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  Plant Sterols / Sterolins (Phytosterols)  
 
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Phytosterols (plant-based sterols and sterolins) are proven to be effective compounds modulating the immune system and can help relieve people of symptoms associated with numerous autoimmune diseases. As a result of using this approach, the activity of certain cells in the immune system are enhanced and the activity of other cells in the immune system are inhibited. This modulation has led to successful treatment of a number of autoimmune diseases.

Moducare is a preparation that restores, strengthens and balances the immune system. It is a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins derived from a natural pine source and comes in a vegetarian capsule and chewable tablet. Moducare is the only clinically tested plant sterol/sterolin product which has been shown through research to balance and improve immune system functioning. The recommended dosage is one capsule TID to be taken between meals in the absence of any animal fats.
 

 
 

Plant Sterols / Sterolins (Phytosterols) can help with the following:
 
 
Allergy  Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever
 People with allergies have an overactive immune system. They are reacting to various “triggers” in their environment that produce an allergic response, e.g. pollen, grass, cat hair, perfume. The ideal way of dealing with allergies is at the cellular level before specialized immune cells (mast cells) start releasing histamine.

Plant sterols and sterolins have been shown in research to decrease the overactivity of the immune system. They decrease the specific immune factor (Interleukin 4) that ultimately causes the allergic response and the release of histamine. Therefore, it is beneficial for allergy sufferers to try to balance their immune system with sterols and sterolins.

Autoimmune

  Autoimmune Tendency
 Plant sterols and sterolins “modulate” or balance the immune system and have been shown to decrease the auto-antibody production.

  Ulcerative Colitis
 Although clinical studies have not been conducted using sterols and sterolins, based on existing research for other conditions, it is foreseeable that taking sterols and sterolins in cases of IBD will result in controlling the immune onslaught taking place on the mucosal surface. Sterols and sterolins will decrease the release of the inflammatory factors, get the good T cells to secrete the good factors, and induce a state of balance in the immune response. By so doing, it will allow repair mechanisms to kick in and recovery from such chronic conditions to take place.

  Crohn's Disease
 Although clinical studies have not been conducted using sterols and sterolins, based on existing research for other conditions, it is foreseeable that taking sterols and sterolins in cases of IBD will result in controlling the immune onslaught taking place on the mucosal surface. Sterols and sterolins will decrease the release of the inflammatory factors, get the good T cells to secrete the good factors, and induce a state of balance in the immune response. By so doing, it will allow repair mechanisms to kick in and recovery from such chronic conditions to take place.

  Hyperthyroidism
 With Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism), the body has become confused and sets up an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. When this autoimmune reaction is reduced, there is an opportunity for unhampered thyroid production and metabolism. Sterols and sterolins balance the immune system by decreasing the specific immune factor (Interleukin-6) responsible for the autoimmune reaction. As a result, thyroid function may be allowed to return to a more normal state.

  Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk
 It is thought that the condition results from the uncontrolled activity of specific cells of the immune system leading to the production of auto-antibodies. It is these auto-antibodies that destroy healthy cells and organs. The body is literally attacking itself. Research indicates that the trigger for this attack may be caused by a virus or by an increase in stress.

Sterols and sterolins, by balancing the immune system, target the specific cells (the T cells) that can inhibit the formation of antibodies. These plant fats also increase the secretion of immune factors that activate killer cells to seek out and destroy the virus.

The link between stress and autoimmune disorders lies with the balance between cortisol (the stress hormone) and DHEA. An increase in stress leads to an increase in cortisol and a decrease in DHEA. High levels of cortisol cause immune cells to make more factors that lead to the production of autoantibodies. A balance between cortisol and DHEA is essential for optimum immune function.

Research has shown that sterols and sterolins lower cortisol levels in the body and normalize DHEA thus achieving a balance between these two hormones.

  Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease
 Sterol and sterolins, by balancing the immune system, decrease specific immune factors that cause the inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall.

Circulation

  Hypertension

Habits

  Overtraining, Effects
 A sterols/sterolins mixture was tested in a clinical study (double-blind, placebo-controlled) conducted in marathon runners, a model of the effects of excessive exercise on the immune system. Such individuals are prone to transient immune suppression due to the activation of several endocrinological shifts that ultimately lead to decreased immunity. This study showed that the marathon runners had less inflammation post event (lower IL6 plasma levels), less hematological disturbances (less lymphopenia and less neutrophilia in the peripheral blood) and maintained their adreno-cortical status compared to their baseline values. The study thus showed that Moducare was able to abrogate the immunological shifts that usually accompany endurance exercise. [Int. J. Sports Med. 1999:20, pp.258-262]

Hormones

  Hypothyroidism
 With both Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism), the body has become confused and sets up an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. When this autoimmune reaction is reduced, there is an opportunity for unhampered thyroid production and metabolism. Sterols and sterolins balance the immune system by decreasing the specific immune factor (Interleukin-6) responsible for the autoimmune reaction. As a result, thyroid function may be allowed to return to a more normal state.

Immunity

  Immune System Imbalance (TH2 Dominance)
 Moducare (a plant sterol product) restores weakened or reduced T cell activity in a balanced proportion of TH1 and TH2 cells. This enables the immune system to effectively counteract viral diseases (common cold, hepatitis, HIV, etc.) and various microbial diseases (tuberculosis, etc.).

  Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome
 Although the exact cause is unknown, people with CFS show several immune system abnormalities, which may include:
  • Low DHEA levels (DHEA is our “anti-aging” hormone)
  • A decrease in the activity of Natural Killer cells
  • Reactivation of viruses that were previously dormant or “asleep”
  • An increased production of auto-antibodies (these attack body tissues)
Plant sterols and sterolins “modulate” or balance the immune system and have been shown to:
  • Normalize DHEA levels by balancing DHEA/cortisol levels
  • Increase the activity of Natural Killer cells
  • Increase interferon so the body is better able to recognize viruses and dispose of them
  • Decrease the auto-antibody production
The goal for people with fibromyalgia (FM) is to balance their immune system and thus reduce an overproduction of inflammatory immune factors (IL-6), which can cause pain and swelling in the joints and muscles. Decreasing inflammatory immune factors can possibly help in reducing the widespread muscle pain associated with FM.

  Weakened Immune System
 Plant sterols are an effective immune balancer. Sterols and related compounds called sterolins are special fats found in plant foods, such as seeds, nuts, and plant oils. Sterols and sterolins have been shown to restore immune balance, which is beneficial for those with infections, stress-induced immune suppression, allergies, or rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions [Alternative Medicine Review, 2001, vol. 6, no. 2]

  AIDS / Risk
 The use of the mixture by HIV-infected individuals has been extensively studied. It has been shown to prevent the decline of CD4 cell numbers (a surrogate marker of disease progression), decrease the plasma viral loads of patients and maintain a relatively intact immune profile despite the chronic viral infection. This implies that the use of the immune modulator (such as Moducare) by HIV-infected individuals would prevent the deterioration of the immunity and the maintenance of effective cellular responses to the virus. [S.Afr. Med. J. (2001) 91, pp.848-850, Cell Biol. Int. (2001) 25, pp.43-49]

Infections

  Tuberculosis
 A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that patients having received Moducare had less inflammation, recovered from the mycobacterial infection faster (faster resolution of lung lesions) and recovered their immunological status faster. Other markers of efficacy included higher weight gain. All patients had received standard anti-tuberculosis therapy. [Int. J. Tuberc. Lung Dis. (1997) 1, pp.518-522]

  Sinusitis
 In an open-labeled study, allergic rhinitis and sinusitis patients were followed over a period of 12 weeks and the degree of allergic responses showed significant changes accompanied by clinical improvement and symptomatic relief of patients. Markers of efficacy included decrease in serum IgE levels, decrease in the TH2 cell activity, less turbinate hypertrophy and rhinonorea, etc.. [Abstract in Proc. 26th Annu Cong Physiol. Soc. S. Afr. (1998) [Abstract 178]]

  Herpes I
 The herpes virus is responsible for outbreaks of blisters on any area of the body but most commonly on the mouth and genitals. If our immune system is functioning well, this virus should be destroyed. Sterols and sterolins increase the body’s natural interferon - our frontline defense against viruses. They also make cytotoxic cells more effective at destroying virus-infected cells. Research has shown that these important plant fats can decrease specific immune factors that the herpes virus uses to make more of itself. As a result, the amount of virus in the body may decline.

  STD Herpes II
 The herpes virus is responsible for outbreaks of blisters on any area of the body but most commonly on the mouth and genitals. If our immune system is functioning well, this virus should be destroyed. Sterols and sterolins increase the body’s natural interferon - our frontline defense against viruses. They also make cytotoxic cells more effective at destroying virus-infected cells. Research has shown that these important plant fats can decrease specific immune factors that the herpes virus uses to make more of itself. As a result, the amount of virus in the body may decline.

Lab Values

  Elevated Cortisol Levels
 Stress can have a significant impact on the body, particularly the immune system. With chronic stress, the adrenal glands secrete excess cortisol. This overproduction of cortisol can lead to the death of cells in our immune system, e.g. lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland.

The link between stress and autoimmune disorders lies with the balance between cortisol and DHEA. An increase in stress leads to an increase in cortisol and a decrease in DHEA. High levels of cortisol cause immune cells to make more factors that lead to the production of autoantibodies. A balance between cortisol and DHEA is essential for optimum immune function.

Research has shown that sterols and sterolins lower cortisol levels in the body and normalize DHEA thus achieving a balance between these two hormones.

  Elevated Total Cholesterol
 The mechanism of the cholesterol-lowering activity of phytosterols is not fully understood. Phytosterols appear to inhibit the absorption of dietary cholesterol and the reabsorption (via the enterohepatic circulation) of endogenous cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract. Consequently, the excretion of cholesterol in the feces leads to decreased serum levels of this sterol. Phytosterols do not appear to affect the absorption of bile acids. It is believed that phytosterols displace cholesterol from bile salt micelles. Another proposed mechanism is the possible inhibition of the rate of cholesterol esterification in the intestinal mucosa.

  Elevated LDL/HDL Ratio

Mental

  Stress
 See the link between Elevated Cortisol and Plant Sterols.

Musculo-Skeletal

  Rheumatoid Arthritis
 In a clinical model of chronic inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis patients were followed over a period of 6 months and this study (double-blind, placebo-controlled) showed attenuation of indices of disease activity due to the potent anti-inflammatory properties of the sterols/sterolins. [Am. J. Clin. Nutr. J (2002) 75, Abstract 40, 351S]

Organ Health

  Hepatitis
 People who contract the Hep C virus have an 85% chance of developing chronic hepatitis since the virus slowly destroys the liver. The damage is a result of the immune system attacking liver cells as it tries to destroy the virus. It is important for a person with Hep C to “modulate” or balance their immune system. Plant sterols and sterolins can help to:
  • increase the natural interferon (our virus killer) produced by the body. This helps in recognizing the Hep C virus and clearing it.
  • decrease the production of antibodies that are damaging liver cells.
  • decrease the inflammatory immune factors causing inflammation and damage to the liver.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help