Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) provide basic dosing guidelines for plant sterols. However, since the sterol content of products varies, the recommended dose will depend on which product you choose.
(Click Plant Sterol Dosage for more information.)
Plant sterols usually do not cause many side effects, especially when consumed at normal levels. Side effects, when they do occur, may include:
(Click Plant Sterol Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Drug InteractionsPlant sterols can potentially interact with a few medications (see Plant Sterol Drug Interactions).
Plant sterols are probably safe for most people when taken in normal amounts (such as amounts found in food), although higher doses could potentially cause problems. Some people may be more likely to experience problems. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking plant sterols if you have:
- Sitosterolemia (phytosterolaemia), a rare genetic condition
- A vitamin deficiency due to malabsorption digestive problems
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Plant Sterols and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Plant Sterols and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Are Plant Sterols Safe? for more information, including any available warnings and precautions.)