advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
A Sweet New Way to Lower Cholesterol?

Policosanol seems to be well-regarded as a cholesterol fighter. What's your opinion?

A
Answer (Published 8/27/2002)

(Reviewed 1/20/2005)

Policosanol, a dietary supplement produced from alcohols from sugar cane, seems to reduce cholesterol. In fact, a number of studies suggest that policosanol lowers both total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and raises HDL ("good") cholesterol as well as or better than any of the available drugs with virtually no side effects.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Heart Health - A healthful diet and lifestyle, along with prudent supplementation, can help prevent or lessen the risk of heart disease and related illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Learn more, and get your free, personalized nutritional supplement and vitamin recommendation today.

My colleague Kathleen Johnson, a nutritionist here at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, tells me that virtually all of the research on this promising cholesterol-fighter has been done in Cuba. These studies indicate that policosanol works by inhibiting cholesterol formation in the liver. Evidence also suggests that policosanol can lessen symptoms of heart disease and reduce platelet "clumping," a heart disease risk factor that leads to formation of blood clots that can block coronary arteries causing heart attacks. All told, a recent review of the studies in the American Heart Journal concluded that policosanol seems to be a "very promising" alternative to the statin drugs now widely used to lower cholesterol.

However, because all of the research has been done in Cuba on Cubans, we need further studies to demonstrate if policosanol works as well in other populations.

You may be aware that a policosanol product made from honey bee wax is being heavily promoted. The manufacturer claims that this version lowers cholesterol within the first six to eight weeks of use, reduces LDL by 20 to 30 percent within the first six months of use (depending on the dosage you take), and boosts HDL by 15 to 25 percent after two months of use. However, since the studies from which these impressive figures are derived were done using a product made from sugar cane, it is unclear whether the one made from beeswax is equally effective.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here