Policosanol normalizes cholesterol levels as well as or better than drugs, without any of their side-effects. Its efficacy and safety have been proven in numerous clinical trials in the U.S. and it has been used by millions of people in other countries.
Policosanol is a natural supplement made from sugar cane, the main ingredient being octacosanol. Octacosanol is an alcohol found in the waxy film that plants have over their leaves and fruit. The leaves and rinds of citrus fruits contain octacosanol, and so does wheat germ oil. Caviar, which reportedly has health benefits, contains high amounts of octacosanol.
Policosanol works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol but its exact mechanism of action is not known.
Another action of policosanol is reducing the proliferation of cells. Healthy arteries are lined with a smooth layer of cells so that blood can race through with no resistance. One of the features of diseased arteries is that this layer becomes thicker and overgrown with cells. As the artery narrows, blood flow slows down or is blocked completely.
Policosanol can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 20% and raise protective HDL cholesterol by 10%. This compares favorably with cholesterol-lowering drugs which have the drawback of side-effects such as liver dysfunction and muscle atrophy.
The recommended dose is one 10mg tablet twice per day with meals; one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Higher doses are being studied for additional benefit.
Policosanol has other actions against heart disease in addition to lowering cholesterol. Like statin drugs, policosanol helps stop the formation of arterial lesions. One of policosanol's important actions is to inhibit the oxidation of LDL, which is the major contributor to arterial damage. Oxidized LDL promotes the destruction of blood vessels by creating a chronic inflammatory response.
Policosanol inhibits the formation of clots, and may work synergistically with aspirin in this respect. 75% of strokes are of the clotting kind. In a comparison of aspirin and policosanol, aspirin was better at reducing one type of platelet aggregation (clumping together of blood cells) but policosanol was better at inhibiting another type. Together, policosanol and aspirin worked better than either alone.
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