Monday, September 12, 2011

Phytochemicals: 11 Health Benefits of Plant Sterols

Plant sterols are water insoluble, a group of naturally phytochemocal resembling cholesterol, an essential fat produced by liver and or intestines used by your body to produce hormones and cell membranes, and aid in manufactoring bile acids, steroid hormones, and Vitamin D. It is best known for its function of lowering blood cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular disease. In a study of Phytosterols: Perspectives in Human Nutrition and Clinical Therapy." by
Choudhary SP, Tran LS. (Source from Signaling Pathway Research Unit, RIKEN Plant Science Center, 1-7-22, Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan., researchers indicated that this manuscript will highlight the recent developments in PSs with particular focus on their role as dietary supplements and in treatment of various heart- and cholesterol-related ailments. Recently explored side effects of PSs will also be discussed.

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1. Cardiovascular Disease
According to the study of "Costs and health effects of adding functional foods containing phytosterols/-stanols to statin therapy in the prevention of cardiovascular disease." by
Eussen SR, Feenstra TL, Toxopeus IB, Hoekstra J, Klungel OH, Verhagen H, van Kranen HJ, Rompelberg CJ. (Source from National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands; Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, P.O. Box 80082, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that This simulation study showed that the cost-effectiveness of phytosterols/-stanols as monotherapy and as add-on to statins is above thresholds for cost-effectiveness, generally ranging between €20,000 and €50,000, and is thus a non-cost-effective strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease.

2. Cholesterol
In a study of " Naturally-occurring phytosterols in the usual diet influence cholesterol metabolism in healthy subjects." by Sanclemente T, Marques-Lopes I, Fajó-Pascual M, Cofán M, Jarauta E, Ros E, Puzo J, García-Otín AL. (Source from Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences and Sports, University of Zaragoza, Plaza Universidad 3, 22002-Huesca, Spain), posted in PubMed, researchers found that A total of 85 healthy volunteers were studied regarding their dietary habits (using a validated food frequency questionnaire), lipid profile and surrogate markers of cholesterol metabolism. Subjects were classified into tertiles of total phytosterol intake, and differences in lipid profile and markers of cholesterol metabolism were assessed by multivariate linear regression models adjusted for various confounders. The estimated daily intake of phytosterols and cholesterol was 489 (median) and 513 (mean) mg, respectively. Both serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol concentration and sitosterol-to-cholesterol ratio adjusted by sitosterol intake (a surrogate marker of intestinal cholesterol absorption) decreased significantly (p < 0.05, both) across tertiles of phytosterol intake, and concluded that Moderate doses of phytosterols in the habitual diet might have a protective effect on the lipid profile via decreasing cholesterol absorption.

3. Anti-inflammation
According to the study of " Beyond cholesterol-lowering effects of plant sterols: clinical and experimental evidence of anti-inflammatory properties." by Othman RA, Moghadasian MH. (Source from Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba and Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, Winnipeg, Canada.) posted in PubMed, researchers wrote that Inflammation is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Dietary plant sterols are known to reduce plasma cholesterol levels and thereby reduce cardiovascular risk. Recent observations from animal and human studies have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of phytosterols. For example, several animal and human studies report reductions in the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including C-reactive protein, after consumption of dietary plant sterols......

4. Atherosclerosis
In a study of "Rapeseed oil fortified with micronutrients reduces atherosclerosis risk factors in rats fed a high-fat diet." by Xu J, Zhou X, Deng Q, Huang Q, Yang J, Huang F. (Source from Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan, PR China.) posted in PubMed. reseachers found that Micronutrients supplementation significantly increased plasma antioxidant defense capacities, as evaluated by the significant elevation in the activities of GPx, CAT and SOD as well as the level of GSH, and the significant decline in lipid peroxidation. These micronutrients also reduced the plasma contents of TG, TC and LDL-C and increased the ratio of HDL-C/LDL-C. In addition, in parallel with the enhancement of these micronutrients, plasma levels of IL-6 and CRP declined remarkably and concluded that Rapeseed oil fortified with micronutrients polyphenols, tocopherols and phytosterols may contribute to prevent atherogenesis by ameliorating plasma oxidative stress, lipid profile and inflammation.

5. Healthy Aging
According to the study of " Plant sterols and stanols for healthy ageing." by Rudkowska I. (Source
from Lipid Research Center, CHUQ-CHUL Pavilion, Québec, Québec, Canada., posted in PubMed, researchers wrote that PS have recently been investigated for the prevention of other age-related diseases. The objective of this review is to examine the benefits of PS on CVD as well as ageing-associated diseases. PS have the ability to significantly lower LDL-C; yet, the large inter-individual variability in the lowering of LDL-C may be due to subject characteristics, food matrix of PS, dose of PS, dietary background, frequency of intake of PS, the additive effect of other foods or drugs, as well as genetic factors. Further, PS may also have other potential beneficial effects including anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. Overall, dietary intervention strategies, such as incorporating PS into a healthy diet, should be recommended and implemented in older adult populations in order to prevent ageing-associated diseases and hence promote healthy ageing.

6. Hypercholesterolemia
in a Russian study of "
[Contemporary approaches to nondrug correction of hypercholesterolemia]." [Article in Russian] by Pogozheva AV. (Source from Moskow, Russia.) posted in PubMed, reseachers found that efficacy of such minor components of food as phytosterols has been demonstrated. Their use as supplements to fermented dairy product has facilitated significant lowering of total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol without negative action on the state of hepato biliary system.

7. Oxidative Stress
According to the study of " Evaluation of cardiovascular risk and oxidative stress parameters in hypercholesterolemic subjects on a standard healthy diet including low-fat milk enriched with plant sterols." by Bañuls C, Martínez-Triguero ML, López-Ruiz A, Morillas C, Lacomba R, Víctor VM, Rocha M, Hernández-Mijares A. (Source from Service of Endocrinology, University Hospital Dr. Peset, Valencia, Spain.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that After 3 months on a standard healthy diet, subjects were divided into two intervention groups: a diet group and a diet+PS group (2 g/day). Lipid profile, apolipoproteins, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and oxidative stress parameters were analyzed. Diet significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol (4.0% and 4.7%, respectively), produced an increase in the level of beta-carotene (23%) and improved the antioxidant capacity of LDL cholesterol particles (4.6%). PS induced a significant decrease in total cholesterol (6.4%), LDL (9.9%) and the apolipoprotein B100/apolipoprotein A1 ratio (4.9%), but led to a decrease in cryptoxanthin level (29%) without any change being observed in the antioxidant capacity of LDL cholesterol particles, total antioxidant status or lipid peroxidation. After 3 months, we observed the positive effect of including a PS supplement in dietary measures, as the lipoprotein-mediated risk of cardiovascular disease was reduced. Despite a decrease in the concentration of cryptoxanthin, no evidence of a global impairment of antioxidative defenses or an enhancement of oxidative stress parameters was found.

8. Lipid Peroxidation
According to the study of " Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects." by
Basu A, Wilkinson M, Penugonda K, Simmons B, Betts NM, Lyons TJ. (Source from Department of Nutritional Sciences, 301 Human Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA., posted in PibMed. researchers found that Total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were significantly lower at 4 weeks versus baseline (-5% and -6%, respectively, p < 0.05), as was lipid peroxidation in the form of malondialdehyde and hydroxynonenal (-14%, p < 0.01). Oxidized-LDL showed a decreasing trend at 4 weeks (p = 0.123). No effects were noted on markers of inflammation including C-reactive protein and adiponectin. A significant number of subjects (13/16) showed an increase in plasma ellagic acid at four weeks versus baseline, while no significant differences were noted in dietary intakes at four weeks versus baseline. Thus, short-term supplementation of freeze-dried strawberries appeared to exert hypocholesterolemic effects and decrease lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome.

9. Cancers
In a study of " Anticancer effects of phytosterols." by Woyengo TA, Ramprasath VR, Jones PJ. (Source from Department of Animal Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T6C5, Canada.) posted in PubMed, researchers wrote that Phytosterol consumption may also increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes and thereby reduce oxidative stress. In addition to altering cell-membrane structure and function, phytosterols probably promote apoptosis by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Moreover, consumption of phytosterols by healthy humans at the recommended level of 2 g per day does not cause any major health risks. In summary, mounting evidence supports a role for phytosterols in protecting against cancer development. Hence, phytosterols could be incorporated in diet not only to lower the cardiovascular disease risk, but also to potentially prevent cancer development.

10. Antiplatelet effects and phytosterols
According to the study of " Antiplatelet effects of aspirin with phytosterols: comparison with non-enteric coated aspirin alone." by Antonino MJ, Coppolecchia R, Mahla E, Bliden KP, Tantry US, Gurbel PA. (Source fromSinai Center for Thrombosis Research, Baltimore, MD 21215, USA), posted in PubMed, researchers found that five days after randomization to aspirin alone versus aspirin+phytosterols (T2), there were no differences in any measurement of platelet function within each group compared to T1 or between groups. The present study suggests that the antiplatelet effect of non-enteric coated 81 mg twice-daily aspirin therapy alone is not affected by the addition of phytosterols in a combination product.

11. Central Nervous System
In a study of " Increased plant sterol and stanol levels in brain of Watanabe rabbits fed rapeseed oil derived plant sterol or stanol esters." by Fricke CB, Schrøder M, Poulsen M, von Bergmann K, Wester I, Knudsen I, Mortensen A, Lütjohann D. (Source from Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Strasse 25, D-53105 Bonn, Germany.) posted in PubMed, reseachers found that Concentrations of cholesterol, its precursor lathosterol, plant sterols and stanols in brain and additionally in liver and plasma were determined by highly sensitive GC-MS. High-dose intake of RSO derived plant sterols and stanols resulted in increased levels of these components in plasma and liver. In brain a limited uptake of plant sterols and stanols was proven, indicating that these compounds passed the blood-brain barrier and may be retained in the brain tissue of Watanabe rabbits. Plant stanol ester feeding lowered plant sterol levels in brain, liver, and plasma. Cholesterol synthesis in brain, indicated by lathosterol, a local surrogate cholesterol synthesis marker, does not seem to be affected by plant sterol or stanol ester feeding. We conclude that high dose intake of plant sterol and stanol esters in Watanabe rabbits results in elevated concentrations of these components not only in the periphery but also in the central nervous system.

12. Etc.

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