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Sterol ester

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

Sterol esters are added to certain oil-containing products like margarine, milk, or yogurt. Studies have indicated that consumption of about 2 grams per day provides a reduction in LDL cholesterol of about 10 percent. Its functionality is similar to that of stanol ester.

Sterol esters are added to certain Unilever products under the brand name Becel/Flora.


  • 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 "Sterol_ester". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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