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Metabolism. 1989 Feb;38(2):136-40.

Serum cholestanol and plant sterol levels in relation to cholesterol metabolism in middle-aged men.

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Second Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Serum cholestanol was studied in relation to fecal cholestanol excretion and cholesterol metabolism in a random middle-aged population of 61 men. The serum concentrations of cholestanol ranged from 1.6 to 10.8 mumol/L and were positively correlated with those of serum total LDL and HDL cholesterol. In terms of millimole per mole of cholesterol, these correlations disappeared; inverse associations were found with VLDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the P/S ratio of dietary fat, and the amount of fecal plant sterols, but not with fecal cholestanol. The serum contents of cholestanol (1) were also closely positively associated with those of serum plant sterols (campesterol and sitosterol) and fractional cholesterol absorption, (2) were inversely related to the fecal excretion of neutral sterols and cholesterol synthesis which were measured either by the sterol balance technique or serum cholesterol precursor sterols (desmosterol and lathosterol), and (3) were unrelated to bile acid synthesis. Fecal cholestanol (mean = 12.5 mg/d) was (1) clearly higher than the dietary cholestanol intake (less than 2 mg/d), (2) unrelated to serum cholestanol, and (3) positively correlated with the intestinal cholesterol (dietary plus endogenous) flux as well as fecal plant sterols, neutral sterols, and bacterial products of cholesterol. The study emphasizes that, in normal men, high serum cholestanol levels reflect high efficiency of intestinal sterol absorption and low cholesterol synthesis. Thus, the changes in the serum contents of cholestanol are parallel with those of plant sterols and opposite to those of cholesterol precursor sterols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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