Not much info, actually, on Policosanol. If I find a better source, I may delete this one. At least it's an introduction.
2001-11-20 11:01:00 Reporter: Brady Halls
There's hope for around six million Australians in the form of a new cholesterol-lowering treatment which its makers claim has no side effects.
It's called Policosanol and what sets it apart from other similar treatments on the market is its ingredients - the all natural product is made from the waxy coating on sugar cane and works on reducing the natural cholesterol your body produces, not the cholesterol we consume.
Rosemary Targett from Blackmores, the manufacturers of Policosanol, says about 75 percent of cholesterol is actually manufactured inside your own body.
"Only 25 percent is introduced from your diet, so even though you might have a healthy lifestyle and reduce your fats, which we recommend, you can only go so far in reducing your cholesterol," she says.
The development of this product is an exciting breakthrough for those people with high levels of cholesterol, who exercise and watch their diet with limited results.
Although the manufacturer says not to expect big results until the eighth week, one trial patient Trevor, who has only been on the tablet for three weeks, has seen his cholesterol reading drop from seven to 6.4 - with no change to his routine.
It's an alternative, too, for those one million people currently using statins, the new synthetic cholesterol lowering drugs. These are estimated to cost the federal government half a billion dollars a year in subsidies and, according to one cardiologist, are not problem-free for some cholesterol sufferers.
Cardiologist Ross Walker says about five percent of people who take statins do suffer from side effects such as muscle pain and liver problems, and he believes Policosanol is a good alternative.
Of course, as is sometimes the case, good health does come at a cost. Policosanol, unlike statins, is not on the pharmaceutical benefits list and costs around a month - for the rest of your life.
FOOTNOTE: Blackmores recommends seeking advice from health professionals before undertaking a cholesterol management program. Please note that cholesterol in the body is necessary for unborn babies, so Policosanol and other cholesterol lowering products are not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.
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