Few functional food ingredients have created more recent interest than phytosterols and phytostanols (also called plant sterols and stanols). When consumed, these natural phytonutrients significantly reduce levels of “bad” serum low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in humans. Yet in spite of their proven benefit, sales of phytosterol-containing products have not lived up to their promise. That may be changing, however, since the Food and Drug Administration has issued a rare “health claim…

Fig. 6 (right)—Author Hicks checks the quality of the corn fiber oil.

Fig. 2—Structure of the sitostanol fatty acyl ester in Benecol.

Fig. 3—Structure of the b-sitosterol fatty acyl ester in Take Control.

Fig. 7—Structures of components of corn fiber oil.

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