Efficacy and safety of sugarcane policosanol on dyslipidemia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2018 Jan;62(1). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700280. Epub 2017 Aug 29.


Scope: This study aimed to systematically investigate whether sugarcane policosanol was effective and safe on dyslipidemia.

Methods and results: A total of 11 databases including the PubMed, Web of science, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane library and SinoMed databases were searched for available studies investigating the effects of policosanol on dyslipidemia. A total of 22 studies including 1886 subjects were included in the analysis. The pooled results showed that compared with placebo, sugarcane policosanol could significantly reduce total cholesterol (TC, 95% CI: -0.87 to -0.30 mmol/L) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c, 95% CI: -1.02 to -0.40 mmol/L) and increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol; however, no significant effects were observed on triglyceride (TG) and body weight. Subgroup analysis suggested the studies from Cuba obtained more effective data than those outside this country, and the effects were not proportional to the dose. The adverse effects analysis demonstrated that sugarcane policosanol was safer than the control agents.

Conclusion: The pooled results supported the lipid-lowering effects and safety of policosanol. Because of the high heterogeneity, the better treatment effects observed in the Cuban studies and the inconsistent dose-response relationship, more clinical trials are needed to further confirm the efficacy of policosanol on dyslipidemia.

Keywords: Cholesterol; Dyslipidemia; Meta-analysis; Sugarcane policosanol; Triglyceride.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Fatty Alcohols / adverse effects
  • Fatty Alcohols / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Triglycerides
  • policosanol
  • Cholesterol