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Beta sitosterol (β­sitosterol)

I've seen some information about Beta Sitosterol and prostate health recently that seems a bit exaggerated. Does anyone know where I can find authoritative information about it?

From: jdimitrakov@my-deja.com
The jury is still out on beta sitosterol although there is a very recent review claiming its beneficial effect in men with BPH. The majority of published studies claim a beneficial effect in men with lower uribnary tract symptoms but as with Saw Palmetto the problem is that there is a difference in the reported data because of the use of different formula of beta-sitosterol and different content in the product studied. I have attached some recent abstracts and hope you find those useful.
Best regards, Jordan Dimitrakov, MD

Beta-sitosterol for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: [In Process Citation]
Wilt TJ; MacDonald R; Ishani A
Author Affiliation::
The VA Coordinating Center of the Cochrane Collaborative Review Group in Prostatic Diseases and Urologic Malignancies, and the VISN 13/Minneapolis VA - Center for Chronic Diseases Outcomes Research, Minneapolis, USA.
BJU Int 1999 Jun;83(9):976-83 [MEDLINE record in process] CITATION IDS: PMID: 10368239 UI: 99296788
OBJECTIVES: To conduct a systematic review of the evidence for the efficacy of beta-sitosterol in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
METHODS : Studies were identified through Medlinetrade mark (1966-98), EMBASEtrade mark, Phytodok, the Cochrane Library, bibliographies of identified trials and review articles, and contact with study authors and pharmaceutical companies. Randomized trials were included if: men had symptomatic BPH; plant extract preparations contained beta-sitosterols; a control group received placebo or a pharmacological therapy; and treatment duration was >/=30 days. Study characteristics, demographic information, enrolment criteria and outcomes were extracted.
RESULTS: Four trials comprising a total of 519 men met the inclusion criteria. All were double-blind and lasted 4-26 weeks. Three studies used nonglucosidic beta-sitosterols and one used a preparation that contained only beta-sitosterol-beta-d- glucoside. Compared with placebo, beta-sitosterol improved urinary symptom scores and flow measures. For the two studies reporting the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the weighted mean difference (WMD) against placebo was -4.9 IPSS points (95% confidence interval, CI,-6.3 to-3.5). The WMD for peak urinary flow rate was 3.91 mL/s (95% CI 0.91 to 6.90, four studies) and for residual volume the WMD was -28.62 mL (95% CI-41.42 to-15.83, four studies). beta- sitosterol did not reduce prostate size. The trial using pure beta- sitosterol-beta-d-glucoside (WA184) showed no improvement in urinary flow measures. Withdrawal rates for men assigned to beta-sitosterol and placebo were 7.8% and 8.0% (not significant), respectively.
CONCLUSION: 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.

Saw palmetto extracts potently and noncompetitively inhibit human alpha1-adrenoceptors in vitro.
Goepel M; Hecker U; Krege S; Rubben H; Michel MC
Author Affiliation::
Department of Urology, University of Essen, Germany.mark.goepel@uni- essen.de
Prostate 1999 Feb 15;38(3):208-15 CITATION IDS: PMID: 10068345 UI: 99140317
BACKGROUND: We wanted to test whether phytotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms have alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonistic properties in vitro.
METHODS: Preparations of beta- sitosterol and extracts of stinging nettle, medicinal pumpkin, and saw palmetto were obtained from several pharmaceutical companies. They were tested for their ability to inhibit [3H]tamsulosin binding to human prostatic alpha1-adrenoceptors and [3H]prazosin binding to cloned human alpha1A- and alpha1B-adrenoceptors. Inhibition of phenylephrine- stimulated [3H]inositol phosphate formation by cloned receptors was also investigated.
RESULTS: Up to the highest concentration which could be tested, preparations of beta-sitosterol, stinging nettle, and medicinal pumpkin were without consistent inhibitory effect in all assays. In contrast, all tested saw palmetto extracts inhibited radioligand binding to human alpha1-adrenoceptors and agonist-induced [3H]inositol phosphate formation. Saturation binding experiments in the presence of a single saw palmetto extract concentration indicated a noncompetitive antagonism. The relationship between active concentrations in vitro and recommended therapeutic doses for the saw palmetto extracts was slightly lower than that for several chemically defined alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonists.
CONCLUSIONS: Saw palmetto extracts have alpha1-adrenoceptor-inhibitory properties. If bioavailability and other pharmacokinetic properties of these ingredients are similar to those of the chemically defined alpha1- adrenoceptor antagonists, alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonism might be involved in the therapeutic effects of these extracts in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic obstruction.

Clinical effects of beta-sitosterol (phytosterol) on benign prostatic hyperplasia: preliminary study
Kobayashi Y; Sugaya Y; Tokue A
Author Affiliation::
Department of Urology, Jichi Medical School.
Hinyokika Kiyo 1998 Dec;44(12):865-8 CITATION IDS: PMID: 10028431 UI: 99152785
Phytosterol derived from plants has long been used for the medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in Europe but not in Japan. The efficacy of phytosterol was evaluated in patients with manifestations of urinary outlet obstruction caused by BPH. Phytosterol containing 180 mg of sitosterol per day was given to 12 patients with BPH in two or three divided doses for three months. The symptoms were assessed monthly using the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and quality-of-life (QOL) score while the objective findings including the urinary flow, prostatic volume, and residual urine volume were assessed after three months of treatment of BPH. The IPSS and QOL scores showed significant improvement (p < 0.05), and the peak flow rate and residual urine volume showed slight but not significant improvement.

From:rklein42@aol.com(RKlein 42)
The only reference I could find is in the well respected Journal,Lancet, which is available at most medical libraries.
Beta sitosterol is known to reduce cholesterol, enhance T cell activity and to be symptomatically helpful in treating BPH, along with other plant phytosterols such as stigmasterol and campesterol. The purified lipid-soluble extract of the saw palmetto plant's berry contains the active agent, β-sitosterol, which has been shown to have 5alpha-reductase-inhibitory activity in vitro (in the test tube).
Clinical studies have not confirmed that β-sitosterol lowers DHT and PSA levels, which would be expected to occur if this were indeed its mechanism of action. Nevertheless, a randomized, double-blind trial in patients with BPH showed a significant improvement in lower tract urinary symptoms in β-sitosterol recipients as compared with placebo recipients.
Here is the reference: Berges RR, Windeler J, Trampisch HJ, et al. Randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Lancet 1995;345:1529§32.
I tried it and it worked about the same for me (mild help) as did saw palmetto. It is supposedly more potent than saw palmetto since it is the purified major active ingredient of saw palmetto. I bought mine from Beachwood Canyon, Naturally as "Neo Prostate Beta 300" (300 mg of beta sitosterol and 15 mg zinc citrate). 323 962-7370 or 888 803-5333

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