Sterol esters are a heterogeneous group of
chemical compounds known to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein(LDL) cholesterolin bloodwhen ingested. The starting material are phytosterols, which are then esterified with a mixture of fatty acids also derived from plants. Sterol esters are found naturally occurring in small quantities in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils.
Sterol esters are added to certain oil-containing products like
margarine, milk, or yogurt. Studies have indicated that consumption of about 2 grams per day provides a reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 10 percent. Its functionality is similar to that of stanol ester.
Sterol esters are added to certain
Unileverproducts under the brand name Becel/Flora.
*M.B. Katan et al, Efficacy and Safety of Plant Stanols and Sterols in the Management of Blood Cholesterol Levels, Mayo Clinic Proceedings 78, 965-978 (2003)
* [http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/103/8/1177 American Heart Association]
* [http://www.eatright.org/Public/NutritionInformation/92_9290.cfm American Dietetic Association]
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