Differences in the Effect of Plant Sterols on Lipid Metabolism in Men and Women

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Plant sterols are recommended to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Possible differences between sexes in efficacy were analyzed. In a double-blind crossover clinical trial, 30 women and 24 men were divided into 2 phases of 3 weeks, separated by a 2-week washout period. Subjects ingested 2.23 g/day of sterols in 700-mL milk. Total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceride, and non-HDL-C were assessed. There was significant interaction of sex factors×time intervention in TC (F(1.49) = 4.54, η2 = 0.085), LDL-C (F(1.46) = 4.72, η2 = 0.093), HDL-C (F(1.48) = 9.37, η2 = 0.163), and non-HDL-C (F(1.48) = 9.97, η2 = 0.172). Total body fat in the control group and cholesterol reduction were significantly correlated with LDL-C (r = 0.463) and non-HDL-C (r = 0.482) reduction percentage (P < .05). Differences in sex effect were observed.

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