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J AOAC Int. 2015 May-Jun;98(3):716-23. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.SGEAjagbe. Epub 2015 May 4.

Plant Sterols, Stanols, and Sitosterolemia.

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University of Manitoba, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2N2.


Phytosterolemia (sitosterolemia) is a rare autosomal recessive sterol storage disease caused by mutations in either of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding cassette transporter genes; (ABC) G5 or ABCG8, leading to impaired elimination of plant sterols and stanols, with their increased accumulation in the blood and tissues. Thus the disease is characterized by substantially elevated serum plant sterols and stanols, with moderate to high plasma cholesterol levels, and increased risk of premature atherosclerosis. Hematologic abnormalities including macrothrombocytopenia, stomatocytosis and hemolysis are frequently observed in sitosterolemia patients. Currently, ezetimibe, a sterol absorption inhibitor, is used as the routine treatment for sitosterolemia, with reported improvement in plant sterol levels and hemolytic parameters. This review summarizes the research related to the health impact of plant sterols and stanols on sitosterolemia.

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