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Stanol ester

Stanol ester is a heterogeneous group of chemical compounds known to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in blood when ingested. The starting material is sterols from plants. These are first hydrated to give stanol which is then esterified with a mixture of fatty acids also derived from plants. Stanol esters are found naturally occurring in small quantities in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils.

Stanol ester is often added to rapeseed oil based margarine or other foods for its health benefits. Studies have indicated that consumption of about 2 grams per day provides a reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 10%. The compound itself does not enter the blood stream or lymph but passes through the gut. Its presence, however, reduces the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from food. And it reduces the reabsorption of the cholesterol component of bile. Sometimes also sterol ester is used, but this compound is also taken up by the body.

Stanol ester was developed by Ingvar Wester, a Finnish chemist. It is marketed by the Raisio Group with the trade name Benecol.


  • M.B. Katan et al, Efficacy and Safety of Plant Stanols and Sterols in the Management of Blood Cholesterol Levels, Mayo Clinic Proceedings 78, 965-978 (2003)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stanol_ester". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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