Policosanol (polycosanol) is a natural substance derived from
sugar cane wax, yam wax and beeswax. Chemically, it is a long
chain aliphatic alcohol. Policosanol is the generic name given
to a collection of several of these substances that are
collectively known as fatty alcohols. It appears to be a
promising natural alternative treatment to statin drugs used to
lower cholesterol, among other things.
the research into the effectiveness of policosanol has been
undertaken in Cuba. It’s been called some of the most promising
research into a low-cost alternative to expensive cholesterol
lowering drugs. The results show that not only is policosanol
effective in lowering LDL, it also seems to have a positive
effect on other coronary risk factors. In fact, in 2002, the
American Heart Journal declared that policosanol is "a very
promising phytochemical alternative to classic lipid-lowering
Policosanol (Polycosanol) Does:
Scientists are uncertain of the exact action of policosanol,
though there have been some animal studies that suggest it acts
by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. It is
possible that policosanol acts in tandem (synergistically) with
octacosanol, another long chain fatty alcohol.
Policosanol appears to be absorbed into the blood stream via the
small intestine, and excreted in the bile. Its major effect
seems to be on lowering cholesterol, but there is research
looking into the role of polycosanol in preventing and reversing
Benefits of Policosanol (Polycosanol):
number of studies, with both animal and human subjects,
policosanol has been shown to lower levels of serum cholesterol
in the blood. It also inhibits platelet aggregation in patients
with high cholesterol at least as effectively as the commonly
prescribed dosage of aspirin. In one study, patients taking
polycosanol in a double-blind placebo trial showed significant
lowering of LDL cholesterol and increase in HDL cholesterol.
Policosanol appears to have a synergistic effect on aspirin,
increasing its effectiveness in lowering the aggregation of
platelets in human subjects in several different studies.
Side Effects of Policosanol (Polycosanol)
stomach upset, headaches, insomnia and skin rashes have been
very rarely reported. Because policosanol (polycosanol) may have
an antithrombotic effect, it is suggested that hemophiliacs and
patients taking warfarin should consult a doctor before taking
polycosanol. Policosanol should be stopped before surgery.
Policosanol shows a great deal of promise as a low cost
alternative to more expensive cholesterol reducing drugs. There
are many studies underway to determine the exact mechanism by
which it works in the body. Its low incidence of side effects
and low cost make it a welcome substitute for statin drugs.
Patients with blood clotting disorders or who take warfarin
should consult a doctor and take with caution.