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Lipids. 2003 Feb;38(2):165-70.

Effects of policosanols and phytosterols on lipid levels and cholesterol biosynthesis in hamsters.

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School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada H9X 3V9.


The current study was carried out to examine the effects of policosanols and phytosterols, alone and in combination, on lipid profiles, cholesterol biosynthesis, and tissue histopathological changes in hamsters. Fifty male Golden Syrian hamsters, weighing 100 to 120 g, were fed a regular rodent chow for 2 wk before being randomly assigned into 5 groups of 10 animals each fed semisynthetic diets for 4 wk. Group 1 was given a control diet that contained 0.25% cholesterol and 5% fat with a PUFA to saturated FA ratio of 0.4. Groups 2 to 5 were fed the control diet and given Octa-6 [a policosanol mixture from sugar cane wax, 25 mg/kg body weight (BW)], Ricewax (a policosanol mixture from rice wax with 50% being converted to the corresponding acids, 50 mg/kg BW), phytosterols (Cholestatin; 1,000 mg/kg BW), and Ricewax (50 mg/kg BW) plus phytosterols (1,000 mg/kg BW), respectively. The results showed that there was no difference between Octa-6 and Ricewax treatments in any of the lipid parameters measured, and both had similar levels of triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (T-C), and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) as the control. Octa-6 but not Ricewax increased (P = 0.03) non-HDL-C as compared with the control. Phytosterols reduced T-C (P < 0.0003) and HDL-C (P < 0.004) without a significant effect on TG and non-HDL-C as compared to the control. Ricewax plus phytosterols had effects similar to those with phytosterols alone. Free cholesterol synthetic rates were not different among the treatments. Policosanols or phytosterols did not show any toxic effects in liver, heart, brain, or kidney. Results suggest that, although phytosterols reduce T-C and HDL-C levels, policosanols have no significant favorable effect in changing lipid levels in hamsters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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