Phytosterols can be found in many foods, but many people are unaware of their existence or do not know what they are. Phytosterol is a natural functional ingredient extracted from soybeans and corn. Because its structure is similar to cholesterol, it is also called plant sterol. So what are the effects of phytosterols? Let’s take a look at the 5 major functions and benefits of phytosterols.
What are the functions and benefits of phytosterols
1. Lower cholesterol
One of the major benefits of phytosterols is that it lowers the level of cholesterol in the body. When combines with bile acid particles, it makes the body refuse to absorb excess cholesterol, which can inhibit the cholesterol level to some extent. At the same time, phytosterols can promote the secretion of cholesterol in small intestinal cells, so that it can be better excreted from the body and no longer enter the human blood. Therefore, it has a good regulating effect on high blood lipids caused by high cholesterol and is very suitable for long-term use by people with high cholesterol.
Generally speaking, antioxidants are actually anti-free radicals. After the free radicals in the body are effectively scavenged, the antioxidant effect will naturally be achieved. Phytosterol has the effect of scavenging hydroxyl radicals and inhibiting the production of oxygen anions, so it can not only scavenge free radicals but also the whole process is mild and can well maintain the stability of cell membranes. In fact, antioxidants can also ensure the normal operation of other organs.
3. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
Experiments have shown that phytosterols have obvious anti-inflammatory and anti-infective effects. After the body absorbs phytosterols, it can play a natural anti-inflammatory effect. At the same time, it can effectively inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the human body and accelerate the degradation and metabolism of cholesterol, so as to prevent its formation.
4. Thyroid regulation
Phytosterols are steroidal compounds, which have the same chemical structure as steroids and are also precursors of steroid hormone synthesis and have a certain hormonal activity. They can change the bioavailability of cholesterol, and can also regulate the activity of metabolic enzymes, and improve the ability of gonadal tissue to synthesize steroid hormones. Phytosterols can effectively regulate the body’s thyroid function and play an important role in the body’s cholesterol metabolism.
5. Promote cell growth
When phytosterols bind to lipids, they form the sterol ribonucleoprotein complex, a component with a role in promoting animal protein synthesis. At the same time, the hormone-like effect of phytosterols can regulate the functions of the pituitary and liver, so as to normalize the secretion of growth hormone and insulin and help the development of the body.
Above are the 5 major benefits of phytosterols. In fact, phytosterols have already been widely used in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Because phytosterols have a very good mechanism for health, they have become very good healthcare products, especially suitable for patients with high cholesterol.
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