Plant Sterols: A Brief Overview

You’ve probably heard people recommending you to use sterols for healthy circulatory system. But what are sterols? Does your body need them? Are they really safe to use as nutritional supplements? And perhaps you’d like to know more about it. If you do, then, you’ve come to the right place.

To start with, most people use sterols as steroid alcohols, which are a subgroup of the steroids. These are actually an important class of organic molecules, which naturally occurs in plants, animals and even fungi. The most familiar type of animal sterol is cholesterol, which is important to an animal’s cell membrane structure and function.

There are three types of sterols. First are the Phytosterols, which are sterols of plants. Among the good sources of this type of sterols include: grains, legumes, beans, milk, yogurt, sesame oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, corn oil, cashews, almonds, walnuts and pecans.

Second are the Zoosterols, which are sterols of animals. And finally, the third type of sterols is called Ergosterol which is a sterol that is present in the cell membrane of fungi.

Sterols as Nutritional Supplements

Now, among the three types of sterols, Phytosterols or plant sterols are the ones used as nutritional supplements or food additives. Recent studies show that this type of sterols is able to block cholesterol absorption, particularly in the human intestine.

With this ability, it is an effective means of reducing cholesterol levels in the human body. Therefore, using this as a food additive is currently approved by United States’ Food and Drug Administration.

However, recent concerns about the use Phytosterols as food additives have emerged. Some experts are worried that aside from blocking cholesterol absorption, sterols may also prevent the body to absorb important nutrients.

Because of this, the American Heart Association or AHA has recommended that only people with high levels of cholesterols should use these supplemental plant sterols. In addition, the AHA also advised pregnant women and nursing mothers not to take this type of food additive.

In addition to this, some experts also believe that once phytosterols undergo purification process, it becomes biologically in active, which means it may not be effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Even so, Phytosterols look very promising and it looks like a good way to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and even atherosclerosis. It is imperative to study its long term effects to find out what may happen if higher amounts of purified phytosterols are consumed.

Medical Administration And Healthcare Jobs


With aging populations in many developing countries, health care is one of the fastest growing industries around the world. The new jobs being created in health care range from the highly specialized, such as surgery and dermatology, to general services such as nursing and emergency care. More and more, administrative jobs such as billing and information management are also opening up. As a result, institutions such as Anthem College are offering more targeted training in these fields and creating increasingly competent graduates.

Administrative work in the medical field requires several skills that a typical training program does not provide. Medical offices deal with a large number of clients, each of whom has a unique case, medical history and follow-up schedule. Medical administrators need a specialized skill set to deal with this volume of information while recognizing that each name is a patient with real concerns and needs. The same goes for other services such as insurance handling, billing, and records handling.

Needless to say, one needs more than basic secretarial skills to work effectively in the medical field. Medical administrators and staff need at least a working knowledge of medical terminology so they can be of valuable to doctors and nurses, as well as share vital information about patients. They also have to be familiar with medical procedures when scheduling exams, forwarding test results, and answering questions for patients.

This is why most medical administration positions now require specialized training or bachelor’s degrees. More competent staff allows for a better flow of information, quicker communication with patients and better service in general from the emergency room to the billing office. With the stress that comes with providing health care, doctors naturally want well-trained assistants to keep the office running smoothly so they can focus on doing their job and taking care of patients.

Many people opt to get their training on a part-time basis so they can work while getting their qualification. This allows them to support their studies as well as get valuable work experience. More and more institutions are also offering their courses online, allowing students even more freedom and flexibility. This is especially ideal for people who have families, who have full-time jobs, or who are always on the road.

No matter how you decide to get your training, medical administration is a promising field with lots of opportunities no matter where you are. As long as you take the time to choose a reputable school, put in the work and learn as much as you can, you’re sure to find a career that’s financially rewarding and fulfilling at the same time.