Policosanol has been touted as a dietary supplement that can lower
cholesterol as well as statin drugs, without the side effects.
Studies indicate that it works by inhibiting cholesterol formation in the
liver. * More clinical studies below….
A typical dosage of policosanol used in studies has been 5 to 10 mg two
times a day. Studies generally found that it can take up to two months to
notice benefits. So do not be fooled by other information floating out
there. Policosanol works by itself. Nothing more is needed in this pill,
just 20 mg of Policosanol.
Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and
author of "The Truth About the Drug Companies" gives us some revealing
· The makers of Lipitor and Zocor alone spent $150 million on advertising
in one year alone in 2000.
· The pharmaceutical giants employed 88,000 sales representatives in 2001
to "visit" doctors, promote their products and provide them with free
samples. That comes out to one drug rep for every 6 practicing physicians!
· Medical protocol dictates that statin drugs are automatically prescribed
as the "standard of care" regardless of the need.
· Physicians have never studied Policosanol research. Most doctors know
little or nothing about the Policosanol benefits.
Recent Policosanol Benefits Clinical Studies
Policosanol has shown to be more effective than Zocor and other statin
Reported in New Hope Natural Media, 6/6/02
"In a six-month study, 10 mg per day of Policosanol reduced total
cholesterol by 16% and LDL cholesterol by 24%, and increased HDL
cholesterol by 29%."
Several other studies have compared this cholesterol-lowering supplement
with some of the conventional medications used to reduce cholesterol and
the results have shown that of 5 to 20 mg per day to be more effective than
Lovastatin (Mevacor®), pravastatin (Pravachol®)and Simvastatin (Zocor®).
Double-Blind Study Comparing Policosanol to Statin Drugs
In a 1997 head-to-head study, Policosanol was compared with statin drugs
lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol)
Policosanol and ZOCOR were found to be equally effective in lowering
cholesterol during an eight-week study...but Policosanol benefits also
included significantly increased HDL-cholesterol levels and Zocor did not.
The side effects of these statin drugs
University of California San Diego Study.
The following study which was put together by a group of scientists,
doctors and students at the University Of California San Diego School Of
Medicine pulls no punches in analyzing the side effects of Lipitor, Zocor,
Crestor, Vytorin and similar statin drugs.
· Changes in liver function.
· Muscle symptoms are common Lipitor side effects.
· Memory and Concentration. Some people report changes in memory,
attention, or concentration on statins. Some describe "holes in their
memory" and worry that they are developing Alzheimer's.
· Depression and Irritability. Many people report depression and changes in
mood as Lipitor side effects.
· Low serotonin has been reported as another side effect of statin drugs.
· Tough time swallowing.
· Headaches, Joint and Abdominal Pain.
· Peripheral Neuropathy.
· Sleep problems, sexual function problems, fatigue, dizziness and a sense
of detachment are also reported Lipitor side effects.
These Policosanol benefits are not found in statin drugs such as Lipitor
and its generic cousins.
· Policosanol doesn’t interfere with sex life as statins often do.
· Policosanol increases protective HDL cholesterol levels. Most statin
drugs do NOT improve HDLs. HDL cholesterol levels typically increase by 15
to 25% after only two months of Policosanol use.
· The "good" HDL cholesterol is the "Superman" heart protector. HDL
cholesterol acts like a miniature hydraulic vacuum cleaner, streaming
through your arteries scooping up the heart-stopping LDL cholesterol, and
carrying it back to your liver where it can be dealt with.
1. HDLs also douse the fires of inflammation. It is this smoldering
inflammation and oxidation that causes the cholesterol in our arteries to
turn rancid and clog our arteries.
2. Scientific studies also show that people with the highest levels of HDL
cholesterol live longest!
New studies show that oxidation and inflammation are more important
contributors to artery-clogging than just high LDLs alone.
· Lowers Lp(a) cholesterol. Numerous researchers say this is the "worst"
form of cholesterol.
· Reduces platelet aggregation (stickiness) which lowers risk of arterial
· Improves intermittent claudication (pain in the leg muscles due to
inadequate blood supply).
· This all-natural supplement may prevent and reverse atherosclerotic
lesions and thrombosis (clotting).
Is Policosanol safe and side effect free?
One of the best Policosanol benefits is the lack of negative side effects.
In studies of 27,879 patients (17,225 patients for two years and 10,654
patients for four years), only 86 patients (0.31%) reported adverse
effects, the most frequent of which was weight loss.
· Numerous clinical trials show that elderly persons, diabetics and those
with liver damage can safely take Policosanol.
· Studies show that this all-natural product made from sugar cane DOES NOT
affect blood thinning and there is no interaction between Policosanol and
blood-thinning medication such as warfarin.
A mixture of higher aliphatic primary alcohols derived from sugar cane wax
has become popular in such places as Cuba for its reputed
cholesterol-lowering benefits, energizing effects and enhancement of sexual
function. It is also the source of another increasingly popular
supplement--octacosanol (the primary long-chain alcohol in policosanol).
There are a number of animal studies suggesting that policosanol can lower
cholesterol, that it can inhibit experimentally induced atherosclerotic
lesions of cerebral ischemia, that it can help prevent the peroxidation of
lipoprotein and inhibit platelet aggregation.
Human studies have been increasing. In one recent study, patients with
LDL-cholesterol greater than 160 mg/dl were randomized in a double-blind
fashion to receive policosanol (10 milligrams daily), lovastatin (20
milligrams daily) or simvastatin (10 milligrams daily). After eight weeks
of therapy, LDL-cholesterol was reduced 24% in the policosanol groups, 22%
in the lovastatin group and 15% with simvastatin. HDL-cholesterol increased
significantly in the policosanol group but not in the other two groups.
Policosanol was judged to be "a safe and effective cholesterol reducing
agent." In another recent double-blind study of policosanol's possible
effects in hypercholesterolemia, patients received 5 milligrams of
policosanol or placebo daily for 12 weeks followed by 10 milligrams of
policosanol or placebo for a subsequent 12 weeks. Policosanol (5 and 10
milligrams daily) appeared to significantly reduce LDL-cholesterol (18.2%
and 25.6% respectively) and reduce cholesterol (13% and 17.4%). It appeared
to raise HDL-cholesterol (15.5% and 28.4%). Triglycerides were unchanged in
the first 12-week period but were significantly reduced (5.2%) by the end
of the second 12-week period.
Side effects were few and minor. There were 11 serious (7 of these were
vascular) adverse events among those taking policosanol. Policosanol
appears to significantly reduce platelet aggregation in both healthy and
hypercholesterolemic individuals, apparently proving as effective (at 20
milligrams daily doses) as aspirin (100 milligrams per day). The substance
also appears to demonstrate a beneficial effect in patients with
intermittent claudicating. Long-term therapy (20 months) using 5 milligrams
of policosanol twice a day resulted in significant improvement in treadmill
exercise performance and exercise — ECG responses in a group of coronary
heart disease patients. The addition of 125 milligrams of aspirin daily
further enhanced these results. It is hoped that others will confirm these
very promising, largely Cuban studies.
Policosanol's reputed efficacy in boosting energy and enhancing sexual
function, particularly male sexual function, is entirely anecdotal.
Policosanol is not recommended for children, pregnant women and nursing
mothers. Because of possible antithrombotic activity, those taking warfarin
and hemophiliacs should exercise caution in the use of policosanol.
Policosanol supplementation should be stopped before any surgery.
Mild gastrointestinal side effects, skin rash, headache, insomnia and
weight loss have been reported. The incidence of these adverse reactions is
low. Policosanol is generally well tolerated.
Except for the possible lowering of serum total cholesterol and
LDL-cholesterol, policosanol does not appear to affect any other laboratory
Hypercholesterolemia The majority of policosanol research is on patients
with type II hypercholesterolemia. Fifteen randomized, placebo-controlled,
double-blind studies have shown positive results. (15-29) Significant
decreases in total cholesterol (TC) (8-23%), LDL (11.3-27.5%), LDL/HDL
(15.3-38.3%), and TC/HDL (9.1-30.5%) were observed in all trials. Of the 13
trials measuring HDL, seven showed significant increases and in six HDL was
unchanged. Doses ranged from 2-40 mg/day, with decreases in TC, LDL,
LDL/HDL, and TC/HDL and increases in HDL being dose-dependent up to 20
mg/day, with no further benefit at 40 mg/day. However, 40 mg/day
significantly decreased triglycerides (TG), which was not seen with lower
Policosanol was effective in three studies on patients with type 2 diabetes
mellitus and hypercholesterolemia. (30-32) All three trials used 5 mg twice
daily for 12 weeks. Total cholesterol was reduced by 14-29 percent, LDL was
reduced by 20-44 percent, LDL/ HDL ratio was reduced by 24-52 percent, and
HDL was increased by 8-24 percent. No adverse effect on glycemic control
was noted in any of the studies. In trials comparing policosanol with
lovastatin (20 mg/ day), policosanol performed significantly better at
raising HDL and lowering the LDL/HDL ratio. (32,33)
Two studies with a total of 300 patients indicate policosanol is effective
in postmenopausal women with hyperlipidemia. (34,35) Both studies started
with 5 mg daily, which was later increased (at week 8 in one study. (34)
and week 12 in the other (33)) to 10 mg daily for a period of eight or 12
more weeks. At the end of the 5-mg portion, TC, LDL, LDL/HDL, and TC/HDL
decreased by 13-20 percent, 17-18 percent, 17.0-17.2 percent, and 16.3-16.7
percent, respectively, whereas HDL was unchanged in one trial and increased
by 16.5 percent in the other. At the end of the 10-mg/day period
policosanol supplementation resulted in decreased TC, LDL, LDL/HDL, and TC/
HDL by 17-20 percent, 25-28 percent, 27-30 percent, and 21-27 percent,
respectively, and increased HDL 7-29 percent. Significantly more side
effects were seen in the placebo group in each trial.
In comparative trials policosanol generated lipid profiles similar to
simvastatin, (36,37) pravastatin, (10,38) lovastatin, (32,35,39) probucol,
(40) acipimox, (41) and atorvastatin. (42) First, two trials on patients
with type II hypercholesterolemia, comparing low dose simvastatin (5 or 10
mg/day) and moderate dose policosanol (5 or 10 mg/day), demonstrated that
both substances greatly improved lipid profiles with no significant
differences in results or side effects between the groups. (36,37) Second,
policosanol (10 mg/day) compared favorably to low-dose pravastatin (10
mg/day) in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia in two studies.
(10,38) In one trial. Policosanol-treated patients had significantly
greater decreases in LDL, LDL/HDL, TC/HDL, and increases in HDL, (38) while
in another trial policosanol-treated patients had significantly greater
increases in HDL. (10) The pravastatin group had more side effects in both
studies. A study comparing policosanol to lovastatin in patients with type
2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia (type II) found policosanol (10 mg/
day) is more effective at lowering LDL/HDL and increasing HDL than 10
mg/day lovastatin, with significantly fewer side effects. (32) In addition,
in patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and concomitant coronary risk
factors, policosanol (10 mg/day) decreased LDL/HDL and increased HDL more
effectively than 20 mg/day lovastatin, with fewer side effects. (39)
Policosanol (5 mg twice daily) also compared favorably to probucol (500 mg
twice daily) at reducing TC, LDL, and TG in patients with type II
hypercholesterolemia. (40) Again, policosanol (10 mg/day) compared
favorably to acipimox (750 mg/day), a niacin derivative, in regard to TC,
LDL, LDL/HDL, TC/HDL, and HDL, with fewer side effects. (41) Lastly,
policosanol was significantly less effective than atorvastatin (Lipitor) in
reducing both LDL and TC, although it was similar in reducing both
atherogenic ratios and TG. Atorvastatin, however, significantly increased
(p < 0.05) creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and creatinine, whereas
policosanol significantly reduced alanine aminotransferase (AST), glucose
(p < 0.01), and CPK (p < 0.05) levels. (42) These studies suggest a
therapeutic benefit to policosanol in type II hypercholesterolemia, while
presenting no adverse effects on the liver.
LifeSource Vitamins - Policosanol - 60 Capsules, a dietary supplement that
can lower cholesterol just as well as statin drugs, without the side
effects, Cardiovascular Support, lowering cholesterol, cholesterol support.
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as well as all Good Manufacturing Practices enforced by the FDA. CGMP's
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