July 28, 2016

Policosanol

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What other names is Policosanol known by?

32-C, Dotriacontanol, Heptacosanol, Hexacosanol, Nonacosanol, Octacosanol, Tetracosanol, Tétracosanol, Tetratriacontanol, Tétratriacontanol, Triacontanol.

What is Policosanol?

Policosanol is a chemical obtained from sugar cane and other sources.

Policosanol is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.

Policosanol is used for conditions that affect the health of the heart and blood vessels including high cholesterol, leg pain due to poor circulation (intermittent claudication), and narrowing of the blood vessels that serve the heart.

Likely Effective for...

  • Leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication). Taking policosanol by mouth seems to improve the distance people with intermittent claudication can walk without pain.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Clogged arteries. Early research suggests that taking policosanol daily, alone or together with aspirin for 20 months, can reduce heart disease-related events in people with clogged arteries.
  • Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Limited research suggests that taking policosanol does not reduce total cholesterol or "bad cholesterol" (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) in people with an inherited tendency to have high cholesterol.
  • High cholesterol. Research findings disagree about the effectiveness of policosanol in treating high cholesterol. There have been some studies that find it effective. However, all of these studies were done in Cuba, where the sugar cane that is used to make policosanol is grown. Research done outside Cuba (in Germany, Canada, and South Africa) found that policosanol does not lower cholesterol.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate policosanol for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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