Policosanol may be effective in treatment of intermittent claudication





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Consumer Data: Policosanol
Professional Data: Policosanol


Policosanol is a natural compound derived from sugar cane wax and recent research has focused on its potential cholesterol-lowering effects. It consists of eight aliphatic alcohols with the number 28 alcohol as primary. A new proprietary form of policosanol has been developed that is made from beeswax, which is reported to be a more stable form than other products. Studies suggest that policosanol may support general cardiovascular health by helping the body maintain proper blood flow through the circulatory system when problems may exist. This possible benefit is related to policosanol's affect on platelet aggregation, reducing the ability of the platelets to clump together, thicken the blood and if necessary forming a clot.1

Policosanol is a product that was developed in Cuba. The manufacturing of this product from sugar cane has been proprietary to the Cuban government and associated laboratories. It is for this reason that alternative sources of policosanol be developed, such as the product made from bees wax. To date, most of the studies have been conducted in Cuba though they are reported around the world.

A study reported in the February 2001 issue of Angiology, investigated the long term effects of using policosanol on patients diagnosed with intermittent claudication. This two phase study evaluated 56 patients who had met the entry criteria for participation. These patients were grouped to receive either 10mg twice each day of policosanol or placebo. Measurements such as walking distance on a treadmill were applied. At the beginning of the study, there was little difference between the two groups. However, after the each six month period of reporting, the policosanol group showed increasing sign of progress with no side effects. In the placebo group, eight patients suffered adverse events, whereas in the policosanol group there were none reported. This indicates that policosanol may be an effective long term therapy for intermittent claudication.2


1. Carbajal D, et al. Effect of policosanol on platelet aggregation and serum levels of arachidonic acid metabolites in healthy volunteers.Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. Jan1998;58(1):61-4.
2. Castano G. A long-term study of policosanol in the treatment of intermittent claudication. Angiology 2001 Feb;52(2):115-25.