phytosterols and athleticism

phytosterols(also called plant sterol and stanol esters) are a family of molecules related to cholesterol which are often added to margarines and dairy products. Their cholesterol-lowering effects are generally well accepted. Phytosterols are found in plant cell membranes.
The most common phytosterols in your diet are campesterol, sitosterol, and stigmasterol.
Although people have evolved to function with both cholesterol and phytosterol in their systems, your body prefers cholesterol. Only tiny amounts of phytosterols pass through your gut compared to around 55% of cholesterol.
Phytosterol is believed to work by competing for the same enzymes as cholesterol in your gut, effectively preventing cholesterol from being absorbed.
The first strategy for lowering cholesterol is to modify your eating patterns. Replace unhealthy fats (trans and saturated) with healthy ones (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), and increase dietary fiber by emphasizing whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. If these strategies haven’t worked to their fullest potential, or if you want to work to lower your bad cholesterol even further, you can try adding phytosterols to your diet.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even approved a health claim on phytosterols, which states: “Foods containing at least 0.65 gram per serving of vegetable oil plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 grams, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Many healthy plant foods like fruits, vegetables, soybeans, mushrooms, lentils, and nuts contain considerable amounts of phytosterols. also Some commercially prepared foods like as juices, yogurt, breakfast bars, and salad dressings are fortified with phytosterols during the manufacturing process.
the average intake of these substances is less than 500 milligrams (mg) a day, which falls short of the amount needed to lower cholesterol. That’s why many manufacturers fortify foods with phytosterols.
Vegetable oils are very high in phytosterols. Because these oils are added to many processed foods, the total dietary intake of phytosterols is probably greater than ever before.
Cereal grains also contain modest amounts of phytosterols and can be a major source for people who eat a lot of grains.

is phytosterols good?

Many people assume that phytosterols can prevent heart attacks because they lower cholesterol. it is believed that Eating 2–3 grams of phytosterols per day for 3–4 weeks can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by around 10%.
but, no studies indicate that phytosterols can lower your risk of heart disease, strokes, or death.
Paradoxically, phytosterols may increase your risk. Numerous human studies link high phytosterol intake with an increased risk of heart disease.
In a study in men with heart disease, those with the highest risk of heart attack were at three times greater risk if they had high concentrations of phytosterols in the blood.
Even though many health authorities like the American Heart Association still recommend phytosterols to improve heart health, others disagree.
For example, Germany’s Drug Commission, France’s Food Standards Agency (ANSES) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) all discourage the use of phytosterols for heart disease prevention.
but in the meantime, The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends people with high cholesterol consume two grams of phytosterols each day since it believes The effectiveness of phytosterols is so strong.
a rare genetic condition called phytosterolemia or sitosterolemia makes some people absorb large amounts of phytosterols into their bloodstream. This increases heart disease risk.
As contradictory as this may seem, it is possible that phytosterol blood levels only serve as markers for cholesterol absorption. It remains unclear what impact phytosterols have on the cardiovascular system, most especially with regards to the prevention of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
A 2012 review of studies from Germany, which evaluated 17 clinical trials from 1950 to 2010, could not find any association between phytosterol concentrations in the blood and the risk of CVD.
later on in 2017 review of studies from Brazil reported that a daily 2-gram phytosterol supplement reduced LDL levels in people with hypercholesterolemia by 2.7% and in people with genetically induced hypercholesterolemia by 4.3 to 9.2%.
Some evidence suggests that phytosterols may lower your risk of cancer. Human studies show that people who consume the most phytosterols have a lower risk of stomach, lung, breast, and ovarian cancer.
What the research does definitively show is that phytosterol supplements work best when used as part of a rational treatment plan, which includes diet, exercise, and traditional cholesterol-lowering drugs.

high phytosterols levels symptoms

constipation, nausea, upset stomach, heartburn, flatulence, and the discoloration of stools. it is hard to have high levels of phytosterols with food alone and it mostly comes from taking supplements. Many of these symptoms will resolve on their own once your body adapts to the supplement.
Phytosterol supplements may reduce the effectiveness of the cholesterol-lowering drug Questran (cholestyramine). To avoid an interaction, take the supplement several hours before or after your Questran dose.
Several studies have suggested that phytosterol supplements may reduce the absorption of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. You can usually circumvent this by taking a beta-carotene supplement or eating foods rich in beta-carotene (like root vegetables and greens).

best Phytosterol-Containing food sources

Pistachios-280mg-100 g serving
Macadamia nuts-198mg-100 g serving
Wheat germ-197mg-one half cup
Almonds-187mg-100 g serving
Pecans-150mg-100 g serving
Corn oil-120mg-one tablespoon
Walnuts-113mg-100 g serving
Canola oil-92mg-one tablespoon
Corn-70mg -100 g serving
Broccoli-49mg-100 g serving
Peanut butter-47mg-two tablespoons
Lettuce-38mg-100 g serving
Brussels sprouts-37mg-100 g serving
Rye bread-33mg-two slices
Blueberries-26.4mg-100 g serving
Cauliflower-25mg-one half cup
Red onion-19mg-100 g serving
Carrots-15mg-100 g serving
Spinach -10.2mg-100 g serving
Strawberries-10mg-100 g serving
Banana-16mg-100 g serving