Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 11 (5), 391-8

Increased Plasma Levels of Plant Sterols and Atherosclerosis: A Controversial Issue


Increased Plasma Levels of Plant Sterols and Atherosclerosis: A Controversial Issue

Laura Calpe-Berdiel et al. Curr Atheroscler Rep.


A number of studies have raised the possibility of circulating plant sterols being a risk factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Evidence in support of this hypothesis comes mainly from observations in sitosterolemic patients, who hyperabsorb plant sterols and suffer premature atherosclerosis. Accordingly, the atherogenicity of plant sterols of dietary origin is currently under debate, in view of the widespread use of cholesterol-lowering functional foods enriched with these compounds. Although some reports have suggested the vascular perils of small increases in plasma plant sterol concentrations, other prospective and large population-based studies have indicated otherwise. Further, the potential risk of plant sterol-enriched foods may be counterbalanced by the notable reduction in plasma cholesterol. This review summarizes the current evidence on the possible impact of plant sterols as a risk factor for atherosclerosis.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 3 PubMed Central articles


    1. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 Apr;35(5):1185-91 - PubMed
    1. J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 3;281(44):33635-49 - PubMed
    1. Arteriosclerosis. 1990 Mar-Apr;10(2):289-97 - PubMed
    1. Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jan;196(1):283-8 - PubMed
    1. Science. 2000 Dec 1;290(5497):1771-5 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources