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What exactly is policosanol?

Policosanol is a type of a dietary supplement which is supposedto have the ability to lower the levels of cholesterol. It is herbal in natureand it is obtained from the waxes of plants such as sugarcane and yams, forexample. More precisely, it is a combination of fatty alcohols from thesewaxes. Due to the fact that it is a dietary supplement, there have not been enoughresearches and studies regarding its effectiveness and mechanism of action, butit is believed that it regulates the levels of LDL and HDL cholesterols bylowering the amounts of cholesterol that the liver produces and by increasingthe process of breaking down of cholesterol. Besides this benefit, it is alsoclaimed to be very helpful in Parkinson’s disease, as well as in the treatment ofpain in the leg in cases of peripheral artery disease. However, more researchesare yet to be done on its benefits as well.

Is it safe for everyone and are there any side effects possible?

Despite the fact that policosanol is a natural product,there are some side effects that people who are to use it should be aware of and some of such side effects may even be very severe. Exactly due to the factthat this supplement has not been thoroughly examined yet, the people whoare supposed to be even more careful when it comes to policosanol are those whosuffer from bleeding disorder or any type of allergy, as well as women who arepregnant or breastfeeding. It is highly recommended to consult a medical expertin such cases, because this supplement has the ability to act as a bloodthinner, which can increase the risk of bleeding, and that is a reason more notto combine it with any blood thinning medications. The list of othermedications with which it should not be combined is very long, which is areason more to consult a healthcare provider in advance.

As for the unwanted effects, those considered to be lessserious in nature are dizziness, irritability, drowsiness, redness of skin, insomniaand migraines, but painful urination, loss of weight and increased appetite mayalso be caused by policosanol. On the other side, those symptoms that areserious include easy bleeding, signs of internal bleeding such as black, tarryor bloody stools, as well as changes in vision and speech, weakness in theextremities, or a serious headache.

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