Beta Sitosterol is derived from many plants and cereal grasses; commonly found in rye germ oil. B-Sitosterol has the ability to emulsify fats; and is found to be 30 times more potent than choline when it comes to the breaking down of cholesterol deposits.
The effects of B-sitosterol (BSS) and B-sitosterol glucoside (BSSG) mixture on selected immune parameters of marathon runners: inhibition of post marathon immune suppression and inflammation.
A pilot study was undertaken to investigate the effects of the intake of capsules containing the plant sterols and sterolins on selected immune parameters of volunteers participating in an ultra-marathon in Cape Town, South Africa. Those runners having received active capsules showed less neutrophilia, lymphopenia and leukocytosis when compared to their counterparts having received placebo capsules - the placebo treated individuals showed significant increases in their total white blood cell numbers as well as in their neutrophils. Furthermore, statistically significant increases within lymphocyte subsets were observed in the runners having received the active capsules: CD3+ cells increased as did CD4+ cells. In parallel, the BSS:BSSG capsules decreased the plasma level of IL6 in the runners using the active capsules and significantly decreased the cortisol: DHEAs ratio, suggesting that these volunteers had less of an inflammatory response and were less immune suppressed during the post-marathon recovery period. These findings justify further investigations into the use of the phytosterols to prevent the subtle immunosuppression associated with excessive physical stress.