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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Phytosterols and Inflammation

Author(s): Gemma Vilahur, Soumaya Ben-Aicha, Elisa Diaz-Riera, Lina Badimon and Teresa Padró*

Volume 26, Issue 37, 2019

Page: [6724 - 6734] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180622151438

Price: $65


Besides the well-characterized effect of foods and supplements enriched with plant sterols/stanols on serum LDL-C concentrations, evidence is now emerging that phytosterols exert beneficial effects on non-lipid variables such as inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, coagulation parameters and endothelial function. This makes sterols and stanols an attractive alternative for dietary interventions in cardiovascular disease prevention, particularly in populations at low or medium risk. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge derived from experimental studies and human data on the anti-inflammatory effects of phytosterols/stanols and their relevance in promoting atheroprotection and preventing cardiovascular disease. The anti-inflammatory effects induced by plant sterols/stanols have been demonstrated in in vitro studies and in experimental animal models. However, not all the beneficial effects seen at an experimental level have translated into clinical benefit. Indeed, clinical studies that evaluate the association between phytosterols consumption and inflammatory variables (CRP and cytokines) are inconsistent and have not yet provided a solid answer. Plant sterols have been proposed as useful adjuncts to statin therapy to further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there is limited available data and more research needs to be done.

Keywords: Phytosterols, inflammation, oxidative stress, LDL, cholesterol, CRP, cytokines.

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