Beta Sitosterol, BPH And Your Valued Prostate

Beta Sitosterol, BPH And Your Valued Prostate

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The word Beta-sitosterol is becoming more and more popular amongst men with prostate issues. Beta-sitosterol is plant sterol found in almost all plants. It is one of the main subcomponents of a group of plant sterols known as phytosterols.

Beta-sitosterol is known for its ability to help protect the prostate even against cancer. Studies have shown that the compound reduces the growth of human prostate and colon cancer cells.

One study using the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP which is a tumor dependent upon androgen showed that beta-sitosterol decreased cancer cell growth by 24% and induced programmed cell death by a significant fourfold.

Thus Beta-Sitosterol may have the potential for prevention and therapy for human cancer.

Enlarged Prostate/BPH

Beta-sitosterol has also been found to be helpful for men with BPH. BPH is commonly treated with drugs, invasive painful procedures or prostate removal surgery, all of which involve side effects, sometimes with devastating consequences on male’s libido, virility and well being. BPH is chronic problem characterized by an enlarged prostate gland. The swelling gland presses on the urethra and results in a multitude of problems with urination.

BPH is characterized by an increase in both epithelial and stromal components of the prostate It is essentially a disorder that is caused by an enlargement of the prostate. Sufferers must strain to pass urine and they also must urinate frequently. Chronic inflammatory changes with lymphocytic infiltrate(or increase of white blood cell activity) are frequently observed. BPH is not cancer. However, both conditions can exist together. BPH is more common in white and black men than in Asian men, and married men versus singles.

BPH is common in older men. According to the American Urological Association, the condition affects half of those 51 to 60 and up to 90 percent of men over 80. BPH is so common that some physicians consider it a normal consequence of aging in males. It results in the enlargement of the prostate, with it alternately pressing up against the urethra and bladder.

If a benign prostate enlargement is not corrected there can be serious health ramifications over time. This includes urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.

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The conventional treatment for an enlarged prostate is surgery to remove all or part of the prostate. Obviously, this would correct most urinary symptoms, but impotency may be a lasting result of this surgery.

Beta-sitosterol supports healthy urinary flow, healthy urinary function and healthy prostate functioning.

One study was conducted and the outcome published in the British Journal of Urology. The study involved 177 patients with benign prostate enlargement. The participants received 130 mg of beta-sitosterol daily for a period of six months, while being monitored.

On average, urinary flow values increased by 4.5 ml/second while residual urine volumes decreased by a substantial 33.5 ml. The test established overall improvement. These amazing results with beta-sitosterol are similar to those seen with the commonly prescribed and popular 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-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.”

Beta Sitosterol works by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, thereby blocking the transformation of testosterone into DHT. This decreases the amount of DHT in the body, which is beneficial for an enlarged prostate.

Cholesterol

Beta sitosterol is also commonly sold as a cholesterol reducing supplement. It works by locking onto the cholesterol before it gets digested which stops it being absorbed and is then excreted out.

Beta sitosterol is one of the sterol nutrients approved by the FDA to be added to margarines to support health cholesterol levels. Beta sitosterol is found in high amounts in nuts and amaranth. It may also be able to help prevent temporary immune weakness that typically occurs during recovery from endurance exercise.

Drug Alternatives

Finasteride (brand name: Proscar) and dutasteride (brand name: Avodart) blocks a natural hormone that makes the prostate enlarge, but it does not help all patients. Drug treatment, although slightly useful for some patients, (notwithstanding the side-effects both known and unknown) does not strongly improve symptoms in the majority of patients. Even with the current range of treatments, many patients with symptomatic BPH elect to avoid any current treatment due to risks and side effects.

Finasteride (Proscar), which is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), has been hypothesized to decrease the risk of prostate cancer. After seven years, 18.4 percent of the men taking finasteride developed prostate cancer, compared with 24.4 percent of men taking a placebo. Finasteride (PROSCAR) blocks the enzyme needed to make DHT and so lowers blood and tissue DHT levels and helps reduce the size of the prostate. Finasteride has been shown to reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and surgery, lower prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

However it is not quite as effective as it is represented to be when all things are considered. First the price of the drug is more than $1000 per year. And it is said by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association that it should be used by men to “prevent” prostate cancer.

However statistical analysis of the available information reveals that you would have to treat 71 men with the drug for seven years just to prevent a single case of prostate cancer. Thus you would have to spend about half a million dollars while exposing 71 men to this chemical in order to prevent just one case of the disease! Additionally this does not take into account the problems that may be produced as a result of the side-effects of the drug.

The known side-effects so far include low libido, and breast tenderness.

Cancer And Beta Sitosterol

We have not addressed the role of natural remedies for prostate cancer per se, but it is the most common cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimated that 186,320 men would be diagnosed with the disease in 2008, one man in six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, and 28,660 will die from it.

Currently, treatments such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, are used to slow the progression of advanced prostate cancer. Side effects from these conventional treatments can include exhaustion, impotence, incontinence, lack of appetite, easily broken bones, anemia, hair loss, nausea and diarrhea.

It was noted above that beta-sitosterol has been shown to be effective even in cases of cancer in test.

A good wholesome diet with plenty of water control of your stress level and plenty of exercise can go far to eliminate many of the problems that so many men will inevitably experience.

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Tags: beta sitosterol, bph, prostate enlargement

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