Vegetable oil based versus wood based stanol ester mixtures: effects on serum lipids and hemostatic factors in non-hypercholesterolemic subjects

Atherosclerosis. 2000 Jan;148(1):101-12. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(99)00261-0.


A pine wood based stanol ester mixture-composed of sitostanol (92%) and campestanol (8%) effectively lowers cholesterol absorption and consequently LDL-cholesterol concentrations. It has been postulated that the less absorbable plant sterols reduce cholesterol absorption more effectively. As sitostanol is absorbed less than campestanol, we decided to examine if a vegetable oil based stanol ester mixture with 68% sitostanol and 32% campestanol is less effective than the wood based stanol ester mixture. For this, 112 non-hypercholesterolemic men and women consumed for 4 weeks a rapeseed oil (LEAR) based margarine and shortening. For the next 8 weeks, 42 subjects continued with these products, while the other subjects received products with a vegetable oil (n=36) or a pine wood based stanol ester mixture (n=34). Consumption of 3.8 g vegetable oil based stanols (2.6 g sitostanol plus 1.2 g campestanol) lowered LDL cholesterol 14.6+/-8.0% (-0.37 mmol/l; vs. the control group; P<0.001; 95% CI for the difference, -0.22 to -0. 51 mmol/l). Four grams pine wood based stanols (3.7 g sitostanol plus 0.3 g campestanol) showed a comparable decrease of 12.8+/-11.2% (-0.34 mmol/l; P<0.001; 95% CI-0.18 to-0.51 mmol/l). Decreases in LDL cholesterol were not different between the two experimental groups (P=0.793), while apoE genotype did not have a major impact on this hypocholesterolemic response. Serum HDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations were not changed. The decreases in apo B in both experimental groups differed significantly (P<0.001) from changes in the control group. Coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters were not affected. We therefore conclude that vegetable oil and wood based stanol ester mixtures, with a different sitostanol/campestanol ratio, have similar LDL cholesterol lowering effects in a non-hypercholesterolemic population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysis / drug effects
  • Hemostasis*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytosterols / administration & dosage
  • Phytosterols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Reference Values
  • Sitosterols / administration & dosage
  • Sitosterols / pharmacology*


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Drug Combinations
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Lipids
  • Phytosterols
  • Plant Oils
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sitosterols
  • campestanol
  • Cholesterol
  • stigmastanol