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Primary hyperlipidemias in children: effect of plant sterol supplementation on plasma lipids and markers of cholesterol synthesis and absorption.

Authors
  • Guardamagna, O
  • Abello, F
  • Baracco, V
  • Federici, G
  • Bertucci, P
  • Mozzi, A
  • Mannucci, L
  • Gnasso, A
  • Cortese, C
Type
Published Article
Journal
Acta diabetologica
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2011
Volume
48
Issue
2
Pages
127–133
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00592-010-0233-1
PMID: 21057823
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Plant sterols lower serum cholesterol concentration. Available data have confirmed the lipid-lowering efficacy in adults, while there is a relative dearth of data in children and almost exclusively restricted to subjects with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability and safety of plant sterol supplementation in children with different forms of primary hyperlipidemias. The effect of plant sterol consumption on plasma lipids was evaluated in 32 children with heterozygous FH, 13 children with Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia (FCH) and 13 children with Undefined Hypercholesterolemia (UH) in a 12-week open-label intervention study using plant sterol-enriched yoghurt. Plasma lipids and apolipoproteins were measured by routine methods. Markers of cholesterol synthesis (lathosterol) and absorption (campesterol and sitosterol) were measured by GC-MS. Tolerability and adherence to recommended regimen was very high. A significant reduction was observed in LDL-cholesterol in the three groups (10.7, 14.2 and 16.0% in FH, FCH and UH, respectively). Lathosterol concentrations were unchanged, reflecting a lack of increased synthesis of cholesterol. Of the two absorption markers, only sitosterol showed a slight but significant increase. Daily consumption of plant sterol dairy products favorably changes lipid profile by reducing LDL-cholesterol. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of plant sterols-enriched foods in treating children with primary hyperlipidemia such as FCH and UH, likely to be the most frequent form also in the young age in the western populations.

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