Phytosterol consumption and the anabolic steroid boldenone in humans: a hypothesis piloted

Phytosterol consumption and the anabolic steroid boldenone in humans: a hypothesis piloted / M.M. Ros, S.S. Sterk, H. Verhagen, A.F.H. Stalenhoef, N. de Jong. - (Food Additives & Contaminants 24 (2007) 7 (July); p. 679-684)

  • PMID: 17613052
  • DOI: 10.1080/02652030701216727


The presence of the anabolic steroid boldenone in animals has become a research topic as its occurrence is proposed to be a marker for illegal hormone administration. However, boldenone can also be formed from beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol present in animal feed, as well as from endogenous sources. The observations in animals together with the increased consumption of phytosterol-enriched foods in the Western population led the authors to the hypothesis that consumption of phytosterol-enriched foods might possibly lead to increased boldenone levels in humans. The authors performed a pilot study among female volunteers (n = 10) to investigate whether boldenone concentrations in urine were detectable after consumption of 25 g day(-1) of phytosterol-enriched margarines for 1 week. Urine samples were collected at days 0, 3 or 4, and 7. Urine of a sitosterolemia (a rare autosomal recessively inherited lipid metabolic disorder) patient was collected as a positive control case. No traces of boldenone were detected in either the volunteers or in the patient. In conclusion, there is no evidence of formation of boldenone in women after consumption of the recommended amount of phytosterol-enriched margarines.

Original document


Research / Study
20 June 2007
Jong, Nienke de
Ros, Martine
Stalenhoef, Anton
Sterk, Saskia S.
Verhagen, Hans
Other organisations
RadboudUMC - Radboud University Medical Center
Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) - National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
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Mass spectrometry analysis
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S1. Anabolic Agents
Food and/or drinks
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
28 July 2021
Date of last modification
4 August 2021
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