If you are tired of spending hundreds of dollars on prescription statin drugs and have had enough of the side effects
that come with them then I have good news for you. Over the past few years more and more research has been done on the side
effects of taking policosanol (pronounced poly-co-san-all) and the results have been exciting.
Policosanol is a natural mixture of higher primary aliphatic alcohols isolated and purified from sugar cane wax, whose
main component is octacosanol. There are other sources of octacosanol and policosanol, namely beeswax, however most research
has been done using the sugar cane derived forms.
The research studies show that policosanol has many positive effects such as reducing bad cholesterol levels, reducing
platelet "clumping" and inhibiting the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). A 2002 analysis in the
American Heart Journal reviewed more than 60 clinical trials of sugar cane-derived policosanol that involved more than
3000 patients. The authors concluded that policosanol " is a very promising phytochemical " (natural) alternative to classic
lipis-lowering agents such as statins. " Some of the research indicated that policosanol might even be more effective than
statins or fibrates in increasing "good" cholesterol, or HDL, and lowering total and "bad" LDL cholesterol. One study
showed that patients taking the standard daily 10 mg dose of ploicosanol experienced a 17% drop in total cholesterol, a 25.6%
drop in LDL cholesterol, and a 28.4% rise in HDL cholesterol. These percentages are equal to results obtained with statin
Some studies of specific groups, including post-menopausal women, the elderly, and people who have both diabetes and
heart disease confirmed the cholesterol-lowering effects of policosanol. Policosanol was also shown effective in treating
intermittent claudication, a condition in which poor circulation in the legs causes severe leg pain during exercise. because
policosanol reduces the tendency of blood to clot by reducing the "stickiness" of blood platelets, the tiny particles involved
in clotting, it may help prevent cardiovascular disease in a manner similar to aspirin.
Very few side effects were noted during the studies. because of this, policosanol may require less monitoring with blood
tests than statin medications do. Although it appears there are no major side effects with policosanol, some people have reported
weight loss, rashes, migranes, insomnia or drowsiness, irritability, dizziness, upset stomach, and nose and gum bleeding.
If you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin (coumadin) or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, consult your health
care provider before taking policosanol. There are no known interactions of policosanol with nutrients or foods. You should
not take policosanol if you are pregnant or breast feeding. And although very rare, it is theoretically possible that people
who are allergic to bee stings or have food sensitivity to sugar cane might risk side effects from policosanol.