The steroid compounds that include plant sterols, stanols are known as phytosterols. phytosterols are same as cholesterol that occurs in plants except that there is variation in only carbon side chains and/or absence or presence of a double bond. Stanols are saturated sterols, which do not have double bonds in its sterol ring structure. Till date more than 200 sterols and its related compounds have been identified. Free phytosterols which are extracted from oils are soluble in alcohols, insoluble in water, comparatively insoluble in oil. In 1953 it was first demonstrated in humans that phytosterols have got the ability to reduce cholesterol levels.
They were later on marketed as a pharmaceutical under the name Cytellin as a treatment for elevated cholesterol from 1954-1982. There are very few journals that are publishing the papers related to phytosterols. One of the journals that publishes the papers related to phytosterols is Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science. The unofficial impact factor of The journal is 3.125.
Last date updated on July, 2014