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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349582

Research Project: Enable New Marketable, Value-added Coproducts to Improve Biorefining Profitability

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Title: Phystosterols and their derivatives: structural diversity, distribution, metabolism, analysis, and health promoting uses

Author
item Moreau, Robert
item Nystrom, Laura - Eth Zurich
item Whitaker, Bruce
item Moser, Jill
item Baer, David
item Gebauer, Sarah
item Hicks, Kevin

Submitted to: Progress in Lipid Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2018
Publication Date: 4/23/2018
Citation: Moreau, R.A., Nystrom, L., Whitaker, B.D., Moser, J.K., Baer, D.J., Gebauer, S.K., Hicks, K.B. 2018. Phystosterols and their derivatives: structural diversity, distribution, metabolism, analysis, and health promoting uses. Progress in Lipid Research. 70:35-61.

Interpretive Summary: Phytosterols (plant sterols) occur in the cells of all plants. They are important structural components that stabilize the biological membranes of plants. Methods for the analysis of phytosterols range from traditional gas chromatography of free phytosterols to modern sophisticated forms of mass spectrometry which have been used for the new field of sterol lipidomics, sometimes called “sterolomics.” Phytosterol-enriched functional foods first appeared about twenty years ago and many clinical studies have confirmed the low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering properties of various types of phytosterols. In recent years additional clinical studies and more than ten important meta-analyses have helped us to better understand cholesterol-lowering and other biological effects of plant sterols. In 2002, we wrote a comprehensive review on plant sterols and stanols and their conjugates in foods. The review covered structural diversity, quantitative analysis, and health promoting uses. The current paper will serve as an update to our 2002 review on the same topic.

Technical Abstract: Phytosterols (plant sterols) occur in the cells of all plants. They are important structural components that stabilize the biological membranes of plants. Sterols can occur in the “free” unbound form or they can be covalently bound via an ester or glycosidic bond. Since our previous 2002 review on phytosterols and phytosterol conjugates, phytosterol glucosides have been found to be important structural components in the lipid rafts of the plasma membrane of plant cells, where they are thought to be essential to the function of plasma membrane enzymes and perhaps other proteins. Phytosterols also serve as precursors in the synthesis of important bioactive compounds such as steroidal saponins, steroidal glycoalkaloids, phytoecdysteroids, and brassinosteroids. Methods for the analysis of phytosterols range from traditional gas chromatography of free phytosterols to modern sophisticated forms of mass spectrometry which have been used for the new field of sterol lipidomics, sometimes called “sterolomics.” Phytosterol-enriched functional foods first appeared about twenty years ago and many clinical studies have confirmed the cholesterol-lowering properties of various types of phytosterols. In recent years additional clinical studies and more than ten important meta-analyses have helped us to better understand cholesterol-lowering and other biological effects of plant sterols.