Effects of phytosterol ester-enriched vegetable oil on plasma lipoproteins in healthy men.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2003; 12(3):282-91.AP
It has been reported that phytosterol esters reduce cholesterol absorption and lower serum cholesterol concentration. There have been very few studies published on the effect of dose of phytosterol esters less than 1.0 g/day on plasma cholesterol levels in healthy subjects using commonly consumed foods. In this study, we evaluated the effect of 0.45 g/day (as free sterol) phytosterol ester-enriched dissolved in vegetable oil on plasma lipoproteins in sixty healthy males with slightly elevated total cholesterol concentration. This study was conducted in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, and arm parallel study. A total of 14 g/day of phytosterol ester-enriched vegetable oil containing 0.45 g phytosterol (as the major free sterol) was compared with a control vegetable oil containing 0.04 g phytosterol (as the major free sterol). All subjects did not change their usual dietary habit and consumed foods that included about 360 mg/day cholesterol for 12 weeks. In subjects with higher total cholesterol concentrations (>200mg/dL), the phytosterol enriched-vegetable oil significantly reduced total cholesterol (10.3%, P<0.05), very low density (VLDL) lipoprotein cholesterol (22.5%, P<0.05), and remnant-like lipoprotein (RLP) cholesterol (24.7%, P<0.01) compared with the control vegetable oil. A reduction in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration was also observed. In particular, the improvement in serum lipoprotein was more pronounced in subjects with higher total cholesterol concentrations. Triglycerides and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol did not change significantly. Plasma concentration of fat-soluble vitamins (tocopherol and retinol) and beta-carotene were not statistically significantly affected by phytosterol ester-enriched vegetable oil. These findings indicate that a daily consumption of phytosterol ester as low as 0.45 g/day (as free sterol) is effective in lowering blood total cholesterol concentration and RLP cholesterol concentration. Lower total cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and RLP cholesterol due to consumption of the phytosterol ester-enriched vegetable oil may be helpful in reducing the risk of CHD in the population.