Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Beta-sitosterol is closely related chemically to cholesterol but—ironically—works against it in the body. This is good. If you have high cholesterol problems you will want to make note of it. A white waxy sterol, beta-sitosterol is found in almost all plants. Among our staple foods, rice bran, wheat germ, soybeans, and corn oils are particularly rich in beta-sitosterol.

A significant claim to fame is that, taken as a supplement, 300 mg daily, beta-sitosterol is shown to help lower blood serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels with only minimal dietary changes and physical exercise. The healthy diet so necessary to general and heart health—remember that emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats?—will by definition contain it. Whether the beta-sitosterol in the diet is adequate, your doctor and health professionals will be able to tell you and more.

How Beta-sitosterol Can Help

Because it is not absorbed particularly well by the body, only at a rate of 5 to 10 percent, beta-sitosterol is very effective, when consumed with cholesterol, in blocking the absorption of cholesterol. This means lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. This too is good--very good.

Studies do indicate that doses must be high to be effective as a treatment. This probably means taking it as a supplement, whether tablet, capsule or soft gel. Consult your doctor about using beta-sitosterol as a treatment for high cholesterol. Your health is at stake. Isn't it worth the effort?

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