Archive for the 'Policosanol' Category
Over the past 2 years, researchers from all over the world have failed to confirm the results of early studies in Cuba that reported a cholesterol-lowering effect with policosanol (a mixture of fatty alcohols from waxes of sugar cane).
A literature review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found 15 supplements that had been studied for their benefits in preventing or treating coronary heart disease.
According to the researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle…
- “Most had little data available and most of the data were of poor quality. (more…)
Policosanol is available in the United States as a nutritional supplement with claims that it lowers cholesterol levels. It has been covered extensively on this blog.
With the increase in combination therapy to control hypercholesterolemia, its now been tried and failed when used in combination with atorvastatin (Lipitor).
Most disappointing: Why does policosanol reliably lower cholesterol in Cuba but nowhere else?
Healthcare is expensive, but there is nothing more expensive than paying for drugs that just don’t work.
That appears to be the case with policosanol — at least for anyone living outside Cuba.
During a seminar at the American Heart Association 2006 meeting titled “The Science Behind Popular Nutrition Claims,” medical researchers summarized the research on a number of complementary options to “help maintain a healthy heart.”
Here is a summary of the Medscape article. Links to more info are highlighted.
A new study adds to the mystery of policosanol. Past posts here have summarized the ongoing debate over its effectiveness as a treatment for high cholesterol levels. Studies conducted by the Center of Natural Products at the National Center for Scientific Research in Havana report a dose-dependent reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol of up to 29%.
Outside of Cuba, the results are inconsistent. One proposed reason is the source of the policosanol.
This blog has chronicled the lipid-lowering effects of policosanol, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 20% to 30%. Its mechanism of action differs from statins. However, it’s close enough that for safety, I would be cautious taking policosanol and a statin at the same time. One-A-Day Cholesterol Plus contains policosanol.
In a previous post I reviewed policosanol, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 20% to 30%.
The source of policosanol seems to influence its activity, with Cuban sugar cane-based policosanol being most effective. It’s available on the Internet and in stores. In fact, One-A-Day Cholesterol Plus contains sugar cane-based policosanol.
Now, a study conducted at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy shows how it works.
Three of 16 products failed the content analysis test. One product did not release its ingredients and two others had less than half the expected ingredients.
That’s less than a 20% failure rate, which is better than often reported by this lab.
An article in Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals reports that the following supplements were tested: sterols, policosanol, guggulsterones, fish oil, garlic, niacin, soy protein, red yeast rice, and stanols. I highlighted the supplements discussed at this blog.
The advertisement claims that policosanol (or polycosanol) — a pure extract of sugar cane wax — has been the subject of many clinical trials, even more than most pharmaceutical drugs. And it has outperformed some of popular prescription drugs.
But the positive studies have been primarily sponsored by one company in Cuba and conducted by one research center in Havana.