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Any of various sterols obtained from plants, including ergosterol and stigmasterol.



a plant sterol released from the unsaponified parts of plant lipides. In contrast to animal sterols, such as cholesterol, the side chain in phytosterols is unsaturated and contains not eight carbon atoms but nine or ten. Most phytosterols are optically active crystalline substances with physical and chemical properties similar to those of other sterols.

The most common phytosterols include (β-sitosterol (C29H50O) and stigmasterol (C29H48O), which are released by cotton-seed, soybean, and other oils and from the by-products of the sulfate process in the cellulose industry. Isomers of stigmasterol are α-spinasterol (from spinach), fucosterol (from fungi), brassicasterol (C28H46O; from cabbage), and campesterol (C28H48O; from cabbage). Ergosterol is also a phytosterol.

Phytosterols are found in plants in free form, as well as in compounds with carbohydrates or fatty acids or with both. In some plants, β-sitosterol, like cholesterol, serves as the precursor to progesterone. Stigmasterol serves as a vitamin for guinea pigs (antiankylosis factor). Phytosterols also include certain C28 and C29 sterols from ferns and conifers that induce molting in insects (ecdysones).

Phytosterols are used in the pharmaceutical industry for the synthesis of steroid preparations.


Heftman, E. Biokhimiia steroidov. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)
Heftmann, E. “Biochemistry of Plant Steroids.” Annual Review of Plant Physiology, 1963, vol. 14.
Bean, G. A. “Phytosterols.” Advances in Lipid Research, 1973, vol. 11.


References in periodicals archive ?
com)-- According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, "Phytosterols Market by Market type and Application: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022," the global phytosterols market has generated $490 million in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 9.
Several phytosterols and plants extracts rich in phytosterols are widely used as additives in dietary products aiming to reduce total cholesterol levels.
2000); however, at a level of about 200 mg/day, which is the average in northern European countries, there is not sufficient phytosterol to reduce the levels of cholesterol in blood (Lin et al.
Soybean-based lipids also have been heavily criticized for their high concentrations of hepatotoxic phytosterols, which have been linked to parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD).
Cranberry seed oil, which is extracted from cranberry seeds and is the byproduct of cranberry juice processing, is a rich source of essential fatty acids, phytosterols and antioxidants.
A few major brands that contain phytosterol esters: Nature Made CholestOff Plus, Puritan's Pride Phytosterol Complex, and Now Foods Beta-Sitosterol Plant Sterols.
Phytosterol ester processing in the small intestine: impact on cholesterol availability for absorption and chylomicron cholesterol incorporation in healthy humans.
In this study it was determined antioxidant activities and phenolic flavonoid phytosterol lipid soluble vitamin and fatty acid contents of bitter almond kernel extract (BAE).
The researchers analysed each sample for metabolized versions of animal-derived cholesterol, as well as phytosterol, a cholesterol-like compound found in plants.
adults over the age of 55 with coronary heart disease (CHD) is expected to rise 13% by 2020, the report notes, adding that if those same adults would take phytosterol dietary supplements at preventive intake levels, their risks of CHD-related medical events would be reduced by 11.
galactosidase immobilized in chitosan beads, add protective agents while freeze drying Lactobacillus bulgaricus powder, and measure the effectiveness of Tween emulsifiers added to phytosterol and milk.