Beta-sitosterol is a natural, non-toxic plant sterol found in all oil-producing plants, including fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and trees. This potent nutrient enjoys a stellar reputation.
It is praised as a safe and natural remedy for chronic conditions like:
- Enlarged Prostate
- The Flu
- Menopausal Symptoms
- Certain Cancers
Its most notable function, however—and the key to understanding just how it is able to treat such a variety of diseases—is its ability to boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and help prevent coronary heart disease (CHD).
The Ultimate Immune System Pick-Me-Up
Numerous studies have shown that inadequate levels of beta-sitosterol lead to a severely compromised immune system. Plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, are the only all-natural substances proven to stimulate your body’s T-cells. Without the support of these plant-extracts your T-cells are unable to function properly.
Why are T-cells so important to your health? T-cells, aka “killer cells,” crush foreign invaders and infections, including abnormal cells such as cancer cells. T-cells are able to manipulate immune system cells both by activating and suppressing them.
For instance, a malfunctioning immune system overloads your body with dangerous antibodies that scavenge and attack healthy cells. This overproduction disrupts appropriate autoimmune response and causes chronic illnesses, such as lupus, MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Beta-sitosterol is able to not only control the overproduction of antibodies, but also help T-cells function more efficiently. When T-cells cannot do their job, as is the case with AIDS, the immune system deteriorates rapidly.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, serves as a testament to beta-sitosterol’s benefits on the immune system. After 10 years of research, scientists found that HIV positive patients treated with plant sterols retained healthy immune cells over an extended period of time, thus slowing the progression of the disease. Likewise, tuberculosis sufferers recovered from the disease more quickly when plant sterols were added to their treatment plan.
Fight Heart Disease by Lowering Cholesterol
Medical experts cite cholesterol as one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Cholesterol is necessary to a properly functioning system, but too much cholesterol is dangerous. Your liver can only eliminate so much cholesterol, and when cholesterol is left swimming in the blood stream, it attaches to your arteries, contributing to plague buildup and eventually causing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When your arteries become clogged, blood is unable to circulate freely…and lack of oxygen to the heart results in heart attack or sudden death.
Beta-sitosterol benefits have been proven to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby contributing to a healthy heart and circulatory system.
Beta-sitosterol benefits mimics cholesterol in structure, but serves a very different biological function. Its similarities allow it to limit the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the body, giving the liver more time to capture and eliminate circulating cholesterol.
Beta-sitosterol also tricks the cells into thinking it is cholesterol, thwarting the danger and providing a safe replacement.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on board, allowing food manufacturers to claim that plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, lower your risk of CHD by stabilizing cholesterol levels.
Studies indicate that supplementing with 300 mg of beta-sitosterol benefits a day can significantly lower your cholesterol levels in just 30 days, but it is safe to supplement with 800 mg to 6 g per day if divided throughout the day and taken before meals.
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