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Phytosterols…reduce plasma cholesterol but may influence the development of atherosclerosis ?

This review presents the influence of phytosterols on the development of atherosclerosis. The plasma cholesterol-reducing effect of phytosterols has been recognized in several studies, but the usefulness of phytosterols in preventing coronary heart disease remains controversial. Phytosterols may also induce inflammation and reduce cholesterol efflux from macrophages, conditions that are directly implicated in the development of atherosclerosis.

Reported to the major problem in health and nutrition claims, one might question the benefit of lowering cholesterol by phytosterols which would lead to atherosclerosis, and then why these ingredients gained authorized claims while others, such as plants, are systematically denigrated by EFSA!

Reference: Lottenberg AM, Bombo RP, Ilha A, Nunes VS, Nakandakare ER, Quintão EC. Do clinical and experimental investigations support an antiatherogenic role for dietary phytosterols/stanols? IUBMB Life. 2012 Apr;64(4):296-306.