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Comparison of composition and absorption of sugarcane policosanols

  • Christopher P. F. Marinangeli (a1), Amira N. Kassis (a1), Deepak Jain (a1), Naoyuki Ebine (a1), Stephen C. Cunnane (a2) and Peter J. H. Jones (a1) (a3)...
Abstract

Policosanols (PC) exist as very-long-chain alcohols derived from sugarcane currently used in many countries as a cholesterol-lowering therapy. PC purity and relative percentage composition have been suggested as primary reasons why the original Cuban PC (OPC) supplements possess lipid-lowering efficacy. The purpose of the present study was, first, to compare the relative percentage purity and PC composition of both OPC and alternative sources of PC (APC). A second objective was to feed Syrian hamsters a diet containing 0·275 mg PC/g of either the OPC or an APC product (APC1) and compare subsequent tissue, plasma and faecal PC levels. Five animals from the APC1 dietary group received a diet containing ten times the original amount of PC. Results indicate that the APC formulations have a composition that is highly consistent with the OPC supplement, with octacosanol being present within the cited 60–70 % range. PC were undetectable in the small intestine, liver, adipose or plasma in animals fed either source. Hamsters fed OPC excreted octacosanol (C28) more rapidly (P < 0·05) than hamsters receiving APC1. If the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of PC mixtures is dependent on their purity and composition, then sugarcane-derived APC products should possess similar therapeutic properties as the OPC supplement.

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Corresponding author
*Dr Peter J. H. Jones, fax +1 204 474 7552, peter_ jones@umanitoba.ca
References
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