Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effects of phytosterols/stanols on total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, in children or adults with familial hypercholesterolaemia, were eligible for inclusion.
All the included trials were conducted in heterozygous subjects, aged between 2 and 69 years. Trials were conducted under normal living conditions; plant sterols or plant stanols were used, delivered as fat spreads (dose range 1.6 to 2.8g sterols/stanols per day) or in granulate form (12 or 24g/day). Trial duration ranged from four weeks to three months.
The authors did not state how many reviewers assessed studies for inclusion.