It is believed that plant sterols (phytosterol) lowers the total cholesterol level and the level of harmful low density lipoproteins (LDL), but seem to have no effect on the heart-friendly HDL cholesterol levels or triglyceride levels. The major phytosterol in sea buckthorn oil is sitosterol (ß-sitosterol), with 5-avenasterol second in quantitative importance. The total quantity of phytosterol is quite high in seabuckthorn and may exceed soybean oil by 4–20 times. Sterols in seabuckthorn oil delay cholesterol absorption and offer protection against hepatic dystrophy. Sterols are also important agents in the treatment of atherosclerosis patients.