Policosanol – Lowers Cholesterol? Harvard Health Says Its a False Claim. I won’t Buy again.
Policosanol came up in my research as a powerful way to lower cholesterol and in term combat heart disease, stroke and vascular diseases. I bought and tried it once based on all of the information I found, some of which is recorded below. BUT subsequently came across info by both Harvard Medical School and McGill which indicates these claims are highly suspect, see further below. Harvard is not one to shy away from supporting naturopathic approaches when the reliable research is there to back them up. But on this one they seem to be saying “No way Jose!”.
Will therefore not buy again.
From the web: “Policosonol seems to decrease cholesterol production in the liver and to increase the breakdown of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol. It might also help HDL (high-density lipoprotein or “good”) cholesterol work better. Policosanol also decreases the stickiness of cells in the blood known as platelets.
A typical dosage of policosanol used in studies has been five to 10 milligrams twice daily. Studies generally find that it can take up to two months to notice benefits.
Does policosanol dissolve plaque in arteries?Early research suggests that taking policosanol daily, alone or together with aspirin for 20 months, can reduce heart disease-related events in people with clogged arteries.
HOwever, Harvard Medical School says there is absolutely no evidence for this, and an article by McGill University seems to concur:
A number of studies carried out on Cuban patients have indeed shown that that not only does policosanol reduce cholesterol, it does so more effectively than the statin drugs. The most effective component of policosanol seems to be the twenty eight carbon molecule called octacosanol, which the Cubans hypothesize, again without evidence, interferes with cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Furthermore, unlike the statins, policosanol, at least in the Cuban studies, increases HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. Now, though, German researchers, aware that most studies were sponsored by a company founded by Cuba’s National Center for Scientific Research, decided to carry out their own trial. They enrolled 143 people with high cholesterol and divided them into two groups. Half the subjects took policosanol for twelve weeks while the other half took a dummy pill. Blood cholesterol levels were not reduced in either group even though the researchers used the same preparation as in the Cuban trials. Of course, this is just one study, still it is curious that no benefit was seen at all. It seems that if you want your cholesterol levels reduced with policosanol, you have to be Cuban. Needless to say the Cuban researchers have been mum about this study but the German company Bayer has not been thrilled either. Bayer sells “One-A-Day Cholesterol Plus Vitamins” in which it uses sugar cane-based policosanol and hypes the product as “the leading complete multivitamin specially formulated with heart – supporting nutrients.” Maybe the only thing policosonol supports is the sale of the product. ” https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/does-policosanol-reduce-cholesterol
Policosanol: A sweet nothing for high cholesterol
A dietary supplement made from sugar cane doesn’t lower cholesterol as advertised. Posts on the Internet and magazine ads claim that taking policosanol, which is extracted from the waxy coating of sugar cane, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol by 25%. That’s about as much as a modestly powerful statin. One problem with this claim is that the lion’s share of the evidence comes from a single commercial lab in Cuba that markets the supplement. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Heart_Beat_Policosanol_A_sweet_nothing_for_high_cholesterol
A review of controlled trials found that turmeric or its active component curcumin can lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL (Nutrition Journal, Oct. 11, 2017).May 15, 2019