Phytosterols (from rice fiber and rice bran)

Phytosterols (PS) are fats present in plants–mostly in plant oils, nuts and seeds. Because the human body cannot produce PS, they must be obtained through the diet. Epidemiologic studies suggest that phytosterol intake supports good health 1. Processing of plant oils typically reduces their PS content 1. The average consumption of PS in industrialized Western countries is low, about 78 mg/day. Asian countries consume an average of 4 times that amount, about 400 mg/day 2.

Rice fiber is the soluble and insoluble fiber obtained from the bran layer of the rice kernel.

Rice bran is made from the bran layer, underneath the hull layer, of rice, Oryza sativa. Rice bran is high in dietary fiber, and is an excellent source of protein, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and a number of minerals, such as iron and magnesium. It is also a good source of folate and riboflavin 3. Rice bran also contains beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols, along with the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 4.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. Awad AB, Fink CS. J Nutr 2000;130:2127-30.
  2. Ovesna Z, Vachalkova A, Horvathova K. Neoplasma 2004;51:407-14.
  3. United States Department of Agriculture. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. 2008.
  4. Natural Medicines: Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2000.