Plant sterols that in modest amounts can lower cholesterol and that show anticancer activity in lab and animal studies. Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts), seeds (sesame, sunflower), whole wheat, corn, soybeans and many vegetable oils are good sources. Some scientists speculate that phytosterols are responsible for the cholesterol-lowering properties of mono- and polyunsaturated oils. Some key sterols that lower cholesterol are beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol.
Compounds found naturally in plants, which when consumed may interfere with the body's absorption of cholesterol and promote excretion of cholesterol. This may effectively lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood and help to maintain heart health.
Any of the various sterols (fatty substances) obtained from plants. Sterols are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen arranged in a multiple ring-like structure. Bile, sex and adrenal hormones and vitamin D contain sterols.