the cholesterol lowering abilities of phytosterols are well
established, lead to a range of products thickly spread on supermarket
shelves, some questions had remained unanswered regarding the
ingredient’s affects on antioxidant levels in the body – it is know that
phytosterols may decrease levels of fat-soluble vitamins.
According to results of a new randomised parallel trial from Valencia, Spain, while a reduction in the levels of some antioxidants were observed, no overall detrimental effect on antioxidant defences was observed.
Phytosterols, cholesterol-like molecules derived from plants, are increasingly well known to consumers due to their scientifically proven ability to reduce cholesterol levels. As consumer awareness has increased, the number of products containing plant sterols or plant stanols and their esters has increased.
Numerous clinical trials in controlled settings have reported that daily consumption of 1.5 to 3 grams of phytosterols/-stanols from foods can reduce total cholesterol levels by eight to 17 per cent, representing a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Our results confirm and extend the positive effect of including a PS supplement in dietary measures by demonstrating that it reduces the lipoprotein-mediated risk of cardiovascular disease,” wrote the authors, led by Celia Banuls from University Hospital Dr. Peset and CIBER Actions in Epidemiology and Public Health.
“The phytosterol-mediated decrease in fat-soluble antioxidants does not lead to a global impairment of antioxidative defences or an enhancement of oxidative stress, although it does impede improvement in the resistance of LDL cholesterol particles to oxidation associated with dietary therapy,” they added.
Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Authors: C. Banuls, M.L. Martinez-Triguero, A. Lopez-Ruiz, C. Morillas, R. Lacomba, V.M. Victor, M. Rocha, A. Hernandez-Mijares