You may have heard the term Beta-Sitosterol on the radio, TV, or from someone you know and wondered what it is and what it has to do with Saw Palmetto. Well, Beta-Sitosterol is a plant sterol ester. It is commonly found in many different nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and, yes, Saw Palmetto.
Beta-Sitosterol has been shown to be effective at a number of things. It is used to lower cholesterol levels, enhancing the immune system, as a preventative for colon cancer, as well as other ailments. It is also used to combat hair loss and BPH or enlarged prostate. So, you will see products that contain Saw Palmetto as well as Beta-Sitosterol advertised as beneficial for hair loss and prostate problems.
The FDA has stated that Beta-Sitosterol or plant sterol esters may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Studies have shown that Beta-Sitosterol does reduce cholesterol but no long term studies have been conducted to show that it reduces your chances of getting coronary heart disease.
One Japanese study showed that Beta-Sitosterol given to patients over a three month period resulted in IPSS and QOL scores that showed significant improvement, and that the peak flow rate and residual urine volume showed slight but not significant improvement.
Is Beta-Sitosterol Effective?
Another study focused on beta-sitosterol and BPH. The results showed that beta-sitosterol improves urological symptoms and flow measures. However, the existing studies are limited by short treatment duration and lack of standardized beta-sitosterol preparations. Their long-term effectiveness, safety and ability to prevent the complications of BPH are unknown.