Lowering cholesterol with phytosterols

 Researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands reviewed the research on the LDL (bad) cholesterol–lowering effects of different phytosterol doses.

First, the details.

  • Data from 84 studies were combined for a meta-analysis of the LDL cholesterol-lowering effect of different phytosterol doses.

And, the results.

  • The LDL cholesterol reduction was 0.34 mmol/L for an average daily dose of 2.15 grams of phytosterols.
  • Higher baseline LDL cholesterol concentrations resulted in greater LDL cholesterol reductions.
  • No significant differences were found between dose and response for plant sterols vs stanols, fat-based vs nonfat-based foods, and dairy vs nondairy foods.
  • Solid foods had a greater effect than liquid foods only at high phytosterol doses (greater than 2 grams/day).
  • Taking phytosterols once or several times per day had no significant effect on LDL cholesterol lowering.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that eating more phytosterol-containing foods results in greater LDL cholesterol–lowering.

Information on the extent of LDL cholesterol lowering can be found here and here.

1/30/09 21:57 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.