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Journal of clinical lipidology

Additive effects of plant sterols supplementation in addition to different lipid-lowering regimens.


PMID 26228672

Abstract

Plant sterol (PS) supplementation has been widely used alone or combined with lipid-lowering therapies (LLTs) to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The effects of PS added to high-intensity LLT are less reported, especially regarding the effects on cholesterol synthesis and absorption. A prospective, randomized, open-label study, with parallel arms and blinded end points was designed to evaluate the effects of addition of PS to LLT on LDL cholesterol, markers of cholesterol synthesis, and absorption. Eighty-six patients of both genders were submitted to a 4-wk run-in period with atorvastatin 10 mg (baseline). Following, subjects received atorvastatin 40 mg, ezetimibe 10 mg, or combination of both drugs for another 4-wk period (phase I). In phase II, capsules containing 2.0 g of PSs were added to previous assigned treatments for 4 wk. Lipids, apolipoproteins, plasma campesterol, β-sitosterol, and desmosterol levels were assayed at all time points. Within and between-group analyses were performed. Compared with baseline, atorvastatin 40 mg reduced total and LDL cholesterol (3% and 22%, respectively, P < .05), increased β-sitosterol, campesterol/cholesterol, and β-sitosterol/cholesterol ratios (39%, 47%, and 32%, respectively, P < .05); ezetimibe 10 mg reduced campesterol and campesterol/cholesterol ratio (67% and 70%, respectively, P < .05), and the combined therapy decreased total and LDL cholesterol (22% and 38%, respectively, P < .05), campesterol, β-sitosterol, and campesterol/cholesterol ratio (54%, 40%, and 27%, P < .05). Addition of PS further reduced total and LDL cholesterol by ∼ 7.7 and 6.5%, respectively, in the atorvastatin therapy group and 5.0 and 4.0% in the combined therapy group (P < .05, for all), with no further effects in absorption or synthesis markers. PS added to LLT can further improve lipid profile, without additional effects on intestinal sterol absorption or synthesis.