What are Sterols?

Sterols are a class of lipids, also known as steroids, with a unique tetracyclic structure. Most sterols are solids, such as β-sitosterol, soy sterol, cholesterol, ergosterol, all with melting points above 100°C. Some sterol ester derivatives are oily liquids, such as sterol oleate, α-linolenic acid sterol esters. Sterols are insoluble in water, alkalis and acids, slightly soluble in acetone and ethanol at room temperature, and soluble in non-polar solvents such as ether, benzene, chloroform, ethyl acetate, carbon disulfide, petroleum ether and so on. At BOC Sciences, we specialize in the research and development of sterols, and we offer a wide range of high-quality sterols suitable for a variety of applications. Our sterols are produced using advanced synthesis techniques and are rigorously tested to ensure their purity and quality.

Structure of Sterols

Structural Characteristics of Sterols

The structure of sterols can vary depending on the type of organism and the particular sterol. For example, plant sterols are characterized by a double bond in the side chain, while animal sterols do not have this double bond. In addition, some organisms, such as bacteria, produce sterols with a different number of rings or a different arrangement of atoms in the rings. Despite these differences, all sterols share some structural features.

Classification of Sterols

Sterols and related compounds are categorized into three main groups according to the source of raw materials: animal sterols, plant sterols, and fungal sterols. Animal sterols are dominated by cholesterol, plant sterols are mainly sterols such as sterols of gluten, legumes and canola, while ergosterol belongs to the fungal sterols.

Applications of Sterols

Plant Growth and Development

Sterols are not only important structural components of eukaryotic cell membranes, but also regulate a variety of processes such as cell elongation, cell division, photomorphogenesis, xylem differentiation, as well as abiotic and biotic stress responses. Sterols play an important role in plant cell division, embryogenesis and growth and development, and are essential for normal plant growth and development.


Sterols are also used in cosmetics because they can help improve skin barrier function. Phytosterols have high permeability to the skin, can maintain the skin surface water, promote skin metabolism, inhibit skin inflammation, can prevent sun erythema, skin aging, and hair growth, hair effects.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Sterols are also important in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, statins are a class of drugs that lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis. Some antifungal drugs also work by targeting sterols in fungal cell membranes.

Advantages of Sterols

  • Structural diversity allows researchers to study the role of specific modifications in cellular functions and interactions. This knowledge contributes to a better understanding of disease mechanisms and facilitates the development of targeted therapies.
  • Fluorescent properties exhibited by certain chemical sterols. These fluorescent sterols, called fluorescent lipids, have become valuable tools for studying cellular processes.

As a leading supplier of chemicals, BOC Sciences has extensive expertise in the field of sterols. Our dedicated team of scientists is constantly exploring new approaches to the synthesis and characterization of sterols. Through our state-of-the-art facilities and advanced analytical techniques, BOC Sciences ensures that our products meet the highest quality standards. Our sterol product lines include Cholesteryl Esters, Glycosylated Sterols, Natural Sterols and Oxysterols. If you are interested, please contact us for quotation information of related products.

Why BOC Sciences?

  • Large Stock

    More than 2000+ products in inventory

  • Global Delivery

    Warehouses in multiple cities to ensure fast delivery

  • mg to kg

    Multi specification for academic research and industrial production

  • 24/7 Technical Support

    Strict process parameter control to ensure product quality



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