Beta-sitosterol is a plant sterol found in almost all plants. It is the main subcomponent of the group of phytosterols (plant sterols).
- 1 What it is?
- 2 History of discovery
- 3 Benefits of beta sitosterol
- 4 Daily allowance
- 5 How to determine phytosterol deficiency
- 6 Symptoms of excess
- 7 Food sources
- 8 Side effects
- 9 Beta-sitosterol in cosmetology
- 10 Hair loss: five reasons for treating beta-sitosterol
- 11 Treatment program
What it is?
Natural beta-sitosterol is a white waxy substance, and its chemical structure is very similar to cholesterol. Not soluble in water, has a characteristic odor. There is a high concentration in rice bran, wheat germ, corn oil and soybeans. Nutritionists have estimated that, on average, people consume approximately 200-300 mg beta-sitosterol per day, and this is clearly not enough.
History of discovery
The first chemical description of plant sterols was compiled in 1922. For 60 years, scientists have continued to explore the functions and capabilities of this substance. And only in the 1980’s, phytosterols were introduced to the market as bioadditives. Today, they, as an additional component, are artificially introduced into many products. Margarines are best suited for this purpose.
Benefits of beta sitosterol
Beta-sitosterol, like other phytosterols, has the ability to lower cholesterol and serve as prevention of atherosclerosis. The chemical similarity of beta-sitosterol to cholesterol allows you to block the absorption of harmful lipid. But the truth is, the beta substance itself is not very actively absorbed by the body – only 5-10 percent of that obtained with food. The uniqueness of this phytosterol is that by acting on lipids, it corrects only the concentration of “bad” cholesterol, the level of “good”, and also does not affect the concentration of triglycerides.
Improving prostate health
For the prevention and treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is recommended to use plants containing beta-sitosterol. In particular, herbalists advise to increase the consumption of pumpkin seeds and nettle.
Used in Europe, drugs for the treatment of prostate adenoma are often created from plant extracts, which include beta-sitosterol. Scientists have found that sitosterol blocks the production of dihydrotestosterone, which, in fact, causes the growth of prostate cells.
The effectiveness of beta-substances in the treatment of prostatic hyperplasia, proved the results of a study with the participation of 200 men. During 6 months, subjects received 180 mg of a substance daily. At the end of the experiment, the men were examined again. It turned out that hyperplasia decreased on average 3,5 times, and urine flow improved by about 35%.
Beta-sitosterol has been found to help slow the growth of prostate, colon, and breast tumors. Also effective in the treatment of lymphocytic leukemia. Researchers suggest that under the influence of this phytosterol, prostate cancer cells self-destruct. However, while this effect, people of science observed exclusively in animals and in laboratory experiments using isolated cancer cells.
It is believed that a diet based on the consumption of large amounts of fruits and vegetables, can prevent cancer. Among the most effective plants in the fight against cancer are soy. And this is not by chance. One of the key components of soybeans is beta-sitosterol.
This substance can strengthen the immune system and reduce the frequency of inflammation. Especially useful for people experiencing increased physical exertion, after serious illness or surgery.
Scientific studies have shown that beta-sitosterol is able to normalize blood sugar levels, stimulating insulin production.
Other benefits of the substance:
- relieves inflammation;
- treats colds and flu;
- heals ulcers;
- relieves asthma attacks;
- increases the tone of the uterus;
- activates the production of female sex hormones;
- relieves cramps;
- improves metabolism;
- prevents the formation of gallstones;
- reduces the symptoms of menopause;
- prevents hair loss;
- antiviral agent;
- antibacterial substance;
- antifungal component;
- increases the sexual functions of the body;
- reduces the effects of stress.
The recommended daily intake of beta-sitosterol is determined individually, since the prophylactic dosage and phytosterol consumption for treatment purposes differ significantly.
Most of all, about 9 g of substance per day, should be taken by people with a deficiency of sitosterol. To reduce high cholesterol, it is recommended to use daily from 300 mg to 5 g beta-sitosterol. Daily intake within 60-130 mg is suitable for men with symptoms of prostatic hyperplasia. For the prevention and strengthening of immunity, it is advised to consume approximately 3 of a substance daily.
People with diagnoses need sitosterol most of all:
- prostate carcinoma;
- prostate hypertrophy;
- breast diseases;
- climacteric disorders;
- elevated cholesterol.
The need for a substance is reduced under such conditions as:
- disruption of the digestive organs;
- decreased libido;
- problems with potency;
- increased aggression.
How to determine phytosterol deficiency
The body may be deficient in beta sysosterol due to several reasons. The most common is unbalanced nutrition, the absence of phytosterols in products. But in addition to malnutrition, signs of a lack of beta-sitosterol can also give some diseases. For example, malignant tumors in the breast or prostate hypertrophy. But people who regularly play sports are less likely to lack plant lipids. Moderate exercise normalizes the absorption of this substance.
The consequences of the deficiency of this plant sterol can be clogged vessels, atherosclerosis, rapid accumulation of cholesterol, deterioration of health, digestive problems.
Symptoms of excess
Regular consumption of bioactive supplements with beta-sitosterol in large doses is likely to cause deterioration of health and malfunctioning of different systems. Sedi most common consequences are called:
- disorder of the digestive tract;
- problems with potency and libido;
Some researchers say that excessively high levels of beta-sitosterol in the blood increase the risk of exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to plant foods, this phytosterol may be part of margarines, yogurts and some other food products. Sitosterol is usually found in soybean and peanut oil (270 mg per 100 g product). And in 100 g avocado is about 75 mg substance. Some stocks have been found in fruits, but their quantity is too small to have a therapeutic effect.
Products rich in sitosterol:
- oils: corn, flaxseed, peanut, mustard, walnut;
- grains and seeds: sprouted wheat, rice, flax seeds, pumpkin, mustard;
- other products: soy, seaweed, peanuts, avocados.
The consumption of this substance usually does not cause any side effects, but regular abuse can disrupt the absorption of carotene and vitamin E. The reason that may serve as a contraindication to the consumption of dietary supplements containing beta-sitosterone is only individual intolerance to the substance. In such cases, as a rule, digestive problems are observed, stool is broken, and nausea appears. Also, people with sitosterolemia should take the substance with extreme caution (when plant fats begin to accumulate in the tissues).
Beta-sitosterol in cosmetology
In cosmetology, this substance is used primarily as a component that normalizes the production of collagen. For this reason, phytosterols are introduced into the composition of products for problem, as well as aging skin. The extract of the substance contained in the preparations for the improvement of hair.
Skin care products
Interestingly, cosmetics enriched with plant lipids can affect the skin locally, smoothing wrinkles on the treated areas, giving it elasticity and smoothness, preventing flaking and drying. Today, among the offers of the beauty industry, it is easy to find masks, creams, lotions and other products containing beneficial phytosterols.
Component beta-sitosterol is also included in the composition of medical creams and ointments. It protects the epidermis from UV exposure, relieves swelling, and also treats eczema, urticaria, warts, dry acne.
The lack of natural phytosterols contained in food will also affect the quality of hair. They do not just slow down in growth, but everything will become dull, dry, brittle. People whose diets are sorely lacking beta-sitosterol are at high risk of baldness, and at any age. But it is enough to return plant sterols to the diet in order to activate hair follicles.
To restore damaged hair at home, you can use natural masks from components rich in phytosterols. Beta-sitosterol in liquid form can be added to ready-made hair care products. In this way it is easy to fortify any product for hair.
Hair loss: five reasons for treating beta-sitosterol
- This is one of the inexpensive ways to treat the initial stages of baldness. And since the remedy is natural, you can not be afraid of negative side effects.
- Resumes hair growth during 5 months. And this is the worst case. Cosmetologists say that the first positive changes are already visible in the first month of treatment. The experiment showed that beta-sitosterol is able to 60 percent to improve hair growth in men.
- Safe to use. This substance is completely non-toxic. Externally, it can be applied daily for several months. Another plus of this phytosterol is that it does not react with other substances. So you can not be afraid of unexpected side effects.
- Universal remedy. Beta-sitosterol-based preparations are suitable for both women and men of any age.
- These plant sterols not only activate new hair growth, but also improve the condition of existing ones.
Beta-sitosterol is available in the form of a plant extract and component in some cosmetics. Also, pharmacists offer the substance in capsule form. For the treatment of baldness, it is advised to take (depending on the severity of the problem) from 60 to 350 mg daily. The treatment may take 12 months. In the first weeks of taking itching and scalping is possible. But this should not be scared. Such symptoms speak only about the restoration of the activity of hair follicles.
Beta-sitosterol – a substance that is very common in nature. Humanity uses its amazing beneficial properties in various fields. Food producers have learned to add phytosterol to potentially harmful products (mayonnaise, margarine) in order to reduce their cholesterol concentration. Beauticians treat them for problem skin and baldness. In short, beta-sitosterol is a true “universal soldier” who is guarding our health.