Beta Sitosterol – Plant Sterols For Heart Disease & High Cholesterol?


Beta-Sitosterol is found in nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. It is sometimes called “plant sterol ester.” It is a white, smooth powder that has an odor. It has a variety of health benefits and some possible side effects that we will explore in-depth in this article.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits manufacturers to claim that foods containing plant sterol esters, like beta-sitosterol are used for the purpose of lowering the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Although the FDA is responsible for enforcing labeling regulations, it lacks the enforcement authority to effectively deter food companies from making misleading claims. So while FDA's proclamation that some evidence does support the claim, there is a lack of material indication to prove that beta-sitosterol does lower CHD risks.

It is also noteworthy that the FDA does not regulate supplements like it does medications. Supplements have very limited standards for research of the product. Beta-sitosterol and sitostanol, are similar but not the same. However, they both seem to be effective in reducing cholesterol readings. The suggested daily intake is one and one-half to three grams.

In 1922, plant sterols were described chemically, and by the 1950s we were able to document that the steroids have some features that would lower cholesterol levels. When statins were introduced to the market in the 1980s, the use of sterols was reduced.

What Is Beta-Sitosterol?

Beta-Sitosterol is one of the most common sterols and is made exclusively by plants. It is also the main ingredient in diets in the Western cultures and can be found in tissue, plasma, and feces of healthy individuals.

Beta-Sitosterol Benefits

The substance can be found in Taking Control margarine for example and is intended to be utilized in a cholesterol-lowering diet plan to reduce further risk of heart disease.

That is just one of its advantages, and others include:

In almost every case, additional research is needed to further substantiate the benefits. As a matter of fact, if you were to “grade” each of the noted points, they would likely all get an average score.

Beta-sitosterol is also being researched and tested for use as a hormone replacement treatment. Pending additional studies, the substance may be useful in other types of cancers.

Beta-Sitosterol Side Effects

Despite extensive use over the last nearly two decades, there is little or no documentation to describe possible side effects in pregnancy, breastfeeding, or interactions with other medications.

There are no reported significant side effects noted at the suggested dosage; however, users may experience less absorption of carotenes and Vitamin E. There is also no data reported on toxicities, and contraindications haven’t been identified.

Very few problems have been reported for men; however, some may have stomach or digestion issues. While some testing has shown positive results with lower cholesterol, long-term effects of eating foods with the substance in them or taking Beta-sitosterol as a supplement remain unknown.

In any case, it is always a recommended practice to alert your primary care physician if you change your prescribed medications, add, reduce or remove supplements.

An interaction may have unintended consequences on other health conditions, and since there is no regulation governing supplements, the degree with which they function can vary from brand to brand. Again, the full impacts and side effects of most supplements remain a mystery. And if you suspect you have any of the conditions discussed, you should see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis before making any attempts at a “cure” on your own.

Supplements have also become a very popular product for entrepreneurs trying to establish themselves as a reputable seller on Amazon. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, as you will see the volume of brands listed below, that fact is definitely impactful.

It is true that so far there has been no evidence of adverse allergy impacts— but any supplement could adversely affect an existing allergy with potential for making the effects stronger.

Beta-Sitosterol Top Products

There are beta-sitosterol supplements that have market availability. One such product is produced by KRK Supplements which manufactures bottles of 90 capsules and 400 grams per. It is often combined with Saw Palmetto supplement for prostate health – extract & berry powder.

Other manufacturers of beta-sitosterol supplements are Source Naturals, NOW, Nature Bound, Natures Design, Peak Life, Piping Rock, Nature’s Potent, Pure Science, and New Vitality.

We observed during our research that the substance is marketed for all the noted reasons; however, there did appear to be more of a trend toward prostate cancer health. And if you don’t care to walk the supplement path, you can naturally find beta-sitosterol in fruits (mainly avocados), vegetables, soybeans, bread, peanuts, and peanut products.

Beta-sitosterol is also hidden in bourbon and oils (corn and canola especially), such as olive, flax seed, margarine and tuna. Plant oils have the greatest amounts of phytosterols. Dark chocolate, as well as pistachios, contain beta-sitosterol.

Beta-Sitosterol Review Summary

Beta-ergosterol apparently offers some unique benefits for the health of our bodies, and the risks of adverse impacts are minimal based on what we know today.

So, taking the substance as a daily dietary supplement may be beneficial to you if you suffer from any of the mentioned ailments. That said, the level of the perceived benefit may vary. Caution and strict adherence to dosage recommendations are encouraged.

There remains a good deal of research necessary to substantiate each of the claims as well as other potential claims for added health benefits.

The plant oil has become more traditional in Chinese medicinal practices and has been widely used in European medicines. British doctors and researchers have concluded that the benefit claims are indeed valid.

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