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Policosanol is one of the most promising nutritional supplements in recent
history. It is a combination of long-chain fatty alcohols (no biological
similarity to ethanol) that are isolated and refined from sugar cane wax (Saccharum
officinarum). Octacosanol is the most important of these isolated alcohols,
followed by seven other prominent high aliphatic (open-chain structure)
alcohols. This unique extract was originally studied in Cuba as a
cholesterol-lowering agent and is an approved treatment for high cholesterol in
about two-dozen countries.
Policosanol appears to slow down cholesterol synthesis in the liver and increase
liver re-absorption of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Policosanol has also been
shown to increase levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Cholesterol is a
fat-related substance necessary for good health. It is a normal component of
most body tissues, especially those of the brain, nervous system, liver and
blood and is needed to form the sex and adrenal hormones, vitamin D and bile; a
digestive secretion required for fat digestion. A high level of blood
cholesterol, however, increases the likelihood of developing health problems
such as heart disease. There are five types of cholesterol, but it is the HDL
and LDL cholesterol that we look to in assessing the potential for disease.
HDL, referred to as the “good” cholesterol, has the ability to clear built-up
cholesterol from the arteries and help in its removal from the body. LDL, the
“bad” cholesterol, is linked to heart disease and is involved in the fatty
build-up on artery walls known as atherosclerosis or \"hardening of the
arteries\". Recent research indicates that low HDL levels are a strong predictor
of cardiovascular disease.
One of Policosanol’s important actions is to reduce the abundance of cells in
the arteries by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL. Oxidized LDL is dangerous. It
promotes the destruction of blood vessels by creating a chronic inflammatory
response. Oxidized LDL can also provoke metalloproteinase enzymes. These enzymes
promote blood vessel destruction, partly by interfering with HDL’s protective
effect. Healthy arteries are lined with a smooth layer of cells that permit the
blood to pass with no resistance. Unhealthy arteries become overwhelmed with
cells, causing the blood passage to narrow and eventually be blocked which can
lead to heart attack.
In recent studies, Policosanol has been compared favorably to statin drugs,
which are lipid-lowering drugs that reduce cholesterol levels by inhibiting an
enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of cholesterol. Statin drugs and Policosanol
show similar performance with reducing LDL levels but and only Policosanol shows
better performance with increasing HDL levels. Research is showing that high
levels of HDL cholesterol may be the most important factor in protecting against
cholesterol-induced arterial disease.
Policosanol also appears to be helpful for intermittent claudication, a disease
characterized by severe occlusion of the arterial system in the lower part of
the body. The arteries supplying the legs with blood may become seriously
blocked in advanced stages of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This
can lead to severe, crampy pain when you walk more than a short distance,
because the muscles are starved for oxygen. Although we don' know how
Policosanol helps in this condition, evidence suggests that it can "thin" the
blood (or technically, impair platelet aggregation) to about the same extent as
aspirin at a dose of 100 mg per day.
Servings Size: Two (2) Capsules
Servings Per Container: 30
Amount Per Serving:
(Sugar Cane Wax - Saccharum officinarum)
†Daily Value not established.
Other Ingredients: Microcrystalline Cellulose (Plant Fiber), Rice Flour,
Magnesium Stearate, and Silica.
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