Modifying Serum Plant Sterol Concentrations: Effects on Markers for Whole Body Cholesterol Metabolism in Children Receiving Parenteral Nutrition and Intravenous Lipids

Jogchum Plat*, Sabine Baumgartner, Anita C. E. Vreugdenhil, Maurice C. J. M. Konings, Kara L. Calkins, Ronald P. Mensink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Non-cholesterol sterols are validated markers for fractional intestinal cholesterol absorption (cholestanol) and endogenous cholesterol synthesis (lathosterol). This study's objective was to evaluate markers for cholesterol synthesis and absorption in children exposed to two different intravenous lipid emulsions that rapidly change serum plant sterol concentrations as part of their parenteral nutrition (PN). Methods: Serum samples from two different studies were used: (1) nine PN-dependent children with intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD) whose soy-based, plant sterol-rich lipid (SO) was replaced with a fish-based, plant sterol-poor (FO) lipid; and (2) five neonates prescribed SO after birth. In the first study, samples were collected at baseline (prior to FO initiation) and after 3 and 6 months of FO. In study 2, samples were collected at 1 and 3 weeks of age. Results: In study 1, a 7-fold reduction in campesterol, a 12-fold reduction in sitosterol, and a 15-fold reduction in stigmasterol was observed 6 months after switching to FO. Serum cholesterol concentrations did not change, but cholesterol-standardized lathosterol increased (3-fold) and cholesterol-standardized cholestanol decreased (2-fold). In study 2, after 3 weeks of SO, sitosterol and campesterol concentrations increased 4-5 fold. At the same time, cholesterol-standardized lathosterol increased 69% and cholesterol-standardized cholestanol decreased by 29%. Conclusion: Based on these finding we conclude that changes in serum plant sterol concentrations might have direct effects on endogenous cholesterol synthesis, although this needs to be confirmed in future studies. Moreover, we speculate that this changed synthesis subsequently affects intestinal cholesterol absorption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • cholesterol synthesis
  • lathosterol
  • cholesterol absorption
  • cholestanol
  • plant sterols
  • intestinal failure associated liver disease
  • parenteral nutrition

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