Beta-Sitosterol

The April 25, 1994 Issue of Newsweek introduced to the world a new term - 'Phytochemicals', or plant chemicals, which are fast becoming the new research frontier in the war against many of the West's deadliest diseases. There have been literally thousands of studies and medical reports that attest to the effectiveness of these natural wonders in protecting health and preventing illness. Beta-sitosterol is one of these remarkable plant nutrients which scientific studies are proving to be a major, safe and non-toxic nutrient for the maintenance of health and for protection against many serious health disorders and diseases.

What is beta-sitosterol?

  • Beta-sitosterol is a natural micro-nutrient plant fat which is found in the cells and membranes of all oil producing plants, fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds and trees.
  • Chemically, sterols are very similar to the animal fat cholesterol, but they are totally different in their biological function.
  • In their natural state, sterols are bound to the fibres of plants, and for this reason, they are difficult to absorb during digestion, particularly in the case of older people.
  • In addition, the way we process food today, especially the refining processes in the food industry, is aimed at making products more appealing to the palate and eye. These processes remove fibres and sterols from food thus rendering it less nutritious.
  • Further, food preparation today, whether in the storage process, freezing, excessive boiling, additives and preservatives impact negatively on the nutritional value of our daily diet.
  • All these factors contribute to an insufficient supply of Beta-sitosterol in our bodies. Because humans do not synthesize or produce sterols in the body and its elimination rate is relatively fast, it is necessary to replace the daily loss by daily intake.
  • In a "healthy" diet, it means that the daily turnover of sterols is equal to its absorption.
  • Likewise, insufficient dietary intake of sterols can rapidly result in deficient pool sizes in the body, which we assume would result in a deterioration of health and in particular, the immune system and other key systems and functions of the body.
  • Plant sterols are believed to be the only natural, non-toxic substance scientifically proven to safely activate the body's T-cells which control the immune system's response to infection and cancerous cells

The Importance of a Daily Intake of beta-sitosterol

  • We have always known that plenty of fruits and vegetables are good for us. It is only in the last decade that the health benefits of plant nutrients or phytonutrients like beta-sitosterol are being truly realized.
  • Scientific research has shown that patients on diets devoid of plant sterols rapidly became free of beta-sitosterol (Metabolism of beta-sitosterol in man. J. Clin. Invest., 49, 952-967, 1970) which implies that these nutrients should to be taken daily for optimal functioning of the immune system and health generally.
  • Immune System Modulation - International Journal Of Immunopharmacology 1996
  • Importance Of Sterols - South African Journal Of Science 1997
  • Our diets today generally do not include enough fresh fruits and vegetables to provide an adequate amount of beta-sitosterol to enhance the immune system and maintain other systems and functions of our bodies naturally.
  • Natural plant sterol supplements such as beta-sitosterol complex, can provide optimal levels of sterols to ensure that we are always protected

Beta-sitosterol is natural, safe to use and non-toxic

  • Beta-sitosterol has been proven to be a safe, natural and effective nutritional supplement and has shown amazing potential benefits in many diverse applications.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been extensively tested in clinical trials involving over 25,000 patients with no known toxicity or adverse drug events. Press Release 1997
  • Beta-sitosterol can also be safely used by competing athletes.
  • Plant sterols can safely be used in conjunction with conventional therapies.

Beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol glucoside stimulate human peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation: Implications for their use as an immunomodulatory vitamin combination.

Author: Bouic, P.J.D.; Etsebeth, S.; Liebenberg, R.W.; Albrecht, C.F.; Pegel, K.; Van Jaarsveld, P.P.
Source: International Journal of Immunopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 693-700, Dec. 1996

This study reports on a series of in vivo and in vitro studies which clearly demonstrate that the plant sterols and sterolins (B-Sitosterol and its glucoside, B-sitosterolin) have immunomodulatory properties. The first experiment performed in vitro demonstrated that sterols and sterolins had a significant proliferative effect on human T-cells. The effect was observed in extremely low concentrations of sterol/sterolins on the order of 1 fentogram which represents only 150 molecules of sterol and 10 molecules of sterolin. The best response was obtained when a 100:1 sterol/sterolin mixture was given. The same study was repeated on a small number of human subjects (8) indicating a T-cell proliferative response from 20% to 920% after 4 weeks on the sterol/sterolin mixture. No increase was observed for the 2 subjects receiving placebos. The peak activity of the sterol/sterolin mixture occurred at 6 hours in the in vitro experiments, indicating an effect in the initial stages of T-cell proliferation and activation of membrane antigens. Another in vitro experiment showed significant increase in the cyokines (immune communication molecule) interleukin-2 and gamma-interferon on the order between 17% and 41%. Another in vitro experiment showed increase in Natural Killer Cell activity for the lysis of experimental cancer cells with the sterol/sterolin mixture. Although sterols and sterolins are poorly absorbed and are not synthesized in the human body, daily intake is required to maintain an optimal immune response. These experiments prove that a 100:1 sterol/sterolin mixture is a potent immunomodulator with important implications for the treatment and restoration of immune dysfunctions.

The importance of sitosterol and sitosterolin in human and animal nutrition

Author: Karl H. Pegel, Department of Chemistry and Applied Chemistry, University of Natal , Durban , South Africa . Source: South African Journal of Science, v. 93, pp. 263-268, June 1997

Recent research indicates that the health-promoting benefits of a plant-based diet may be due to the presence of plant-derived cholesterol analogues known as sterols and sterolins. These compounds which are structurally similar to cholesterol are ubiquitous throughout the plant kingdom. Although absorbed at a rate 800 to 1,000 less than cholesterol, they appear to have important immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities in human and animal physiology. Human research indicates plant sterols and sterolins to have important anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and T-cell proliferative activity. Medical uses already include the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, benign prostatic hypertrophy and rheumatoid arthritis. Plant sterols and sterolins are thought to be responsible for the health benefits of a variety of medicinal herbs including saw palmetto, pygeum, pumpkin seeds, devil's claw, milk thistle, ginkgo, Panax and Siberian ginseng. They have adaptogenic properties which make them an essential part of an optimal diet. Modern food processing and dietary choices have resulted in daily intake less than the optimal 200-300 mg. Even some vegetarian diets appear to result in a deficient quantity of plant sterols and sterolins. Supplementation of the diet with plant sterols and sterolins provides important therapeutic as well as preventative health benefits.

Plant sterols and sterolins for maintaining the immune system

After ten years of clinical trials in immune modulation, HIV and tuberculosis by researchers at the University of Stellenbosch Medical Faculty (led by Professor Bouic, Dept. Medical Microbiology and his colleagues in other departments), research data has satisfied peer reviews and is now enjoying publication in international scientific journals. The company sponsoring the research, has for many years been convinced of the immunomodulatory effects of sterols and sterolins if used in the correct ratio of a 100:1. Clinical trials in pulmonary tuberculosis and HIV positive patients have proved this.

The HIV positive patients maintain their immune cells over an extended period of time with no overt signs of disease progression whilst the TB patients recover from the disease more quickly. Many anecdotal cases of autoimmune disease (e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, Psoriasis) as well as certain cancers and diseases relating to a dysfunctional immune system, have been reported to have dissipated after the ingestion of sterols and sterolins.

The effect of the phytosterols on the human system offer several advantages in that they have no toxicity and have been extensively tested in animal studies as well as human clinical trials in over 25 000 patients with no adverse drug events or toxicity. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be used in conjunction with conventional therapies. It has been found that by taking sterols and sterolins, the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation may be prevented or greatly reduced. The sterols and sterolin mixture is internationally patented and will be made available to the international market as soon as possible.

Compiled by:

Prof Patrick J D Bouic
Chief Special Scientist / Head Immunology
Department of Medical Microbiology
University of Stellenbosch

Prostate gland disorders are probably the most common of health disorders in men affecting more than 65 % of men over the age of 40 and 75% of men over 50. The prostate gland is susceptible to infection, enlargement, benign tumors and cancer.

It is important to address prostate disorders early to prevent serious problems developing. Unfortunately many men wait too long to do something about it, because it begins very quietly and progresses very slowly.

Numerous scientific studies show that Beta-sitosterol, which is a little known naturally occurring plant fat, is among the most effective treatments for prostate enlargement known. It has a faster onset of action and none of the adverse side effects which are associated with conventional medicines, and it is also less expensive.

Beta-sitosterol helps to reduce prostate symptoms and prostate size and is now being used effectively to treat BPH conditions including: failure to urinate, nocturnal urination, frequent urination, residual urine, abdominal heaviness, voiding volume, prostate volume and peak flow.

Beta-sitosterol has also been shown in very recent studies, to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.

Our diets today, generally do not include enough vegetables, whole foods, seeds and grains to provide an adequate amount of beta-sitosterol to protect us against prostate problems naturally.

Natural plant beta-sitosterol supplements can provide optimal levels of sterols to ensure that we are always protected.

How can beta-sitosterol help prostate disorders

Numerous scientific studies have shown Beta-sitosterol to be among the most effective treatments for prostate enlargement known.

For centuries, saw palmetto berries and other plant species including African pygeum, stinging nettle, pumpkin seeds, rye pollen and star grass have been used in patients with prostate and urinary problems.

The remarkable connection in all traditionally used plant remedies for prostate disorders is the beta-sitosterol complex.

Recent studies have found beta-sitosterol to have a faster onset of action and no adverse side effects compared with conventional drugs, and it is now used effectively to treat BPH conditions including: failure to urinate, nocturnal urination, frequent urination, residual urine, abdominal heaviness, voiding volume, prostate volume and peak flow.

Scientists have shown that beta-sitosterol helps to reduce prostate enlargement and symptoms as follows:

  • It inhibits 5-alpha-reductase so that testosterone cannot be converted to DHT.
  • It displays an antiestrogenic activity in prostatic tissue.
  • It strongly decreases hormone binding globulin which means that DHT cannot exert the negative effect in normally would.
  • It lowers blood cholesterol and some researchers believe that high cholesterol is an important factor stimulating prostate growth.
  • It appears to play a role in inhibiting the growth of human prostate cancer cells by replacing some of the cell membrane's cholesterol, which changes the membrane lipid composition in such a way that it enhances an intracellular signaling system which tells cells not to divide.

Note: Please see the sections towards the end of this article for further scientific studies and references.

Our diets today generally do not include enough fresh vegetables and whole foods to provide an adequate amount of beta-sitosterol to enhance the immune system and manage the problem of BPH naturally.

Natural plant sterol supplements can provide optimal levels of sterols to ensure that we are always protected.

What are the signs of a prostate disorder?

  • Symptoms may include any or all of the following:
  • Need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Sudden, uncontrollable urges to urinate
  • Decreased force and size of urinary stream
  • Frequent dribbling
  • Inability to urinate (difficulty starting or stopping)
  • Aching pain in the area of the prostate
  • Pain on sitting
  • A burning sensation or pain when urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Continuing pain in lower back, pelvis, or upper thighs
  • Chills and fever are often present
  • Reduced sexual ability
  • Painful orgasm
  • Impotence
  • Discomfort during intercourse.  

Prostate disorders affect most men over 40!

  • 60% men over 40 and 75% of men over 50 are likely to have a prostate disorder.
  • Over 330,000 men in the UK go to their GPs each year for help and many more suffer in silence.
  • Prostate enlargement, known as 'benign prostatic hyperplasia' or BPH can lead to impotence and other urinary complications.
  • The majority of drug and surgical treatments for the prostate have adverse side effects, and many of them can be quite serious.
  • Over 30,000 prostatectomy operations are carried out in the UK each year.
  • Surgery for prostate disease can be debilitating and dangerous, some studies have found 70% of men suffer from impotence and 40% of men become incontinent as a result of surgery
  • Prostate cancer, which accounts for 10,000 deaths annually, is rising at an alarming rate and is the most common cancer in men, with an average lifetime risk of 1 in 12 men. This is expected to triple to 1 in 4 men within the next 20 years.
  • Despite this, prostate cancer and prostate disorders generally, still have a low level of public awareness.
  • Many cases of prostate cancer go undetected until it has spread to the bone and lymphatic system. By the age of 50, it is estimated that 35% of men have cancer cells in their prostate gland.

What is the prostate?

The Prostate gland lies at the base of the bladder in men and is about the size of a walnut. It shaped like a donut and encircles the male urinary tract, which is the urinary passage carrying urine from the bladder.

Due to its location, if it becomes inflamed or enlarged it can cause blockage of the bladder outlet and restrict urinary flow

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is made up of millions of tiny glands as well as muscle and fibrous tissue.

These small glands are stimulated by the hormone androgen and secrete a nutritious fluid which helps in the transportation of healthy semen.

The prostate is vital to proper bladder control and urine flow-rate control.

The prostate is also essential for normal sexual function. It is the gland of ejaculation, supplying 95% of the seminal fluid, plus the power to expel it through the urethra and out of the penis.

Prostate size often increases with age, particularly once a man gets over the age of 40.

Because the urethra runs right through the middle of it and it has a fibrous outer skin, growth of the prostate puts inward pressure on the urethra and will squeeze it and begin to choke off the urinary flow.

If left untreated, the obstruction becomes more severe and may result in serious changes in the urinary bladder, urethra and kidneys, and may perpetuate urinary tract infections  

Why does benign prostatic hyperplasla (BPH), occur in men aged 40 and over?

Testosterone, which is a male sex hormone and is important for many male related characteristics, undergoes certain hormonal changes that occur with age, when men reach their 40's and over.

The pituitary gland begins to increase the production a hormone called prolactin and prolactin causes the production of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase.

When the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme starts reactivating, it begins to convert the already declining levels of testosterone into excessive amounts of dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Dihydrotesterone is a potent substance known as an androgen, which causes the prostate cells to swell, resulting in an enlarged prostate.

This results in pressure on the urethra which causes an obstruction in the urethra and interferes with the flow of urine from the bladder.

Although BPH is not a dangerous condition in itself, if left untreated, it can result in inflammation or infection of the genitourinary tract, which may cause prostatitis, and other complications.

Extreme prostate obstruction may require an operation.

Prevention should start well before any symptoms appear, and diets high in saturated fats, red meat and concentrated protein, which appear to be primary causes, should be restricted.

Nutritional imbalances, stress and environmental pollution often complicate BPH.

Many of these problems can be helped or alleviated through proper diet and nutritional supplementation.  

Prostate Cancer

Research has shown that even by the age of 30, up to 25% of men have some prostate cancer cells present. By the age of 50, it is estimated that 35% of men have cancer cells in their prostate.

Cancer of the prostate is the most common male cancer affecting British men with the average lifetime risk of occurrence being about 1 in 12. It can be either benign or malignant. Cancer cells are virtually inevitable in the prostates of men who live to their 70's and 80's.

Over 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK every year.

The numbers are rising faster than any other form of cancer and it is estimated that prostate cancer will triple over the next 20 years to 1 in 4 men.

Most cases of prostate cancer do not come with an automatic death sentence. In contrast to some other types of cancer, cancer of the prostate can be treated fairly effectively even when it has spread.

It is important to prevent or control the disease at the earliest possible stage.

N.B. If you are concerned about prostate cancer, see your GP

If there is any concern, your GP should always be consulted. A blood test known as a P.S.A. test or Prostate Specific Antigen test, together with an examination of the gland should be sufficient to rule out any problem. The PSA test measures the blood level of a protein produced by all prostate cells. As the prostate begins to enlarge, the growing number of cells contribute to what is usually a steady but slight rise in the PSA count. If prostate cells become cancerous and begin multiplying, the PSA level jumps dramatically.

Natural Treatments and Prevention

A growing number of doctors are coming to the conclusion that since prostate disease is primarily a result of nutritional imbalances and a degenerative lifestyle, BPH and prostate cancer can be prevented and treated by adjusting ones diet and feeding the body the nutrients it lacks.

One plant nutrient in particular, which is contained in all traditionally used herbal remedies for BPH, and known as BETA-SITOSTEROL, has in recent scientific studies, been found to have a faster onset of action than conventional prostate drugs but with no adverse side effects and it is also a lot less expensive

Recent well carried out scientific studies have shown overwhelming evidence that natural dietary supplements can result in significantly high success rates when treating prostate disorders.

Scientists say their studies suggest that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and soy could help men avoid prostate cancer, currently the leading cause of premature death from cancer among men.

If making dietary changes can fight prostate cancer, then costly and painful treatments like surgery could be used less often.

The Asian diet which is high in vegetables, whole grains and soy, seems related to healthy prostates. Nutritional components in these foods appear to maintain the proper working systems within the prostate and prevent the cellular disruptions that lead to metastatic cancer.

It makes common sense to take advantage of safe nutritional adjuncts which may deter prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.

Research clearly indicates that balancing the prostate gland's nutritional deficiencies which increase with age, are more effectively influenced by correcting the underlying nutritional imbalance than by treating the gland with prescription drugs, all of which have well known adverse side effects.

Because nutritional supplementation is so effective, safe and inexpensive, it should always be considered before embarking on drugs with debilitating side effects and invasive surgery where possible.

In addition to the phytonutrient and antioxidant beta-sitosterol, critical elements in preventing prostate disease include antioxidants, such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, critical minerals required to activate your body's own internal antioxidant system (your superoxide dismutase), which are copper, zinc and manganese.

Other natural remedies for managing the problem of BPH, all of which contain small amounts of the beta-sitosterol complex, include pumpkin seeds, saw palmetto berries, African Pygeum and stinging nettle root.

Supplements need to be taken over a period of time. Although improvement is usually noted within two to three weeks, treatment needs to last at least six to nine months.  

Dietary imbalances and prostate disease

Prostate disease, along with other major chronic diseases, is believed to be primarily a result of western lifestyles including a diet high in refined, processed foods, high in saturated animal fat and low in vegetables, fruit, whole foods, and fibre.

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence which points the finger at diet as being a major contributory factor in predisposing men to, or accelerating prostate disease.

In many Asian and African countries men have only five per cent of the prostate problems found in western industrialized countries like the USA and Europe .

This does not result from genetic differences because Asian and African men who move to industrialized countries and adopt their diets, develop the same degenerative diseases and in many cases more severely.

There is now compelling evidence that the single most important cause of prostate disorders results from dietary imbalances including too much saturated fat and not enough whole foods in our diets.

Vegetarians are approximately half as likely to develop prostate cancer as meat eaters.

The incidence of prostate problems in Mediterranean regions, where a high proportion of the fat calories consumed come from olive and other vegetable oils is substantially less than the rest of Europe and the USA .

Areas such as the UK , which experience a high level of heart disease also have high levels of prostate cancer

Diet may be one of the easiest changes to make to help in the prevention of prostate cancer.

Dietary fat can affect the levels of testosterone in men's bodies and since testosterone feeds prostate cancers, there may well be link between the two.

The mineral and vitamin content of foods in industrialized nations today has declined dramatically.

Studies by nutritional scientists in the US have shown that up to 91% of us do not get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in nutrients and minerals.

Among the primary reasons for this nutrient deficiency is the over use of commercial fertilizers, over-processing food, preserving and packaging of foods for a longer shelf life and a more toxic and unsafe environment.

Modern farming methods have depleted the essential nutrients we require in our food in the soil by as much as 90%.

Many of these minerals are believed to be important for prostate health including; manganese, zinc, selenium, copper, and others which are not replenished by the farmer.

The degeneration of food leads to degenerative diseases which, combined with our fast-paced stressful lifestyle is slowly killing us.

Better nutrition is the answer! Diet and lifestyle are primary in combating prostate disease.  

Conventional Medicine

Generally speaking, many doctors consider the only medically approved treatments for prostate disorders to be prescription drugs and/or invasive surgery.

Most will not recommend either a prevention or a treatment programme based on nutrition and/or supplementation.

Some of the drugs used, have proved only marginally effective, and many have several quite debilitating side effects. Some of the adverse side effects experienced by four of the most commonly used drugs include: dizziness, hypertension, nausea, abnormal ejaculation, headache, palpitations, impotence, decreased libido and hypersensitivity.

Doctors will readily prescribe these drugs notwithstanding the serious drawbacks associated with their use even though most are only marginally effective and are slow to take effect or relieve symptoms.

These drugs can also mask the diagnosis of cancer by lowering the PSA count in the blood and they can create a reduced sexual desire.

Surgery for prostate disease can be debilitating and dangerous. In the case of cancer surgery, harmful radiation and serious microwave damage to tissues can occur.

Following prostatectomy operations, some studies have found 70% of men suffer from impotence and 40% of men become incontinent as a result of surgery.  

Scientific Studies

The following research studies prove repeatedly that beta-sitosterol is among the most effective treatments for prostate enlargement known.
British Journal of Urology (vol. 80, p.427-32, 1997) Specific and exacting protocols were applied in a meticulous study by Klippel et al, using pure beta-sitosterol which established what a powerful supplement beta-sitosterol complex is for BPH.
British Journal of Urology (vol. 78, p. 325-36, 1996) Buck and his colleagues produced a comprehensive review of phytosterols and also explain the 5-alpha-reductase inhibition, lack of side effects and androgen blocking effects.
Lancet (vol. 345, p. 1529-1532, 1995) Berges, R. in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of beta-sitosterol in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, found that pure beta-sitosterol complex, showed significant improvement in symptoms and urinary flow parameters in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Current Therapeutic Research (vol. 55, p. 776-85, 1994) Braeckman et al studied over 500 patients with BPH symptoms and found dramatic improvements in 9 out 10 patients in only 45 days using a high phytosterol content extract of saw palmetto. This is a painstaking and cautious multi-centre open study which proves without doubt the effectiveness and safety of highly concentrated phytosterol extracts in the treatment of BPH. These studies substantiate how 5-alpha-reductase is inhibited so that testosterone cannot be converted to DHT.
European Urology, (vol. 26, p. 247-52, 1994) Strauch, G. Compares finasteride drug and saw palmetto in the inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase in healthy male volunteers showing the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol.
European Urology (vol. 21, p. 309-24, 1992) Di Silverio and his colleagues showed the effectiveness of very powerful saw palmetto extracts in treating BPH. This was due to the phytosterols exhibiting an anti-estrogenic activity in prostatic tissue of BPH patients. It also showed a powerful inhibition in the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone by blocking 5-alpha-reductase.
Arch Ital Urol Nefrol Androl (vol. 63 p. 341-5, 1991) Carani, C. et al carried out a urological and sexual evaluation of treatment of benign prostatic disease using Pygeum africanum at high doses with positive results.

Wien Klin Wochenschr (vol. 23, p. 667, 1990) Barlet, A. had dramatic improvements in a double-blind, placebo controlled, multi-centre study with 263 BPH patients using a Pygeum africanum extract.

Med. Sci. Res. (vol. 16, p. 1067-68, 1988) Malini et al., reduced the weight of the dorsolateral prostate using pure beta-sitosterol.

Urologe A (vol. 24, p. 49-51, 1985) Vontobel et al., using highly concentrated extract of stinging nettle root, in which beta-sitosterol is the only sufficiently-concentrated active ingredient, effectively treated BPH.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (vol. 18, p. 461-2, 1984) Champault et al., dramatically reduced night urination, greatly improved urine flow rate and reduced bladder residual urine when treating BPH using phytosterols, which acted as an anti-androgen to prevent the formation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and inhibit 5-alpha-reductase.

J Ann Urol ( Paris ) (vol. 18, p. 193-5, 1984) Dufoour, B. showed, in a controlled study, the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol from an extract of African pygeum, on the functional symptoms of prostatic adenoma.

Pharmacy (vol. 79, p. 327, 1983) Briley showed that beta-sitosterol inhibited DHT through its anti-androgenic action.

Fortschrifte Med. (vol. 101, p. 713-16 (1983) Schmidt et al used a high beta-sitosterol complex from concentrated stinging nettle to improve BPH and also discovered a powerful reduction in hormone binding globulin and a decrease in DHT binding, indicating that beta-sitosterol prevents the normal negative action of DHT.

The following research studies show the potential of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of prostate tumors and prostate cancer.

Sixth International Conference of Anti-Cancer Research in Kallithea , Greece . (26/10/98) Atif Awad et al, at the University at Buffalo have provided the first evidence that a minor plant-based fat called B-sitosterol appears to play a role in inhibiting the growth of human prostate cancer cells. They found that Beta-sitosterol, a fat abundant in vegetarian diets, enhances an intracellular signaling system that tells cells not to divide. The study showed a 28 percent inhibition of prostate-cancer cell growth after exposure to Beta-sitosterol for five days in vitro. "This phytosterol replaces some of the cell membrane's cholesterol, which changes the membrane lipid composition in such a way that signal transduction (secondary messenger activity) is stimulated, and that activation inhibits cell growth," Awad explained. "If cell proliferation can be stopped before it becomes uncontrolled, cancer can be contained. When we treated prostate cancer cells with phytosterols, cell proliferation was inhibited. We have found the same effect in vitro with breast and colon cancer cells." This activity may help to explain why vegetable fats, such as olive oil, in the diet reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, said Awad.

Texas A&M University 's Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston . Scientists say their studies suggest that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and soy could help men avoid prostate cancer, currently the second leading cause of death among men. Molecular biologist Wallace McKeehan and a team of researchers at the IBT are exploring how nutritive factors may treat or even prevent the development of prostate cancer and related diseases. If making dietary changes can fight prostate cancer, says McKeehan, director of the IBT's Center For Cancer Biology and Nutrition, then costly and painful treatments like surgery could be used less often. McKeehan says knowing that prostate disease is much less common in Asia than it is in the West scientists have tried to explain why Chinese and Japanese men who move to the United States experience 10 to 30 times more prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than do their brethren who stay home. Researchers recently have turned their attention to dietary factors that seem to keep the prostate functioning properly. The Asian diet -- high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and soy -- seems related to healthy prostates, says McKeehan. Nutritional components in these foods appear to maintain the proper working systems within the prostate and prevent the cellular disruptions that lead to metastatic cancer.

Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica (vol. 37, p. 87-91, 1985) Tasca, A. and others, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, scientific study, successfully treated BPH patients with obstructive symptomology caused by prostatic adenoma, (tumor). They used a high percentage of beta-sitosterol which improved flow rate, other urinary symptoms, and also reduced tumor size. In addition, liver function was enhanced and blood parameters were improved.

Fortschrifte Medizin (vol. 98, p. 69-72, 1980) Zahradnik and his colleagues showed that beta-sitosterol blocked the expansion of prostate adenoma (tumor) and inhibited prostaglandins that are known to support tumor growth  

Anecdotal evidence

YOU Magazine, in South Africa has published a story of a 78-year-old man who was given a traditional Zulu herbal medicine which has a high concentration of Beta-sitosterol. This man was discharged from hospital with advanced prostate cancer and sent home to die. His children were gathered around his deathbed when a neighbour came over with a Hypoxis plant bulb. He told the family to make a brew from it and give it to the dying man to drink. A week later the man could sit up in bed and his appetite has returned. He lived for another 10 years to the age of 86.
Beta-sitosterol has been shown in recent scientific studies to have a crucial role in modulating the immune system. It both boosts an under-performing immune system to help it fight viral and other infections such as colds and flu and also calms down or corrects the underlying immune dysfunction of an overactive immune system as in autoimmune disorders such as arthritis.  

How can beta-sitosterol help the immune system?

  • Scientific research has shown that beta-sitosterol appears to have a vitamin-like action on the functioning of the immune system.
  • T-cells, which are central to the efficient function of the whole immune system, are highly active in the presence of beta-sitosterol.
  • Beta-sitosterol boosts the function of the T-Cells and "primes" the immune system to function and operate more efficiently.
  • If the immune system is over reacting, as in autoimmune disorders, it can return the function to normal by decreasing the inflammatory response while helping control the B-cell activity or antibody production.
  • If the immune system is suppressed then Beta-sitosterol can give it a boost by enhancing T-cell proliferation.

What is the immune system?

  • The immune system is a complicated network of specialized cells and organs that has developed to defend the body against attacks by "foreign" invaders and our own altered cells.
  • The immune system evolved because we live in a sea of microbes. Like man, these organisms are programmed to perpetuate themselves. The human body provides an ideal habitat for many of them and they try to break in; because the presence of these organisms is often harmful, the body's immune system will attempt to bar their entry or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.
  • When functioning properly the immune system fights off infections including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. When it malfunctions, it can deliver a flood of diseases, including allergies, arthritis, cancer, and AIDS.
  • The immune system has several amazing characteristics. It can distinguish between "self" and "non self." It is able to remember previous infections and respond to prevent you from getting re-infected.
  • The immune system has enormous diversity and is remarkably specific; not only can it recognize many millions of distinctive non-self molecules, it can produce molecules and cells to match up with and counteract each one of them. And it has at its command a refined display of weapons.
  • The success of the immune system in protecting the body relies on a complex and versatile command and communications network.
  • The result is a sophisticated system of checks and balances that produces an immune response that is fast, accurate, effective, and controlled.  

What are T-cells and why are they so important?

  • Within the immune system, the T-cell is one of the most important elements.
  • As well as its essential role in directly destroying altered and cancerous cells as a Cytotoxic / Killer T-cell, it is, as a Helper/Inducer T-cell, the Control Centre for the entire immune system.
  • As a Helper/Inducer T-cell, it is needed to activate many immune cells, including B-cells and other T-cells and also to act as a Suppresser T-cell which acts to turn-off or suppress immune cells.
  • As AIDS demonstrates, the destruction of the Helper T-cell lineage results in the total collapse of the Immune System.
  • Cytotoxic / Killer T-cells help rid the body of cells that have been infected by viruses as well as cells that have been transformed by cancer.  

What are the consequences of a weak immune system?

  • A weak immune system can result from many causes including; infection, hereditary disorders, stress, trauma, smoking, inadequate diet and ageing.
  • A weak immune system can result in a breakdown of resistance to many viral diseases like colds and flu as well as cancers, bacteria, parasites, and allergies
  • An immune system which becomes dysfunctional, can lead to a variety of autoimmune diseases like; rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, CFS and ME.
  • Chronic viral diseases such as HIV infection are a result of a deficient immune system due to the suppression of the immune system resulting in no defence against the invading AIDS virus or other opportunistic invading attackers.

The natural plant fat, Beta-sitosterol, is recognized and used to effectively lower cholesterol levels in humans with virtually no changes in diet or exercise. Scores of scientific studies show that, because Beta-sitosterol is very similar in its chemical composition to cholesterol, it confuses the body into accepting it as cholesterol thus interfering with the absorption of both dietary and circulating cholesterol. This helps to prevent the excess rise in serum cholesterol building up on the walls of the arteries which carry blood to the heart.  

How can beta-sitosterol help lower cholesterol?

  • Over 50 rigorous scientific and clinical studies on humans and animals since the 1960's and published in international scientific journals, prove without question that Beta-sitosterol can effectively lower cholesterol levels in humans with virtually no changes in diet or exercise, in as little as 30 days.
  • Beta-sitosterol is very similar in its chemical composition to serum blood cholesterol, although it is completely different in its biological function.
  • Research has shown that beta-sitosterol interferes with cholesterol absorption which prevents the rise in serum cholesterol.
  • Beta-sitosterol interferes with cholesterol absorption by confusing the body into accepting it as cholesterol.
  • Beta-sitosterol is also believed to reduce serum cholesterol by inhibiting the intestinal re-absorption of circulating cholesterol which is secreted in the bile.
  • Both men and women would need to take about 300mg per day of Beta-sitosterol to effectively lower cholesterol absorption.
  • Human liver microsome studies show beta-sitosterol inhibits cholesterol absorption. {J. Clin. Invest., vol. 82, p. 1833-9 (1988)},
  • People given beta-sitosterol were shown in the study below, to lower their cholesterol and triglyceride levels. {Metab. Clin. Exper., vol. 38, p. 136-40 (1989)},

Vegetarians were shown in the following study, to be protected from fat loading diets by their high intake of beta-sitosterol from plants. American J. Clin. Nutr., vol. 59, p. 1325-31 (1994)  

Why is high blood cholesterol level damaging to health?

The build-up of cholesterol in the artery walls is called "arteriosclerosis" and it narrows the arteries so that the flow of blood to the heart is restricted or blocked.

With less blood, the heart gets less oxygen which may cause chest pain, heart attack, or even death.

  • Cholesterol build-up is the most common cause of heart attack.
  • Heredity, diet, age, gender, weight, smoking and physical activity can all affect blood cholesterol levels.
  • Other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, can compound the effect of cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
  • Heart disease has the highest death rate of all diseases today.  

The cholesterol problem!

  • Despite its bad reputation, a certain amount of cholesterol is necessary to sustain life. The body uses cholesterol to form cell membranes and it is also an ingredient in various hormones.
  • The body produces about 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol each day, to maintain health.
  • Food provides another source of cholesterol, which comes from saturated fat found in animal products, including egg yolks, meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods.
  • Just like oil and water, cholesterol and blood don't mix. So the liver manufactures special carriers called lipoproteins to ferry cholesterol around.
  • Total cholesterol level is made up of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), High- Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Triglycerides.
  • Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is the major carrier of cholesterol to body tissues and when there's too much LDL in the blood, cholesterol may find its way into artery walls. Some people call LDL "bad' cholesterol
  • High density lipoprotein, or HDL, apparently collects loose fragments of cholesterol from the blood and transports them to the liver for repackaging or disposal. Some people call HDL "good" cholesterol, because it clears the bloodstream of cholesterol.
  • Triglycerides are the form in which fat is carried through your blood to the tissues. The bulk of your body's fat tissue is in this form.
  • Many studies show that lowering cholesterol levels reduces the risk of illness or death from heart disease.
  • There are a number of drug treatments for lowering blood cholesterol, all of which come with a host of side effects some of which are serious and have to be monitored closely

Beta-sitosterol has been shown in recent studies to be a valuable adjunct to the prevention and treatment of a wide range of stress related disorders, immune dysfunction and inflammatory disorders. Beta-sitosterol can protect and nourish a depressed immune systems as a result of both physical and emotional stress. Research indicates that chronic physical and psychological stress can wreak havoc on our bodies far beyond routine aches and pains, by weakening our immune systems making us more susceptible to infections and disease.

How can beta-sitosterol help stress-mediated disorders?

  • Research studies show that Beta-sitosterol goes to the source of the disorder which stress imparts on the immune system, by buffering the excessive release of Cortisol thus decreasing blood levels of Cortisol.
  • Beta-sitosterol also protects against excessive inflammatory response found in high performance physical stress athletes and performing artists.
  • Beta-sitosterol further protects the immune system against and stress response by stimulating the activity of the T-cells in combating infection.
  • Beta-sitosterol can also inhibit the production of cholesterol produced by the liver as a stress response, or inhibit the re-absorption of cholesterol produced by the liver.  

How does chronic stress damage our health?

  • Chronic stress, both physical and emotional, has a detrimental effect on the immune system due to the synthesis and release of hormones such as Cortisol.
  • Cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal cortex (on top of the kidney) elevates blood sugar and enhances metabolism.
  • This process diverts energy away from the synthesis of proteins including those needed for the immune system, therefore suppressing the immune system and resulting in lower levels of T-cells and B-cells which are central to the proper and efficient functioning of the immune system.
  • During excessive physical stress, the immune system is also inhibited by the increased release of pro-inflammatory factors due to tissue damage, as well as the release of endorphins which reduce pain but also suppress immune responses.
  • With a weakened immune system, people under chronic physical and psychological stress such as high intensity athletes and those suffering from intense emotional stress become more susceptible to infections and disease.
  • Stress also causes the liver to produce higher levels of cholesterol which, combined with a lack of exercise, can result in arteriosclerosis and clogging of arteries.

Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of colon cancer in humans and to be a cancer preventative generally. Recent laboratory studies show dramatic anti-cancer properties of Beta-sitosterol in reducing cancer cell growth with breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. It also has shown strong anti-tumor properties in scientific studies.

  • Beta-sitosterol has shown amazing potential in naturally combating many cancers and tumors without the need for potent and dangerous medicines, which often cause unwanted side-effects and adverse drug reactions.
  • In the last few years there have been some impressive studies showing the power of beta-sitosterol in combating cancer.
  • There are many anecdotal cases of cancers going into remission after exposure to beta-sitosterol  

Beta-sitosterol and cancer research studies

  • University at Buffalo nutrition researchers have found in a study presented at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology in May 1999, which showed that the phytosterol B-sitosterol reduced the number of breast-cancer cells grown in a laboratory setting by 66 percent within 5 days, compared to controls.
  • Awad et al at the State University of New York in 1996, showed beta-sitosterol was a powerful inhibitor of colon cancer growth in human cells. Colon cancer is the second leading cancer in the U.S. and is responsible for 1/10th of all cancer deaths.
  • Awad et al, nutrition researchers at the University at Buffalo , have provided the first evidence that a minor plant-based fat called B-sitosterol appears to play a role in inhibiting the growth of human prostate cancer cells. They found that the phytosterol B-sitosterol, a fat abundant in vegetarian diets, enhances an intracellular signaling system that tells cells not to divide. The study showed a 28 percent inhibition of prostate-cancer cell growth after exposure to B-sitosterol for five days in vitro. This activity may help to explain why vegetable fats, such as olive oil, in the diet reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, said Awad.
  • Vegetarians have a low incidence of colon cancer and they consume twice as much Beta-sitosterol (as well as low levels of saturated fats) than non vegetarians.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be cancer preventive agent generally.
  • Scientific studies have shown a correlation between colon cancer and a deficiency of phytosterols in the human diet.
  • A strong relationship with Beta-sitosterol intake and colon cancer.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to inhibit tumor development in colon cancer.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be a cancer prophylactic instrument generally.
  • Texas A&M University 's Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston . Scientists say their studies suggest that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and soy could help men avoid prostate cancer, currently the second leading cause of death among men.
  • Tasca and others, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, scientific study, successfully treated BPH patients with obstructive symptomology caused by prostatic adenoma, (tumor). They used a high percentage of beta-sitosterol which improved flow rate, other urinary symptoms, and also reduced tumor size. In addition, liver function was enhanced and blood parameters were improved.
  • Zahradnik and his colleagues showed that beta-sitosterol blocked the expansion of prostate adenoma (tumor) and inhibited prostaglandins that are known to support tumor growth

Anecdotal evidence

  • YOU Magazine, in South Africa has published a story of a 78-year-old man who was given a traditional Zulu herbal medicine which has a high concentration of Beta-sitosterol. This man was discharged from hospital with advanced prostate cancer and sent home to die. His children were gathered around his deathbed when a neighbour came over with a Hypoxis plant bulb. He told the family to make a brew from it and give it to the dying man to drink. A week later the man could sit up in bed and his appetite has returned. He lived for another 10 years to the age of 86.

Beta-sitosterol has been found to help correct the underlying immune dysfunction typical in autoimmune disorders, including Lupus (SLE), Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and others. Beta-sitosterol goes to the source of the autoimmune disorder, which is an overactive immune system, whereby the immune system's B-cells produce antibodies which attack and destroy healthy cells at various sites in the body and gives rise to a variety of autoimmune disorders. Beta-sitosterol appears to activate the suppressor T-cells to instruct the B-cells to stop overproducing these self-destroying antibodies.  

How can beta-sitosterol help autoimmune disorders?

  • Beta-sitosterol goes to the source of the autoimmune disorder, which is the immune system itself.
  • Scientific research has shown that beta-sitosterol appears to have a vitamin-like action on the functioning of the immune system,
  • Recent research into Autoimmune disorders in South Africa has demonstrated that minor plant fats known as plant sterols, especially Beta-sitosterol, can effectively correct the underlying immune dysfunction characteristic to autoimmune disorders
  • Beta-sitosterol is known to boost the function of the T-Cells and "prime" the immune system to function and operate more efficiently.
  • Thus, if the immune system is over reacting, as in autoimmune disorders, it can return the function to normal by decreasing the inflammatory response while helping control the B-cell activity or antibody production.  

The problem underlying autoimmune disorders

  • Thousands of people, young and old are afflicted by autoimmune disorders and the consequential pain, inflammation, and destruction of healthy tissue in their bodies.
  • Millions of pounds of research has gone into developing drugs for Lupus (SLE), Psoriasis and Arthritis, yet there are no cures for them!
  • The most common treatment is still non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, cortisone injections and other dangerous drugs.
  • All of these conventional medical treatments come with a host of side effects from the benign to the serious.
  • Although these treatments offer some relief, they do not provide a cure and do not address the underlying immune dysfunction.
  • Fortunately for autoimmune disorder sufferers, certain plant chemicals called phytosterols notably Beta-sitosterol, can provide remarkable results.  

What are autoimmune disorders?

  • Autoimmune disorders can take on many different symptoms.
  • The word "auto" is the Greek word for self.
  • If a person has an autoimmune disorder, the immune system mistakenly attacks self, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs of a person's own body.
  • A collection of immune system cells and molecules at a target site is broadly referred to as inflammation.
  • There are many different autoimmune disorders which can each affect the body in different ways.
  • They include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus (SLE), Psoriasis, CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)  

Lupus

  • Although "lupus" is used as a broad term, there actually are several kinds of lupus.
  • This article focuses on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), which is the form of the disease that most people are referring to when they say "lupus."
  • The word "systemic" means the disease can affect many parts of the body.
  • The symptoms of SLE may be mild or serious.
  • Although SLE usually first affects people between the ages of 15 and 45 years, it can occur in childhood or later in life as well.
  • Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain.
  • Although people with the disease may have many different symptoms, some of the most common ones include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems.
  • Lupus is also known as a rheumatic disease.  

Psoriasis

  • Psoriasis is an immune system disorder that affects the skin, and occasionally the eyes, nails, and joints.
  • Psoriasis may affect very small areas of skin or cover the entire body with a build-up of red scales called plaques.
  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common form .
  • The plaques are of different sizes, shapes, and severity and may be painful as well as unattractive.
  • Bacterial infections and pressure or trauma to the skin can aggravate psoriasis.
  • Most treatments focus on topical skin care to relieve the inflammation, itching, and scaling.
  • For more severe cases, oral medications are used.
  • Psoriasis is common and may affect more than 2 out of 100 people.
  • Psoriasis often runs in families.
  • No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis.
  • We do know that psoriasis is the growth of too many skin cells.
  • A normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days but a psoriatic skin cell takes only 3 to 6 days.
  • The immune system includes a type of cell called a T-cell, that normally helps protect the body against infection and disease.
  • Scientists now think that in psoriasis, an abnormal immune system produces too many T-cells in the skin.
  • These T-cells are believed to trigger the inflammation and excessive skin cell reproduction seen in people with psoriasis.  

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

  • Also known as CFIDS - Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, or ME - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
  • Several subtle immunologic abnormalities have been described in some patients with CFS.
  • Results of immunologic studies as a whole have been confusing, and the results of some published findings are in conflict.
  • Recently a panel of distinguished immunologists and virologists from the National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Council in the USA , issued an official statement regarding immunologic and virologic aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome. In their statement, the following points were made:
    • No test is diagnostic for CFS.
    • There is evidence of immune abnormalities in CFS studies, which suggests a pattern of chronic immune activation. However, similar findings can be found in other chronic disorders such as chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, and allergies.
    • Among the most frequently identified abnormalities are the following:
      • chronic activation of T-cells
      • decreased function of natural killer cells
      • reduction of subsets of CD8 positive suppresser cells
      • and increased levels of antibody to Epstein- Barr virus early antigen.
  • Other immune abnormalities have been inconsistently reported.  

Multiple sclerosis

  • Multiple Sclerosis means 'multiple scarring' and is commonly understood to be a disease of the Central Nervous System, the brain and spinal cord, since most of its symptoms are neurological.
  • However, it seems to also involve the autoimmune system, whereby the body's own defences behave in a hostile manner towards the body itself.
  • MS is the result of damage to a substance called myelin.
  • Myelin is a protective sheath surrounding all the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord.
  • It works like insulating cable, helping to conduct electrical impulses between the brain or spinal cord and the rest of the body, and preventing them from being short-circuited.
  • When myelin is healthy and functioning properly, electrical impulses get through quickly and efficiently allowing for easy and coordinated movement.
  • When myelin is damaged, messages are slower, distorted, or non-existent and do not get through properly.
  • This causes many of the symptoms of MS.
  • Damaged areas of myelin are known as plaques or lesions.

Beta-sitosterol has been found to help correct the underlying immune dysfunction typical in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. Beta-sitosterol goes to the source of the arthritis disorder, which is the overactive immune system itself whereby the immune system's B-cells produce antibodies which attack and destroy synovial tissue located in joints. Beta-sitosterol appears to activate the suppressor T-cells to instruct the B-cells to stop overproducing these self-destroying antibodies.  

How can beta-sitosterol help rheumatoid arthritis?

  • Beta-sitosterol goes to the source of the arthritis disorder, which is the immune system itself.
  • Scientific research has shown that beta-sitosterol appears to have a vitamin-like action on the functioning of the immune system,
  • Recent research into Rheumatoid Arthritis has demonstrated that minor plant fats known as plant sterols, in particular Beta-sitosterol, effectively correct the underlying immune dysfunction characteristic to rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases,
  • Beta-sitosterol is known to boost the function of the T-Cells and "prime" the immune system to function and operate more efficiently.
  • Thus, if the immune system is over reacting, as in rheumatoid arthritis, it can return the function to normal by decreasing the inflammatory response while helping control the B-cell activity or antibody production.

The problem underlying rheumatoid arthritis

  • Thousands of people, young and old are afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis and the consequential pain, inflammation, and destruction of healthy joint tissue in their bodies.
  • Millions of pounds of research has gone into developing drugs for arthritis, yet there is no cure for them!
  • The most common treatment is still non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, cortisone injections and other dangerous drugs.
  • All of these conventional medical treatments come with a host of side effects from the benign to the serious.
  • Although these treatments offer some relief, they do not provide a cure and do not address the underlying immune dysfunction.
  • Fortunately for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, certain plant chemicals called phytosterols notably Beta-sitosterol, can provide remarkable results.  

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis is one of many different types of autoimmune disorder.
  • The word "auto" is the Greek word for self. If a person has an autoimmune disorder, the immune system mistakenly attacks self, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs of a person's own body.
  • A collection of immune system cells and molecules at a target site is broadly referred to as inflammation.
  • There are many different autoimmune disorders which can each affect the body in different ways.
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks a person's own cells inside the joint capsule.
  • A normal joint (the place where two bones meet) is surrounded by a joint capsule that protects and supports it.
  • Cartilage covers and cushions the ends of the two bones.
  • The joint capsule is lined with a type of tissue called synovium, which produces synovial fluid to lubricate and nourish the cartilage and bones inside the joint capsule.
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, white blood cells that are part of the normal immune system travel to the synovium and cause a reaction.
  • This reaction, or inflammation, is called synovitis, and it results in the warmth, redness, swelling, and pain that are typical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • During the inflammation process, the cells of the synovium grow and divide abnormally, making the normally thin synovium thick and resulting in a joint that is swollen and puffy to the touch.
  • As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, these abnormal synovial cells begin to invade and destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint.
  • The surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support and stabilize the joint become weak and unable to work normally.
  • All of these effects lead to the pain and deformities often seen in rheumatoid arthritis.  

Rheumatoid arthritis prevention and treatment naturally

  • A growing number of doctors are coming to the conclusion that rheumatoid arthritis is primarily a result of nutritional imbalances and many believe that it can be prevented and treated by adjusting ones diet and feeding the body the nutrients it lacks.
  • There is plentiful anecdotal evidence to show that beta-sitosterol can result in significantly high success rates when treating rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Studies suggest that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains could help avoid rheumatoid arthritis.
  • If making dietary changes can fight rheumatoid arthritis, then costly and dangerous prescription drugs could be used less often.
  • Because nutritional supplementation can be so effective, safe and inexpensive, it should always be considered before embarking on dangerous drugs with debilitating side effects.
  • Our diets today generally do not include enough fresh fruits and vegetables to provide an adequate amount of beta-sitosterol to enhance the immune system and manage the rheumatoid arthritis problem naturally.
  • Natural plant sterol supplements can provide optimal levels of beta-sitosterol to ensure that we are always protected.
  • Supplements need to be taken over a period of time. Although improvement can often be seen within three months, treatment needs to last at least six to nine months.

A recent scientific and clinical study has shown that plant sterols, notably Beta-sitosterol has the capacity to increase the life spans of HIV-positive patients by maintaining CD4 lymphocyte counts. But Beta-sitosterol is not a cure for AIDS and has no antiviral against the disease.

  • The human body has no defense against Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) because the complex ever-changing virus that causes this widespread disease attacks the very cells that should be helping the body to fight off infection.
  • The catastrophic damages that the HIV can cause to the Immune System can leave the body prey to infections. This is AIDS, which eventually develops in most people who catch the HIV virus.
  • There is no known cure. A general feeling exists among both conventional and alternative practitioners that healthy living, a positive mental attitude and learning to cope with stress can help.
  • Because AIDS is a relatively new disease, and because those infected can get a wide range of complaints, practitioners have been unable to lay down hard-and-fast overhaul methods of treatment.  

How can beta-sitosterol help HIV and AIDS?

  • Sterols have been found to encourage the body's immune system to fight the infections which can ravage HIV-positive patients.
  • Recent scientific research has shown that plant sterols, notably beta-sitosterol and its glucoside, can maintain CD4 lymphocyte counts with no significant declines over an extended period.
  • A study in South Africa suggests an important role of beta-sitosterol and its glucoside in the multi-stage treatment of HIV.
  • Clinical trials by Professor Bouic and his colleagues at the medical school's department of medical microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch established that plant sterols and sterolins stimulated and regulated the immune system when treating about 200 HIV positive patients since 1992.
  • This group's T-cell counts stabilized as did the T-cell counts of full-blown AIDS patients.
  • Even though Plant sterols and sterolins are not a cure for AIDS, it seems that it can increase HIV-positive patients life spans.

Beta-sitosterol has an amazing array of scientifically acknowledged benefits for key areas of health. Health benefits which can all be supported by published studies in international journals show Beta-sitosterol to be: anti-hyperglycemic, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, improve blood parameters, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic (reducing fever), beneficial for the uterus, anti-ulcer.

Diabetes and hyperglycemia benefits

  • Laboratory results in testing hyperglycemic rats indicated that orally administered beta-sitosterol dramatically brought down high blood sugar levels
  • Beta-sitosterol given to laboratory rats orally, returned blood sugar and functions to normal by increasing fasting insulin levels, improving glucose tolerance and, decreasing fasting glycemia.
  • The anti-hyperglycemic effect of beta-sitosterol is thought to be due to an increase in insulin levels which is attributable to a stimulation of insulin secretion from pancreatic B-cells.
  • Beta-sitosterol given to diabetic rats orally, improved diamine oxidase (DAO) levels.
  • Beta-sitosterol given to diabetic rats orally, improved blood sugar levels in diabetic rats and inhibited glucose-6-phosphatase.
  • These results indicate a possible anti-hyperglycemic use for beta-sitosterol in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial

  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown in numerous studies to have a variety of anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
  • Beta-sitosterol extracted from peat showed a high anti-bacterial activity.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown in Japan to have anti-fungal activities.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to have potent anti-viral properties.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be effective against the dangerous Streptococcus bacteria commonly known as "strep".
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be effective against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphalococus ("staph"), Excherecia coli ("E. coli") and other dangerous bacterias.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be effective against various microbes.  

Improves blood parameters

  • Beta-sitosterol improves blood parameters in various ways including; platelet aggregation, plasminogen activators, clotting, lymphocytes, fibrinolytic activity and thrombolic activity.  

Ulcer benefits

  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to protect the stomach lining and prevent ulcers.
  • Oral Beta-sitosterol was shown to reduce lesions of the stomach lining by over 80%.
  • Oral Beta-sitosterol was shown to prevent stomach ulcers.
  • Oral Beta-sitosterol was shown to protect against stomach ulcers  

Can stimulate hair growth

  • Patents have been issued in Japan for topical beta-sitosterol to be used to stimulate hair growth on bald men.
  • Anecdotal evidence of Beta-sitosterol stimulating hair growth in South Africa .  

Anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic ( fever reducing )

  • Beta-sitosterol shows anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic properties.
  • U.S. Patent granted for a compound containing beta-sitosterol to block inflammation in humans.
  • Beta-sitosterol was shown to be effective in treating inflammation.
  • Beta-sitosterol was shown to be both anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory.  

Uterus benefits

  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to have positive effects on the female reproductive system glands especially the uterus.
  • Beta-sitosterol has been shown to have many beneficial effects on the uteruses of laboratory animals.

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