Beta-sitosterol is one of the top prostate supplements for enlarged prostate, the condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Beta-sitosterol comes from plant sterols found in saw palmetto and foods such as pumpkins, pecans, peanuts and pumpkins seeds. Beta-sitosterol is a cholesterol-like substance, but it does not act the same way as cholesterol. An important benefit of taking it: a potential reduction in the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs and a decrease in your LDL cholesterol level.
Beta-sitosterol stands out as a supplement for aging men who are looking to maximize their prostate health and to help manage symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
The prostate is located below where the bladder empties into the urethra, and it surrounds the urethra. As men age, the prostate slowly grows, sometimes putting pressure on the urethra that causes urinary symptoms. The most common symptoms include frequent urination, urinary urgency, getting up several times at night to urinate and hesitancy (difficulty in getting the urine stream to start). Common treatments include drugs and medical procedures. Recently, there’s been a lot more interest in focusing on dealing with BPH treatment by means of diet and supplements. Many men like using natural supplements to support their prostate health instead of drugs that can cause negative side effects.
Many studies have shown that beta-sitosterol health benefits may include the relief of urinary symptoms associated with BPH.
One review on beta-sitosterol prostate health benefits that examined more than 500 men with BPH found that beta-sitosterol significantly improved urinary symptoms.
Another study in Lancet showed the benefits of beta-sitosterol over a placebo for men with urinary symptoms from BPH. In this study, 100 men with BPH took 20 mg of beta-sitosterol three times a day. At the end of the six-month study, they experienced an increase in their maximum urine flow rate from a baseline of 9.9 ml/second to 15.2 ml/second. The men also had a decrease in mean residual urinary volume from 65.8 ml at baseline to 30.4 ml. There were no changes reported by an equal-sized group that took a placebo. (Berges 1995)
Beta-sitosterol acts in a similar way to the prescription BPH drug Proscar (finasteride). Both beta-sitosterol and Proscar are used to manage symptoms of BPH like urinary frequency, urinary flow problems and urinary urgency.
But beta-sitosterol is a natural approach that does not cause the many negative and long-lasting side effects of erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems that Proscar and some other BPH drugs can cause.
Other Benefits Of Beta-Sitosterol
While it is most popular with men with BPH, beta-sitosterol also is listed as one of the top supplements for prostate biopsy recovery. Taking supplements like beta-sitosterol and others can help patients limit the infections and urinary tract symptoms that may occur after biopsy.
There are limited studies involving beta-sitosterol and prostate cancer. A study that was conducted in France showed that beta-sitosterol induced low growth inhibition on prostate cancer cells. (Jourdain 2006)
Some men take beta-sitosterol to help manage their prostatitis urinary symptoms and support their prostate health. Beta-sitosterol inhibits the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase; this may help men who experience symptoms such as urinary frequency, urinary urgency and problems with urine flow.
How To Take Beta-Sitosterol
Beta-sitosterol is one of 12 natural ingredients in one of the top prostate supplements called Prost-P10x.
There is not a standard dose for beta-sitosterol, but men typically take 60 to 135 mg per day. Prost-P10x contains 65 mg per day in its formulation, and supports normal prostate size and urinary flow. The Prost-P10x formulation also contains saw palmetto which contains sterols that include beta-sitosterol. Studies have demonstrated that saw palmetto health benefits work well when combined with other herbal supplements to help manage urinary symptoms of BPH and prostatitis.
Talk to your doctor before you start any new supplement program, including taking beta-sitosterol. Take beta-sitosterol on an empty stomach. You usually need to take the supplement for about four weeks to start to enjoy its health benefits. Side effects of beta-sitosterol may include nausea, diarrhea and gas.
Berges RR, Kassen A, Senge T. Treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia with beta-sitosterol: an 18-month follow-up. BJU Int 2000 May; 85(7):842-6.
Jourdain C et al. In-vitro effects of polyphenols from cocoa and beta-sitosterol on the growth of human prostate cancer and normal cells. Eur J Cancer Prev 2006 Aug; 15(4): 353-61
Wilt TJ et al. Beta-sitosterol for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: systematic review. BJU Int 1999 Jun; 83(9): 976-83