What are phytosterols?
Phytosterols, also known as plant sterols, are sterol substances obtained by physical extraction. They can be naturally found in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts grains, and so on. Phytosterols mainly include β-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, etc., and their structures are similar to cholesterol, except for some differences in the side chains.
Physiological activities of phytosterols
Phytosterols have been hailed by scientists as “the key to life” because of their ability to lower cholesterol levels and protect cardiovascular health. Studies have found that a 10% reduction in blood cholesterol levels will reduce cardiovascular disease by 19%-54%. For this reason, it has been highly recommended by world authorities such as the World Heart Organization, American Heart Association, British Heart Foundation, German Society of Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics, Australian Heart Association, and so on.
The mystery of phytosterol‘s special physiological effect is that it competes with cholesterol in the transport and absorption of fatty micro-groups, reducing the absorption of cholesterol and leading to a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Only a small part of the phytosterols are absorbed by the body, and the unabsorbed cholesterol will enter the body’s circulation or be excreted with feces.
Related applications of phytosterols
The biological efficacy of phytosterols has undergone a series of clinical trials, all of which have significantly demonstrated its physiological function of lowering cholesterol.
Phytosterols are currently mainly in two forms: oil and powder. So they can be used in various applications such as hard and soft capsules, tablets, solid drinks, and energy bars. They are also used in a wide range of applications such as bakery, dairy products, dietary supplements, etc.
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