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Policosanol: Finally put to rest
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Consistent with the Track Your Plaque experience, policosanol has now been shown in an independent study to have no LDL cholesterol-reducing effects. Take it off your list of supplements.

Despite the success of the statin cholesterol-reducing agents, many people are on the lookout for a more natural substitute, one that achieves similar effects but without the side-effects, particularly muscle aches and weakness.

One such nutritional supplement, purported to exert similar LDL-reducing effects as the statin drugs, is policosanol. Sold worldwide with considerable success, many users have in fact replaced prescribed statin drugs with this agent. But does it truly work?

A unique pedigree

At first glance, the clinical data behind policosanol appeared unassailable: 30 studies enrolling thousands of patients, most of the studies performed using the gold standard study design of “active” agent vs. placebo. LDL reductions of around 25% were observed. HDL was also increased, blood sugar reduced along with diabetic tendencies, and even lipoprotein(a) lowered.

Policosanol is a mixture of sugar-alcohols derived from sugar cane and is thus inexpensive to produce, manufactured from a readily available material, and is essentially side-effect free.

Too good to be true?

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