An increase in dietary carotenoids when consuming plant sterols or stanols is effective in maintaining plasma carotenoid concentrations

Manny Noakes, Peter Clifton, Fady Ntanios, William Shrapnel, Ian Record, Jenny McInerney

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153 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Plant-sterol-enriched spreads lower LDL cholesterol but may also lower lipid-standardized carotenoids. Objective: Our objective was to assess whether advice to consume specific daily amounts of foods high in carotenoids prevents a reduction in plasma carotenoid concentrations in subjects who consume plant sterol or stanol esters. Design: Forty-six hypercholesterolemic free-living subjects completed a 3-way, double-blind, randomized crossover comparison. Subjects consumed each of the following 3 spreads (25 g/d) for 3 wk: control-1 (sterol-free), sterol ester-1 (2.3 g plant sterol esters), and stanol ester-1 (2.5 g plant stanol esters). During the 3-wk interventions, subjects were advised to eat ≥5 servings of vegetables and fruit/d, of which ≥1 serving was to be carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, apricots, spinach, or broccoli. Results: The dietary advice resulted in a 13% increase in plasma β-carotene in subjects who consumed control-1 (P = 0.04). The plasma β-carotene concentrations of subjects who consumed control-1 did not differ significantly from those of subjects who consumed stanol ester-1 or sterol ester-1. This result was achieved by an increase of one daily serving of high-carotenoid vegetables or fruit. LDL cholesterol decreased 7.7% and 9.5% after consumption of sterol ester-1 and stanol ester-1, respectively (P < 0.001 for both), and differences between the LDL-cholesterol values obtained were not significant. Conclusion: Dietary advice to consume an additional daily serving of a high-carotenoid vegetable or fruit when consuming spreads containing sterol or stanol esters maintains plasma carotenoid concentrations while lowering LDL-cholesterol concentrations significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotenoids
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Phytosterols
  • Plant stanols
  • Plant sterols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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