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What Is Beta-Sitosterol?

Beta-sitosterol (β-Sitosterol) is one of many plant sterols that has a chemical structure similar to cholesterol (others include stigmasterol and campesterol). Beta-sitosterol has the form of a white, waxy powder. It is one of the most common plant sterols and is found in numerous food sources. Plant oils tend to contain the highest concentration of beta-sitosterols. Some types of margarine are enriched with beta-sitosterol—you’ll usually see these margarines marketed for their cholesterol-reducing effects.

Food Sources of Beta-Sitosterol Include:

  • Canola oil contains 419 milligrams per 100 grams
  • Regular margarine, with 80% fat, contains 275 milligrams per 100 grams
  • Dry roasted pistachio nuts contains 200 milligrams per 100 grams
  • Soybean salad or cooking oil contains 172 milligrams per 100 grams
  • Sunflower seed butter, without salt, contains 170 milligrams per 100 grams
  • Raw almonds contain 132 milligrams per 100 grams

Beta-sitosterol is the number one plant sterol in the Western diet. It is estimated that Americans consume around 200 to 300mg of beta-sitosterol daily, which is considered to be an inadequate amount[1] to receive all of the health benefits that Beta-sitosterol offers. In healthy individuals, this sterol is found in plasma and tissue.

Beta-Sitosterol Benefits and Uses

One of the main areas of study involving beta-sitosterol is its effects on lipid levels. It may help support healthy cholesterol by inhibiting the absorption of bad cholesterol[2].

Numerous studies have been conducted to test the benefits of beta-sitosterol for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition causes an enlarged prostate gland and can lead to problems with urination, such as the need to urinate frequently, difficulty beginning or maintaining urination, and the need to urinate several times during the night. Beta-sitosterol supports prostate health and inhibits frequent urination[3].

Side Effects and Interactions

Beta-sitosterol is considered to be likely safe for most people when taken orally. It may cause mild side effects such as indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. It is considered to be possibly safe when used as a topical application. Little is known about the safety of the use of beta-sitosterol during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

People who suffer from sitosterolemia—a rare genetic disease which affects fat storage—should avoid taking beta-sitosterol because it worsens the condition.

There is a known interaction between the high cholesterol medication Ezetimibe (Zetia) and beta-sitosterol. Taking both at the same time can inhibit the body’s absorption of beta-sitosterol and reduce the cholesterol-lowering effects of beta-sitosterol.

There is a possible minor interaction between high cholesterol and triglyceride medication Pravastatin (Pravachol). Taking both at the same time may reduce the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol.

Beta-Sitosterol Overdose

It is not certain what the effects of a Beta-Sitosterol overdose would be, as none have been reported. If you think you may have taken too much Beta-sitosterol, stop taking the supplement and seek medical advice.

Beta-Sitosterol For Hair Growth                  

One of the main causes of hair loss in men and women is the androgen DHT. It attaches to hair follicles and gradually smothers them, causing them to shrink, which weakens the hair shaft more and more through each new growth cycle.  Eventually, hair is unable to grow at all because of this. Beta-sitosterol is thought to promote hair growth by blocking DHT. It does so by inhibiting the production of 5-alpha-reductase, so testosterone can no longer be converted into DHT. Beta-sitosterol has been shown to support healthy hair growth and improve the condition of hair[4]. It may also promote circulation to the scalp, helping hair follicles get the supply of oxygen and nutrients they need[5].   

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DrFormulas Prostanew

As men grow older, many experience urinary problems due to the prostate gland becoming inflamed, enlarged or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). DrFormulas™ Prostate Support Supplement contains Beta-sitosterol and other all-natural ingredients to support prostate health.

DrFormulas™ HairOmega® 3-in-1 DHT Blocker with Biotin

HairOmega® 3-in-1 combines beta-sitosterol with saw palmetto to further inhibit the production of DHT. This nutritional supplement also contains grape seed extract, vitamin C, cysteine, red clover, and zinc combined in a proprietary formula designed to support hair growth, improve the condition of hair, and maintain a healthy scalp.

HairOmega® DHT Blocker with Biotin

With its unique combination of all-natural ingredients such as beta-sitosterol, saw palmetto, red clover, lycopene, and Pygeum africanum, DrFormulas™ HairOmega® DHT Blocker with Biotin ensures you’re getting the daily nutrients you need to support the healthy growth and condition of your hair.  

There are many nutrients that you need in your diet to keep your hair growing strong and looking healthy. Beta-sitosterol has many properties to support healthy hair growth and health in general. Not sure you’re getting enough beta-sitosterol from your diet? Take a daily supplement to put your mind at rest. Find out more about how to keep your hair healthy the natural way, and how DrFormulas™ can help you with our hair growth products today.