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Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

To compare the efficacy of single versus multiple doses of plant sterols on circulating lipid level and cholesterol trafficking.

Subjects/Methods:

A randomized, placebo-controlled, three-phase (6 days/phase) crossover, supervised feeding trial was conducted in 19 subjects. Subjects were provided (i) control margarine with each meal; (ii) 1.8 g/day plant sterols in margarine with breakfast (single-BF) and control margarine with lunch and supper or (iii) 1.8 g/day plant sterols in margarine divided equally at each of the three daily meals (three times per day).

Results:

Relative to control, end point plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations were lower (P<0.05) after consuming plant sterols three times per day but were not different when consumed once per day (3.43±0.62, 3.22±0.58 and 3.30±0.65 mmol/l, control, three times per day and single-BF, respectively). Relative to the control, end point LDL level was 0.21±0.27 mmol/l (6%) lower (P<0.05) at the end of the three times per day phase. Cholesterol fractional synthesis rate was highest (P<0.05) after the three times per day phase (0.0827±0.0278, 0.0834±0.0245 and 0.0913±0.0221 pool/day, control, single-BF and three times per day, respectively). Cholesterol-absorption efficiency decreased (P<0.05) by 36 and 39% after the three times per day and single-BF phase, respectively, relative to control.

Conclusions:

Present data indicate that to obtain optimal cholesterol-lowering impact, plant sterols should be consumed as smaller doses given more often, rather than one large dose.

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Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Unilever Research for providing the sterol-enriched and control margarines in-kind. We also thank the study subjects for their enthusiastic participation.

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Correspondence to P J H Jones.

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AbuMweis, S., Vanstone, C., Lichtenstein, A. et al. Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, 747–755 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2008.36

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2008.36

Keywords

  • plant sterols
  • single dose
  • LDL cholesterol
  • diet
  • lipoproteins

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