Phytosterols do not change susceptibility to obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes induced by a high-fat diet in mice

Metabolism. 2008 Nov;57(11):1497-501. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.06.002.


Most studies have focused on the cholesterol-lowering activity of phytosterols; however, other biological actions have also been attributed to these plant compounds. In this study, we investigated whether phytosterols could delay (progression phase) and/or reverse (regression phase) insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes mellitus in an experimental mouse model of diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Body mass, plasma lipid levels, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia were determined. Phytosterol intake did not improve these metabolic parameters. Therefore, we were unable to substantiate any protective effect of phytosterol intake on diabetes development or regression in the mouse model used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Phytosterols / pharmacology*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Phytosterols
  • Cholesterol