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The Natural Prostate Cure

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


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Chapter 5: Science and Beta-sitosterol



Science has shown that the most powerful, proven and effective nutritional supplement for prostate health is a common plant alcohol called beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is found in literally all of the vegetables you eat, and is the most prominent plant sterol in nature. Actually, “beta-sitosterol” is really a combination of several additional sterols, including campesterol, stigmasterol, and brassicasterol. Americans are generally estimated to eat about 300 mg a day of natural beta-sitosterol, and vegetarians to eat about twice that much.


Traditionally, such herbs as saw palmetto, Pygeum species, nettles, star grass, and other herbs have been used to treat prostate problems. The trouble with using these is that generally they contain about a mere one-part-in-three-thousand of the beta-sitosterol complex. A typical analysis of saw palmetto shows that it contains a variety of fatty acids (capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, arachic, and eicosenoic), and minute traces of sterols and other plant chemicals that are biologically insignificant. Obviously, these herbal formulas just do not contain any effective amounts of active ingredients. That means you would have to eat about a pound of saw palmetto berries to get a basic dose of 330 mg of beta-sitosterol. Even with the most expensive “10x” (ten times) extracts of these herbs, one would still have to eat about two-hundred 500 mg capsules to get the 330 mg of beta-sitosterol! So, it is obvious that these herbs are ineffective, despite their continual promotion by the so-called natural health industry. Please understand that saw palmetto, Pygeum africanum, and other herbs and their extracts are simply biologically irrelevant, because they do not contain enough active ingredient. Even when the label says “85 percent fatty acids and sterols,” you can be sure that it really means “nearly all fatty acids and almost no sterols.” The saw palmetto products sold in America simply have no value, no matter how much advertising you have read. You won’t see any saw palmetto or other herbal prostate product with any significant amount of beta­-sitosterol in it.


What about the herbal extracts sold by prescription in Europe? Those extracts are standardized according to beta-sitosterol content, regardless of its source, by law, and this is prominently and clearly stated on the label. Whether you buy Permixon in France; Harzol, Tadenan, or Azuprostat in Germany; or Prostaserene in Belgium, they are all based on how much actual beta-sitosterol content they have. They are weak and very expensive—for example, a bottle of 60 tablets of Permixon, containing 30 mg of beta-sitosterol per tablet, will cost about $50 in U.S. dollars. You would have to take ten a day to get any benefit which would then cost you about $250 a month.


After one thoroughly researches beta-sitosterol, it becomes obvious that such herbs are a completely uneconomical source, while soybeans, sugarcane pulp, and pine oil (tall oil) are all excellent, natural, inexpensive sources. Many cane-sugar processors now extract the valuable chemicals from the pulp, after the sugar is pressed out. Only a few companies sell actual beta-sitosterol supplements. The most popular brand contains a useless amount of 20 mg and sells for $29.95 for 60 tablets! Find one with 300 mg.


There are dozens of classic double blind studies done with men regarding the effects of beta-sitosterol on BPH (benign prostate hypertrophy) or enlarged prostate. We’ll discuss a few of these to give you some examples of the first-rate research that has been done around the world at leading hospitals and clinics.


At the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the University of Rome,1  DiSilverio and his colleagues studied thirty-five men with BPH for three months, and gave half of them a placebo (inert capsules). They concluded, “On the basis of these considerations, monotherapy with a special S. repens extract [a special high potency beta-sitosterol extract] may be more favorably accepted, on account of similar clinical results, when compared to the combination therapy cyproterone acetate plus tamoxifen.”


At the Hospital Ambroise in Paris,2  Champault and two other doctors did a classic double-blind study on one-hundred ten men, half of them receiving a placebo. They concluded: “Thus, as predicted by pharma­cological and biochemical studies, PA109 [4 tablets of Permixon daily] would appear to be a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of BPH.” They should have used more than that.


At the Klinische Endokrinologie in Freiburg, Germany,3 Zahradnik and other doctors demonstrated that beta-sitosterol taken from star grass (and sold as the prescription extract Harzol) lowered prostaglandin levels. In regard to the development of prostate enlargement, it was shown that high prostaglandin levels supported tumor growth.



Doctors at the University of Padova, Italy4 studied the effect of a special high potency beta-sitosterol extract (from Pygeum africanum) on twenty-seven men with BPH. Dr. Tasca and his associates measured urine flow and other parameters in men ranging from ages 49 to 81, compared to men receiving a placebo. The men receiving beta-sitosterol achieved much-improved urine flow. This extract is not available to non-scientists.


At the Institute of Medical Sciences in Madras, India,5  Doctors Malini and Vanithakumari have studied the effect of beta-sitosterol on the prostates of rats. In only six weeks, improved metabolism and reduced weights of their prostates was seen. This was a unique and thorough study.


At the University of Dresden, Germany,6  Doctors Klippel, Hilti, and Schipp studied one-hundred and seventy-seven BPH men for six months. Half the men received a placebo and half received the prescription extract Azuprostat containing 130 mg of beta-sitosterol. To substantiate their research, thirty-two references were cited. They carefully screened all the men, who were tested extensively during the study. They concluded, “These results show that beta-sitosterol is an effective option in the treatment of BPH.”


A nine-week double blind study of fifty men was conducted at the University of Basel, Switzerland.7 Dr. Vontobel and his colleagues studied a special extract of nettles containing a high concentration of beta-sitosterol They said, “The use of beta-sitosterol from nettles, in the evaluation of the objective parameters showed significant differences; the men who received the supplement improved significantly.” By the way, you cannot buy this in a store.


At the University of Bochum in Herne, Germany,8  Dr. Berges and his associates used pure beta-sitosterol with two-hundred men, over the course of a year, half of whom received a placebo. They said, “Significant improvement in symptoms and urinary flow parameters show the effectiveness of beta-sitosterol in the treatment of BPH.” This is clearly one of the most important and well-done studies on prostate ever published.


Doctor Bassi and others at the University of Padova, Italy9 for two months, studied forty men who had BPH and were given an extract of Pygeum africanum containing a high beta-sitosterol content. Half the men received a placebo. They concluded, “The preliminary results demonstrate a significant improvement of the frequency, urgency, dysuria [difficult, painful urination], and urinary flow in patients treated with the active drug.”

At eight different urological clinics in Europe10 a collective study over a two-month period was done of 263 total patients with BPH. They were given either Tadenan (a Pygeum africanum extract standardized for beta-sitosterol content) or a placebo. This very extensive study was coordinated among different clinics and different doctors who all agreed, “treatment with the Pygeum africanum extract led to a marked clinical improvement. A comparison of the quantitative parameters showed a significant difference between the Pygeum africanum group and the placebo group, with respect to therapeutic response.” The Pygeum extracts you buy in the store are much weaker than this.


A study was done on twenty-three patients at the Urological Clinik of Krankenhauser, in Germany.11 Dr. Szutrely gave the patients with prostate enlargement either Harzol (herbal extract standardized for beta-sitosterol content) or a placebo, over a two-month period. He measured their prostates with ultrasound equipment before and after treatment. At the end he said, “within the scope of a controlled double blind study to demonstrate the effect of conservative therapy of benign prostatic hyperplasia with Harzol, ultrasonic examination of the prostate adenoma [enlargement] was carried out on twenty-three patients before and after therapy, with the trial preparation of a placebo. Within a two-month treatment with Harzol there was a significant change in echo structure of the prostate adenoma. This is interpreted as a reduction in the interstitial formation of oedema [swelling].”


A unique review12 of studies, over a thirty-one-year period, used eighteen different international trials involving 2,939 men with BPH. They were treated with strong extracts of saw palmetto, standardized for beta-­sitosterol content. After reviewing all these studies, the researchers announced, “The evidence suggests that Serenoa repens [saw palmetto] extract improves urologic symptoms and flow measures.”


Another unique review, in a different manner, was done at the Department of Urology in Glasgow, Scotland.13 Dr. Buck did a twelve-page review of herbal therapy for the prostate, including Harzol, Tadenan, Permixon, Strogen, and Sabalux (all European prescription herbal extracts standardized for beta-sitosterol content). He documents his review with fifty-nine published, worldwide studies, and discusses the biological basis of prostate illness. His conclusions of the efficacy of herbal treatment of prescription drugs and therapy are well founded.



Dr. Braeckman performed a study done at the University of Brussels, Belgium14 using Prostaserene (an extract standardized for beta-sitosterol) for six weeks. This led him to conclude, “Traditional parameters for quantifying prostatism, such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality-of-life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size were found to be significantly improved after only 45 days of treatment. After ninety days of treatment, a majority of patients (88%) and treating physicians (88 percent) considered the therapy effective.”


At the Veterans Administration in Minneapolis15  doctors did a very thorough review of the research on beta-sitosterol, going back over thirty years and including thirty-two references. They concluded that beta-sitosterol had “the greatest efficacy amongst phytotherapeutical substances.” They also concluded that, “Beta-sitosterol improves urological symptoms and flow measures.” A review like this is very impressive, as it uses many studies condensed into one comprehensive presentation.


At the University of Rome16 doctors gave men with BPH (average age of sixty-eight) Permixon for ninety days. This caused a drop of 50 percent in prostate gland DHT levels, and a rise of 72 percent in testosterone levels. More proof that testosterone is necessary for healthy prostate metabolism. It is not the serum level of DHT that is critical, but how much DHT binds to the prostate itself.


At St. Luke’s Hospital in NYC17 doctors did an extensive review of herbal supplements for prostate conditions and noted that all of them had beta-sitosterol as the active ingredient, just like the prescription herbal products sold in Europe. They concluded that beta-sitosterol is the most promising of all medical therapies.


Dr. Berges and his associates at Ruhr University in Germany18 published another study on beta-sitosterol, in 2000. This time they wanted to do a very long-term study, over an eighteen-month period, to prove beyond any doubt the lasting effects of beta-sitosterol therapy on prostate enlargement. This was, of course, a classic double blind study, and they measured many basic indexes to show in detail how the men fared. The untreated men got worse with time, while the men given beta-sitosterol improved in all measured ways. They concluded, “The beneficial effects of beta-sitosterol treatment… were maintained for eighteen months.” This leaves no doubt as to the long-term effectiveness.


These are only a few of the many dozens of studies that have appeared in the major medical journals. They show, in fact, that beta­sitosterol is the active ingredient in herbs. American herbal products, even the most expensive extracts that claim “85 percent fatty acids and sterols,” have almost no beta-sitosterol in them. Analytical studies prove there are no significant active ingredients in any of these products. This is never mentioned on the label, suggesting that almost every over-the-counter natural prostate remedy sold in the U.S. simply has no value.




1.   European Urology, v.21 (1992), pp. 309-14

2.   British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, v.18 (1984), pp. 461-62

3.      Klinische Endokrinologie, v.98 (1980), pp. 102-08

   4.   Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, v.37 (1985), pp. 87-91

5.   Medical Science Research, v.16 (1983), pp. 1067-68

6.   British Journal of Urology, v.80 (1997), pp. 427-32

7.   Urolage A, v.24 (1985), pp. 49-51

8.   Lancet, v.345 (1995), pp. 1529-32

9.   Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica, v.39 (1987), pp. 45-50

10. Prostate, v.37 (1998), pp. 187-93

11. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, v.22 (1990), pp. 667-73

12. Medizinische Klinik, v.77 (1982), pp. 520-22

13. Journal of the Am. Med. Assn., v.280 (1998), pp. 1604-09

14. British Journal of Urology, v.78 (1996), pp. 325-36

15. Current Therapeutic Research, v.55 (1994), pp. 776-85

16. British Journal of Urology, v.83 (1999), pp. 976-83

17. British Journal of Urology, v.85 (2000), pp. 842-46

18. Prostate, v.37 (1998), pp. 77-83








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