Is Policosanol Really Good for Cholesterol?
|Is Policosanol Really Good for Cholesterol?||Darrell Miller||06/07/11|
June 07, 2011 11:46 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Is Policosanol Really Good for Cholesterol?
Policosanol is a mixture of plant waxes obtained from sugar cane, though the same generic name applies to fatty alcohols derived from beeswax. Sugar cane is the main source of policosanol available in the market, but yams and wheat germ are used in the productions of policosanol supplements sold in the US. Both products have been commercially touted to improve overall cholesterol levels.
Several clinical trials have investigated the efficacy of policosanol, and most of them yielded very encouraging results. It should be noted that these studies were largely conducted by the same group of researchers. The patented formulation of policosanol lists octacosanol as the active ingredient in addition to smaller amounts of other fatty alcohols. Its mechanism of action is still under investigation.
Inhibits Cholesterol Production
Policosanol has been reported to produce results that are as desirable as the cholesterol-lowering effects achieved by statins, a class of drugs extensively used in the management of high cholesterol. Thus, it has been postulated that policosanol works on the same way principle as statins, which blocks the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver by inhibiting the rate-controlling enzyme HMG-CoA reductase.
That being said, studies have yet to come to a conclusion. In fact, other studies have suggested a different part of the metabolic pathway that leads to the production of cholesterol. As policosanol appears to lower total lipid levels in the blood, some researchers believe that it regulates the utilization of triglycerides and promotes the uptake of lipoproteins passing through the liver.
Lowers Low-density Lipoproteins
Cholesterol enters the systemic circulation with the aid of special transports. Lipoproteins are organic compounds biosynthesized in the liver to carry cholesterol in the water-based bloodstream. As the name suggests, lipoproteins contain the physical and chemical properties of both lipids and proteins, allowing them to travel in the bloodstream and at the same time transport cholesterol.
Low-density lipoproteins, or LDLs, contain a higher ratio of lipids to proteins, and thus very susceptible to lipid peroxidation that take place in the blood vessels. LDLs are now considered a reliable indicator of cardiovascular diseases, most notably atherosclerosis. Policosanol has been associated with the improvement of diseases caused by high levels of lipoproteins.
Increases High-density Lipoproteins
Two of the major health claims of policosanol are a decrease in low-density lipoproteins and an increase in high-density lipoproteins. These are the exact dichotomy of bad versus good cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, are responsible for returning cholesterol to the liver. HDLs are thought to decrease overall lipid levels since they contain lower amounts of lipids than LDLs do.
High levels of high-density lipoproteins in the blood are believed to be markers of healthy cholesterol levels. For years, medical professionals have recommended foods that lower LDLs and raise HDLs to promote cardiovascular health and remove complications of preexisting cardiovascular diseases. Policosanol achieves exactly that, the reason why it has caught the attention of the medical world.
Managing cholesterol is important to maintaining good cardiovascular health. Do not sacrifice your health with drugs when you can take a natural remedy to support good cholesterol levels.
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