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Old 05-22-2006, 09:34 AM
Mari Mari is offline
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Default Policosinol revisited

I heard a Dr. on TV yesterday discussing a new study done in Germany on policosinol that showed it to be non-effective in controlling cholesterol.

When asked why we should pay attention to one study against when there were 80 studies proving it to be useful, his answer was to look at the source of the studies. The 80 pro-policosinol studies were done in Cuba and financed by the manufacturers. The one study in Germany was independent.

I have used policosinol for about 3 years and have not found it lowered my cholesterol but continued because I thought that my cholesterol might be even higher if I were not taking it.

Research Casts Doubt On Cholesterol Pill
POSTED: 3:47 pm PDT May 16, 2006

CHICAGO -- German research casts doubt on the effectiveness of a sugar cane-based ingredient sold as a cholesterol treatment in One-A-Day vitamins and other products marketed in dozens of countries.

The substance, called policosanol, worked no better than dummy pills in German adults with high levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad kind that can clog arteries and lead to heart problems.

Even in high doses, policosanol derived from Cuban sugar cane produced no meaningful changes in cholesterol levels during 12 weeks of treatment, said lead author Dr. Heiner Berthold of the German Medical Association's drug commission.

Most previous studies that reached the opposite conclusion were sponsored by a company founded by Cuba's National Center for Scientific Research to market policosanol, the German researchers said. The Cuban scientific center didn't respond to requests for comment.

The German study involving 143 people appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Patients were randomly assigned to get policosanol in various doses or dummy pills for 12 weeks. There was no difference in the levels of LDL in volunteers in either group.

Berthold, executive secretary of the German Medical Association's drug commission, said his research doesn't rule out that policosanol might be effective in different ethnic groups or that other formulations might have different effects.

But he believes the product's claims have been overstated because there's no "mechanism of action" to explain how it might lower cholesterol.

Policosanol is a combination of alcohols that come from plant wax. Cuban sugar cane-based policosanol is sold in more than 40 countries, mostly as a cholesterol treatment, the researchers said. Other sources for the ingredient include wheat germ, rice, bran and beeswax. Policosanol products are widely available on the Internet and in stores.

Bayer Consumer Care uses sugar cane-based policosanol in its One-A-Day Cholesterol Plus vitamins and calls it "the leading complete multivitamin specially formulated with heart-supporting nutrients."

Bayer spokeswoman Tricia McKernan said the study "was not designed to address a claim that along with diet and exercise, policosanol can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range."

"Bayer makes only the latter claim, and agrees with the authors that consumers should always discuss their cardiovascular risk profile with their doctor," McKernan said.

Policosanol is marketed in Cuba as a natural medicine called PPG with purported benefits including lowering cholesterol levels, boosting energy and weight loss.

Juventud Rebelde, the Communist Youth newspaper, reported last year that about 250,000 people in Cuba take PPG and that it is exported to various other countries.

Andrew Shao, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group for dietary supplement makers, said the new research "is only one study" and not the final word on policosanol.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:26 AM
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Mad Scientest Mad Scientest is offline
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If you haven’t already read Arrowwind’s “free book” thread, do it. It is a most informative article on cholesterol.

[Never assume the obvious to be true.]
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:35 PM
Jack Pine Savage Jack Pine Savage is offline
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If you want to try and control your BP naturally,
try plain old niacin. Available at your HFS, also
at Walmart, where I buy mine. It is also avail.
in a "flush free" version for a couple bucks more.
You'll not have to worry about a facial flush with
this version. Not all people get this reaction.

This is Vit B-3 and it works. If you wish, you can
have your doc write a prescription for essentially
the same stuff. I take 500mg tab/day to control
my BP.

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Old 05-22-2006, 12:50 PM
Lab Rat Lab Rat is offline
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Hi All,

For anecdotal purposes, I wanted to say that I took policosanol 20 mg/dy from Source Naturals for about 5 months. During that time, my cholesterol did not change enough to make any significant difference. I did develop some bleeding problems and hematomas. So, I stopped. I think that policosanol will work for some people and not for others. It may also have a better effect if cholesterol levels are very high ( >250 mg/dL).

I hope that more studies are conducted on the efficacy of policosanol. There doesn’t seem to be too many good independent studies. Most of those are the Cuban studies.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:51 PM
Roxie Roxie is offline
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Default Policosanol and niacin

Policosanol at maximum doses for 3 months did nothing to my cholesterol. (I took it a long while ago, before I learned it was better not to lower it!)

No-flush Niacin at 1,500 mgs. daily controls my triglycerides beautifully, but does nothing for my high blood pressure. I think it's great you are getting help with only 500 mgs......maybe because it is not no-flush?

I am taking herbs which have lowered my BP, but not enough to go off meds.

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Old 05-23-2006, 05:36 AM
EarlyBird EarlyBird is offline
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Default Policosonol!

I took Policosonol for a number of months too, then quit since it didn't seem to do anything positive for my cholesterol numbers.
Another waste of time and money on this one! :x I've stopped worrying about my cholesterol numbers.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:30 AM
Marcus Marcus is offline
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My brother, who has elevated cholesterols swears by cinnamon for bringing a degree of reduction. He takes quite a bit of it everyday but I don't know how much. He has not been able to leave his Lipitor or whatever else he takes behind though.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:54 AM
Roxie Roxie is offline
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Default Cinnamon

Hi Arrowwind,
I take 2 teaspoons of cinnamon daily because it is supposed to help prevent Type II diabetes. That is the amt. that I read would do the job.
It has not lowered my cholesterol or my blood sugar, so if you fnd out how much your brother is taking that is working, please do post it. I would be very interested.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:03 AM
EarlyBird EarlyBird is offline
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Default Cinnamon!

Seems like I recall 1 Tablespoon daily for Diabetes
controll. But it doesn't have to all be used at just
one meal. I seem to go in spurts, remembering
to use it on sweet potatoes and in cooked cereals
and apples, but not in much else.

Maybe if I try leaving on my kitchen counter to
remind me!!!!!!!!!!
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