Effect of policosanol on in vitro and in vivo rat liver microsomal lipid peroxidation.


Fraga V, Menendez R, Amor AM, Gonzalez RM, Jimenez S, Mas R




Arch Med Res


Policosanol, a defined mixture of high molecular weight aliphatic alcohol isolated and purified from sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum, L) wax is a new cholesterol-lowering agent effective in experimental models, healthy volunteers, and patients with type II hypercholesterolemia. Also, policosanol prevents the onset of spontaneously- and experimentally-induced atherosclerotic lesions and cerebral ischemia in Mongolian gerbils. Free radicals are linked to many diseases including atherosclerosis and ischemia/ reoxidation cellular injury. Therefore, in this study the authors evaluate the antioxidant activity of policosanol on rat liver microsomes. The extent of lipid peroxidation was measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). When policosanol was administered orally (100 and 250 mg/kg) for up to 4 weeks, a partial prevention of rat in vitro microsomal lipid peroxidation was noted. The formation of TBARS in microsomes isolated from treated rats was significantly decreased by about 50%, when peroxidation was initiated by Fe3+/ADP/ NADPH, Fe2+/ascorbate and CCl4/NADPH-generating system. Also, oral administration of policosanol in rats provides a partial inhibition of lipid peroxidation, but the mechanism supporting such effect remains to be elucidated. This beneficial effect of policosanol on membrane lipid peroxidation may be useful in protecting to some extent against free radical-associated diseases.