Beta-sitosterol is one of a group of organic compounds found in plants that, alone and in combination with similar plant sterols, reduces blood levels of cholesterol.1, 2, 3
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3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
60 to 130 mg daily
Men taking beta-sitosterol, a compound found in many edible plants, have reported improved BPH symptoms and urinary flow.
, a compound found in many edible plants, has also been found to be helpful for men with BPH. In one double-blind trial, 200 men with BPH received 20 mg of beta-sitosterol three times a day or a placebo for six months. Men receiving beta-sitosterol had a significant improvement in urinary flow and an improvement in symptoms, whereas no change was reported in men receiving the placebo. Another double-blind study reported similarly positive results using 130 mg per day of beta-sitosterol.
2 to 3 grams daily
More than 50 years of research has shown consumption of sitostanol and beta-sitosterol, plant compounds known as phytosterols, lowers cholesterol levels.
and sitostanol are examples of phytosterols, plant compounds related to cholesterol. Phytosterols reduce dietary cholesterol absorption and alter cholesterol metabolism, and numerous clinical trials and meta-analyses have found dietary and supplemental phytosterols, especially sitosterols and sitostanols, lower cholesterol levels. In particular, clinical trials using margarine and other foods enriched with highly-absorbable sitostanol esters have noted substantial improvements in lipid profiles with an intake of 2–3 grams of sitostanol esters daily. Findings from research reviews indicate long-term use of 2 grams of sitostanols and sitosterols daily can reduce LDL-cholesterol levels by as much as 10–20%. Supplementation with beta-sitosterol or sitostanol has also been shown to enhance the cholesterol-lowering effect of statin drugs. In addition to improving lipid levels, beta-sitosterol has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, immune-modulating, liver-protective, and anti-anxiety properties that may add to its health-promoting effects.
Athletic Performance and Post-Exercise Infection (Beta-Sitosterol Glucoside, Beta-Sitosterol)
Refer to label instructions
Beta-sitosterol, found in many plants, has been shown in one trial to improve immune function in marathon runners when combined with B-sitosterol glucoside. This implies that beta-sitosterol might reduce infections in athletes who engage in intensive exercise.
, (BSS) a natural sterol found in many plants, has been shown in a double-blind trial to improve immune function in marathon runners when combined with a related substance called B-sitosterol glucoside (BSSG). This implies that beta-sitosterol might reduce infections in athletes who engage in intensive exercise, though studies are still needed to prove this. The usual amount of this combination used in research is 20 mg of BSS and 200 mcg of BSSG three times per day.
How It Works
How to Use It
Where to Find It
Beta-sitosterol is one of several plant sterols (cholesterol is the main animal sterol) found in almost all plants. High levels are found in rice bran, wheat germ, corn oil, and soybeans. Peanuts and its products, such as peanut oil, peanut butter, and peanut flour, are good sources of plant sterols, particularly beta-sitosterol.6
Because beta-sitosterol is not an essential nutrient, deficiencies do not occur.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
1. Lees AM, Mok HYI, Lee RS, et al. Plant sterols as cholesterol-lowering agents: clinical trials in patients with hypercholesterolemia and studies of sterol balance. Atherosclerosis 1977;28:325-38.
2. Pelletier X, Belbraouet S, Mirabel D, et al. A diet moderately enriched in phytosterols lowers plasma cholesterol concentrations in normocholesterolemic humans. Ann Nutr Metab 1995;39:291-5.
3. Jones PJ, Raeini-Sarjaz M, Ntanios FY, et al. Modulation of plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics by phytosterol versus phytostanol esters. J Lipid Res 2000;41:697-705.
4. Berges RR, Windeler J, Trampisch HJ, et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lancet 1995;345:1529-32.
5. Klippel KF, Hiltl DM, Schipp B. A multicentric, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of ß-sitosterol (phytosterol) for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Br J Urol 1997;80:427-32.
6. Awad AB, Chan KC, Downie AC, Fink CS. Peanuts as a source of ß-sitosterol, a sterol with anticancer properties. Nutr Cancer 2000;36:238-41.
7. Richelle M, Enslen M, Hager C, et al. Both free and esterified plant sterols reduce cholesterol absorption and the bioavailability of beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol in normocholesterolemic humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:171-7.
Last Review: 05-28-2015
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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2023.