Beta-Sitosterol Side Effects
Diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and indigestion are some of the bothersome but not dangerous side effects that have been reported with beta-sitosterol. Side effects may also include sexual problems, including impotence or decreased sex drive. While people are not likely to develop serious side effects with this product, it is possible to develop an allergic reaction to it.
Does Beta-Sitosterol Cause Side Effects?
Even though it is a "natural" product, beta-sitosterol may cause side effects, most of which are merely bothersome and not usually dangerous. In fact, most people tolerate these products quite well, often without any side effects at all.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with beta-sitosterol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Bothersome Side Effects of Beta-Sitosterol
Reported bothersome (but not dangerous) side effects of beta-sitosterol include:
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Impotence (also known as erectile dysfunction, or ED)
- Decreased sex drive.
The possible sexual side effects of beta-sitosterol can be explained by understanding that it has some effect on male hormones, especially testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Prescription medications used to treat an enlarged prostate and hair loss that have similar effects also tend to cause such sexual side effects.
Serious Side Effects
Beta-sitosterol is not likely to cause serious side effects. However, just as with any medication or supplement, be sure to watch for any signs of allergic reaction, such as:
- A rash
- Swelling of the mouth or throat
- Difficulty breathing.
Of course, serious side effects may be possible if your beta-sitosterol product contains other dietary supplements, herbs, or medications. Inactive ingredients can also cause serious side effects, such as allergic reactions.