Nutritional supplement policosanol does not lower cholesterol levels
- 05-28-2006, 03:33 PM
Nutritional supplement policosanol does not lower cholesterol levels
Nutritional supplementdoes not lower cholesterol levels
A new study suggests that use of the nutritional supplement policosanol does not lower cholesterol levels any more than placebo, apparently contradicting the results of previous studies, according to a study in the JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Policosanol is a natural substance produced from the waxy coating of sugar cane. Cuban sugar cane policosanol is sold in more than 40 countries mainly because of its supposed lipid-lowering effects, according to background information in the article. Numerous policosanol products from a variety of sources (sugar cane, wheat germ, rice bran, beeswax) are available over-the-counter and on the Internet in several countries. Advertising emphasizes predominantly its reputed lipid-lowering effects, comparable with statins (prescription medications taken to lower cholesterol). Most of the published scientific literature, more than 80 trials, supporting the beneficial effects of policosanol on lipids has been authored by a single research group from Cuba. One clinical trial from the Netherlands showed wheat germ -derived policosanol ineffective in lowering total cholesterol and low- lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), sometimes called "bad" cholesterol.
Heiner K. Berthold, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Cologne, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the lipid-lowering effects of policosanol. The multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, trial included 143 patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) or combined hyperlipidemia (excess of fats or lipids in the blood) having baseline LDL-C levels of at least 150 mg/dL and either no or 1 cardiovascular risk factor other than known coronary heart disease, or baseline LDL-C levels of between 150 and 189 mg/dL and 2 or more risk factors. The patients were randomized into 5 groups: 10, 20, 40, or 80 mg/d of policosanol or placebo. The study was conducted from September 2000 to May 2001.
In none of the 5 treatment groups did LDL-C levels decrease more than 10 percent from baseline. No statistically significant difference between policosanol and placebo was observed. In none of the secondary outcome measures, namely total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; known as "good" cholesterol), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a) (a family of lipoprotein particles varying in density and size), and ratio of total or LDL-C to HDL-C, were there any significant effects of policosanol. Policosanol was tolerated well and no severe adverse events occurred.
"Our results suggest that [policosanol] is devoid of clinically relevant lipoprotein-lowering properties in white patients. Still, more independent studies are required to counterbalance the vast body of available positive trials. Although policosanol has been used for more than a decade in clinical trials, there are still no data on patient-related outcomes, such as cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Moreover, independent information should be given to consumers who might take policosanol to improve their cardiovascular risk profile," the authors conclude.
- 05-28-2006, 03:45 PM
hahahaaha......in my studies.....it has worked on every case for lowering LDL and total lipids. This study doesn't say if the doses were twice per day or was it powder, tab, liquid form.....just a gay study IMO
05-28-2006, 04:14 PM
It's not new that we get conflicting studies like this. They've shown this supp to be effective before.
I guess I'd still use it though.
05-28-2006, 04:52 PM
05-29-2006, 12:29 PM
05-29-2006, 01:09 PM
Effects of policosanol and lovastatin on lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in patients with dyslipidemia associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Castano G, Menendez R, Mas R, Amor A, Fernandez JL, Gonzalez RL, Lezcay M, Alvarez E.
Medical Surgical Research Center, Havana City, Cuba.
In this pilot, randomized, double-blind study, we compared the effects of policosanol and lovastatin on lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in patients with dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus. After 4 weeks on a cholesterol-lowering diet, 36 patients were randomized to policosanol (10 mg/day) or lovastatin (20 mg/day) tablets o.i.d. for 8 weeks. Policosanol significantly (p < 0.001) lowered serum low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (29.9%), total cholesterol (21.1%), triglycerides (13.6%) and the LDL-C/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) (36.7%) and total cholesterol/HDL-C (28.9%) ratios and significantly (p < 0.01) increased HDL-C (12.5%). Lovastatin significantly (p < 0.001) lowered LDL-C (25%), total cholesterol (18%), triglycerides (10.9%) and the LDL-C/HDL-C (30.4%) and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios (23.9%) and significantly (p < 0.01) raised HDL-C (8.3%). Policosanol was more effective (p < 0.05) than lovastatin in reducing both ratios and in increasing (p < 0.05) HDL-C. Policosanol, but not lovastatin, significantly raised the lag time (20.9%) of Cu+2-induced LDL peroxidation and total plasma antioxidant activity (24.2%) (p < 0.05). Both policosanol and lovastatin significantly decreased the propagation rate (41.9% and 41.6% respectively, p < 0.001), maximal diene production (8.3% and 5.7%) and plasma levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (9.7% and 11.5%, p < 0.001). Both treatments were well tolerated. Only one patient in the lovastatin group withdrew from the trial due to adverse events. In conclusion, policosanol and lovastatin administered short term to patients with dyslipidemia secondary to type 2 diabetes were effective in lowering cholesterol and in inhibiting the extent of lipid peroxidation. Policosanol (10 mg/day) was slightly more effective than lovastatin (20 mg/day) in reducing the LDL-C/HDL-C and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios, in increasing HDL-C levels and in preventing LDL oxidation. Nevertheless, since this was a pilot study, further clinical studies performed in larger sample sizes of diabetic patients are needed for definitive conclusions.
I have to admit, I believe the majority of the studies in favor of policosanol are based in Cuba which I have always found to be a bit odd.
05-29-2006, 01:10 PM
The drug alot of people have had great success with is Zetia. I know several who have lowered their cholesterol with this, but it is very expensive.
05-29-2006, 06:49 PM
The catch is that Policosanol doesn't seem to work for everyone (I mentioned some people complaining it was not helping them about a year and a half ago in some posts here regarding cholesterol reduction).
Also of note is that most of the studies on the drug were performed in Cuba - which suggests conflict of interest since the drug source is from sugar cane. The most recent study showing no benefit has holes with it's methodology but was not done with ties to Cuba.
I ask each of you who has said "it's worked for me" - are you SURE there were no other cholesterol lowering supplements being used at the same time? Anecodotal evidence is unreliable because of such possibilities.
05-30-2006, 10:15 PM
My dad's cholesterol was around 225 and after 3 months of policosanol it was in the upper 180s. That was with no change in diet and his high blood pressure came down too. 3 months after that he had to go in for something else and his blood pressure was even better and his cholesterol was like 175. The only supp that he added was the policosanol. I think right now he is taking 10mg once a day.
05-30-2006, 10:52 PM
Is this your final answer?Originally Posted by SJA
I dropped quite a bit from the 170's to 139 and this was not placebo. Policosinol only.
Life is a terminal condition.
05-30-2006, 11:44 PM
Even if one is uncertain about it working, I would suggest using it. The cost is rather affordable for most and it is not going to cause any issues otherwise.
05-31-2006, 04:54 PM
Thanks much Natiels and B5150!
I am wondering if the variance in reported effectiveness is due to individual metabolic factors or if perhaps its variation in the quality of the supplement itself.
05-31-2006, 06:16 PM
Most of the published scientific literature, more than 80 trials, supporting the beneficial effects of policosanol on lipids has been authored by a single research group from Cuba. One clinical trial from the Netherlands showed wheat germ -derived policosanol ineffective in lowering total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), sometimes called "bad" cholesterol.
So does that mean that there has been around 80 trials done showing it's beneficial effects and this one particular study has failed to find any such effects?
05-31-2006, 06:54 PM
That's probably because one of Cuba's major exports is sugar cane. Why not hype up a substance derived from your primary export!! (I do believe in policosanol's effects... I've seen them firsthand!!)Originally Posted by size
05-31-2006, 09:21 PM
As do I, I am just surprised with how effective it seems to be based on the Cuban research that more research has not been done.Originally Posted by Pax
However, being that sugar cane is an integral piece of the Cuban exports, there may be incentive to manipulate data and/or results. Cuba is not known for its research.
06-01-2006, 02:30 AM
Actually I started looking into this and found that although the Germans who did the study disproving it, a British university actually created studies proving its effectiveness. It is one of those things that you just have to go with. It is cheap, might as well give it a shot and see if it works on your next blood test. With all the studies out there I don't see how they could have gotten away with that but who knows. I will keep it in our cycle support formula and I will continue to take it either way.
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