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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antioxidant effects of phytosterol and its components.

Phytosterol contained in vegetable oils is known to exert a hypocholesterolemic function. In the present study, the antioxidant effects of phytosterol and its components, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol, against lipid peroxidation were examined by making a comparison with 2,2,5,7,8-pentamethyl-6-chromanol (PMC). It was found that these compounds exerted antioxidant effects on the oxidation of methyl linoleate in solution and its effect decreased in the order of: PMC >> phytosterol approximately campesterol approximately beta-sitosterol > stigmasterol. Phytosterol also suppressed the oxidation and consumption of alpha-tocopherol in beta-linoleoyl-gamma-palmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (PLPC) liposomal membranes, the effects being more significant than dimyristoyl PC of the same concentration. Stigmasterol accelerated the oxidation of both methyl linoleate in solution and PLPC liposomal membranes in aqueous dispersions, which was ascribed to the oxidation of allylic hydrogens at the 21- and 24-positions. Taken together, the present study shows that phytosterol chemically acts as an antioxidant, a modest radical scavenger, and physically as a stabilizer in the membranes.[1]


  1. Antioxidant effects of phytosterol and its components. Yoshida, Y., Niki, E. J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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