Phytosterols, also known as plant sterols or stanol esters, are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that are similar in structure to cholesterol found in humans.
Phytosterols are structurally similar to the body's cholesterol, when they are
consumed they compete with cholesterol for absorption in the digestive system.
As a result, cholesterol absorption is blocked, and blood cholesterol levels reduced.
Phytosterols have the ability to act directly inside the digestive system, it also has the power to block cholesterol absorption by up to 40%. For people who are having problems with their LDL cholesterol levels, increasing phytosterol intake may prove to be very beneficial.When phytosterols are being ingested inside the digestive system, they will start to interfere with the process of cholesterol synthesis.
A diet that consists of phytosterol rich foods, that include nuts and vegetables will enable an individual to obtain more phytosterols naturally. Consequently, those people who have the habit of eating more vegetables than animal meats are less likely to experience problems with their cholesterol levels.