Phytosterols are components of plant cell membranes with a construction resembling the construction of cholesterol. This group includes over forty compounds (including beta-sitosterol, campesterol, sitosterol and stigmasterol). Due to their similarity to cholesterol, they bind to intestinal cell receptors and block the absorption in the intestine and facilitate the excretion of cholesterol outside of the organism. Phytosterols absorption by the body does not exceed 5% and the remainings are excreted out of the body without side effects. Besides reducing total cholesterol, phytosterols influence the blood lipid profile, i.e. stabilizes levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol. Provides the proper functioning of cell membranes (in a similar way to the functioning of the human hormones). The effect of phytosterols on the inhibition of prostate hyperplasia has been observed. The source of acquisition phytosterols are vegetable oils, legumes, sesame and sunflower seeds, cereals and wholemeal bread. Plant sterols are increasingly being used in supplementation of athletes, which use their ability to increase exercise capacity and stimulation of muscle mass.
Dosage: The optimal dose is 2 grams of phytosterols per day (and cannot exceed 3g). Average consumption in Europe is much lower and amounts are a little more than 200 mg per day.