AskDefine | Define sitosterol

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any of a range of plant sterols used to prepare steroid hormones

Extensive Definition

β-sitosterol is one of several phytosterols with chemical structures similar to that of cholesterol. It is white in colour and waxy in nature.


It is widely distributed in the plant kingdom and found in pecans, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), avocados, Curcurbita pepo (pumpkin seed), Pygeum africanum, cashew fruit, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, sea-buckthorn and wolfberries.


Alone and in combination with similar phytosterols, β-sitosterol reduces blood levels of cholesterol, and is sometimes used in treating hypercholesterolemia.
One small study shows a positive effect on male hair loss in combination with Saw palmetto.
In Europe iβ-sitosterol plays a major role in treatment of herbal therapy of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
It is also used in Europe for the treatment of prostatic carcinoma and breast cancer although the benefits are still being evaluated in the United States.


sitosterol in French: ß-sitostérol
sitosterol in Dutch: Beta-sitosterol
sitosterol in Turkish: Beta-sitosterol
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