Effects of phytosterols supplementation on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Ehsan Ghaedi
    Students' Scientific Research Center (SSRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

    Department of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Sahar Foshati
    Food Security Research Center, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
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  • Rahele Ziaei
    Food Security Research Center, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
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  • Sara Beigrezaei
    Nutrition and Food Security Research Center, Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran
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  • Hamed Kord-Varkaneh
    Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
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  • Abed Ghavami
    Corresponding author. School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 81745, Isfahan, Iran. Fax: +98 31 37922776.
    Food Security Research Center, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
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  • Maryam Miraghajani
    Corresponding author. Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
    Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

    The Early Life Research Unit, Division of Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
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Published:December 23, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2019.12.020


      Several reports have indicated a positive effect of phytosterols on blood pressure (BP), nevertheless these findings have been controversial. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was aimed to investigate the effects of phytosterol supplementation on BP.
      An online search was carried out in PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane library and Google Scholar up to May 2019. Weighted Mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a fixed-effects model.
      The present meta-analysis of 19 RCTs showed that supplementation with phytosterols can decrease both systolic BP (WMD: −1.55 mmHg, 95% CI: −2.67 to −0.42, p = 0.007) and diastolic BP (WMD: −0.84 mmHg, 95% CI: −1.60 to −0.08, p = 0.03). Dose–response analysis revealed that phytosterol intake change SBP significantly based on treatment dose in nonlinear fashion. Subgroup analysis based on duration showed a significant effect of phytosterol on SBP and DBP in subsets of <12 weeks. In addition, a significant effect of phytosterol was observed in dosage of ≥2000 mg for SBP and <2000 mg for DBP.
      Based on current findings supplementation with phytosterol may be a beneficial adjuvant therapy in hypertensive patients as well as a complementary preventive option in prehypertensive and normotensive individuals. However, this issue is still open and requires further investigation in future studies.


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