Policosanol

Lower Your Cholesterol

Scientific Background
Heart disease, including stroke, is a leading cause of death in Canada. It is the number one cause of hospitalization, and costs the health-care system $18.5 billion annually—more than any other disease. Hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol, is a leading contributor to heart disease. High cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis, a thickening of the walls of the arteries, which are the major blood vessels carrying oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the heart and brain. High cholesterol can also contribute to increased platelet aggregation, or blood clotting. When a clot is carried by the blood through a narrowed artery, it can get stuck and impede blood flow, or stop it entirely, causing heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol is particularly problematic among men over 40, post-menopausal women, and people suffering from obesity or diabetes. Many drugs have been formulated to lower cholesterol, most notably those in a class called “statin” drugs. But virtually all drugs have adverse effects, some so severe that many patients cannot tolerate them. This had led to a search for natural ways to lower cholesterol without adverse effects. In Cuba, research scientists have found that policosanol, which is derived from a wax extracted from sugar cane, is more effective in improving cholesterol levels than many of the statin drugs, without adverse effects.

How it Helps

High cholesterol
The word “cholesterol” suggests that cholesterol is just one thing. In fact, there are several different kinds of cholesterol. LDL and VLDL cholesterol are “bad” cholesterol: they clog arteries. HDL is “good” cholesterol: we need it to stay healthy. A lipid, or fat, associated with cholesterol is triglycerides (TG). All of these types of cholesterol together make up total cholesterol (TC). Numerous studies have demonstrated that policosanol inhibits synthesis of LDL and increases the rate at which it is processed. It also supports increased levels of HDL. Studies of men and women, people with hypercholesterolemia alone or in combination with obesity, type II diabetes, and/or hypertension (high blood pressure) have demonstrated that 5 to 20 mg daily of policosanol daily can lower TC and LDL cholesterol and increase HDL significantly. Some of these studies have taken place over as much as three years, showing that the cholesterol-lowering effects of policosanol are not only sustained over the long term, but significantly increased. In some patients, policosanol also appears to support reduced hypertension, or blood pressure.

Policosanol and other cholesterol-lowering agents
In studies that compared policosanol with statin drugs, policosanol has persistently outperformed all but one of the statin drugs: Atorvastatin. However, Atorvastatin causes significant adverse effects in many patients, including negative effects on liver health. This interferes with patient compliance (the likelihood that patients will take the drug as prescribed) as well as trading off one aspect of health for another. Policosanol has few adverse effects and no effects on liver health. It does not appear to interact negatively with other drugs commonly taken by people who have health issues that are closely related to hypercholesterolemia, such as “beta-blockers,” which are potentially life-saving drugs taken by many heart patients. At least one study suggests that taking policosanol in combination with Omega 3 can support reduced triglyceride levels, the one aspect of lowering total cholesterol on which policosanol has only limited effect.

Other Important Points about SISU Policosanol
Many studies support a role for policosanol in improving intermittent claudication, which is pain in the legs caused by atherosclerosis of the lower extremities. Several studies suggest that policosanol can decrease pain and increase walking distance in these patients, and that this improvement can be sustained over the long term.

Contraindications
Not recommended for use in combination with blood thinning medication. Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Other SISU Products that Support Healthy Cholesterol Levels
• Card Floe – a multi-vitamin for heart health.
• Cholestex Plus – glucomannan for healthy cholesterol levels.
• Cool B3 – non-flushing niacin for healthy cholesterol levels.
• Mixed E Tocopherols – antioxidant support for your heart.
• Selenium Plus – works with Vitamin E.
• Omega 3 – for improved cholesterol levels, including reduced triglycerides.