DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description)
Phytosterols are plant sterols which are structurally similar to cholesterol.
In experimental studies, phytosterols and in particular b-sitosterol showed
anti-carcinogenic properties. Phytosterols are abundant in fat soluble
fractions of plants: seeds, nuts, cereals, beans, and legumes are rich sources
of phytosterols. Several case-control and cohort studies showed a decreased
breast cancer risk with increasing consumption of vegetables and fruits. The
protective effect of vegetables and fruits may be, at least in part, explained
by the anti-cancerogenic effect of phytosterols. Phytosterols are not
endogenously synthesized in human body: the phytosterols present in human
blood derive solely from diet via intestinal absorption. B-sitosterol and
campesterol are the predominant phytosterols in blood. However, up to this
time, there is not clear information on how diet may influence serum
phytosterol levels in human beings. Thus, the aim of the proposed study is to
assess the effect of a diet rich in vegetables and low in animal fat on serum
levels of b-sitosterol and campesterol in comparison with a typical Western
(North-European) diet. The specific objective of the proposed study is to
evaluate if a diet rich in seeds, nuts, beans, legumes and other vegetables
can actually modify serum phytosterols, in particular b-sitosterol and
campesterol. The proposed study plans to use data and stored blood samples
collected in a randomized controlled trial on effect of a diet rich in
vegetables and low in animal fat on hormonal profile conducted at the Istituto
Nazionale Tumori (Italian National Cancer Institute) in Milan (Northern Italy)
between 1995-1996. The study, known as DIANA study, involved 99 healthy
free-living postmenopausal women aged 50-65, half of whom were randomly
assigned to the intervention group characterized by intensive dietary
counseling and common group meals using Mediterranean and macrobiotic recipes
over a period of 4.5 months.
If you are accessing this page during weekend or evening hours, the database may currently be offline for maintenance and should operational within a few hours. Otherwise, we have been notified of this error and will be addressing it immediately.
Please contact us
if this error persists.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
- The DCCPS Team.