Phytosterols dissolved in diacylglycerol oil reinforce the cholesterol-lowering effect of low-dose pravastatin treatment

Masao Takeshita, Yoshihisa Katsuragi, Masatoshi Kusuhara, Kenji Higashi, Emiko Miyajima, Kyoichi Mizuno, Kenta Mori, Tatsuo Obata, Reiko Ohmori, Fumitaka Ohsuzu, Yoshimitsu Onodera, Junko Sano, Shojiro Sawada, Shinji Tabata, Ichiro Tokimitsu, Kazuichi Tomonobu, Takeshi Yamashita, Takuji Yasukawa, Atsushi Yonemura, Haruo Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aims: Dietary therapy using phytosterols can reinforce statin treatment; however the value of a low-dose combination of those agents remains to be investigated. Plant sterols (PS), dissolved in diacylglycerol (DAG) oil, (PS/DAG) can be effective at a relatively low dose. The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of PS/DAG oil on blood cholesterol concentrations in hypercholesterolemic outpatients on low-dose pravastatin (10 mg/day). Methods and results: The patients (n = 61) were randomly assigned to one of three groups, who consumed TAG (control), DAG or PS/DAG oil. The average intake of PS from the PS/DAG oil during the test period was significantly higher than that for TAG and DAG oils (502 vs. 49 and 38 mg/day, P < 0.05). Significant cholesterol-lowering effects from the baseline were observed in the case of the PS/DAG oil treatment alone. Changes in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were inversely correlated with baseline serum campesterol concentrations (r = -0.560, P < 0.05), but not baseline LDL cholesterol concentrations. In addition, serum apolipoprotein B concentrations were reduced to a greater extent in subjects with high versus low levels of baseline campesterol (-13.2 mg/dL vs. -3.1 mg/dL, P < 0.05). Furthermore, there was a mild, but significant reduction in serum lipoprotein (a) concentration from the baseline (-5.9 mg/dL), which was correlated with the reduction in serum apolipoprotein B concentration (r = 0.596, P < 0.05). Conclusion: A low-dose combination of PS/DAG oil and pravastatin may be a useful strategy for further ameliorating blood cholesterol and lipoprotein (a) concentrations for hypercholesterolemic patients with a low response to pravastatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep


  • Diacylglycerol
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Phytosterols
  • Pravastatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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