S. Philip, M.D. Lansky
Human livers routinely synthesize around a kilogram per day of cholesterol, one of the simplest and certainly the most abundant steroid in Nature. Steroids, by review, are a class of compounds whose members incorporate a basic steroid skeleton (Fig. 1). Cholesterol is vital for life and is a precursor to such well known steroid hormones as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, aldosterone and cortisone.

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Pathologically, of course, cholesterol is also the principal ingredient in the atheromatous plaque, the lesion which denotes atherosclerosis. To a large extent, there is agreement in organized medicine that the presence of such plaques is related to free cholesterol in the blood serum, and that myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular accidents may be prevented by maneuvers which lower serum cholesterol (1, 2).

Several drugs are currently marketed as oral agents which will lower cholesterol. Niacin, the common B vitamin is prescribed in doses from three to six grams per day. It lowers serum cholesterol by an unknown mechanism and at the

Philip, S. and Lansky, M.D. (1993). PLANTS THAT LOWER CHOLESTEROL. Acta Hortic. 332, 131-136
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.332.17

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