/L, 95%CI(-0.16, -0.03), p=0.004] respectively. Foods enriched with 2.0 g of phytosterols/stanols per day had a significant cholesterol lowering effect.

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