454 inform July 2010, Vol. 21 (7)
Extracts & 95% CI –1.18 to 0.62, P = 0.54), or tri-
glycerides (WMD –1.80 mg/dL [–0.0203
mmol/L], 95% CI –6.80 to 3.21, P = 0.48).
lowering. Plant sterols/stanols exert benefi-
cial effects on other lipid variables, such as
apolipoprotein (apo) B/apoAI ratio and, in
Plant sterols and plant stanols do not have some studies, high-density lipoprotein cho-
statistically or clinically relevant differing lesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG).
effects on total cholesterol, low-density lipo- Plant sterols/stanols may also affect inflam-
protein cholesterol, high-density lipopro- matory markers and coagulation parameters,
tein cholesterol, or triglyceride levels. The as well as platelet and endothelial function.
selection of plant sterols vs. plant stanols Evidence also exists about a beneficial effect
The comparative efficacy of should then be based on potential differ- on oxidative stress, but this does not seem
plant sterols and stanols on ences in safety parameters and further study to be of greater degree than that expected
serum lipids: A systematic is required to elucidate such differences. from the LDL-C lowering. Many of these
effects have been demonstrated in vitro and
review and meta-analysis animal models. Some in vitro effects cannot
Talati, R., et al., J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 110:719–
Role of very-long-chain fatty
be seen in vivo or in humans at usual doses.
726, 2010. acids in plant development, The epidemiological studies that evaluated
Plant sterols and stanols are plant ste- when chain length does matter the association of plasma PS concentration
roids with a similar chemical structure and with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk do
Bach, L., and J.D. Faure, Comptes Rend.
cellular function to human cholesterol, and not provide a definitive answer. Long-term
Biol. 333:361–370, 2010.
are recommended as dietary modifiers of randomized placebo-controlled studies are
Very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) are
serum lipids. Plant sterols have a higher required to clarify the effects of supplemen-
essential components for eukaryotes. They
degree of absorption than plant stanols, tation with PS on CVD risk and progression
are elongated by the elongase complex in the
suggesting differential efficacy between the of atherosclerosis.
endoplasmic reticulum and are incorporated
two. A meta-analysis of randomized con-
into four major lipid pools (triacylglycerols,
trolled trials was performed to summa- Stereospecific analysis of
waxes, phospholipids, complex sphingolip-
rize direct comparisons between the effect
of plant sterols vs. plant stanols on serum
ids). Functional analysis of several compo- triacylglycerols as a useful
nents of the elongase complex demonstrated
lipid levels in healthy patients and patients
the essential role of VLCFA in plants, inver-
means to evaluate genuineness
with hypercholesterolemia. A systematic
tebrates, and vertebrates. Although VLCFA of pumpkin seed oils: Lesson
literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE,
Cochrane CENTRAL, and the Natural Med-
changes in the triacylglycerol pool have no fr