Support Your Immune System: Plant Sterols

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

Sterols and sterolins aren't what most people reach for when supporting the immune system - however, sterols and sterolins do have immune regulating effects. Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are healthy plant fats found naturally in cold-pressed or unrefined oils, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.

Along with helping the immune system, studies have shown that supplementing with these "plant fats" benefits the prostate by increasing urinary flow rate and decreasing pain and burning on urination in men who have benign prostate hypertrophy. They have also been studied as an anti-inflammatory agent and immune regulator in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, sterols and sterolins stimulate insulin secretion and may contribute to better blood sugar control for diabetics. As more research is done on these molecules, more health benefits are bound to be uncovered.

Although, there are no known contraindications with plant sterols, some studies show a reduction in the carotenes when plant sterols are taken, so it may be wise to make sure that your multivitamin has beta-carotene.