, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 391–396 | Cite as

Sugar Cane Policosanols do not Reduce LDL Oxidation in Hypercholesterolemic Individuals

  • Amira N. Kassis
  • Stan Kubow
  • Peter J. H. Jones
Original Article


Sugar cane policosanols (SCP) have been shown to exert antioxidant properties in various studies conducted in Cuba. Independent studies have since reported no significant effect of SCP consumption on oxidized LDL levels. The objective of the present study was to confirm the effects of Cuban SCP on LDL oxidation using a high-precision capture ELISA procedure in hypercholesterolemic individuals. Twenty-one otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic men and post-menopausal women participated in a randomized double blind crossover study where they received 10 mg/day of policosanol or a placebo incorporated in margarine as an evening snack for a period of 28 days. Subjects maintained their usual dietary and exercise habits throughout the duration of the study. Blood was collected on the first as well as the last 2 days of the trial. LDL oxidation was measured from plasma using a solid phase two-site enzyme immunoassay. A lack of effect of SCP was observed on LDL cholesterol levels, as well as no difference in LDL oxidation between the SCP treatment and placebo at the end of the intervention period. Subject body weights remained stable throughout the study and showed no significant correlation with LDL oxidation levels. Absolute levels of plasma LDL cholesterol were significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with plasma concentrations of oxidized LDL. The findings of the present study suggest that SCP do not significantly affect LDL oxidation. Our results align with results of recent policosanol research questioning the efficacy of these natural extracts as cardio-protective agents.


Sugar cane policosanol Low-density lipoprotein Oxidation Hypercholesterolemia ELISA 



Analysis of covariance


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


High-density lipoprotein




Low-density lipoprotein




Sugar cane policosanols


Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances



This study was supported by a research grant from the Advanced Foods and Materials Network—Networks of Centres of Excellence.


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amira N. Kassis
    • 1
  • Stan Kubow
    • 1
  • Peter J. H. Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Dietetics and Human NutritionMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and NutraceuticalsUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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