The main difference between plant sterols and statins is that the plant sterols block the body from absorbing cholesterol whereas the statins lower the levels of cholesterol in the body by reducing the amounts of LDL cholesterol produced by the liver. Furthermore, the plant sterols are natural substances that can be obtained from plant-based food while statins are medicine prescribed by the doctor.
Plant sterols and statins are two possible substances that can reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering the bad or LDL cholesterol levels.
Key Areas Covered
1. What are Plant Sterols
– Definition, Found in, Effect
2. What are Statins
– Definition, Found in, Effect
3. What are the Similarities Between Plant Sterols and Statins
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Plant Sterols and Statins
– Comparison of Key Differences
LDL Cholesterol, Plant Sterols, Sources, Statins
What are Plant Sterols
Plant sterols are natural substances that help to block the absorption of LDL cholesterol by the body. However, they have no effect on HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. Plant sterols occur naturally in:
- vegetable oils
- wheat bran and wheat germ
Since all these natural sources contain low levels of plant sterols, they are unable to make a big impact on the cholesterol level of the body. Hence, the best way to obtain sufficient amounts of plant sterols is to use fortified food including orange juice, margarine, yoghurt, etc. At least 2 grams of plant sterols has to be taken per day for better results.
What are Statins
Statins are chemically synthesized compounds prescribed for lowering the LDL cholesterol levels in the body by reducing the amounts of LDL cholesterol produced by the liver. Moreover, statins reabsorb cholesterols that are build up in the arteries.
Based on the guild lines of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, statins are recommended for individuals who:
- have an LDL level of 190 mg/dL or higher
- already have cardiovascular disease
- have diabetes, are over 40 years old, and have an LDL level between 70-189 mg/dL
- don’t have diabetes, are over 40 years old, and have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years
Some available forms of statins are atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin, etc.
Generally, statins interact with:
- antibiotics such as erythromycin
- antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole
- heart disease drugs such as amiodarone, diltiazem, verapamil, and niacin
- HIV drugs such as protease inhibitors
Similarities Between Plant Sterols and Statins
- Plant sterols and statins are two substances that reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Both reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood.
Difference Between Plant Sterols and Statins
Plant sterols refer to natural compounds with powerful cholesterol-lowering properties while statins refer to any of a group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.
The plant sterols are natural compounds that can be obtained from plant-based food while statins are synthetic chemical compounds prescribed as drugs.
The plant sterols block the absorption of cholesterol while statins reduce the production of LDL cholesterol by liver.
Plant sterols are one of the best natural substances that lower the cholesterol levels while statins are the gold standard for the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
Plant sterols do not exert side effects while statins can produce side effects such as memory loss, muscle pain, weakness, and nausea in some people.
The plant sterols do not interact with other drugs while statins interact with some drugs.
Plant sterols are safe during pregnancy while statins may cause birth defects.
Plant sterols are cost-effective while statins are comparatively costly.
Plant sterols are cholesterol-lowering compounds that block the absorption of LDL cholesterol by the body while statins are drugs that reduce the LDL cholesterol production by the liver. Generally, statins are more effective than plant sterols. The main difference between plant sterols and statins is their role in reducing the heart disease and their effectiveness.
1. Saxelby, Catherine. “What Are Plant Sterols?” Catherine Saxelby’s Foodwatch, Available Here
2. Ogbru, Omudhome. “Statins: Drug List, Names (Brand & Generic) & Side Effects.” MedicineNet, Available Here