Beta Sitosterol is Highly Effective in Treating
(excerpts from the writings of Roger Mason)Beta-sitosterol is phytosterol or plant alcohol that is literally in every vegetable we eat. We eat it every day but we just don't get enough of it. The typical American is estimated to eat only 200-400 mg a day while vegetarians probably eat about twice this much. This is surely one of the many reasons vegetarians are healthier and live longer. Actually the term "beta-sitosterol" in commerce refers to the natural combination of beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and brassicasterol as this is how they are made by nature in plants. There are no magic foods with high levels of phytosterols, but they can be inexpensively extracted from sugar cane pulp, soybeans and pine oil.
Beta Sitosterol and the Prostate
There are dozens and dozens of classic double blind studies done with real men on the effects of beta-sitosterol on benign prostate hypertrophy or BPH. Below we have summarized some of these studies . . . all of which indicate that beta-sitosterol is a highly effective trreatment for BPH.
A most unique review of 31 years of studies was published in the volume 280 of the Journal of the American Medical Association (1998) where they chose 18 different trials involving 2,939 men in total who were treated for BPH with strong extracts of saw palmetto containing beta-sitosterol. They said after reviewing all these studies, "The evidence suggests that Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) improves urologic symptoms and and flow measures."
One of the very best studies done was published in the British Journal of Urology, volume 80 (1997), at the University of Dresden. Drs. Klippel, Hilti and Schipp studied 177 men for 6 months who suffered from BPH. Half the men got a placebo and half got the prescription extract Azuprostat containing 130mg of beta-sitosterol. They cited a full 32 references to substantiate their research. They carefully screened all the men and tested them extensively during the study. They concluded, "These results show that beta-sitosterol is an effective option in the treatment of BPH."
Another unique review in a different manner was done by Dr. Buck in the British Journal of Urology, volume 78 (1996). At the Department of Urology in Glasgow, Scotland he did a 12 page review of herbal therapy for the prostate including Harzol, Tadenan, Permixon, Strogen and Sabalux (all European prescription herbal extracts standardized for beta-sitosterol content). He documents his review with 59 published worldwide studies and discusses the biological basis of prostate illness. His conclusions of the efficacy of herbal treatment of prescription drugs and therapy are well founded certainly.
In the Lancet, vol 345 (1995) a very professional study was done at the University of Bochum in Herne, Germany by Dr. Berges and his associates. They used pure beta-sitosterol with 200 men half of whom received a placebo over the course of a year. They said, "Significant improvement in symptoms and urinary flow parameters show the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of BPH." This is clearly one of the most important and well done studies on prostate ever published.
In volume 55 of Current Therapeutic Research (1994) a study done at the University of Brussels, Belgium by Dr. Braeckman using Prostaserene (an extract standardized for beta-sitosterol) for a mere six weeks led him to conclude, "Traditional parameters for quantifying prostatism, such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size were found to be significantly improved after only 45 days of treatment. After 90 days of treatment, a majority of patients (88%) and treating physicians (88%) considered the therapy effective."
A study published in volume 21 of European Urology (1992), at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Rome, DiSilverio and his colleagues studied 35 men with BPH for 3 months and gave half of them a placebo (inert capsules). They concluded, "On the basis of these considerations, monotherapy with S. repens extract (beta-sitosterol extracted from saw palmetto) may be more favorably accepted, since on account of similar clinical results, when compared to the combination therapy cyproterone acetate plus tamoxifen..."
In the German journal Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, volume 22 (1990) at eight different urological clinics in Europe 263 total patients with BPH were studied over a two month period. They were given either Tadenan (a Pygeum africanum extract standardized for beta-sitosterol content) or a placebo. This very extensive study compiled from different clinics and different doctors yet all agreed that, "Treatment with the Pygeum africanum extract led to a marked clinical improvement: a comparison of the quantitative parameters showed a significant difference between the Pygeum africanum group and the placebo group with respect to therapeutic response."
Again, in Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, volume 39 (1987), Drs. Bassi et al at the University of Padova studied 40 men with BPH with and extract of Pygeum africanum with a high beta-sitosterol content. Half the men received a placebo and many parameters were measured for the two month study. They concluded, "The preliminary results demonstrate a significant improvement of the frequency, urgency, dysuria (difficult, painful urination) and urinary flow in patients treated with the active drug."
In the Italian journal Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, volume 37 (1985), doctors at the University of Padova studied the effect of beta-sitosterol extract on 27 men with BPH. Dr. Tasca and his associates measured urine flow and other parameters in men ranging from ages 49 to 81 compared to men receiving a placebo.
In the journal Urolage A, volume 24 (1985) at the University of Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Vontobel and his colleagues studied a strong extract of nettles containing a high concentration of beta-sitosterol in a double blind study of 50 men for nine weeks. They said that the use of beta-sitosterols from nettles, "The evaluation of the objective parameters showed significant differences."
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in volume 18 (1984) at the Hospital Ambroise in Paris, Champault and two other doctors did a classic double blind study with 110 men half of them getting a placebo. They concluded, "Thus as predicted by pharmacological and biochemical studies PA109 (4 tablets of Permixon daily) would therefore appear to be a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of BPH."
In Medical Science Research, volume 16 (1983), Drs. Malini and Vanithakumari at the Institute of Medical Sciences in Madras, India studied the effect of beta-sitosterol on the fructose concentration of the prostate. Fructose is vital to the function of the prostate with regard to the androgenic hormones such as DHEA and testosterone. This was a very unique and thorough study lasting almost two months.
In volume 77 of the German journal Midizinische Klinik (1982) a study done at the Urological Clinik of Krankenhauser in Ludenscheid-Hellersen was performed on 23 patients. Dr. Szutrely gave the patients either Harzol (herbal extract standardized for beta-sitosterol content) or a placebo for patients with prostate enlargement over a two month period. They measured their prostates with ultrasound equipment before and after treatment. At the end he said, "Within the scope of a controlled double blind study to demonstrate the effect of conservative therapy of benign prostatic hyperplasia with Harzol, ultrasonic examination of the prostate adenoma (enlargement) was carried out on 23 patients before and after therapy with the trial preparation of a placebo. Within a two month treatment with Harzol there was a significant change in echo structure of the prostate adenoma, and this is interpreted as a reduction in the interstitial formation of oedema (swelling)."
These have been only a few of the many dozens of medical journal publications of studies taken place in some of the most important urological clinics around the world. These studies all indicate that beta-sitosterol is highly effective in reducing enlarged prostates in BPH patients as well as significantly decreasing their BPH symptoms.
Beta Sitosterol and Cholesterol
If there was only one supplement you could take to reduce your cholesterol it should be beta-sitosterol taken in 300-600 mg doses every day. Beta-sitosterol is the most studied, most proven, most effective suplement to lower total and LDL cholesterol. The studies on this in the medical journals actually go back 50 years yet most people have never even heard of it
Upjohn Pharmaceuticals tried to make a prescription analog (chemical relative) of it decades ago for lowering cholesterol but did not succeed - the natural molecule works best. The scientific community has been well aware of it and clinics around the world have done extensive studies on both humans and animals including gall bladder, bile and liver functions since these are all part of the cholesterol metabolism. The major mechanism this seems to be effective is simply by preventing the dietary cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines where fat is digested. Another way this seems to work is by increasing the flow of bile acids, which binds the cholesterol in the digestive track and excretes it in the feces.
At McGill University in Montreal (Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 75, 1997, p. 217-27) doctors did a review of the literature on beta-sitosterol and cholesterol metabolism. They researched in detail 18 major studies that used sitosterols to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. They concluded, "addition to diet of phytosterols represents an effective means of improving circulating lipid profiles to reduce risk of coronary heart disease." This study came complete with forty high quality references and left no doubt about the effectiveness of phytosterols on humans. Also at McGill University (Metabolism Clinic Experiments 47, 1998, p. 751-6) patients on a fixed diet were given sterols from pine oil for a mere ten days in a strict, randomized crossover study. This was not a low fat or low cholesterol diet at all. They successfully lowered both their total cholesterol and LDL levels in this short term placebo controlled experiment. They concluded, these results demonstrate the short term efficacy of pine oil plant sterols as cholesterol lowering agents"
A very interesting study was done at the Center for Human Nutrition in France (Ann. Nutr. Metab. 39, 1995, p. 291-5) in that healthy people with normal cholesterol levels were given beta- sitosterol to see if their normal levels could be lowered even further. We always think of studies as using unhealthy people with pathological cholesterol levels given supplements to make them normal again. Amazingly enough the healthy people lowered their normal cholesterol levels even more with no change in diet or exercise. In fact, they were a full 10% lower in only a month. This kind of effect is really fascinating. They said, "The present results may be of great interest in the prevention of high cholesterol diet-associated risks, especially in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Since beta-sitosterol was so effective for people who didn't even need it, think what it will do for those people who do need to lower their blood lipids. They concluded, "These findings suggest that a significant lowering of plasma total and LDL cholesterol can be effected by a modest dietary intake of soybean phytosterols"
A good study was done at the Wageningen Agricultural Institute in the Netherlands, the same clinic that did so much good research on trans fatty acids (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 72, 2000, p. 1510-5). They gave men and women a margarine containing plant sterols and got very significant reductions in cholesterol as well as lower LDL levels in only three weeks. Why a clinic would give margarine to people after studying the negative effects of hydrogenated oils is another matter. Again, these were healthy subjects with normal cholesterol levels, yet they still got great benefits very quickly with no change in diet or exercise.
At Uppsala University in Sweden (Eur. Heart J. Supp. 1, 1999, p. S80-S90) the doctors wanted to give the volunteers the phytosterols in conjunction with a cholesterol lowering diet to see the results of a more comprehensive lifestyle program. The results were really impressive in that the men and women lowered total cholesterol a full 15% and LDL cholesterol a full 19% in less than a month. The shows the very dramatic results you can get with just adding some reasonable dietary changes even without any exercise program at all.
At the University of British Columbia at their St. Paul's Hospital (American Journal of Medicine 107 (1999) p. 588-94) a very impressive review was done complete with 86 references of using plant sterols to lower total cholesterol and LDL. They said of the recent research, " In 16 recently published human studies that used phytosterols to decrease plasma cholesterol levels in a total of 590 subjects, phytosterol therapy was accompanied by an average 10% decrease in total cholesterol and 13% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels." This is the best review to date and should convince anyone of the effectiveness of sterols over drugs.
At the University of Kagawa in Tokyo two studies were done. The first was done on healthy young men who were given plant sterols for only five days. In this short time their cholesterol levels fell measurably (Joshi Eiyo Daigaku Kiyo 14, 1983, p. 165-72). The second study was done on healthy young women (same journal 15, 1984 p. 11-18) again giving them plant sterols for only five days. "Administration of phytosterol (mainly sitosterol) increased the output of fecal cholesterol." These were all healthy young Japanese people eating a traditional low-fat diet who did not have a cholesterol problem to begin with, yet they received measurable results in only five days.
At the University of California in San Diego men were isolated in a hospital ward and fed 350 mg of cholesterol and then beta-sitosterol supplements (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 35, 1982, p. 697-700). This resulted in a 42% decrease in cholesterol absorption in the intestines. They said, "Evidently, the judicious addition of beta-sitosterol to meals containing cholesterol rich foods will result in a decrease in cholesterol absorption with a consequent decrease in plasma cholesterol"
The University of Helsinki took a big interest in lowering cholesterol with plant sterol therapy back in 1988. The first study (Clinical Chimica Acta 178, p. 41-9) studied familial (genetic) hypercholesteremia. The higher the sterol levels they found in the patients blood the more cholesterol was excreted rather than absorbed. The second study was in 1989 (Metabolism Clinical Experiments 38, p. 136-40). Men were studied again for blood levels of sterols and they found the higher the levels the more cholesterol was excreted successfully. The third study in 1994 (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59, p. 1338-46) studied vegetarians who eat twice as many plant sterols as normal people. They showed one reason vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels besides the food they eat is the efficiency of their cholesterol excretion due to their intakes of plant sterols. In the last study in 1999 (Current Opinion Lipidology 10, p. 9-14) they said, "Plant sterols may be useful for the treatment of hyper-cholesteremiaフhey may have a potent cholesterol lowering effect as shown in normal and hypercholesteremic men and women with and without coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus"
The best study of all was a review from the University of British Columbia (American Journal of Medicine 107, 1999, p. 588-94). This included a full 86 references, and went over seventeen different human studies using plant sterols to lower cholesterol since 1951 (Proceedings of the Society for Biological Medicine 78, 1951, p. 143-7). A total of 590 men and women were used in these studies with phytosterol therapy resulting in an average 10% reduction in total cholesterol and a 13% reduction in LDL cholesterol. They found this worked best in high-fat diets; the worse the diet the more results the researchers got.
Click Here to learn more about Prostate Miracle
Click Here to Lower your Cholesterol without drugs
| How Beta Sitosterol Works | Saw Palmetto |
Prostate Miracle |
Lower Cholesterol without drugs | Statin Drugs | Health Links