The Use of Plant Sterols and Stanols as Lipid-Lowering Agents in Cardiovascular Disease

Author(s): Jacek Rysz, Beata Franczyk, Robert Olszewski, Maciej Banach, Anna Gluba-Brzozka*

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 23 , Issue 17 , 2017

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Background: The prevalence of premature atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is constantly increasing worldwide. It has been proved that LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) plays causal role in the development of coronary atherosclerosis. The fact that atherosclerosis is a chronic and progressive disease which onsets during the first three decades of life bores questions what to do to maintain LDL-C at low levels throughout life and thus to delay and/or prevent the progress this disease. Currently, most of public health expenses are spared on treatment, but not on prophylaxis.

Methods: This is a review article summarizing novel reports concerning the efficacy of sterols/stanols as lipidlowering agents, assessing their influence on cardiovascular risk and safety.

Results: It has been suggested that sterols and stanols are effective in the lowering of low-density cholesterol levels and diminishing cardiovascular risk. However, the results of other studies suggest that phytosterols may not exert positive effects during atherogenesis. Firstly, patients with phytosterolaemia (genetic disease in which high plant sterol plasma concentrations are observed) develop malignant premature atherosclerosis. Moreover, several epidemiological studies demonstrated the association between upper normal plasma concentrations of plant sterols and increased risk of cardiovascular events. Finally, the supplementation with plant stanols and plant sterols may be not beneficial due to their incorporation in various tissues and potentially resulting in adverse effects.

Conclusion: Despite the worldwide promotion of sterols as health improving supplements, it seems that in some people responding with relatively high phytosterol serum levels after its consumption such additives may turn out to be as good as it has been believed.

Keywords: Plant sterols, stanols, lipid-lowering properties, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, steroid alkaloids.

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Article Details

Year: 2017
Published on: 02 July, 2017
Page: [2488 - 2495]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1381612823666170316112344
Price: $65

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