When I first heard about the benefits of policosanol in 2002 it seemed like it was too good to be true. If the policosanol benefits really were as significant as reported in dozens of clinical studies why didn't my doctor tell me about it?
The sad truth is that most people have never heard about the significant benefits of policosanol. The makers of Lipitor, Crestor, Vytorin and other statin drugs would love to keep this information a secret.
Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and author of "The Truth About the Drug Companies" exposes the drug makers:
The makers of Lipitor and Zocor alone spent $150 million on advertising in the year 2000 alone. The pharmaceutical giants employed 88,000 sales representatives in 2001 to "visit" doctors, promote their products and provide them with free samples. That comes out to one drug rep for every 6 practicing physicians!
Medical protocol dictates that statin drugs are automatically prescribed as the "standard of care" regardless of the need. My cardiologist was "miffed" when I chose policosanol rather than take a statin drug.
Most physicians have never studied the policosanol research to discover its benefits. The physician who is up to speed on natural remedies is rarer than a do-do bird.
Reported in New Hope Natural Media, 6/6/02
"In a six-month study, 10 mg per day of Policosanol reduced total cholesterol by 16% and LDL cholesterol by 24%, and increased HDL cholesterol by 29%."
In a 1997 head-to-head study policosanol was compared with statin drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol.)
Policosanol and ZOCOR were found to be equally effective in lowering cholesterol during an eight week study...but policosanol benefits also included significantly increased HDL-cholesterol levels and Zocor did not.
In a study put together by a group of scientists, doctors and students at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, these researchers pull no punches in analyzing the side effects of Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Vytorin and similar statin drugs.
They found changes in liver function, muscle pain and myopathy, memory problems, reduced sexual function and more.
Whole Health MD describes policosanol as "a unique natural product derived from sugar cane wax and beeswax: It has proved effective at reducing cholesterol levels and for some individuals may be a reasonable natural alternative to the commonly prescribed "statin-type" cholesterol-lowering drugs."
You may be thinking, "Uh-oh, if I took a product made from sugar cane, wouldn't that increase my blood sugar levels?" It's a good question, and the answer is no.
Sugar is sugar, and policosanol is unrelated to sugar, chemically speaking. It just happens to be extracted from the the sugar cane plant.
Note: Some cheaper forms of policosanol are derived from rice, plant waxes and bees wax. These "bargain" formulas are often less effective. Sugar cane policosanol was used in the original clinical studies.
"The results from the clinical studies involving nearly 30,000 total patients clearly demonstrate that policosanol is overall the absolute best answer to high cholesterol levels, whether we are talking about a nutritional supplement, herbal product or drug."
HDL cholesterol is the "Superman" heart protector
. HDL cholesterol acts like a miniature hydraulic vacuum cleaner, streaming through your arteries scooping up the heart- stopping LDL cholesterol, and carrying it back to your liver where it can be dealt with.
HDLs also douse the fires of inflammation. It is this smoldering inflammation and oxidation that causes the cholesterol in our arteries to turn rancid and clog our arteries.
In numerous clinial studies Policosanol has been shown to increase protective HDL cholesterol levels by 15% to 25% after only two months of policosanol use .
Scientific studies also show that people with the highest levels of HDL cholesterol live longest! New studies also show that oxidation and inflammation are more important contributors to artery clogging than just high LDLs alone.
Dosage used in the clinical studies was from 10 mg to 20 mg per day. It was shown that increasing the dose to 40 mg had little additional benefit.
Pregnant or nursing women should not take policosanol without consulting with a health care professional.
Following are my personal policosanol benefits:
Total cholesterol dropped from 255 to 226 but the best news is that the HDLs went up 43% and LDLs dropped 14% for an improvement in the important Cholesterol to HDL ratio of a whopping 38%.
"Triglycerides also dropped 100 points, from 167 to 67, an improvement of 60%."
"My cholesterol was 397 and my doctor wanted to put me on Lipitor but I was afraid of the side effects. Gene gave me the research information on policosanol for my doctor to review and although he was somewhat skeptical he gave me the go ahead to give it a try.
"When I got my first follow up test after 8 weeks total cholesterol had dropped to 240. But the best news is that my HDL cholesterol was up which improved my ratio from 7 to 4.3 which is very good. I am elated and my doctor was pleased and I think a little bit surprised. He said "Keep on doing what you're doing."
"When the results of my lipid panel came back in the spring of 2001, my triglycerides were sky high (1723) and my HDL so low (8) that I was frightened enough to try any solution the doctor suggested.
"A combination of a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, exercise and the use of high doses of niacin, brought the triglycerides down to a reasonable level; however, nothing seemed to budge the low HDL level to much above 18.
"When we moved out of state, my new doctor insisted that I try a combination of niacin and simvastatin to address what he thought were "unacceptable" numbers. In 2010 I finally caved and agreed to the statin combo drug.
Within a year I was unable to walk up and down stairs and couldn't lift myself from a sitting position without holding on to something.
"I immediately stopped the statin/niacin (against the doctor's advice), and I began in earnest scouring the internet for alternative solutions to what for me had been harmful pharmaceutical drugs.
"How fortunate for me that I found the Millen's Vital Heart Health for Life site. I ordered policosanol and within six months my HDL began improving. My last test, three months ago showed my HDL at 36, not ideal I realize, but for me the best it has ever been. Triglycerides and LDL were also within normal range, and my total cholesterol was 180.
"I am so very thankful that Gene and Bernie Millen continue to offer what I consider life-saving advice and products for those of us who are desperately searching for alternatives to the "traditional" drugs prescribed by most physicians today.
By: Janelle Carey, Savoy, Illinois
Click here to try Vital Life Nutrionals Policosanol Extra Strength capsules (made with the same formula used in the clinical studies) Limited Time Offer. Save up to 40%!
Related Policosanol Benefits
- Recent Policosanol Research 2013
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- Vytorin Side Effects
Arruzazabala M. L., Valdes S., Mas R., et al. (1995): Effect of policosanol succesive dose increase in platelet aggregation healthy volunteers. Pharmacol. Res. 34:181-185. Vital Heart