Policosanol and cholesterol are found to be well interrelated as it is well established now that policosanol can lower your bad cholesterol completely and effectively. Policosanol is a generic term used for a natural extract of plant waxes.
Policosanol is a mixture of fatty alcohols and is derived from waxes of plants like yams, sugar cane, and beeswax. It is added in natural health supplement formulas intended to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Policosanol not only lowers your LDL or “bad” cholesterol but also increases your “good” or HDL cholesterol.
The HDL cholesterol is essential for your health as it helps in removing the LDL cholesterol by sending it back to liver and eliminated after necessary processing in feces. Policosanol and cholesterol makes an excellent combination as policosanol decrease bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. You need policosanol in right proportion to be effective.
The link between policosanol and cholesterol becomes important as “bad” or LDL cholesterol has been found in oxidized form in atherosclerotic lesions. LDL once oxidized creates a chronic inflammatory response which promotes destruction within blood vessels.
It also accelerates lesion progression by enhancing monocyte (type of white blood cells) adhesion and macrophage foam cell generation and induces the lesion to migrate onto smooth muscle cells.
LDL in oxidized form also contributes to plaque formation by triggering thrombosis and by impairing dilation of blood vessels.
All of these factors contribute towards progression of narrowing of blood vessels or atherosclerosis which is an important risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Policosanol protects you against such oxidation of LDL cholesterol thus protecting against atherosclerosis.
Policosanol and cholesterol remain in focus as policosanol is commonly promoted as a dietary supplement to lower cholesterol as it does not have the side-effects commonly seen with conventional drugs like statins.
It is believed that policosanol somehow act on cholesterol metabolism in the liver, but on different metabolic pathway than statins.
Interestingly, it lowers cholesterol to a degree similar to statins. But quite surprisingly, policosanol can increase your “good” cholesterol by as much 10-25% which is difficult to achieve with statins.
Due to well establish between policosanol and cholesterol, it is recommended that dosage of 10 mg of policosanol should be taken daily. At this dose, policosanol has shown to decrease cholesterol as much as with the same dose of Zocor or Pravachol.
The dosage can be increased up to 20 mg per day without any side-effects and can be used as a safe alternative to classic lipid-lowering agents such as the statins.
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