Sterols, also known as steroid alcohols, are a subgroup of the steroids and an important class of organic molecules.

They are a type of lipid, and occur naturally in plants, animals, and fungi, and can be also produced by some bacteria (however likely with different functions).

The most familiar type of animal sterol is cholesterol, which is vital to cell membrane structure, and functions as a precursor to fat-soluble vitamins and steroid hormones.

Sterols and triterpenoids occur in all major groups of organisms, from fungi to humans, as secondary metabolites.

It has been reported that various sterols and triterpenoids isolated from mushrooms to possess inhibitory activities on inflammation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a well-known tumor promoter, and for tumor promotion in two-stage carcinogenesis in mice.

Therefore, these compounds may possibly prove useful for producing cancer chemopreventive agents.


  • Yaoita, Yasunori & Kikuchi, Masao & Machida, Koichi. (2015). Terpenoids and Sterols from Mushrooms. Studies in Natural Products Chemistry. 44. 1-32. 10.1016/B978-0-444-63460-3.00001-8.