Stigmasterol food sources and health benefits


Stigmasterol is a phytosterol which means it is steroid derived from plants with major function to maintain structure and physiology of cell membranes. It is found in fats and oils of soybean, rapeseed and calabar bean and other vegetables, nuts, legumes, seeds and unpasteurized milk. As a food additive, phytosterols possess cholesterol lowering properties and acts as cancer preventive agent. Naturally, phytosterols is present in small amount in vegetable oils such as soybean oil. Cholestatin is a phytosterol complex which is isolated from vegetable oil that comprises of stigmasterol, campesterol and brassicasterol and is marketed as dietary supplement. Sterols help to lower cholesterol in humans upto 15%. It is due to incorporation of cholesterol into micelles in gastrointestinal tract is prevented, lowers the overall amount of cholesterol absorbed. This manages total cholesterol levels and modifies HDL, TAG and LDL levels. Butters, margarines, breakfast cereals and spreads are enriched with phytosterols and marketed towards people having high cholesterol and lowers it. Stigmasterol is related with phytosterolemia which is regarded as inborn error of metabolism.

Stigmasterol does not have major role in lowering inflammation as it is a precursor to chemical compounds that limits inflammatory processes. Stigmasterol is used for lowering cholesterol though further study is required to determine compounds that perform this function and how they work in the body.

Food Sources

Food name Weight (g) Stigmasterol (mg)
Sesame seeds 150 33
French fries 184 15
Dark chocolate 28.35 9
Soybean oil 13.6 8
Brazilnuts 133 8
Pistachio nuts 123 6
Almonds 143 6
Pecans 110 6
Mayonnaise 13.8 5
Margarine 14.2 5
Avocados 230 5
Flaxseed oil 13.7 4
Peanut butter 32 4
Pistachio nuts 123 2
Fava beans 126 1
Black walnuts 125 1
Flaxseed 10.3 1
Lemon grass 67 1
Milk chocolate 7 1
Wocas 28.35 1


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