Plant sterols and stanols as cholesterol-lowering ingredients in functional foods

Afaf Kamal-Eldin, Ali Moazzami

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews developments related to the use of plant sterols and stanols as cholesterol-lowering ingredients in foods and nutraceuticals preparations. Plant sterols and stanols are extracted from the deodorizer distillates of vegetable oil refining and from tall oil, a by-product of paper pulping industry. Plant sterols/stanols inhibit cholesterol absorption possibly by competitively inhibiting its incorporation into the mixed micelles in the small intestine although other mechanisms can not be excluded. Daily consumption of 1-2 grams of plant sterols or stanols was shown to cause 10-20% reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). Combinations of plant sterols/stanols with certain lipid-lowering ingredients were shown to potentate their cholesterol-lowering effects and, in some cases, add triacylglycerol- lowering effects. In this article, patents based information is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalRecent Patents on Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cholesterol-lowering
  • Functional foods
  • Health-promoting effects
  • Plant stanols
  • Plant sterols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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