Beta-Sitosterol

General Information

Description: Beta-sitosterol is a plant sterol found in almost all plants. It is the main subcomponent of the group of phytosterols (plant sterols).

Natural beta-sitosterol is a white waxy substance, and its chemical structure is very similar to cholesterol. It does not dissolve in water, has characteristic odor. High concentration is found in rice bran, wheat germ, corn oil and soybeans. Nutritionists have calculated that average people use about 200 – 300 mg beta-sitosterol per day, and this is clearly not enough.

Beta-Sitosterol Benefits

Cholesterol Regulation

Beta-sitosterol, like other phytosterols, has ability to lower cholesterol and serve as preventive measure of atherosclerosis. Chemical similarity of beta-sitosterol with cholesterol makes it possible to block absorption of harmful lipids. But beta-substance itself is not very actively absorbed by the body – only 5 – 10 percent of obtained substance with food. Uniqueness of this phytosterol is that by acting on lipids, it corrects only concentration of “bad” cholesterol, and also does not affect concentration of triglycerides.

Prostate Condition Improvement

To prevent and treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is recommended that plants containing beta-sitosterol be used. In particular, herbalists advise to increase intake of pumpkin seeds and nettles.

Applied in Europe, drugs for treatment of prostatic adenoma are often created from plant extracts, which contain beta-sitosterol. Scientists have found that sitosterol blocks production of dihydrotestosterone, which, in fact, causes growth of prostate cells.

Effectiveness of beta-substance in treatment of prostatic hyperplasia, was proved by results of the study with participation of 200 men. For 6 months, subjects received 180 mg of the substance daily. After experiment, men were examined again. It turned out that hyperplasia decreased by at average of 3.5 times, and inflow of urine improved by about 35%.

Anti-Cancer Action

It has been established that beta-sitosterol helps to slow down growth of prostate, colon and breast tumors. It is also effective in treatment of lymphocytic leukemia. Researchers suggest that under the influence of this phytosterol, prostate cancer cells self-destruct. However, so far people of science have observed only in animals and in laboratory experiments using isolated oncocells.

It is believed that diet based on consumption of large number of fruits and vegetables, can prevent cancer. Among the most effective plants in the fight against cancer is soy. And this is not accidental. One of the key components of soybeans is beta-sitosterol.

Immunity Improvement

This substance is able to strengthen immunity and reduce incidence of inflammation. Particularly useful for people experiencing increased physical exertion after severe illness or surgery.

Blood Sugar Level Control

Scientific studies have shown that beta-sitosterol can normalize blood sugar levels by stimulating production of insulin.

Other benefits of the substance:

  • relieves inflammation;
  • heals colds and flu;
  • heals ulcers;
  • relieves asthma attacks;
  • increases tone of uterus;
  • activates production of female sex hormones;
  • relieves convulsions;
  • improves metabolism;
  • prevents formation of gallstones;
  • reduces manifestation of symptoms of menopause;
  • prevents hair loss;
  • antiviral agent;
  • antibacterial agent;
  • antifungal component;
  • increases sexual functions of body;
  • reduces effects of stress.

Indications for use:

  • chronic prostatitis;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • carcinoma of prostate;
  • hypertrophy of prostate;
  • diseases of mammary glands;
  • menopausal disorders;
  • high inflam.

Contraindications:

  • disruption of digestive organs;
  • flatulence;
  • decreased libido;
  • problems with potency;
  • increased aggression;
  • hypersensitivity to components;
  • allergy;
  • pregnancy and lactation.

Side effects

Consumption of this substance usually does not cause any side effects, but regular abuse can disrupt absorption of carotene and vitamin E. Cause, which can serve as a contraindication to consumption of supplements containing beta-sitosterone, is only individual intolerance of the substance. In such cases, as a rule, there are problems with digestion, stool disorders, nausea.

During clinical trials, a few low-risk side effects were recorded:

  • sitosterol can cause indigestion, nausea, flatulence;
  • impotence and decreased libido, which is associated with decrease in the level of dihydrotestosterone;
  • in rare cases, development of sitosterolemia is possible – a disease in which absorption of sitosterol is increased, which leads to obstruction of heart vessels and deposition of sitosterol in tissues.

Overdose

Regular consumption of bioactive additives with beta-sitosterol in high doses is likely to cause deterioration of well-being and malfunctions in different systems. Among most common symptoms there are:

  • disorders of digestive tract;
  • nausea;
  • flatulence;
  • problems with potency and libido;
  • sitosterolemia.

Some researchers say that excessively high levels of beta-sitosterol in blood increase risk of exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases.

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