|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Policosinol and Cholesterol Reduction
The word cholesterol has become synonymous with poor health. Indeed, one does not typically hear the word used, or see it printed, unless it points to yet another distressing fact -- that high cholesterol is the number one factor for coronary heart disease, and the number one cause of heart attacks[i].
However, cholesterol is, in itself, not a negative thing. On the contrary, cholesterol plays a vital role in forming cell membranes, regulating hormones, insulating nerves, and more. The problem with cholesterol therefore lays not in cholesterol itself, but the amount of cholesterol present in the bloodstream. For most Americans who talk and read about this subject, the scenario almost always involves too much cholesterol, or the condition known as hypercholesterolemia.
When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it cannot easily dissolve, and thus cannot effectively be transported to cells by the carrier called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This can create a build-up of LDL cholesterol (a.k.a. "bad cholesterol"), and start to interfere with arteries that transport blood to the heart and brain. Both a stroke and a heart attack are the most severe manifestations of LDL cholesterol build-up, and the main reason why so many people are seeking ways to reduce the LDL build-up in their bloodstream[ii].
However, reducing cholesterol has been fraught with challenges. Though reducing or eliminating certain foods from diet is a necessary first step for most individuals, some who suffer from hypercholesterolemia require medical interventions to immediately begin lowering their risk of heart attack or stroke. As such, dozens of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are currently on the market, and while some people have experienced relief due to their use, there are side effects that cause concern, including nausea, diarrhea, muscle tenderness, and increased liver enzymes[iii]. The out-of-pocket costs of these statin drugs can also be cost prohibitive for those not covered by a comprehensive drug plan.
However, a natural product called policosinol is generating an unusual amount of attention - both positive and negative - from the medical community in light of its purported cholesterol lowering capacity. Derived from the wax of sugarcanes and honeybees, policosinol is said by some to reduce cholesterol, offer no known side effects, be safe in high doses, increase blood flow, reduce platelet clumps, and prevent atherosclerosis (plaque buildup on the artery walls)[iv].
Studies have been conducted on policosinol efficacy, and there is some empirical research evidence that supports it as a high LDL cholesterol remedy. A 2002 study by researchers at the University of Bonn reviewed 60 clinical trials involving 3000 patients, and concluded with cautious optimism that policosinol is a promising alternative to cholesterol lowering stain drugs, and thus warrants further study[v].
However, those poised to buy policosinol and lower their cholesterol should approach with caution; and this is the message voiced by those who are less than enthusiastic about the policosinol's emergence as something of a wonder cure.
Though a natural remedy and thus far not causing the side effects associated with statin drugs, those skeptical about policosinol quickly point out that it is not an FDA approved drug. As such, it has not been subjected to the rigorous testing that comes with approving a new drug, including supervised preclinical trials and standardized testing in successively larger population of people. The fact that the FDA approves 1 out of 5000, or .0002 of the applications that it receives for new drug approval, is an indication of how highly valued - and rare - this approval is.
However, this instigates another debate - whether the FDA approval process is the most appropriate way to accept drugs into drug plans, and whether doctors should be permitted to prescribe non-FDA-approved drugs without undue concerns for malpractice lawsuits. Indeed, an MD may have personally benefited from a natural remedy like policosinol, but to prescribe that to a patient requires more support than personal preference, or even personal testimony.
And it is the intersection of these two separate debates -- whether policosinol works or not, and whether the FDA approval process is fair or not - that the situation, and verdict on policosinol, currently lies. This debate is frustrating to all sides; including patients themselves, who simply want a real solution.
However, despite these frustrations, the fact that efforts are being undertaken to develop - or verify - a remedy that is safe, complete, and free of side-effects - is a step in the right direction. Additional research on policosinol will further clarify whether that step should be towards FDA approval, or towards a warning label.
Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com
You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com
[i] Source: "Heart Mender". CNN.Com. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/americasbest/science.medicine/pro.pridker.html
[ii] Source: "Cholesterol". American Heart Association. http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4488
[iii] Source: "Statin Medications: What are the Side Effects?". Mayoclinic.com http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=AN00587
[iv] Source: "Policosinol ". Wholehealthmd.com. http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/substances_view/1,1525,10127,00.html
[v] Source: "Policosinol : clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent". Gouni-Berthold I, Berthold HK. Am Heart J. 2002 Feb;143(2):356-65.
Copyright - Protica Research - http://www.protica.com
Smart Woman: Exercise Information on Nutrition Labels Attracts More Attention - Big Country Homepage
Healthy Aging - The Clean-Meat Connection
It is shocking how many people are not taking advantage of the lessons from 21st Century research on cellular health. The syntax of disease is known by many researchers; and many of them are telling you what you can do to protect yourself.
Water, The Magical Drink
Glowing skin comes free of charge to you. Our simple water does it effectively.
The Many Benefits of Green Tea Extract
The Benefits of Green Tea Extract: Anti-Aging, Anti-Cancer, Weight ControlOne of the great advancements in nutrition in the twenty-first century is the scientific confirmation of the many benefits of green tea extract. Here are just a few.
TsuNoni - Green Tea Meets Noni
East Meets WestAsian cultures have realized the medical benefits of green tea for centuries. Those who drank it lived longer, healthier lives.
How To Prevent Hypoglycemia
Today's tip is on hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).Hypoglycemia affects both non-diabetics as well as diabetics.
The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn SyrupBefore we get to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), we will take a look at two other frequently used sweeteners, dextrose and maltodextrin.DextroseDextrose is more or less an industry term for glucose.
Eggs For Balance
The egg, the symbol of birth, of life and, therefore, of spring has been celebrated by numerous cultures at this time of the year. Eggs were given as gifts at spring festivals in ancient Egypt, Greece, Persia and Rome.
Eating For Success: Breakfast For The Busy Corporate
The first place that we cut corners when we are busy or stressed is our eating and in particular our breakfast. The food you eat forms the very building blocks of your body, but most of us have lost sight of the fact that food is fuel and that the purpose of eating is to provide our bodies with the tools they need for energy, functioning, building and maintenance.
Free List of Fat Burning Foods
This free list of fat burning foods will help you make the right choices to burn off more fat than you ingest by eating them. The fat burning secret to losing weight is to eat and drink until you are full and satisfied, choosing foods that burn more calories than you consume.
They're not only good for you, but they taste good, too. Sprouts are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes.
Unhealthy Foods: Five Sneaky Foods Revealed
With the array of different diets and diet foods available to help with weight loss and health, it's sometimes hard to figure out what's healthy and what's not. Of course, part of the problem is that people have different health needs: for example, while fruit juice is often a good source of vitamins and other nutrients, some people with diabetes may find that some fruit juices have more sugar than they can tolerate.
The Danger of Curbing Hunger Artificially
Unhealthy eating is a harmful problem in America, and contrary to a very outdated perception, this harm is not limited to those who suffer from obesity. In reality, according to the Directors of Health Promotion and Education, the majority of Americans exhibit unhealthy eating habits, with just over one in four women and only one in five men claiming to eat the minimum five daily servings of vegetables and fruits[i].
Protein and Endurance Sports
Endurance Sports are like music concerts. They start at a low key, setting a steady rhythm and culminate into a crescendo that enthralls the spectator and the athlete.
The Benefits of Healthy Eating
These are questions we have to ask ourselves? because after all We already know all the benefits of eating healthy foods. We've read it in books, seen it on TV, and been told by our friends.
The Benefits Of Drinking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas have long been known to have medicinal benefits as well as being tasty to drink! Some of my favorite teas are chamomile tea, jasmine tea and ginger tea. Each of these has a distinctive taste as well as health benefit.
Fighting Burn-out: Natural Help For Stress, Fatigue and Adrenal Insufficiency
The adrenal or "stress glands" are small, triangular shaped glands located on the top of the kidneys. Their function is to prepare the body's resources to run or fight through the releasing of specific hormones.
The Two Faces of Chlorine
If you are like most people, you don't enjoy the taste of chlorine in your drinking water. Nevertheless, you're willing to put up with it because it kills certain bacteria that are harmful to your health.
Allergy Approaches through Nutrition
Spring in New York City is a really magical time. Flowers and tree buds bring so much beauty to our coveted parks.
Cherries - A Natural Joint Pain Killer
Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules are a nutritious, all-natural alternative for the more than 70 million people in the U.S.
Not all Fats are Bad
Fats have been unfairly lumped together as being all bad for too long. Fat doesn't necessarily cause disease, and can actually cause a role in its prevention.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.