Main Article Content
Aims: Phytosterols are a subgroup of the steroids, as an important class of bioorganic molecules, widespread in plants, animals, marines as well as fungi and have similarity to cholesterol in structure. These compounds have a long history of consumption as food or pharmaceutical products, and generally recognized as safe without undesirable side effects.
Place and Duration of Study: Medicinal plants Research Center and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, between March 2013 and May 2013.
Results: Amongphytosterols, β-sitosterol is usually used for heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, modulating the immune system, prevention of cancer, as well as for rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, cervical cancer, hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Furthermore, diverse biological activities whereby natural compounds or the extracts were considered including trypanocidal and mosquito larvicidal, even neutralization of viper and cobra venom characteristics was recorded.
Conclusion: Some of the above indications are evidence based, but others are still in doubt and need more investigations to confirm its efficacy and safety. Regarding to the importance of these natural sterols and β-sitosterol as the most abundant of them, the main pharmacological and biological activities together with their clinical trials is reviewed here.