Sterol Vs. Statins

Sterols and statins are medication options for lowering the LDL or bad cholesterol. Although they achieve the same result, the chemicals both tackle the LDL in different ways.

  1. Features

    • Statins are a group of synthetic drugs ending in the suffix "statin." Sterols are an organic compound that makes up plant and animal cell membranes.

    Function

    • According to the Mayo Clinic, cholesterol is created in the liver and is absorbed into the bloodstream. Statins work to reduce the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver. Sterols work by blocking cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

    Sterol Benefits

    • Sterols are said to resemble cholesterol. This makes it easy for the sterol to enter the bloodstream in place of the cholesterol. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are no known side effects in taking sterols.

    Statin Benefits

    • Statins have been tested and proven to lower the LDL. There are several different statin drugs, so finding one to fit your body function is not difficult.

    Sterol Disadvantages

    • Sterols are naturally occurring, but in the case of a person with high cholesterol, they may not be effective enough. The Cleveland Clinic says that eating enough sterol-containing food to lower a high cholesterol count would raise the amount of calories consumed.

    Statin Disadvantages

    • Although they are few, statins do have side effects and thus require supervision by your physician. The Mayo Clinic describes the statin side effects as "muscle and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea or constipation."

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