Many of those who are doing research on nutrition and dietary supplements may not know much about the plant sterol called campesterol and what it does for the body. Campesterol is one of a number of plant sterols or “phytosterols” that are now made into dietary supplements for treating some health conditions. But these elements are also present in natural foods. Knowing more about campesterol and its uses will help consumers make decisions about how to add this kind of phytosterol to a diet or when to take one of several campesterol supplements that are available on the market.
Uses of Campesterol
Campesterol is most commonly used as a treatment for a prostate condition called benign prostate hyperplasia. Some campesterol dietary supplements are common for treating this kind of urinary problem. Many of them are derived from the saw palmetto plant, which has a natural abundance of campesterol. Reports from industry professionals show that campesterol was used in traditional medicines for this purpose, and that as early as 1974, blends of plant sterols were used in modern medicine for treating non-oncological prostate issues.
Aside from potential in helping to ease prostate issues, some scientists see campesterol as valuable in its ability to lower cholesterol. A diet high in fresh produce may present the right levels of campesterol to help the body deal with cholesterol levels. Some clinical trials have shown an impressive link between higher levels of campesterol and plant sterols and lower levels of the cholesterol that causes heart health risks. However, dietary levels of plant sterols affect each individual differently. Some may benefit from additional intake of campesterol and plant sterols, but medical experts warn that for others, the same elements can cause a higher risk for some kinds of cardiovascular conditions.
In a less clinical community, some see campesterol supplements as a potential remedy for various other common medical complaints like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and sinusitis. Avdocates of this natural remedy even sometimes claim that it can be effective in treating serious degenerate conditions like HIV and Hepatitis C.
Government and public health groups are looking at campesterol and other plant sterols to see how they affect the body overall, and a range of government websites cover some of the pros and cons associated with plant sterols. Industry reports show that the FDA has approved some campesterol supplements for regular use in promoting heart health. A disclaimer warns that patients who are “pregnant, nursing a baby, or have a chronic medical condition, such as, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease” should not take campesterol supplements without specific medical supervision.
In general, those who may benefit from taking campesterol supplements include individuals with good cardiovascular health who may have some forms of prostate inflammation or growth. For more information, talk to your family doctor about what campesterol or other plant sterols can do in a regular diet or as regularly prescribed dietary supplements.