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Lipids. 2009 Dec;44(12):1131-40. doi: 10.1007/s11745-009-3367-6. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Plant stanol supplementation decreases serum triacylglycerols in subjects with overt hypertriglyceridemia.

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  • 1Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Evidence is accumulating that high serum concentrations of triacylglycerols (TAG) are, like LDL cholesterol, causally related to cardiovascular disease. A recent meta-analysis has indicated that plant stanol ester (PSE) intake not only lowered LDL cholesterol, but also serum TAG concentrations, especially in subjects with high baseline TAG concentrations. We therefore evaluated the effects of PSE supplementation on lipid metabolism in a population with elevated fasting TAG concentrations. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel study, 28 subjects with elevated TAG concentrations (>1.7 mmol/L) were studied. After a 1-week run-in period during which a control margarine was used, subjects consumed for 3 weeks either control or PSE-enriched margarine (2.5 g/day of plant stanols). Serum plant stanol concentrations increased in all subjects receiving the PSE-enriched margarines, demonstrating good compliance. PSE supplementation significantly decreased serum total (6.7%, P = 0.015) and LDL cholesterol (9.5%, P = 0.041). A significant interaction between baseline TAG concentrations and PSE intake was found; PSE intake lowered TAG concentrations, particularly in subjects with high baseline TAG concentrations (>2.3 mmol/L; P = 0.009). Additionally, a significant interaction between baseline total number of LDL particles (LDL-P) and PSE intake was found (P = 0.020). PSE consumption lowered LDL-P, primarily in subjects with elevated baseline values; this was mainly due to a non-significant decrease in the number of atherogenic small LDL-P. Circulating levels of hs-CRP, glucose, and insulin were not changed after PSE intake. Taken together, PSE supplementation not only lowered LDL cholesterol, but also serum TAG concentrations, especially in subjects with overt hypertriglyceridemia.

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