Anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic activities of B-sitosterol
Author: M.B. Gupta; R. Nath; N. Srivastava; K. Shanker; K. Kishor and K.P. Bhargava
Source: Planta medica (Journal of Medicinal Plant Research), vol. 39, pp. 157-163, 1980
A basic research study using animal experiments was performed to determine whether sterols (plant fats) had any therapeutic properties such as reducing inflammation (anti-inflammatory), reducing fever (antipyretic) and reducing pain (analgesic). An extract of sterols from the seeds of the Indian herbal plant Cyperus rotundus was used in three separate experiments with rats to determine the medicinal properties. It was demonstrated that sterols possess potent anti-inflammatory properties similar to cortisone. Sterols were also demonstrated to reduce experimentally produced edema. Sterols were also shown to have fever-reducing properties similar to aspirin (ASA). However, the sterols did not possess any pain-reducing or analgesic properties. In separate toxicology tests, sterols were shown to possess a very large margin of safety and produced minimal side effects such as gastric ulceration. The study concluded that sterols possess highly potent anti-inflammatory and antipyretic actions with a high margin of safety, suggesting its application to human medicine.
Beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol glucoside stimulate human peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation: Implications for their use as an immunomodulatory vitamin combination
Author: Bouic, P.J.D.; Etsebeth, S.; Liebenberg, R.W.; Albrecht, C.F.; Pegel, K.; Van Jaarsveld, P.P. Source: International Journal of Immunopharmacology, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 693-700, Dec. 1996
This study reports on a series of in-vivo and in-vitro studies which clearly demonstrate that the plant sterols and sterolins (B-sitosterol and its glucoside, B-sitosterolin) have immunomodulatory properties. The first experiment performed in vitro demonstrated that sterols and sterolins had a significant proliferative effect on human T-cells. The effect was observed in extremely low concentrations of sterols/sterolins on the order of 1 femtogram, which represents only 150 molecules of sterol and 10 molecules of sterolin. The best response was obtained when a 100:1 sterol/sterolin mixture was given. The same study was repeated on a small number of human subjects (8) indicating a T-cell proliferative response from 20% to 920% after 4 weeks on the sterol/sterolin mixture. No increase was observed for the 2 subjects receiving placebos. The peak activity of the sterol/sterolin mixture occurred at 6 hours in the in vitro experiments, indicating an effect in the initial stages of T-cell proliferation and activation of membrane antigens. Another in vitro experiment showed significant increases in the cytokines (immune communication molecules) interleukin-2 and gamma interferon on the order of between 17% and 41%. Another in vitro experiment showed an increase in Natural Killer Cell activity for the lysis of experimental cancer cells with the sterol/sterolin mixture. Although sterols and sterolins are poorly absorbed and are not synthesized in the human body, daily intake is required to maintain an optimal immune response. These experiments prove that a 100:1 sterol/sterolin mixture is a potent immuno-modulator with important implications for the treatment and restoration of immune dysfunctions.
The effects of B-sitosterol (BSS) and B-sitosterol glucoside (BSSG) mixture on selected immune parameters of marathon runner: Inhibition of post marathon immune suppression and inflammation
Author: P.J.D. Bouic; P.P. van Jaarsveld; A. Clark; J.H. Lamprecht; M. Freestone and R.W. Liebenberg
Source: International Journal of Sports Medicine
A double blind study was performed on marathon runners to see if the addition of a sterol/sterolin mixture would prevent the immune suppression and inflammatory reaction characteristic to high intensity athletics. Twenty marathon runners were recruited to take part in the trial and blood draws and medical histories were taken 4 weeks prior to the marathon event and three days after. Half the group received a placebo and the other half received a 100:1 mixture of sterols/sterolins. The RBC count went down significantly for the placebo group but remained the same for the treatment group. Neutrophils rose significantly for the treatment group, indicating infection, but remained constant in the treatment group. The lymphocyte count went down for the placebo group, specifically the CD3, CD4, and CD8 subsets. The treatment group actually experienced a significant rise for the CD3 and CD4 lymphocyte subsets. Interleukin 6 levels, which indicate an inflammatory reaction, went up for the placebo group, but down in the treatment group. As well, the cortisol levels, which indicate stress levels and degree of immunosuppression, were significantly elevated for the placebo group, but remained constant in the treatment group. The treatment group showed an increase in DHEA levels and a decrease in the cortisol/DHEA ratio, indicating that the sterol/sterolin mixture was helping to buffer the negative side effects of the stress response. The results of this experiment clearly show that taking a sterol/sterolin mixture prior to a highly stressful physical event protected the treatment group from the immunosuppression typically exhibited by the placebo group. As well, the sterol/sterolin mixture protected against the excessive inflammatory response typical of anyone running a marathon. Thirdly, the sterol/sterolin mixture buffered the excessive release of cortisol with its immunosuppressive effects. As well, the sterol/sterolin mixture raised DHEA levels and lowered the cortisol/DHEA ratio, indicating a more adaptive response to stress. These results indicate that sterols/sterolins are adaptogenic in that they modulate the immune and stress response. This makes them extremely valuable adjuncts to the prevention and treatment of a wide range of stress-mediated disorders, as well as immune dysregulation and inflammatory diseases.