Plant Sterols May Be More Effective Than Triterpene Alcohols

January 1, 2001

1 Min Read
Plant Sterols May Be More Effective Than Triterpene Alcohols

Plant Sterols May Be More Effective Than TriterpeneAlcohols

WAGENINGEN, Netherlands--In the December American Journal of ClinicalNutrition (72:6 1510-1515, 2000), researchers discovered thatunsaponifiables found in certain triterpene alcohols may not offer the samecholesterol-lowering effects as unsaponifiables found in plant sterols. In athree-week, crossover, double-blind study, 28 men and 32 women consumed 29 g/dayof butter supplemented with plant sterols from rice bran oil or triterpenealcohols from sheanut oil. A sunflower oil-based butter was used in the controlgroup.

Researchers, led by Maud Vissers from Wageningen University here, found thatvolunteers consuming rice bran oil had serum total cholesterol lowered by fivepercent and their LDL ("bad" cholesterol) by nine percent. However,triterpene alcohols from sheanut oil did not significantly affect lipoproteinconcentrations in all subjects combined. Researches believe that the effect ofthe rice bran oil sterols was a result of its 4-desmethylsterols. For a copy ofthe abstract, visit

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