, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 165-170
Date: 21 Mar 2006

Phytosterol and phytostanol esters are effectively hydrolysed in the gut and do not affect fat digestion in ileostomy subjects

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Hydrolysis of phytosterol ester (PSTE) and phytostanol ester (PSTA) during fat digestion is not well characterised under controlled dietary conditions.


The main aims of this study were therefore to quantify the PSTE and PSTA hydrolysis after gut passage and to assess whether or not PSTE and PSTA induce fat malabsorption by measuring the fatty acid excretion following PSTE/PSTA consumption.


Ileostomy subjects (n = 7) were investigated in a randomised crossover study with one control and two intervention periods, when either 2.5 g of PSTE or PSTA corresponding to 1.5 g free sterol or stanol equivalents were added to a controlled diet. Ileostomy bags were collected and immediately frozen for analysis of nutrients, fatty acids and sterols.


The study showed that 88.4 ± 5.9% PSTE and 85.7 ± 6.5% PSTA were hydrolysed following small bowel passage in the ileostomy subjects. The total excretion of fatty acids was similar in all three periods.


A majority of the 2.5 g PSTE and PSTA was hydrolysed during small bowel passage,which did not affect fat absorption as indicated by similar excretions of fatty acids in all periods. Consumption of increasing amounts of esterified phytosterols and phytostanols from enriched food formats should thereby have no adverse effects in this regard.