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    Old 09-17-2006, 09:02 AM   #1
    jkhh
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    Policosanol

    I am age 39 male, 6' 195 lb male with about a five year history of untreated cholesterol >250. My family doctor placed me on Crestor 5 mg about 3 years ago and it brought my cholesterol below 160. At the start of this year, I began feeling the negative effects that many of you have described on your posts (esp. achy knees, calves, hamstrings and just a plain negative thought process). I stopped taking it and supplemented with COQ-10 after stumbling upon such research about it. COQ-10 worked well and I'm feeling much better but I'm still thinking of taking it again because of what I've learned about it. My doctor still wants my total below 200 so he put me on 500 mg Niaspan (prescription Niacin) for 30 days and then 1000 mg. For anyone who has never experienced the true Niacin flush, I certainly hope you don't ever have it! I never saw my labs with Niaspan because I couldn't handle the flushing. I did try Flush-free Niacin 1000 mg a couple of years ago and it did not work (for me).

    I have recently begun supplementing with Vitamin C, E a GNC multi-vitamin, flax seed (powder), wheat germ . I have used fish oil tablets and drink a few glasses of red wine per week too. I have been reading more about Policosanol and am wondering if others have successful results with it. Quite frankly, the lab results sound too good to be true (in both reducing bad and increasing good). I do know that there is much criticism of it because many of the studies have come from Cuba and it is a natural byproduct (I think?) of sugar cane. Also, please feel free to offer advise on what I am presently (or not) doing with regards to my cholesterol. If it helps, I take 300 mg/day for high uric acid (pseudo-Gout).

    Last edited by jkhh; 09-17-2006 at 09:34 AM.

     
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    Old 09-17-2006, 02:24 PM   #2
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    Re: Policosanol

    Gee, I hate to hear that the flush-free niacin didn't work for you because I just today started taking it. I'll be working up to 1500 mg. daily. Let's hope it works for me. Re: the policosanol, I took 20mg. daily for 6 mos. and my TC went up 4 points. However, the HDL also increased, triglycerides dropped 40 points and the risk rate fell back into the normal range. All in all, I was very disappointed. Others on this board have had greater success with it. I think someone called Hubble has had good results on it.

     
    Old 09-17-2006, 02:32 PM   #3
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    Re: Policosanol

    judge,
    Quote:
    If it helps, I take 300 mg/day for high uric acid (pseudo-Gout).
    I'm confused by that line. Do you mean to be saying that you take 300 mg. ALLOPURINOL for high uric acid? In any case, pseudo-gout is cause by calcium pyrophosphate and NOT uric acid which is the cause of TRUE Gout.

    Or are you taking policosanol, 300 mg. for this condition?????

    In any case, I think policosanol is useless in cholesterol control but some people claim benefits. Best you can do is to try it and test your reaction to it. I have never used it becasue most on this forum who have tried it have reported poor results.

    p.s. I take either 200 or 300 mg. allopurinol for gout. It works superbly...no attack for almost a decade.

     
    Old 09-17-2006, 03:15 PM   #4
    jkhh
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    Re: Policosanol

    I take the Allopurinol for high uric acid but my symptoms were never in the big toe, per se, but in the ball and arch of my foot and ankle (which I always understood to be psuedo-gout or "gouty like"). Regardless, like you, I haven't had any problems with it while on Allopurinol. Other than my Allegra, it's the one prescription I'm willing to take long term due reward outweighing risk substantially!

     
    Old 09-17-2006, 03:19 PM   #5
    jkhh
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    Re: Policosanol

    I would watch take the Niacin in the evening (as is instructed). When I woke up in the middle of the night with the flushing, my doctor switched me to the evening meal which helped at first but the flushing always seemed to return. Also, try taking it with yogurt (or another low fat snack). Good luck.

     
    Old 09-17-2006, 03:19 PM   #6
    HubbleRules
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    Re: Policosanol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BamaC
    Gee, I hate to hear that the flush-free niacin didn't work for you because I just today started taking it. I'll be working up to 1500 mg. daily. Let's hope it works for me. Re: the policosanol, I took 20mg. daily for 6 mos. and my TC went up 4 points. However, the HDL also increased, triglycerides dropped 40 points and the risk rate fell back into the normal range. All in all, I was very disappointed. Others on this board have had greater success with it. I think someone called Hubble has had good results on it.
    BamaC,

    Don't mean to give you discouraging news, but I've discontinued taking Policosanol.

    I thought it had been helping me (I actually lowered my TC 20%) over the past year, but it may have just been the no-flush Niacin (Inositol Hexanicotinate - 750mg/day) that I had also been on at the time. I had heart palpitations over the summer, and discontinued the niacin (palpitations went away), and since then, my latest test showed my total cholesterol ballooned back up to 270...

    Well, I've given natural supplements, diet and exercise a good try, and they just weren't working well for me.

    I just started back on a statin a week ago (Crestor 5mg), and will keep my fingers crossed that I do not get the muscle problems I had when I was on Lipitor plus Tricor. I'm still taking CoQ10 (Q-Gel, 60mg/day) as a preventive against muscle problems.

    Will report when I get my next blood test.

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    Old 09-17-2006, 03:58 PM   #7
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    Re: Policosanol

    Hubble. I experienced rapid heartbeat (I thought at least) with the Niaspan. One must always remember that at high doses, Niacin is a drug and not a vitamin! I had great results with Crestor 5mg and had I known about CoQ-10 then I might have not experienced the muscle related symptoms. I hope the Crestor 5mg helps you. I know from personal experience that even at that low dose it is wicked in its effect on bad cholesterol (doesn't help much with good though-at least for me).

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 07:13 AM   #8
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    Re: Policosanol

    judge,

    It really sounds like you have TRUE or FRANK GOUT. I experienced pain out of the blue for several years that would stike in my ankle or the top of the foot and very predominantly, my THUMB. I suspected gout but wasn't sure.
    But THEN, one morning at dawn, I was awakened by the feeling akin to someone removing my big toe with a crowbar.
    I suffered for 9 days unable to walk and had to crawl to the bathroom keeping my right foot hight up. I had my doctor call in a prescription for colchicine...I took 2 an hour for 8 hours and the pain disappeared. Colchicine works for nothing else and thus is almost diagnostic.
    It was a real classic Henry VIII attack and set a new standard for my perception of pain.

    People think of gout as a "big toe" disease but it usually wreaks its worst long term effects on crippling hands and kills by destroying the kidneys with inflammatory razor sharp crystals of uric acid. Life before allopurinol (1963) must have been Hell on Earth for gout sufferers...all they could do was give pain killers while gout slowly killed its victims in a horrible fashion.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++

    Good Luck with the Crestor, Hubble!

    Last edited by Lenin; 09-18-2006 at 07:29 AM.

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 09:01 AM   #9
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    Re: Policosanol

    Judgejkh, O.K. now I'm confused. Did you have flushing while on the flush-free niacin or on the Niaspan? How long were you on the flush-free? And did it not affect the cholesterol at all? Hubble, that is bad news indeed. I am determined to avoid Statins and Zetia as there is some family history of liver problems. However, I am running out of ideas. Pray that this niacin works for me.

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 02:02 PM   #10
    jkhh
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    Re: Policosanol

    BamaC,

    The flushing was from the Niaspan (not the Flush-free Niacin). I was on the flush-free Niacin for over 90 days and my total and LDL went back to about what they were untreated (total >250, LDL 180). The problem, as I understand it, is that Flush-free is not as strong as regular Niacin, but Niacin comes with the flushing, of course. Niaspan is a pharmaceutical grade of Niacin but still has flushing (at least for some, including me ). If you're aware of a high quality, Flush-free PLEASE let me know because my doctor felt that the strength of the Flush-free is the problem (ie you can't take enough of it for it to be effective).

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 02:08 PM   #11
    jkhh
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    Re: Policosanol

    Lenin,

    I suffered with gout from about age 25 until about age 33 when my family doctor suspected gout and tested my uric acid at 12+. I had taken Cortisone shots, Celebrex, etc. . . but it would never help. I have been on Allopurinol 300 mg (100 for about a year). My only is issue is with high ALT/SGPT. I just got my lab back today and it was at 61 (high range is 36 with my lab). My uric acid was 4.6 (high end normal being 5.6). I believe it's the Allopurinol causing the high ALT it because I was off Crestor for 3 months proceeding labs and my only other prescription was Allegra. Maybe the COQ-10 would help with the liver issues???

     
    Old 09-19-2006, 03:44 AM   #12
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    Re: Policosanol

    I have been taking daily allpurinol for over 15 years and have never tested high for any of the Liver enzymes.

    My God, with that uric acid of 12+ you were turning to CRYSTAL. My highest was 9 before I started the allopurinol and now I get under 5 (in spite of diuretics, all of which retain uric acid.)
    Do you have any tophi in your fingers or other joints that you can see?

     
    Old 09-19-2006, 04:12 AM   #13
    jkhh
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    Re: Policosanol

    Lenin,

    No, I'm not aware of any tophi, however, I had an orthopedic surgeon look at my feet sometime before starting on the allopurinol and he felt my bones were eroding so that helped convince me to start the allopurinol. The biggest factor was my son. He had just started walking, I was having an attack and was across the street at the mailbox. He had gotten out our carport door and was heading towards me to cross the street with a car coming down the street. Literally, I had to hop out into the street to intercept him before he got into the street. So, I figured it was time to start the Allopurinol! My pharmacist says "it's a safe, old drug" and I've stuck with it without an attack since I started taking it. My doctor has never felt the high ALT was due to the allopurinol, however, I just can't figure out what else would be doing. He suspected the Crestor 5 mg, but, I've been off it for 6 months or so and am still testing high (although lower than usual).

    Take Care.

     
    Old 09-20-2006, 11:29 AM   #14
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    Re: Policosanol

    Looks like you folks have gotten off topic.
    Regarding policosanol, A larger patient group of 437 patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study received either Policosanol or a placebo once a day for twelve weeks. The patients who had been given Policosanol showed a 25% reduction in LDL cholesterol, a 17% reduction in total cholesterol, and a 28% increase in HDL cholesterol.

    Policosanol produces cholesterol lowering effects within 6-8 weeks of continual use. At a daily dosage of about 15mg taken at night, LDL cholesterol levels typically drop by 20-25% within the first six months of use.

    The only known source of policosanol with high enough amounts of this lipid is sugar cane wax. But once again, you have to be careful. Only pure, high-grade sugar cane wax contains the correct lipid profile for optimum results.

    The cheap substitutes donít even come close to meeting this standard. While high-grade sugar cane wax contains more than 60% of this crucial lipid, rice bran wax and beeswax each contain just 17.5%.

     
    Old 09-21-2006, 04:17 AM   #15
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    Re: Policosanol

    I take 10 mg. Policosanol, and a plant sterol pill before lunch and do the same before dinner. The sterols block the cholesterol from any foods you are eating at the meal.

    My total cholesterol before I started this protocol was 300 and the cardiologist gave me a prescripton for Lipitor. I threw it away and went for a visiit to a company that sells pharmeceutical grade vitamins and supplements and has a free nutritionist on staff to recommend which supplements to take, when to take them, and she was also helpful with dietary advice.

    After six months I had my total cholesterol checked and it dropped to 172!

    I do eat oat bran almost every morning now, either the hot cereal, or cold oat bran cereal with a high fiber content, and I watch my saturated fat intake.

    There have been reports that Vitamin E raises cholesterol so I stopped taking it, but there is a small amount in my multi-vitamin.

    According to my vitamin company, Policosanol should not contain beeswax otherwise it won't work, maybe those individuals who have not found success with it are buying Policosanol containing beeswax.

    Anyway, I am estatic that I don't have to take the statin drugs and hope you find a protocol that works for you, good luck.

    Last edited by jacal5; 09-21-2006 at 04:21 AM.

     
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