Lars H. Ellegård, MD, PhD, Susan W. Andersson, PhD, A. Lena Normén, PhD, Henrik A. Andersson, MD, PhD; Dietary Plant Sterols and Cholesterol Metabolism. Nutr Rev 2007; 65 (1): 39-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.tb00266.x
Plant sterols, naturally occurring in foods of plant origin, reduce cholesterol absorption. Experimental studies show plant sterols to be an important part of the serum-cholesterol lowering effect of certain diets and dietary components. Epidemiological data show that individuals with higher intakes of plant sterols from their habitual diets have lower serum-cholesterol levels. To date, the role of naturally occurring plant sterols for lowering serum cholesterol has probably been underestimated. The consumption of dietary plant sterols should be a part of dietary advice to patients with hypercholesterolemia and the general public for the prevention and management of coronary heart disease.