The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Archive for the 'Policosanol' Category

Policosanols as nutraceuticals: Fact or fiction

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Researchers at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, pound what might be the final nail in the policosanol coffin. (more…)

Should you trust supplements to lower cholesterol levels?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Researchers from Concord Hospital, in New Hampshire reviewed the evidence and graciously provide us with succinct conclusions.

Here’s what we know. (more…)

Functional foods and cardiovascular risk

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Researchers from the University of Milano, Italy, list what we know. (more…)

Consumer Alert: Hardcore Energize Bullet and New Whey

Monday, July 6th, 2009

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to buy or use Hardcore Energize Bullet (photo) or New Whey liquid products  due to suspected product tampering.

The products are sold in small test tube-like vials. (more…)

A final nail in the policosanol coffin

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

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).

Here’s the latest study from researchers at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. (more…)

More negative results with policosanol

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Here’s the latest in a string of negative results using Cuban sugar cane-derived policosanol.

The results are important because the researchers from Azienda Ospedaliera in Padua, Italy confirmed that the tablets contained the correct amount of policosanol. (more…)

Lack of support for dietary supplements to prevent or treat heart disease

Monday, December 10th, 2007

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…)

Consumer Alert: 3 red yeast products

Monday, August 13th, 2007

The FDA warns to avoid these “natural” treatments for high cholesterol. (more…)

LipidShield: The rest of the story

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

A news release promotes this product as a “natural cholesterol supplement [that is] effective without side effects.”

And on the LipidShield website there is an unpublished study in 30 men and women to prove it. (more…)

More evidence that policosanol does not lower cholesterol

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

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).


The most disappointing CAM in 2006

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Most disappointing: Why does policosanol reliably lower cholesterol in Cuba but nowhere else?


Policosanol: Another negative study result

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

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.


CAM for heart disease: Current state of the evidence

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

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.


McGill researchers report policosanol is ineffective in lowering cholesterol

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

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.

But wait!


Effects of policosanol in patients with ischemic stroke

Friday, September 29th, 2006

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.

Now, a new study reports that policosanol has a positive effect on recovery in patients with ischemic stroke. This might be an overstatement, but let’s take a closer look.


How policosanol lowers cholesterol and implications for your safety

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

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.

(more…) tests cholesterol-lowering supplements

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

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.


Know the source: Policosanol and cholesterol

Friday, August 4th, 2006

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.