The role of dietary supplementation with plant sterols and stanols in the prevention of cardiovascular disease

Sridevi Devaraj, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown that increased levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol predict cardiovascular events. The Adult Treatment Panel II (ATP II) introduced the principle of therapeutic lifestyle changes, including plant sterols/stanols for the management of LDL cholesterol. Plant sterols and stanols in fat matrices effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic, diabetic, and healthy human volunteers. Recent studies also show that sterols (2 g/d) lower LDL cholesterol even when incorporated in nonfat matrices. In addition, they may reduce biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Plant sterols and stanols exert their hypocholesterolemic effects possibly by interfering with the uptake of both dietary and biliary cholesterol from the intestinal tract. Present evidence is accumulating to promote their use for lowering LDL cholesterol levels, as a first line of therapy (as well as adjunctive therapy) in patients on statin therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006



  • LDL cholesterol
  • Lifestyle
  • Stanol
  • Sterol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this