Policosanol: The Natural Ingredient From Cuba to Regulate Cholesterol
What comes to your mind when you think of Cuba? The cigar and rum? Cuban music? Or, even sugarcane? Wait! Stop right there! You may think that the sugarcane treasure chest had long since been fully looted but new discoveries continue to be made. One of it is a substance found in sugarcane called policosanol which turns out to be remarkably effective in treating one of the most prevalent and serious health problems of today – high cholesterol!
Policosanol, a whitish powder extracted from sugarcane wax was first discovered in 1990’s and researched in Cuba. The earliest published report was done in 1984, assessing the effectiveness of policosanol on cholesterol-lowering effect.2 After numerous successful trials, researchers conducted the first clinical trial in 1999, comparing the effectiveness of policosanol with Lovastatin and Simvastatin2 (prescribed medication for high cholesterol).
It’s true that policosanol can be found in other plant sources but only policosanol obtained from the Cuban sugarcane wax has been reported with a positive result in cholesterol-lowering and other health benefits. Now, if you’re wondering what makes the Cuban sugarcane so special as compared to others, here’s a possible reason to it. The discrepancy between the findings may be due to subtle composition differences of the components like the differences in the constituents ratio.
So, what are some of the values that policosanol brings to you?
Reduce Total Cholesterol (TC), LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and Triglycerides; and increase HDL (Good Cholesterol)
About 70-80% of cholesterol is produced by our liver. When high cholesterol food is ingested, the liver will naturally produce less cholesterol and breakdown the excess. However, this process cannot be carried out normally in people with elevated cholesterol levels. With policosanol, regulation of cholesterol levels can be achieved. As the exact mechanism is still under research, researchers have suggested two possible mechanisms:
- Policosanol decreases the cholesterol production in liver by regulating the cholesterol-synthesis enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) to a lower, more favourable level
- Policosanol enhance liver metabolism and the breakdown of cholesterol (especially LDL and triglycerides)
Besides, policosanol can also increase “good” cholesterol – HDL. Studies conducted have found significant increase of HDL upon administration of policosanol. 4,6,8 & 9
Reduce LDL (Bad Cholesterol) Peroxidation
During metabolism, free radicals are generated naturally. However, some people tend to generate more free radicals due to the reasons below:
- Stressful lifestyle
- Poor nutrition (imbalanced diet or unhealthy diet)
- Frequent exposure to atmospheric pollution
- Diabetic (the body is high in oxidative stress* due to high blood glucose)
*oxidative stress = imbalance between production of free radicals and antioxidant defenses in the body
The LDL circulating in the body will be oxidized when in contact with these free radicals. These oxidized LDL deposited at the blood vessel causes damage to the cells. This condition will then slowly progress to atherosclerosis – the hardening and narrowing of blood vessels. And, this is the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease.9,16 & 17
Policosanol has the ability to reduce LDL peroxidation. Studies have reported that consumption of policosanol shows increase in the “lag time” for LDL oxidation (the time required before oxidation becomes apparent) and reduce the LDL oxidation rate. If you fall into the above mentioned group of people, policosanol is definitely beneficial in maintaining your health even if your cholesterol level is within the normal range.
Reduce Risk of Coronary Diseases and Atherosclerosis
One of the contributing factors to coronary diseases and atherosclerosis is elevated cholesterol levels. Deposits of excess cholesterol in the blood vessels causing damage, leading to hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels. This increases the risk to be contacted with coronary diseases and atherosclerosis. Studies have shown that the administration of policosanol to high cholesterol patients not only significantly reduces the elevated cholesterol levels but also improves cardiovascular and atherosclerosis condition.9, 10 & 14
If you’re thinking of how to get your hands on this Cuban life saver ingredient – policosanol, fret not as we have it for you! A natural health supplement with premium quality, Hoganbo PGB-3 contains our proprietary formula of Policosanol, Gingko Biloba and Banaba Leaf extract. With Hoganbo PGB-3, it helps to regulate the cholesterol levels, reduce LDL oxidation, and reduce the risk of coronary diseases and atherosclerosis. Making this supplement even more effective for your health is that Ginkgo Biloba and Banaba Leaf extract will help improve blood circulation, enhance memory and regulate blood sugar.
1.Bandolier Extra. 2005. Policosanol for Lipid-Lowering.
2.Ogbac F et al. 2010. A Meta-Analysis on Sugar Cane Policosanol as Treatment for Hypercholesterolemia. Philipine Journal of Internal Medicine.
3.Backes JM et al. 2011. Modified-Policosanol does not reduce plasma lipoproteins in hyperlipidemic patients when used alone or in combination with statin therapy. Lipids. Vol 46: pp. 923-929. Retrieved from:
4.Berthold G&Berthold HK. 2002. Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent. American Heart Journal. Vol 143 (2): pp. 356 – 365.
5. MirkinA et al. 2001. Efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research. Vol 21 (1): pp. 31 – 41.
6. Castano G et al. 1999. Effects of policosanol and pravastatin on lipid profile, platelet aggregation and endothelemia in older hypercholesterolemic patients. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research. Vol 19 (4): pp. 105 – 116.
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9. Castano G et al. 2001. Effects of Policosanol in Older Patients With Type II Hypercholesterolemia and High Coronary Risk. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Vol 56A (3): pp. M186 – M192.
10. Batista J et al. 1996. Effects of policosanol on hyperlipidemia and coronary heart disease in middle-aged patients. A 14-month pilot study. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Vol 34 (3): pp. 134 – 137.
11. Menendez R et al. 2000. Effects of policosanol treatment on the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein (LDL) isolated from healthy volunteers to oxidative modification in vitro. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Vol 50 (3): pp. 255 – 262.
12. Menendez R et al. 1999. Oral Administration of Policosanol Inhibits in vitro Copper Ion-Induced Rat Lipoprotein Peroxidation. Physiology & Behaviour. Vol 67 (1): pp. 1 – 7.Retrieved from:
13. Fraga V et al. 1997. Effect of Policosanol on in vitro and in vivo rat liver microsomal lipid peroxidation. Archives of Medical Research. Vol 28 (3): pp. 355 – 360.
14. Batista J et al. 1995. Doppler-ultrasound pilot study of the effects of long-term policosanol therapy on carotid-vertebral atherosclerosis. Current Therapeutic Research. Vol 56 (9): pp. 906 – 914.
15. Castano G et al. 2001. Effects of Policosanol in Older Patients With Type II Hypercholesterolemia and High Coronary Risk. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Vol 56A (3): pp. M186 – M192.
16. Stringer MD et al. 1989. Lipid Peroxidation and Atherosclerosis. British Medical Journal. Vol 298: pp. 281-284.
17. American Heart Association. 2014. Atherosclerosis.