Plant stanol esters not only lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol but also have previously been shown to lower serum triacylglycerol (TAG) concentrations, especially in subjects with elevated TAG concentrations. To find a possible explanation, we explored changes in serum lipoprotein profiles, as measured with nuclear magnetic resonance. For this, serum samples from two parallel-designed controlled studies were evaluated before and 8 weeks after the consumption of plant stanol esters. In the first study, dyslipidemic metabolic syndrome subjects participated and in the second study normolipidemic subjects. In metabolic syndrome subjects, plant stanol esters lowered concentrations of large (>60 nm) and medium (35-60 nm) VLDL particles as compared to controls. In normolipidemic subjects, the serum concentration of large VLDL-1 particles was also lowered, although less pronounced. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that the effect of plant stanol esters on serum TAG concentrations origins from a lowered hepatic production of large TAG-rich VLDL-1 particles.