The Upjohn company used stigmasterol as the starting raw material for commercial synthesis of cortisone in 1959.
As one of the major phytosterols, stigmasterol is included among sterol compounds in the diet having potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consumption of 2 grams per day of plant sterols is associated with a reduction in blood LDL cholesterol of 8-10%, possibly lowering cardiovascular disease risk. As a factor in cellular processes of plants, stigmasterol may have roles in plant stress responses, metabolism, and enzymes involved in biosynthesis of plant cell membranes. Stigmasterol has also been shown to exert anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer effects via the downregulation of TNF-alpha and VEGFR-2.
Potential precursor of boldenone
Being a steroid, stigmasterol is precursor of anabolic steroid boldenone. Boldenone undecylenate is commonly used in veterinary medicine to induce growth in cattle, but it is also one of the most commonly abused anabolic steroids in sports. This led to suspicion that some athletes testing positive for boldenone didn't consume the steroid itself, but rather consumed foods rich in stigmasterol; this turned out not to be the case.
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