STEROLS AND STEROLINS: WHAT ARE THEY?
One of the many phytochemicals which have, in recent years, stimulated
research into the healing and protective effects of plants.
Both sterols and sterolins were identified and chemically elucidated as early
They are plant "fats" present in every single plant (fruits and vegetables).
Chemically very similar to the animal fat, cholesterol but totally different in
Sterols never exist on their own: always in combination with their glucosides.
In the natural state, they are bound to the fibres of the plant and for this
reason, they are difficult to desorb from the fibres.
Seeds are the richest source of the sterols and sterolins and yet, the refining
processes applied in the food industry render the foods useless because they
remove the sterols and sterolins to make the product more appealing to the
eye (such as no precipitation of the fats in the extracted oils from seeds).
Also of importance is the fact that our diet is low in plant materials (vegetables
and fruits) or we have recourse to the fast food outlets!!
The way in which we prepare our vegetables is also a major cause for
concern: we freeze the vegetables (which releases enzymes and these in turn
destroy the glucosides) and then we boil and throw away the water. It is like
throwing away the baby with the bath water!!
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND ITS DEPENDENCE
ON STEROLS AND STEROLINS:
Our immune system is made up of several cells- and the factors which they
secrete in response to an invading offender.
On one hand we have cells called B lymphocytes which make proteins
(antibodies) which bind to
and inactivate the organism only if the organism is
on the outside of the host's cells (for example,
a bacterium). Once the
organism has been internalized, it is inaccessible to the action of the
antibodies. This was a ploy developed by microorganisms in order to evade
the immune system.
On the other hand, the T cells are specialized cells which fight off offenders
which live inside the
host's cells (eg. Viruses, certain bacteria, etc). The T cells
secrete soluble factors which enhance
the functions of specialized cytotoxic
cells which kill off the infected cells.
Sterols and sterolins have been shown to modulate the functions of the T
cells by enhancing their cellular division and their secretion of these important
soluble factors called Iymphokines. Also, the activity of the cytotoxic cells is
greatly promoted in the presence of the sterols/sterolins mixture. These
activities are of utmost importance in fighting off viral diseases or diseases
involving bacteria vvhich live inside cells (eg. tuberculosis).
It should be noted that the enhancing activity described above is maximal
when both the sterols and sterolins are present. It was previously shown that
the absorption of the sterols is increased when in conjunction with the
sterolins and vice versa. It therefore stands to reason that both are required to
carry out this immunological activity.
Hence, under ideal and healthy conditions whereby the person is taking the
mixture, the cells of the immune system are "primed" to
function optimally so that an infection is taken care of quicker and more
In certain diseases. the immune system starts to attack one's own body by
producing antibodies directed to the host's body constituents. These are
called autoimmune diseases (eg. Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Lupus
Erythematosusor SLE, Multiple Sclerosis, etc) and these are known to arise in
response to an overproduction of lymphokines which promote the functions
of B cells making the antibodies. If the "correct" lymphokines could be
secreted by the T cells then one should be able to correct the disease process
and the disease would be alleviated. In other words, the sterols/sterolins
mixture treat the underlying causes and not the symptoms.
Other diseases/conditions which would benefit from the intake of sterols
/sterolins mixture include:
(1) Cancer: it is known that the individual's immune system is low thereby
allowing the growth of cancer cells. By enhancing the function of both T
cells and the secretion of lymphokines, it can be predicted that the cancer
cells will be attacked and killed.
(2) Allergies: in these conditions, the lymphokines secreted by the T cells
promote the B cells to make a certain type of antibodies (IgE). Because
the sterols/sterolins mixtrue stimulate the secretion of "good"
lymphokines which inhibit the IgE promoting
lymphokines, the symptoms
of an allergic state would disappear.
Chronic viral diseases: such as HIV infection where it is known that the
suppression is due to the body's immune system failing to make
which stimulate the activity of cytotoxic T cells
(hence chronic infection):~nd aLso the
T cells fail to divide in response to
the invading virus or other opprotunistic organisms.
sterolsisterolins stimulate both the proliferation of
these have to respond to organisms as well as the secretion of
Iymphokines, in these diseases. the individuals would find that their
immune system would cope with the onslaught by the invading organism
and that there would not be destruction of the immune cells which
normally accompanies infection by HIV.
Stress: the killer of modern man. It is a well known fact that stress (either
physical or mental) has a detrimental effect on the immune system due to
the synthesis and release of hormones such as Cortisol. It has been the
interest of prominent immunologists and sports medicine doctors to find
out why marathon runners are prone to colds and influenza during the
period immediately following a marathon run. It is now known that during
the excessive physical stress, the immune system is inhibited by the
secretion of cortisol and the increased released of proinflammatory
factors (due to tissue damage). Sterols/strerolins have been shown to
reverse these processes and to prevent the post-marathon infections:
indeed, the plant sterols/sterolins decrease the blood levels of cortisol as
well as the factors which themselves induce inflammation (tissue
damage, muscular aches and stiffness, etc.).
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