Remarkable Effects of Beta-Sitosterol
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of 200 men with benign prostate enlargement, half the group received 180 mg of beta-sitosterol daily, while the other half received placebo. After six months, the beta-sitosterol group saw improvement in the International Prostate Symptom Score, the measurement of urine flow (QMax), and the amount of residual urine remaining in the bladder (PUR).
The beta-sitosterol group showed a 7.4-point decrease in the International Prostate Symptom Score, compared to a decrease of only 2.1 points in the placebo group . . . a significant 3.5-fold improvement in the men taking beta-sitosterol (Figure 2).3
The measurement of urinary flow increased to an average of 15.2 milliliters (ml) per second from 9.9 ml/second in the men receiving beta-sitosterol. The placebo group only increased to 11.4 ml/second from 10.2 ml/second at baseline. Urinary flow thus improved almost 35% in the group taking beta-sitosterol, compared to only 11% in the placebo group.
Most remarkably, residual urine in the bladder decreased to 30.4 ml from 65.8 ml in the men using beta-sitosterol . . . a reduction of almost 54%! In the placebo group, residual bladder urine declined from 64.8 ml to 54.3 ml . . . a reduction of only around 16%.3
In a follow-up study that evaluated durability of response to beta-sitosterol, the beneficial effects for beta-sitosterol were found to be maintained during an additional 18 months of observation.
Figure 1 shows the significant difference in the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) in men receiving beta-sitosterol compared to placebo.
Benefits of Beta-Sitosterol Confirmed
To confirm these remarkable effects of beta-sitosterol, another study was performed and the results were published in the British Journal of Urology. The study involved 177 patients with benign prostate enlargement. Patients received 130 mg of beta-sitosterol each day and were monitored for over six months. Measurements of the International Prostate Symptom Score, urinary flow, and residual urine in the bladder after voiding were recorded.
On average, urinary flow values increased by 4.5 ml/second while residual urine volumes decreased by a substantial 33.5 ml. The International Prostate Symptom Scores showed a statistically significant improvement. These results with beta-sitosterol are comparable to those seen with the commonly prescribed drug Proscar®, used to treat benign prostate enlargement.
Two years later, a review of all existing studies of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of benign prostate enlargement was conducted. The researchers identified randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials involving a total of 519 men.
In three of the trials, beta-sitosterol was used, and in one trial, a glucoside of beta- The study by Wilt and colleagues examined four different randomized studies.sitosterol was used. In these studies, beta-sitosterol improved urinary symptom scores and urinary flow rates, and significantly reduced the volume of residual urine in the bladder.
Table 1 summarizes some of the randomized studies of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of BPH.
The magnitude of reduction in prostate symptoms and improvement in urinary flow rates is a strong incentive for the use of beta-sitosterol, either alone or in combination with standard pharmacologic interventions such as alpha-adrenergic blockers (Cardura®, Hytrin®, Uroxatral®, Flomax®) or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (Proscar®, Avodart®).