Stanol ester is a heterogenous group of chemical compounds known to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in blood when ingested. The starting material is sterols from plants. These are first hydrated to give stanol which is then esterified with a mixture of fatty acids also derived from plants.

GoldBamboo

... Stanol is taken by mouth to help prevent heart disease. It works by lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the "bad" types of cholesterol that contribute to heart disease. Even though the exact ways it works are not yet understood, it is known that stanol molecules are similar in shape to cholesterol molecules. Therefore, stanol attaches to some of the places in the intestines where cholesterol is usually absorbed. Unlike cholesterol, however, very little stanol is absorbed by the body. Because it blocks cholesterol absorption, stanol forces more cholesterol to be eliminated from the body and less cholesterol enters the blood. Lower levels of cholesterol in the blood help to prevent hardening of the arteries and the formation of plaques in blood vessels. Plaques are accumulations of fat and other substances that stick in blood vessels. Eventually, plaques may lead to blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. ...
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