Drug Class: Phytosterols
- Beta‐sitosterols, are derived from the South African star grass, Hypoxis rooperi, or from species of Pinus and Picea.
- Herbal medicines containing beta‐sitosterols may help to relieve the urinary symptoms and urinary flow problems caused by an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
- β-sitosterol administered for 6 months,
- significantly reduced the prostate size,
- increased the urine flow rate, and
- improved the mean voiding time and quality of life score in BPH patients.
- In three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, β-sitosterol demonstrated,
- superiority in improving self-reported somatic and sexual symptoms,
- quality of life,
- peak urine flow,
- post-void residual volume, and
- plasma free testosterone levels.
- Explanatory mechanisms; β-sitosterol inhibited the activity of 5α-reductase present in the hamster prostate. This inhibition has been hypothesized to be responsible for its activities in prostate cancer and enlarged prostate.
(Note: 5α-reductase: Enzymes involved in steroid metabolism)