Beta Sitosterol: What You Need To Know
If you’ve done some digging around on the internet or seen the infomercials on the topic of prostate health, no doubt you’ve heard that Beta Sitosterol is an important component of prostate health and prostate support formulas.
Let’s take a look at what the studies say about this stuff.
All study results are from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) web site. These results all come from clinical trial data. I’ve documented it all from the NIH to try to stay “neutral.”
While the NIH might not be a perfect resource, they do publish results of clinical trials and double-blind studies which are a high standard for considering different supplements such as beta sitosterol.
So, what is Beta Sitosterol?
Beta Sitosterol is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in certain vegetable oils, nuts and some vegetables such as avacados.
Beta Sitosterol can limit problems with BPH (prostate enlargement).
This stuff is a great component to have in a prostate supplement, because it helps limit some of the symptoms of enlarged prostate (also known as BPH, or "benign prostate hyperplasia"). 
By itself, it doesn't check all the boxes. But it works well with other compounds that you'll also want to have in your supplement regimen.
Let's dive into that a bit. Let's see what it can do and what it won't do (at least by itself).
Beta Sitosterol is helpful for dealing with enlarged prostate symptoms
The studies from the NIH show that B-sitosterol does assist with a reduction of symptoms: improved urinary flow, reduced trips to the bathroom at night and the like.
Men in these studies overall recorded a noticeable improvement in symptoms. But...
Beta Sitosterol does NOT reduce the size of the prostate
The same studies showing B-sitosterol as effective in reducing symptoms also show that it does not result in reducing the size of the prostate.
So even though it might relieve symptoms, it doesn't appear to address the root cause of prostate symptoms: by itself, beta sitosterol doesn't reduce prostate size.
Some manufacturers claim that Beta Sitosterol is the only thing that matters. The data doesn't appear to bear that out.
One prominent brand (Prostatgenix) claims in their informercial that of all the ingredients in prostate supplements, the only one that makes a difference is beta sitosterol.
But they also have other sterols in their formula besides B-Sitosterol. These other plant sterols also help with symptoms. And it seems there is a good effect with these sterols used together. (But again, the noted benefits seem to be reduction of symptoms, and not a reduction in prostate size.)
There are other brands, such as Super Beta Prostate, that concentrate on making their formulas around this one component of beta sitosterol.
While the manufacturers of Prostagenix insist that beta sitosterol is the only stuff that helps with prostate symptoms, it seems the studies at the NIH tell a different story.
According to the NIH, there ARE other substances that are also helpful in dealing with enlarged prostate symptoms
The NIH studies show that some of the other ingredients in other formulas actually do help with reducing symptoms. Among the different ingredients found in many of these different formulas on the market, there are four that seem worthy of special mention.
They are: Pumpkin Seed Extract, Saw Palmetto, Pygeum Bark and Stinging Nettle
Pumpkin seed extract
Studies show pumpkin seed extract is beneficial in reducing prostate symptoms. One study compared a control group with a pharmaceutical called tamsulosin. (If you've not heard of it, it's a drug often prescribed to reduce symptoms of prostate enlargement.)
The interesting thing in this study is that they found the patients on pumpkin seed oil seemed to do as well as the ones on the drug. But the difference was that the patients on the drug had side effects: dizziness, headache and poorer ejaculation.
The patients on the pumpkin seed oil didn't have these side effects. Natural substances generally seem to do better in this department than pharmaceuticals.
Studies show pumpkin seed extract is also beneficial in reducing prostate symptoms.
One double-blind study showed significant improvement in urinary flow and less urine retention after the trips to the washroom.
What's really interesting is that this study showed an even better effect when combined with the beta sitosterol.
Pygeum Bark Extract
Pygeum Bark is bark from the Pygeum tree which grows in Africa. This stuff does work well for reducing prostate enlargement symptoms, too.
In addition, it seems to show some merit in being effective against prostate cancer.
The best feature about stinging nettle is the fact that along with reducing prostate symptoms, stinging nettle also seems to have an effect in reducing prostate size.
This study also showed that stinging nettle worked best when combined with B-Sitosterol.
In fact, these substances all seem to work better when they are combined with Beta Sitosterol.
You don’t just want to reduce prostate symptoms; ultimately, you want to deal with prostate enlargement.
If you reduce the symptoms that come from enlargement but don’t stop the prostate from continuing to increase in size, it seems you are only delaying the same problem down the road.
According to the data at the NIH, the best conclusion is that a good prostate supplement should have beta some sitosterol and/or other plant sterols.
But best results also seem to come from supplements that combine these sterols with other supplements like pumpkin seed oil, pygeum bark, stinging nettle and saw palmetto.
Specific brands and brand comparisons are shown elsewhere on this site. Take a look at the comparison section of the site for more information.
Also, you can drop in your best email here and we can send you a "prostate report" with more info on the best ingredients to look for in a prostate supplement.
What about beta sitosterol and prostate cancer?
Beta Sitosterol shows up in the NIH studies for some anti-cancer properties regarding prostate health.
In fact, Beta Sitosterol has been shown to be effective in treating cancers of the breast, colon, lungs, stomach cancer and ovaries as well as prostate cancers.
Studies are ongoing.
But it is interesting to note that the substances outlined above show good effect against prostate cancers, too. Pumpkin seed oil , Saw Palmetto  and Stinging Nettle  also show some of these same characteristics of battling cancer cell growth in the prostate.
While beta sitosterol is promoted by some prostate supplement manufacturers as "the only ingredient that really makes a difference," it seems the studies listed here from the NIH tell a different story.
Beta Sitosterol and other plant sterols are an important component for a good prostate supplement. But they're not "the only ingredient that matters."
And actually, the studies indicate that beta sitosterol combined with the other compounds is indeed a better option, as some of these other ingredients will actually help reduce prostate size. They didn't find that beta sitosterol by itself did that.
I've reviewed a number of these supplements on the site. The one that I have found to be of the best value is this one. There are others that are good. But this one simply seems to pack more of all the good stuff into each dollar's worth.
And for a free copy of our "prostate report," drop in your best email here.
 - A double blind, placebo-controlled randomized comparative study on the efficacy of phytosterol-enriched and conventional saw palmetto oil in mitigating benign prostate hyperplasia and androgen deficiency - PubMed (nih.gov)