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Nutrients. 2013 Jan 31;5(2):359-87. doi: 10.3390/nu5020359.

Plant sterols as anticancer nutrients: evidence for their role in breast cancer.

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Department of Family Medicine, Stony Brook University Hospital Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York, NY 11794, USA.


While many factors are involved in the etiology of cancer, it has been clearly established that diet significantly impacts one's risk for this disease. More recently, specific food components have been identified which are uniquely beneficial in mitigating the risk of specific cancer subtypes. Plant sterols are well known for their effects on blood cholesterol levels, however research into their potential role in mitigating cancer risk remains in its infancy. As outlined in this review, the cholesterol modulating actions of plant sterols may overlap with their anti-cancer actions. Breast cancer is the most common malignancy affecting women and there remains a need for effective adjuvant therapies for this disease, for which plant sterols may play a distinctive role.

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