Phytosterols are plant-derived sterols that are similar in structure and function to cholesterol.
Because phytosterols are structurally similar to the body's cholesterol, when they are consumed they compete with cholesterol for absorption in the digestive system.
Table of Contents
Phytosterols Are Plant Sterols
Phytosterols are bioactive compounds found in foods of plant origin, which can be divided into plant sterols and plant stanols.(source 🗗)
Stanols are hydrogenated products of sterols.
Phytostanols are almost identical to phytosterols in structure, but are fully saturated.(source 🗗)
Phytosterols In The Body
Phytosterols are plant sterols structurally similar to cholesterol that act in the intestine to lower cholesterol absorption.(source 🗗)
All phytosterols in human blood and tissue are derived from the diet because, in contrast to cholesterol, humans cannot synthesize phytosterols. (source 🗗)
Phytosterols In Food
Phytosterols are found in all plant foods, but the major source of phytosterols is vegetable oil.(source 🗗)
If you are interested in a list of foods where you can find this nutrient. Go to our nutrition tool and check out phytosterols.
Examples Of Phytosterols
- Stigmasterol Is used as a food additive
- Campesterol Might have anticarcinogenic effects
- Campestanol Is a weak basic compound
- Brassicasterol Mostly found in marine algae and fish
- beta-Sitosterol Is found in almost all plants
- beta-Sitostanol Is the most common stanol