Phytosterol stearate esters elicit similar responses on plasma lipids and cholesterol absorption but different responses on fecal neutral sterol excretion and hepatic free cholesterol in male Syrian hamsters

Mark M. Ash, Jiliang Hang, Patrick H. Dussault, Timothy P. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dietary impact of specific phytosterols incorporated into phytosterol fatty acid esters has not been elucidated. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that phytosterol esters containing different sterol moieties (sitosterol, sitostanol, or stigmasterol) but the same fatty acid moiety (stearic acid) produce different effects on cholesterol metabolism. Male Syrian hamsters were fed sitosterol, sitostanol, and stigmasterol stearate esters (25 g/kg diet) in an atherogenic diet containing cholesterol (1.2 g/kg) and coconut oil (80 g/kg). The phytosterol stearates produced no decrease in cholesterol absorption or plasma non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol despite a reduction in liver free cholesterol in hamsters fed both sitosterol and sitostanol stearate diets. In addition, sitosterol stearate significantly increased fecal esterified and total neutral sterol excretion. Stigmasterol stearate did not differ from control in neutral sterol excretion, plasma lipids, or hepatic lipid concentration. Sitosterol stearate demonstrated the highest level of net intestinal hydrolysis, whereas sitostanol and stigmasterol stearate equivalently demonstrated the lowest. The cholesterol-lowering effect in liver-but not plasma-and the limited presence of fecal free sterols indicate that intact (unhydrolyzed) phytosterol stearates may impact cholesterol metabolism by mechanisms unrelated to the role of free phytosterols. The consumption of phytosterol esters at 2.5% of the diet elicited only modest impacts on cholesterol metabolism, although sitosterol stearate had a slightly greater therapeutic impact by lowering liver free cholesterol and increasing esterified and total neutral sterol fecal excretion, possibly due to a greater level of intestinal hydrolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-543
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Research
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cholesterol
  • Cholesterol esterase
  • Hamsters
  • Low-density lipoprotein
  • Phytosterol ester
  • Plant stanol
  • Plant sterol
  • Stearic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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