Policosanols as Nutraceuticals: Fact or Fiction

  title={Policosanols as Nutraceuticals: Fact or Fiction},
  author={Christopher P. F. Marinangeli and Peter Jh Jones and Amira N. Kassis and Michael N A Eskin},
  journal={Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition},
  pages={259 - 267}
Policosanols (PC) are very long chain aliphatic alcohols derived from the wax constituent of plants. In the early 1990s, researchers at Dalmer Laboratories in La Habana Cuba isolated and produced the first PC supplement from sugarcane wax. The original PC supplement has been approved as a cholesterol-lowering drug in over 25 countries throughout the Caribbean and South America. Cuban studies claim that 1 to 20 mg/day of the original PC supplement are effective at producing significant… 
Policosanol: Extraction and biological functions
Physiological Activities of Policosanol Extracted from Sugarcane Wax
Recently, several studies have reported the physiological activities of policosanol, such as anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant effects, and lowering of the incidence of ageing-related diseases, for example, hypertension, stroke, among others.
Efficacy and safety of sugarcane policosanol on dyslipidemia: A meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials
The pooled results supported the lipid-lowering effects and safety of policosanol and suggested the studies from Cuba obtained more effective data than those outside this country, and the effects were not proportional to the dose.
Effect of red yeast rice / policosanol on low density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction in hypercholesterolemic outpatients
To compare the cholesterol lowering effects of red yeast rice/policosanol with placebo in hypercholesterolemic outpatients, a prospective, randomized, double-blind, two-way crossover study is conducted.
Role of Nutraceuticals in Hypolipidemic Therapy
Nutraceuticals may be a helpful alternative in hypolipidemic treatment and, if properly used, might represent a valid strategy of cardiovascular prevention.
Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in the Management of Hyperlipidemia
This review attempts to give an overview of lipid homeostasis and summarize recent findings of hypolipidemic nutraceuticals and functional foods according to their active ingredients, focusing on the efficacy and underlying mechanisms.
Triacylglycerols and aliphatic alcohols from fruits of three Tunisian Pistacia lentiscus populations.
Quantitatively, the most abundant TAG species are those constituted by palmitic, oleic and/or linoleic acid.


Comparison of composition and absorption of sugarcane policosanols.
Results indicate that the APC formulations have a composition that is highly consistent with the OPC supplement, with octacosanol being present within the cited 60-70 % range.
Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent.
Policosanol seems to be a very promising phytochemical alternative to classic lipid-lowering agents such as the statins and deserves further evaluation.
Lack of cholesterol-lowering efficacy of Cuban sugar cane policosanols in hypercholesterolemic persons.
Present results show no beneficial effects of Cuban SCPs on lipid indicators in hypercholesterolemic persons and question the clinical usefulness of policosanol mixtures as cholesterol-lowering neutraceutical agents.
Effect of sugar cane policosanol on lipid profile in primary hypercholesterolemia
Sugar cane policosanol at doses of 20 mg daily showed no lipid lowering effects in subjects with primary hypercholesterolemia and body mass index, total cholesterol, HDL‐cholesterol, LDL‐ch cholesterol and triglyceride plasma levels did not change significantly in either group.
Toxicity of policosanol in beagle dogs: one-year study.
Rice policosanol does not have any effects on blood coagulation factors in hypercholesterolemic patients.
Rice policosanol treatment did not change significantly neither fibrinogen nor factors VII, VIII, XII and XIII, and this study investigated the effects of policeosanol on blood coagulation factors in 66 hypercholesterolemic patients.
Lack of Effect of Sugar Cane and Sunflower Seed Policosanols on Plasma Cholesterol in Rabbits
Dietary supplementation of normocholesterolemic rabbits with policosanol from sunflower oil does not appear to have any cholesterol lowering effect, which raises doubts about the purported cholesterol-lowering efficacy of these products, as reflected in the current literature.
Effects of Rice Policosanol on Serum Lipoproteins, Homocysteine, Fibrinogen and C-Reactive Protein in Hypercholesterolaemic Patients
Rice policosanol 10 mg/day moderately decreased plasma total cholesterol and increased Apo AI, and was also well tolerated, with no drug-related effects on safety parameters such as serum aminotransferases and creatine phosphokinase detected or found on physical examination.
Policosanol has no antioxidant activity in human low-density lipoprotein but increases excretion of bile acids in hamsters.
Evidence is provided that in addition to the effect of HMG-CoA reductase, the cholesterol-lowering activity of policosanol is partially mediated by its inhibition on the absorption of bile acids, but these data disprove the claim that policoanol is an antioxidant.