Policosanol is a non-prescription dietary supplement which consists of many natural ingredients. It is used to lower blood cholesterol levels. Policosanol is derived from sugar cane. Octacosanol is the main ingredient in this supplement. The supplement is originally from Cuba and due to this it is not easily found in the United States. There are still some policosanol supplements which are available in the United States but many of them consist of wheat germ or are derived from beeswax.

Does Policosanol Work to Lower Blood Cholesterol
Many people were hopeful that policosanol would work to treat high blood cholesterol as there were claims of there being very little side effects from using policosanol. Many thought that this would be one of the safer supplements for most people to take as a way to lower their blood cholesterol. To a point that is true as there are no serious risks to worry about when taking policosanol.

Sadly, policosanol does not work nearly as effectively as you would want it to. There are many insignificant reasons why it would be a good supplement for lowering blood cholesterol but it cannot accomplish the most important task – lowering your blood cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that almost no positive results have occurred from using policosanol supplements, even when used in higher amounts than normal.

Side Effects from Using Policosanol
There are some side effects from using policosanol that you should know about. These side effects are not always existent but it is important to be prepared for them. Some of the more common side effects include heartburn, an upset stomach, rashes, and an unexpected weight loss. Some of the less common side effects include having problems sleeping and frequent headaches. Most people that use policosanol do not experience side effects at all. When the side effects are experienced they usually do not last any more than a few weeks.

Is Policosanol Safe
Policosanol is a safe supplement to use to lower blood cholesterol but not everyone can use it. This supplement should be avoided by any women that are pregnant or currently nursing their baby. It is also not a safe supplement for children to use. Lastly, policosanol should not be mixed with blood thinner medication as this could cause the blood to be thinner than wanted.

You will want to speak with your doctor before using policosanol to make sure there are no potential risks from you using the supplement.

Choosing a Blood Cholesterol Supplement
Since policosanol seems to be a bad choice you should know what to look for in a blood cholesterol supplement. Basically, you should be avoiding any supplements that are newly introduced to the market and have no history of studies to back up their effectiveness. There are many blood cholesterol supplements that have been proven to be effective at lowering blood cholesterol so you should just choose from one of those.

Final Verdict
There is simply not enough evidence to support the claims associated with policosanol supplements. If there was any solid proof that this supplement did in fact work to lower blood cholesterol then it may be a worthwhile supplement. It costs only around $20 to $40 so it is affordable but that seems to be the only real benefit of this product.

High blood cholesterol is a serious health issue which can be potentially life threatening if not treated properly. If policosanol actually worked then it could be one of the best supplements for blood cholesterol but that is not the case. Ultimately, there are many supplements which are proven to be effective so there should be no reason to consider policosanol.

Last updated on Apr 29th, 2011 and filed under Health Supplements. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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