Phytosterol Dietary Supplements

We have provided only a sampling of the over-the-counter phytosterol nutritional supplements available. You can find more information about the quality of the supplements available by going online to or talking with your local pharmacist, your physician or a registered dietitian.

Which is better, taking a Sterol or Stanol?

Head-to-head trials comparing the LDL-lowering effect of sterols versus stanol esters have shown no significant difference between the two when consumed as part of a low-fat diet. Neither have an effect on blood levels of triglycerides or HDL “good” cholesterol.

Are Phytosterols safe to consume on a regular basis?

No known negative health effects have been shown in research. The body’s tissues do not retain phytosterols, and they do not affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Talk to your doctor and/or registered dietitian if you have any questions about including phytosterols in your diet. In addition, do not use these products as a substitute for any prescription medications you are currently taking.

Are Phytosterols safe for children to consume?

There has not been adequate testing to determine the safety of phytosterols in children. Intermittent use is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). The ADI (acceptable daily intake) is 130 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight. Therefore, a child that weighs 50 kilograms (110 lbs) can have up to 6.5 grams.

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