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See also Phytosterol Complex

Beta-sitosterol is a type of plant compound known as a phytosterol.  Beta-sitosterol is a component of most plants but is particularly abundant in soybeans, nuts, legumes, and South African star grass.  Like all phytosterols, it has a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol.  Because of this structural similarity, it is believed that Beta-sitosterol can interfere with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.  Some studies indicate that it may also facilitate the disposal of LDL cholesterol from the body and have anti-inflammatory effects.

Beta-sitosterol is used frequently in dietary supplements today to lower cholesterol and to help alleviate the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (i.e. benign prostatic hyperplasia).


In the meantime see the WebMD entry for beta-sitosterol, this Linus Pauling Institute article on phytosterols, the Michigan Medicine Health Library entry for beta-sitosterol, or the RXList entry for beta-sitosterol for more information.