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Formula CH3-(CH2)n-CH2OH n=24-34
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Policosanol is the generic term for a mixture of long chain alcohols extracted from plant waxes. It is used as a dietary supplement.

Policosanol was originally derived from sugar cane but the chemicals can also be isolated from beeswax, cereal grains, grasses, leaves, fruits, nuts, and seeds of many foods.[1] Plant waxes consist of very long chain fatty acids that have been esterified to very long chain alcohols. Policosanols are very long chain alcohols with carbon backbones ranging from 24 to 34 carbons.[1]

The first policosanol supplements were produced by Dalmer Laboratories in Cuba; studies conducted and published by that group have found that policosanol is safe and effective as a lipid-lowering agent. However these studies were small, and efforts by groups outside of Cuba have failed to replicate these results.[1]

Meta-analysis in 2005 found that human policosanol consumption is safe and well tolerated and is effective at lowering the blood cholesterol.[2] As of 2010, they were marketed as lipid-lowering agents in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Canada.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Marinangeli CP, Jones PJ, Kassis AN, Eskin MN. Policosanols as nutraceuticals: fact or fiction. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Mar;50(3):259-67. Review. PMID 20301014
  2. ^ Chen, J. T., Wesley, R., Shamburek, R. D., Pucino, F. and Csako, G. (2005), Meta-Analysis of Natural Therapies for Hyperlipidemia: Plant Sterols and Stanols versus Policosanol. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy, 25: 171–183. doi:10.1592/phco.

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