Send to

Choose Destination
Atherosclerosis. 1994 Feb;105(2):217-26.

Dietary sitostanol related to absorption, synthesis and serum level of cholesterol in different apolipoprotein E phenotypes.

Author information

Second Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Effects of small amounts of sitosterol, sitostanol and sitostanol esters (< 1 g/day of free sterols) dissolved in rapeseed oil (RSO) were studied on serum lipids and cholesterol metabolism in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and different apolipoprotein E phenotypes on an RSO diet. One of the four groups was an RSO-fed control. Serum total and LDL cholesterol reductions were small in different plant sterol-fed groups, tended to be highest in the sitostanol ester group (-7%), but were significantly reduced by about 5% in the combined plant sterol groups. The reductions were -8% in the subjects with epsilon 4 allele and insignificant in those with apo E3/3 phenotype. Cholesterol precursor sterols in serum, markers of cholesterol synthesis, were increased only in the subjects with epsilon 4 allele. Cholesterol absorption was reduced by 7%, being 31% in the subjects with epsilon 4 allele, and fecal elimination of cholesterol was increased, a finding also indicating increased cholesterol synthesis. The changes in cholesterol absorption were related to those in fecal plant sterols (change in dietary intake) and serum total and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.04, 0.01 and 0.05, respectively). Thus, small amounts of dietary plant sterols (< 1 g/day), especially sitostanol esters dissolved in dietary fats, decrease serum total and LDL cholesterol by a proportional decrease in cholesterol absorption which, in turn, is associated with a compensatory increase in cholesterol synthesis. The effects are most consistent in subjects with epsilon 4 allele, but for effective hypocholesterolemic treatment dietary amount of sitostanol ester should exceed 1 g/day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center