Phytosterols Supplement Review

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  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Lowering elevated LDL cholesterol levels
+3 (Strong Evidence)


  • Phytosterols are plant derived substances that lower cholesterol by preventing LDL cholesterol absorption in the intestine.
  • Phytosterols lower both total and LDL cholesterol on average by about 10%.
  • Phytosterols have an excellent safety profile and relatively few side effects.
  • There is good evidence that combining phytosterols with the omega-3 DHA can lower LDL cholesterol while improving HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lowering triglycerides.


  • Even though it reduces LDL cholesterol, there are no long term outcomes showing that it actually lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Studies used phytosterols in margarine-like spreads, and it is not clear whether capsules containing phytosterols will have the same benefit.
  • The overall effect of phytosterols on cholesterol levels is mild and other therapies may be required to meet individual goals for reducing cholesterol levels.
  • Side effects may include mild bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.


DOSAGE:1-2 grams taken twice daily with meals.

CONCLUSION:We conclude that phytosterols are safe and effective product for lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels. Work with your medical provider to make sure that cholesterol levels meet your own unique targets based on your specific medical conditions.

“Phytosterols.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Beta-Sitosterol.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Demonty, I. et al. Continuous Dose-Response Relationship of the LDL-Cholesterol-Lowering Effect of Phytosterol Intake. The Journal of Nutrition (2009) 139:271-284
Calpe-Berdiel, L. et al. New insights into the molecular actions of plant sterols and stanols in cholesterol metabolism. Atherosclerosis (2009) 203, 18-31
AbuMweis, S.S. et al. Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) 63, 747-755
Lau, V. et al. Plant sterols are efficacious in lowering plasma LDL and non-HDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic type 2 diabetic and nondiabetic persons. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005) 81:1351-8
Schonfeld, G. et al. Plant sterols in atherosclerosis prevention. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) 92:3-4
Staonols/Sterols. EBSCO Publishing (2010) 1-7
Talati, R. et al. The Comparative Efficacy of Plant Sterols and Stanols on Serum Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2010) 110:719-729
Micallef, M., Garg, M. et al. The Lipid-Lowering Effects of Phytosterols and (n-3) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Are Synergistic and Complementary in Hyperlipidemic Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition (2008) 138:1086-1090
Vanstone, C. et al. Unesterified plant sterols and stanols lower LDL-cholesterol concentrations equivalently in hypercholesterolemic persons. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2002) 76: 1272-8

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