Beta-sitosterol – What is it, benefits and side effects!

Beta-Sitosterol is a substance found in plants. Chemists call it “plant sterol ester”. It is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. It is used to make medicine.

Beta-Sitosterol is used for high cholesterol and heart disease. It is also used to boost the immune system and to prevent colon cancer , as well as for gallstones, common colds and flu, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, psoriasis , allergies, cervical cancer, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus, asthma. , hair loss, bronchitis, migraine and chronic fatigue syndrome .

Some men use Beta-Sitosterol for an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Some women use it for menopausal symptoms. It is also used to enhance sexual activity.

Marathon runners sometimes use Beta-Sitosterol to reduce pain and swelling after a run. Some people apply Beta-Sitosterol to the skin to treat wounds and burns .

In foods, Beta-Sitosterol is added to some margarines, which are designed to be used as part of a diet to lower cholesterol  and prevent heart disease. Some food agencies, including the US, allow manufacturers to claim that foods containing plant sterol esters, such as Beta-Sitosterol , can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Do not confuse beta sitosterol with sitostanol, a similar substance contained in the product called Benecol. Both sitostanol and beta sitosterol are used to lower cholesterol levels  in people with high cholesterol and appear to be equally effective.

How Does Beta-Sitosterol Work?

Beta sitosterol is a plant substance similar to cholesterol . It can reduce levels of it by limiting the amount of cholesterol  that is able to enter the body. It can also attach to the prostate to reduce swelling (inflammation).

Uses and Efficacy of Beta Sitosterol:

Taking Beta-Sitosterol significantly lowers total and bad (LDL) cholesterol  levels, but does not increase good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Taking beta sitosterol helps the symptoms of BPH, but it doesn’t actually decrease the size of the prostate.

Beta Sitosterol is Ineffective For: 

  • Gallstones;

Beta Sitosterol Is Insufficient For:

Some men report that using beta-sitosterol with saw palmetto can promote hair growth.


There is some evidence that treating second-degree burns with beta sitosterol and berberine ointment works as well as conventional silver sulfadiazine treatment.

Highlighting Some Benefits of Beta Sitosterol:

Beta-Sitosterol Dosage:

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): 60 to 130 mg of beta sitosterol divided into 2-3 daily doses;
  • For high cholesterol : 800 mg to 6 grams per day divided and given before meals;
  • Beta sitosterol is usually taken along with a low fat diet.

Special Precautions and Warnings:

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Not enough is known about the use of beta sitosterol during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid its use.

Sitosterolemia: People with this problem have too much beta sitosterol and fats in their system. These people are prone to early heart disease. Taking beta sitosterol exacerbates this problem. Do not take beta sitosterol if you have sitosterolemia.

Side Effects of Beta-Sitosterol:

Useful links: 

Beta-sitosterol is suitable for most people when taken by mouth. It can cause some side effects such as nausea, indigestion, gas, diarrhea or constipation. Beta-sitosterol has also been linked to reports of erectile dysfunction (ED) and loss of interest in sex. Beta sitosterol is safe when applied to the skin .

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