Plant sterols lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in dyslipidemic individuals with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes; A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Elke A. Trautwein, Wieneke P. Koppenol, Arienne De Jong, Harry Hiemstra, Mario A. Vermeer, Manny Noakes, Natalie D. Luscombe-Marsh

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Managing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, e.g., dyslipidemia in type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is critically important as CVD is the most common cause of death in T2DM patients. This study aimed to investigate the effect of plant sterols (PS) on lowering both elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides (TG). Methods: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel study, 161 individuals at increased risk of and with established T2DM, consumed low-fat spreads without or with added PS (2 g/d) for 6 weeks after a 2-week run-in period. Increased risk of developing T2DM was defined by the Australian T2DM Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK). Fasting serum/plasma total cholesterol (TC), LDL-C, TG, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), glucose and insulin were measured at baseline and after 6 weeks. Effects on acute and chronic postprandial blood lipids, glucose and insulin were measured over 4-h in 39 individuals with T2DM following a mixed meal challenge without and with added 2 g/d PS at week 6. The study was registered at (NCT02288585). Results: Hundred fifty-one individuals completed the study and 138 (57% men, 43% women; 44 with and 94 at risk of T2DM) were included in per protocol analysis. Baseline LDL-C and TG were 3.8 ± 1.0 and 2.5 ± 0.8 mmol/l, respectively. PS intake significantly lowered fasting LDL-C (-4.6%, 95%CI-1.2;-8.0; p = 0.009), TC (-4.2%, 95%CI-1.2;-7.1; p = 0.006) and TG (-8.3%, 95%-1.1,-15.0; p = 0.024) with no significant changes in HDL-C, glucose or insulin. Postprandial lipid (TG, TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, remnant cholesterol), glucose and insulin responses did not differ. Conclusions: In individuals at risk of and with established T2DM and with elevated TG and LDL-C, 2 g/d of PS results in dual LDL-C plus TG lowering. Postprandial lipid or glycemic responses did not differ between PS and control treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalNutrition and Diabetes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 25 May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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