Beta-Sitosterol for Hair Loss
Beta-sitosterol is a plant-derived phytosterol found in saw palmetto, pygeum africanum, pumpkin seeds, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, etc. Due to its ability to emulsify fats, it is widely used as a cholesterol-reducing supplement. Studies have shown that the use of beta-sitosterol also improves urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is often assumed that this effect is achieved through blocking the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Although it seems possible that beta-sitosterol could help relieve symptoms associated with BPH, no piece of scientific evidence exists that shows it would do so by reducing the DHT levels in our body. DHT happens to be the main culprit responsible for enlarged prostates (BPH), as well as hereditary hair loss in men and women. Despite the aforementioned beta-sitosterol is becoming increasingly popular and can be found in numerous herbal and natural hair loss remedies, both in oral and in topical applications.
The health benefits of beta-sitosterol are less well studied than those of another assumed natural DHT blocker - saw palmetto. But since the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating BPH and hair loss is derived from the presence of phytosterols, you can refer to research conducted on saw palmetto if you wish to discover the health potential of beta-sitosterol (see also: Can Saw Palmetto Help Treat Hair Loss?). No clinical evidence exists that saw palmetto could be beneficial in promoting hair growth and recently it was cast in doubt whether it even helps shrink enlarged prostates, for which it has been used for decades. This new finding also puts in doubt naturalists' claims that beta-sitosterol promotes hair growth. However, this lack of clinical evidence does not automatically imply that it is ineffective in treating hair loss. Due to its low health risk profile, beta-sitosterol can be used safely by those patients who are, for whatever reason, seeking an alternative to the medicinal DHT inhibitors such as finasteride or as an experimental supplement to their existing hair regrowth regimen or as a substitute for saw palmetto. Unlike saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol can also be used by women and children.