Phytosterols accumulation in the seeds of Linum usitatissimum L.

January 1, 2009 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Phytosterols accumulation in the seeds of Linum usitatissimum L.

Year: 2009
Authors: Herchi, W. Harrabi, S. Sebei, K. Rochut, S. Boukhchina, S. Pepe, C. Kallel, H.
Publication Name: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication Details: Volume 47; Pages 880 – 885.


A comparative study was performed to determine the free sterols content and composition during the development of three varieties of linseed (H52, O116 and P129). Seed samples were collected at regular intervals from 7 to 60 days after flowering (DAF). Ten compounds were identified: cholesterol, campesterol, brassicasterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, D5-avenasterol, cycloartenol; 24-methylene cycloartanol, obtusifoliol, citrostadienol. The maximum level of 4-desmethylsterols (1515 mg/100 g oil) was reached at 7 DAF in P129 variety. H52 had the highest level of 4-4 dimethylsterols (355 mg/100 g oil) at 28 DAF. The greatest amount of 4-monomethylsterols (35 mg/100 g oil) was detected in H52 at 14 DAF. During linseed development, b sitosterol (830 mg/100 g oil) was the major 4-desmethylsterols, followed by campesterol (564 mg/100 g oil) and stigmasterol (265 mg/100 g oil). Some of these compounds followed nearly the same accumulation pattern during linseed maturation. (Authors abstract)
Phytosterols are present in plant cells as important components of membranes. Phytosterols can be categorized into three subclasses 4, 4-dimethylsterols; 4-monomethylsterols and 4-desmethylsterols. In plants, 4-desmethylsterols is the most abundant group; however 4, 4-dimethylsterols and 4-monomethylsterols usually appear in lower amounts. Phytosterols are known to have a wide range of biological activities and physical properties including lowering serum cholesterol levels in humans. They may have beneficial effects against colon cancer, and have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcerative and antitumor properties. The aim of this study was to determine the change in 4-desmethylsterols, 4, 4-dimethylsterols and 4-monomethylsterols composition during linseed development.  The results showed 4-desmethylsterols were the major phytosterol fraction in developing linseed. 4, 4-Dimethylsterols and 4-monomethylsterols were present in much lower amounts. The highest amount of total phytosterol and total 4-desmethylsterols were observed at 7 DAF. Thus immature linseed may be a potential source of these health enhancing compounds for functional foods and nutraceutical applications. The qualitative and quantitative characterization of 4,4-dimethylsterols and 4-monomethylsterols seem to be useful for many aspect of vegetable oil production, including detection of adulteration, quality control and product development.(Editors comments)

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