Summary: This study was arandomized, crossover, double-blind clinical trial that tested the effects ofcholesterol with the supplementation of plant sterols and stanols that areunesterified. There were fifteen participants in this study with highcholesterol, but, were otherwise healthy. Participants consisted of 9 men and 6women between the ages of 35-58. The female participants were either postmenopausalor had hysterectomies. There were originally sixteen participants, but, one mandropped out of the study due to commute issues.
They were each givenunesterified sterols and stanols that were mixed into butter at 1.8 g/d. There four dietary types: plant sterols (NS), plant stanols (SS), a 50:50mixture of sterols and stanols (NSS), or cornstarch (control). Results showedthat the plasma total cholesterol levels did, in fact, decrease when consumingthe sterols and stanols compared to the control group (respectively at: 7.8%, 11.
9%, and 13.1% lower (P < 0.01) in theNS, SS, and NSS groups). LDL cholesterol levels also showed a decrease,respectively, at 11.3%, 13.4%, and 16.0% lower (P< 0.
03) in the NS, SS, and NSS groups. However, the HDL cholesterol levelsdid not show much of a difference. Cholesterol absorption efficiency was alsomuch lower than the control group at 56.
0%, 34.4%,and 48.9% lower (P < 0.001) in the NS, SS, and NSS groups Based onthese results, the study did show that incorporating unesterified plant sterolsand stanols into the diet can help reduce cholesterol levels among those whohave high cholesterol.
Critique: Introduction:Phytosterols, also known as plant sterols or stanolesters, are phytosteroids, like cholesterol in humans, found in plant cellmembranes. They are thought to help maintain healthy cholesterol and lower LDLcholesterol. This study was trying to see if fatsthat were unsaturated and saturated, as well as an equal mixture of unsaturatedand saturated phytosterols, in their unesterified form, would equally reduceboth plasma total and LDL-cholesterol levels. Methods: Results:There was a variation of results with both total andLDL-cholesterol levels during cholesterol absorption.
This shows that the circulatingcholesterol concentrations require the uptake of cholesterol in the intestine. Cholesterolabsorption, as a result, was then inhibited by the plant sterols and stanols.The group with the lowest absorption coefficient was not, however, the groupwith the greatest degree of cholesterol lowering. Cholesterol absorption was decreasedby 56% and raised synthesis by 25% from the sterol diet.
Cholesterol absorptionwas decreased by 34.4% and raised synthesis by 34.1% from the stanol diet. Cholesterolabsorption was decreased by 48.9% and raised synthesis at approximately 50% by the50:50 mix of sterols and stanols, yet decreased the cholesterol concentrationsto the greatest degree.