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Table 3 Summary of scientific evidence for the impact of phytosterols on carotenoid status and fat soluble vitamins

From: Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

Reference Products Vehicle Subject Mean Age or range Condition: Starting mean TC mM (range) Dose g/day (free sterol/stanol equivalents) Duration of study wks Outcome
        Impact of phytosterols on vitamin A and carotenoid status Impact of phytosterols on other fat soluble vitamins
[25] C, D2, D3, D5 Spread Adults, 18–65 <8 1.5–3.3 3.5 ↓ absolute and lipid standardized levels of α- and β-carotene and lycopene.  
[178] D1 Spread, Butter Postmenopausal women aged 50–55 5.5–8.0 3.2-D1 in spread; 2.4-D1 in butter Margarine intervention-6 wks; butter interventio-5 wks ↔ Serum retinol
↓ α- and β-carotene concentrations
↔ Serum vitamin D
↔ lipid standardized α-tocopherol
[181] D Spread Adults Moderately hypercholesterolemic   8 ↔ retinol
↓ α- and β-carotenes
↔ vitamin D
↔ ratio of α-tocopherol to cholesterol
[62] D1, D2 Spread Adults 5.4–7.5 2.3-D1; 2.2-D2 8 ↓ β-carotene
↔ β-carotene
↔ α-carotene with or without lipid adjustment
 
[19] C2 Spread Adults, aged 19–58 <7.5 0.9, 1.6 and 3.3 3.6 ↓ α and β carotene and lycopene concentrations reduced
↔ lipid-adjusted carotene levels
↓ α-tocopherol concentrations reduced
↔ lipid standardized α tocopherol
[41] D Spread Adults Hypercholesterolemic 1 g 3x/d (2 different formulations) or 2 g 3x/d 8 ↔ vitamin A ↔ vitamin D
[20] C2, C3 Spread Adults aged 18–62 <8 0.8 9 ↓ lycopene
↔ α- and β-carotene
 
[76] C, D Spread Adults, mean age 49 4.8–7.0 2.0 4 ↔ retinol
↔ α carotene or lycopene concentrations, with or without lipid adjustment.
↓ β-carotene decreased after each intervention, but not when lipid adjusted
↔ vitamin D concentration with or without lipid adjustment.
[96] D Spread, Shortening Adults aged 18–65 <6.5 2.5 g/d-lunch or in 3 doses of 0.4-breakfast, 0.8-lunch and 1.3-dinner 4 ↔ retinol
↔ α-carotene
↓ lycopene and β-carotene after the 3x/d regime
↓ β-carotene by 1x/d regime
↔ in any of the lipid-adjusted concentrations
↓ α-tocophorol after both the 1x and 3x/d regime 1x/d regime, ↔ in lipid-adjusted concentrations
[137] D Spread Children, aged 6 Healthy 1.5 12 ↓ β-carotene with and without lipid standardization ↓ α-tocopherol but ↔ in lipid-adjusted concentration
[134] D Spread 24 children aged 3–13; 4 parents; 16 healthy family members Familial hypercholesterolemia 2.2 12 ↔ retinol
↓ α and β-carotenes with and without lipid-adjustment (measurements done only in children)
 
[39] C Spread Adults 25–64 >5.8 1.5 or 3.0 24 ↔ retinol, α-carotene or β-carotene  
[170] C Spread, Salad Dressing Healthy adults   3.0, 6.0 or 9.0 8 ↓ α and trans β-carotene reduced in the 9.0 g/day group, but all carotenoid values remained within the normal range All fat soluble vitamins remained within normal range after treatments
[38] C Spread Adults, aged 21–75 3.4–5.0 1.1 or 2.2 5 ↔ in serum retinol, zeaxanthin or cryptoxanthin
↓ trans β-carotene, α-carotene, lycopene and lutein all decreased
↓ lipid-adjusted trans β-carotene
↔ α- or γ-tocopherol, 25 hydroxyvitamin D or phylloquinone
[40] C Yogurt-drink Adults, aged 33–69 Modertally hypercholesterolemic 1 4 ↔ vitamin A ↔ vitamin E, ↑ vitamin D (probably as a result of increased skin synthesis of vitamin D due to the time of year)
[70] C Yogurt Adults Normocholesterolemic 3 4 ↓ β-carotene ↑ lipid standardized tocopherol
[79] C Spread Healthy adults   1.8 3 ↔ vitamin A
↓ β-carotene
↔ vitamin E
[173] C, D Spread Adults Hypercholesterolemic 1.9-C 1.8-D 3
[81] C   Adults aged 48 Normocholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic 1.6 52 ↓ lipid-adjusted α-and β-carotene ↔ lipid-adjusted fat soluble vitamin concentration
[71] A2, C2 Vegetable oil, partly filled milk Men aged 29 <5.2 2.2 1 ↓ β-carotene bioavailability 57% with C2, 48% with A2; ↓ TRL-retinyl palmitate bioavailability 48% with C2, 32% with A2. No standardization to TAG because TRL-TAG pharmacokinetics were equivalent in all groups ↓ α-tocopherol bioavailability 27% with C2, no efffect with A2
[42] A2 Vegetable oil, partly filled milk Adults, aged 60 7.0 1.2 or 1.6 4 wk/period ↓ α- and β-carotene, lycopene, and lutein with 1.6 g dose only.
↔ lipid-adjusted α- and β-carotene, lycopene, β-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin with either dose.
↓ lipid-adjusted % change in lutein with 1.6 g
↓ α-tocopherol with both doses
↔ lipid-adjusted α-tocopherol with both doses
  1. See Table 1 for abbreviations. TAG, triacylglycerol; TRL, triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein.