Overview

Plant sterols are substances that are similar to cholesterol but are made in plants. They're found in the highest amounts in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

Plant sterols might help reduce cholesterol levels by limiting the amount of cholesterol that is able to enter the body. Some plant sterols might also reduce how much cholesterol is made in the body.

People commonly use plant sterols for lowering cholesterol levels. Plant sterols are also used for heart disease, colon cancer, stomach cancer, obesity, heart attack, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these other uses.

Don't confuse plant sterols with beta-sitosterol or sitostanol. These are specific types of plant sterols.

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