LDL Cholesterol Policosanol

LDL Cholesterol PolicosanolThere are a number of scientific studies about the effects of policosanol on blood lipids and the ability of this supplement to lower LDL or 'bad' cholesterol.

(I believe that readers should be able to 'check the facts' themselves and so I offer you a few abstracts of a few of these studies.)

  1. Effects of policosanol on postmenopausal women with type II hypercholesterolemia (Hypercholesterolemia is simply scientific word for 'high cholesterol') This study was published Gynecological Endocrinolology in June of 2000. The authors were from the Medical Surgical Research Center (CIMEQ) in Siboney, Cuba.

    "This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to investigate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of policosanol, a cholesterol-lowering drug purified from sugar-cane wax, in postmenopausal women with type II hypercholesterolemia .

    A total of 244 women who had experienced the menopause and showed elevated serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels despite 6 weeks on a standard lipid-lowering diet were randomized to receive placebo or policosanol 5 mg/day for 12 weeks, after which the dose was doubled to 10 mg/day for the next 12 weeks.

    Policosanol (5 and 10 mg/day) significantly lowered LDL-C levels (17.7% and 25.2%, respectively) and total cholesterol (12.6% and 16.7%, respectively), as well as the ratios of LDL-C to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (17.0% and 29.3%, respectively) and total cholesterol to HDL-C (16.7% and 27.2%, respectively), compared to the baseline and placebo; at the same time, policosanol significantly raised HDL-C levels by 16.5% and 29.3%, respectively. The drug was safe and well tolerated. No drug-related adverse events were observed, and even the extent of adverse events was less in the policosanol group than in the placebo group. Four serious adverse events occurred in the placebo group (one myocardial infarction, two cases of hypertensive status and one surgical intervention) compared to none in the policosanol group.

    In conclusion, policosanol is effective, safe and well tolerated in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women. END of first study about LDL Cholesterol Policosanol

  2. Policosanol: Clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent. Am Heart Journal Feb. 2002 by researchers at Medical Policlinic, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany, and the Institute for Clinical Research/Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Rotenburg der Fulda.

    BACKGROUND: Policosanol is a mixture of higher primary aliphatic alcohols isolated from sugar cane wax, whose main component is octacosanol. The mixture has been shown to lower cholesterol in animal models, healthy volunteers, and patients with type II hypercholesterolemia.

    METHODS: We reviewed the literature on placebo-controlled lipid-lowering studies using policosanol published in peer-reviewed journals as well as studies investigating its mechanism of action and its clinical pharmacology.

    RESULTS: At doses of 10 to 20 mg per day, policosanol lowers total cholesterol by 17% to 21% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 21% to 29% and raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 8% to 15%. Because higher doses have not been tested up to now, it cannot be excluded that effectiveness may be even greater.

    Daily doses of 10 mg of policosanol have been shown to be equally effective in lowering total or LDL cholesterol as the same dose of simvastatin or pravastatin. Triglyceride levels are not influenced by policosanol.

    At dosages of up to 20 mg per day, policosanol is safe and well tolerated, as studies of >3 years of therapy indicate. There is evidence from in vitro studies that policosanol may inhibit hepatic cholesterol synthesis at a step before mevalonate generation, but direct inhibition of the hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase is unlikely.

    Animal studies suggest that LDL catabolism may be enhanced, possibly through receptor-mediated mechanisms, but the precise mechanism of action is not understood yet. Policosanol has additional beneficial properties such as effects on smooth muscle cell proliferation, platelet aggregation, and LDL peroxidation. Data on efficacy determined by clinical end points such as rates of cardiac events or cardiac mortality are lacking.

    CONCLUSIONS: Policosanol seems to be a very promising phytochemical alternative to classic lipid-lowering agents such as the statins and deserves further evaluation. End of second study about LDL Cholesterol Policosanol

  3. Effects of policosanol treatment on the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) isolated from healthy volunteers to oxidative modification in vitro Br J Clin Pharmacol. September 2000 by Roberto Menéndez, Rosa Más, Ana MA Amor, Rosa MA González, Julio C Fernández, Idania Rodeiro, Mirta Zayas, and Sonia Jiménez Center of Natural Products, National Center for Scientific Research Havana, Cuba

    CONCLUSIONS: "Policosanol significantly lowered total cholesterol by 10.5% (5 mg day-1) and 12.4% (10 mg day-1) and LDL-C by 16.7% and 20.2%, respectively. Also, policosanol (10 mg day-1) increased HDL-C by 15.2%. Five subjects withdrew from the study, none because of adverse experiences. No clinical or blood biochemical drug-related disturbances were found." End of third study about LDL Cholesterol Policosanol

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    End of article about LDL Cholesterol Policosanol - updated November 2009