Plant Sterols

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Sterols and stanols can be obtained from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Researchers have identified over 200 distinct types of sterols. Beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol are found in the largest quantities in plants consumed by humans, but many of their properties are lost through thermal processing.

Numerous specialized studies have discovered that an intake of approximately 2 grams of phytosterols in food is ideal for reaping the many benefits brought by these substances.
  • 1. Regulation of cholesterol levels
The first and most important benefit of plant sterols and stanols is the regulation of the total cholesterol level in the body. Excess cholesterol often leads to the onset of cardiovascular diseases, usually treated with statins, medicinal substances that block the activity of an enzyme responsible for the production of fat in the liver.

Behind the therapeutic value of statins are hidden their possible adverse effects, such as muscle pain, increased risk of developing diabetes and even damage to muscle tissue. Researchers have discovered, more recently, that plant sterols can be an excellent adjuvant in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Phytosterols intervene in the metabolism of cholesterol and prevent its absorption in the bloodstream. These natural substances reduce bad LDL cholesterol, without affecting the level of good HDL cholesterol.
  • 2. Reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke
Since phytosterols have strong properties in reducing the level of bad cholesterol, their frequent introduction into the diet also helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and the occurrence of a stroke.

Plant sterols facilitate the elimination of excess cholesterol from the body, significantly reducing the chances of arterial plaque formation, which precedes the occurrence of a myocardial infarction. These substances taken from vegetable foods ensure the proper functioning of the cardiac apparatus and good blood circulation to the vital organs.

  • 3. Reducing the risk of cancer
Scientists have gathered evidence that attests to the fact that a regular consumption of phytosterols contributes to reducing the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colorectal and stomach cancer. Sterols have strong antioxidant properties, protecting the body's healthy cells from the harmful action of free radicals. Researchers continue to analyze the effects of sterols and stanols on preventing the formation of cancerous tumors.

  • 4. Reducing the number of triglycerides
Often, patients diagnosed with too high a level of triglycerides are advised by the specialist doctor to consume more fruits and vegetables. This recommendation is explained by the fact that phytosterols reduce the production of triglycerides in the liver. A study in which the subjects consumed 1.6 grams of sterols every day demonstrated that this therapeutic method helps to reduce the level of triglycerides by up to 14%, within just 6 weeks.

  • 5. Treatment of prostate cancer
Beta-sitosterol can be a powerful adjuvant in the treatment of prostate cancer. In a study carried out in this regard, it was observed that the substance injected into prostate cancer cells slows down the growth rate of the diseased cell by up to 24%. Beta-sitosterol also determined the acceleration of apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancer cells by up to 400%.
  • 6. Strengthening the immune system
Specialist research has discovered that phytosterols help control the body's immune response. While stimulating the yield of antibodies, it prevents inflammatory cells from multiplying. Supplements based on sterols and stanols help to treat inflammation of the wrists in the case of various forms of arthritis.
  • 7. Symptomatic treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia
The fruits produced by the Serenoa repens dwarf palm contain generous amounts of essential fatty acids and phytosterols. Studies show that extracts from these fruits help to improve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, frequent urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, etc.

In some cases, the administration of the extract from the fruit of the dwarf palm makes it possible to avoid a surgical intervention. The same thing has not been demonstrated, however, in the case of men suffering from prostate cancer, the American Academy of Cancer does not support the anticancer effects of Serenoa repens extract.



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