Polycosanol is believed to have benefits on people with high cholesterol profiles. Polycosanol may decrease total
cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, and increase high-density lipoprotein by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and
increasing LDL processing. Polycosanol is also believed to be able to prevent the onset of spontaneously- and
experimentally-induced atherosclerotic lesions and cerebral ischemia in Mongolian gerbils. Fraga V et al, Arch Med
Res. 1997 Autumn; 28 (3): 355-60].
POLYCOSANOL COMPOSITION IS IMPORTANT FOR ITS HEALTH BENEFITS.
Their wheat polycosanol extract contains more long chain alcohols, compared to the regular sugar cane polycosanol:
Patent ** Wheat Polycosanol*
1-hexacosanol 5.5-8.5% 8%
1-octacosanol 60-70% 67%
1-triacontanol 2-3.5% 12%
Other long-chain alcohols 13%
*Lin Y et al, Wheat germ policosanol failed to lower plasma cholesterol in subjects with normal to midly elevated
cholesterol concentrations. Metabolism. 2004 oct;53(10):1309-14.
**Claim of Patent [# 5663156] filed by the Cuban researchers.
SUGAR CANE POLYCOSANOL EXTRACTION METHOD
The extraction method is also important to the polycosanol composition. Here is one example**** that the Cuban
researchers used to extract polycosanol from the sugar cane:
1. Melt 1000 g of sugar cane wax.
2. Add potassium hydroxide solution to the wax; stir.
3. Extract the "crude" polycosanols from the solid obtained in a solid-liquid extraction system using heptane.
5. Cool the "crude" polycosanol extract.
6. Recrystalize the MHPAA in methylethylketone.
You should obtain about 285 g of polycosanol. The melting point for this polycosanol is about 81.5C.
****Example 1 of Patent 5663156.
Different extraction method will also lead to different ratios of alcohols in the polycosanol final product.
Using sugar cane wax to lower lipid in rats and mice was demonstrated in 1984. Fukuda, Effect of sugar cane wax on
serum liver lipids on rats; Chemical Abstracts, 106, 17, 137413p and Sho H. et al, Effects of Okinawan sugar cane wax
and fatty alcohols on serum and liver lipids in the rates, J. Nutri. Vitaminol 30 (6) 553-559.
Octacosanol (a polycosanol) isolated from sugar cane wax was shown to reduce both triglycerides and cholesterol
levels in the liver. Shimura S. et al, Studies on the effect of octacosanol on the motor endurance in mice; Nutrition
Reports Int. 198736, 1029-1038.
In 1987, high doses of hexacosanol (another polycosanol) was shown to be able to achieve antilipaemic effects.
Hagiwara Y. Antilipaemic agents containing hexacosanol used to treat hypertension, arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus,
heart disease and obesity 1987. JP A 62 099323.
In 1994, Cuban researchers reported that polycosanol (policosanol) inhibited the cholesterol synthesis at the early
steps of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway from a study using human lung fibroblasts. This group of researchers
filed the first patent of mixture compositions for policosanol (polycosanol):In 1996, this group filed their second patent
on policosanol (polycosanol).
Mixture of higher primary aliphatic alcohols, its obtention from sugar cane wax and its pharmaceutical uses, patent#
5663156. Patent # 5856316 [Biol Res. 1994;27(3-4):199-203]
In 1996, the Cuban researchers reported that oral administration of polycosanol (policosanol) could inhibit hepatic
cholesterol biosynthesis in rats. [Biol Res. 1996;29(2):253-7]
In 1998 and 1999, Sorkin Jr., and Harlan Lee (IL) filed a patent on composition containing phytosterol and polycosanol
/ policosanol to reduce serum cholesterol levels. Composition for reducing serum cholesterol levels, Patents # 5952393
In 2001, the Cuban researchers transferred fibroblast to a lipid-depleted medium (LDM) to up-regulate the enzyme
level and accelerate cholesterol sysnthesis. They found, addition of polycosanol retarded the cholesterol
synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. They concluded that polycosanol (policosanol)exerted its effect on
HMG-CoA reductase. [Arch Med Res. 2001 Jan-Feb;32(1):8-12]
Other researchers conducted clinical trials on polycosanol (policosanol) and demonstrated polycosanol (policosanol) is
an effective cholesterol-lowering agent in most cases. McCarty MF, NutriGuard Research, CA, even combined a tablet
of polycosanol (policosanol) and ezetimibe to reduce LDL cholesterol by about 40%, without side effects. [Med
Polycosanol is a cholesterol-lowering agent* purified from sugarcane wax. Polycosanol has been shown to decrease
the risk of atheroma formation in animals, lower total cholesterol level by 13-23%, lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
cholesterol levels by 19-31%, and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol from 8 to 29%. Their
cholesterol-lowering ability is thought by reducing hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis while enhancing LDL clearance.
Compared to statins, polycosanol exhibits comparable cholesterol-lowering effects and it is well tolerated in animals.
Researchers suggested that policosanols could be a promising resource in the prevention and therapy of
cardiovascular disease (CVD). Other researchers ran ran a pilot biostudy using patients with dyslipidemia and type 2
diabetes mellitus to compare the effects of polycosanol and lovastatin on lipid profile and lipid peroxidation. They found
polycosanol (policosanol)(10 mg/day) was even slightly more effective than lovastatin (20 mg/day) in reducing the
LDL-C/HDL-C and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios, in increasing HDL-C levels and in preventing LDL oxidation.
Kim H, et al evaluated the effects of polycosanol on running performance and related biochemical parameters in
exercise-trained rats run to exhaustion on a treadmill. They found that polycosanol-supplemented group ran
significantly longer until exhausted. They concluded that the ergogenic properties of polycosanol include the sparing of
muscle glycogen stores and increases in the oxidative capacity in the muscle of exercise-trained rats. Octacosanol
supplementation increases running endurance time and improves biochemical parameters after exhaustion in trained
rats., J Med Food. 2003 Winter;6(4):345-51.
Bai S et al, found that polycosanol elevated the weight of thymus, improved biomechanical properties of the femur and
improved membrane fluidity of red blood cell from a study using rats.
Space Med Med Eng (Beijing). 1997 Dec;10(6):450-2.
POLYCOSANOL VS BESAFIBRATE
Nikitin IuP et al, compared efficacy and tolerance of polycosanol vs besafibrate in patients with hypercholesterolemia
(HCE). The study was a multicenter controlled double blind randomised trial entered 113 patients with HCE. After 5
weeks of diet the patients were randomised into two groups. 59 patients of group 1 received polycosanol (10 mg/day),
54 patients of group 2 were given besafibrate (400 mg/day) for 8 weeks. After 8-week course of treatment, they found
total cholesterol diminished by an average of 15%, LDLP cholesterol fell by 18%, triglycerides by 15% in group 1
(polycosanol) and decrease by 8, 11 and 6% in group 2 (besafibrate). The side effects in group 1 (polycosanol) were
mild. They consequently concluded that the hypolipidemic effect of polycosanol in a daily dose of 10 mg is superior to
that of besafibrate in a daily dose of 400 mg. Results of the multicenter controlled study of the hypolipidemic drug
polycosanol in Russia Ter Arkh. 2000;72(12):7-10.
The results from the Cuban scientists on polycosanol could not be reproduced by some other scientists:
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