POLICOSANOL (“P” in PAGG) Effective? Still May be Worth a Try!

As a supplement used solely for the purpose of cholesterol reduction one would take 5-10 mg twice per day. Tim Ferriss found 23mg prior to bedtime to be an optimal dose for weight loss with no additional benefit at higher doses. I cannot comment on it’s efficacy as a weight loss supplement based on my literary research but it may be worth a try.

I would personally have my cholesterol levels checked before use and six months later to see if there was any beneficial change. If so you could consider continuing this supplement for 1-2 years depending on the success of your diet and exercise regimen.

Policosanol seems to be safe when used in doses of 10-80 mg/day for up to 2 years*

Policosanol: is referenced two times in the 4 Hour Body

  1. The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss: The “P” in PAGG (20-25 mg prior to bed)
  2. Geek to Freak Protocol (23 mg prior to bed)

You can see the full dosing regimens as recommended in the Four Hour Body HERE.

Consumer Information and Education
Provided by
Based on
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database


What is it?
Policosanol is a chemical obtained from sugar cane and other sources.Policosanol is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.Policosanol is used for conditions that affect the health of the heart and blood vessels including high cholesterol, leg pain due to poor circulation (intermittent claudication), and narrowing of the blood vessels that serve the heart.
Is it Effective?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.The effectiveness ratings for POLICOSANOL are as follows:

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • High cholesterol. Research findings disagree about the effectiveness of policosanol in treating high cholesterol. There have been some studies that find it effective. But interestingly, all of these studies were done in Cuba, where the sugar cane that is used to make policosanol is grown. Research done outside Cuba (in Germany, Canada and South Africa) found that policosanol does not lower cholesterol.
  • Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Limited research suggests that taking policosanol does not reduce total cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) in people with an inherited tendency to have high cholesterol.
  • Leg pain due to poor blood circulation (intermittent claudication). Taking policosanol by mouth seems to significantly improve the distance people with intermittent claudication can walk without pain.
  • Increasing blood flow to the heart in people with coronary heart disease.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate policosanol for these uses.

How does it work?
Policosanol seems to decrease cholesterol production in the liver and to increase the break down of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol. It also decreases the stickiness of particles in the blood known as platelets, which might help reduce blood clots.
Are there safety concerns?
Policosanol is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when used in doses of 10-80 mg per day for up to two years. It can cause skin redness and rash, migraines, insomnia or drowsiness, irritability, dizziness, upset stomach, increased appetite, trouble urinating, weight loss, nose and gum bleeds, and other side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using policosanol during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: Policosanol can slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase the chance of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using policosanol at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating = Major Do not take this combination.

Policosanol might slow blood clotting. Taking policosanol along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Are there any interactions with Herbs and Supplements?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Are there interactions with Foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of policosanol depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for policosanol. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
What other names is the product known by?
32-C, Dotriacontanol, Heptacosanol, Hexacosanol, Nonacosanol, Octacosanol, Tetracosanol, Tétracosanol, Tetratriacontanol, Tétratriacontanol, Triacontanol.

From the 4 Hour Body

Policosanol, an extract of plant waxes, often sugar cane, is the most controversial element in the PAGG stack. I originally experimented with policosanol at low and high doses to increase HDL cholesterol and decrease LDL cholesterol. Used in combination with time-release niacin, one orange before bed, and chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate) during the four-week “Geek to Freak” project detailed in later chapters, I lowered my total cholesterol from 222 to 147 while almost doubling HDL. There was a pleasant side effect: an unintended but significant reduction in bodyfat. I isolated the policosanol over several weeks of further testing. The research studies are far from conclusive regarding policosanol’s effects on cholesterol; most show no effect whatsoever. This could be due to not dosing policosanol before peak cholesterol production between midnight and 4:00 A.M. Regardless, the addition of policosanol (10–25 milligrams before bed) to the PAGG (then AGG) stack produces, in my experience and that of my guinea pigs, far superior effects for fat-loss vs. AGG alone. This was tested with three brands and three dosages (10, 23, and 40 milligrams per day). I found 23 milligrams per day to be optimal for fat-loss, with little additional benefit from higher doses.

Ferriss, Timothy (2010). The 4-Hour Body


Best Ranked and Easily Accessible list of products containing: POLICOSANOL

*Canadian Licensed Products:  Learn more

(Number next to supplement indicates NMBER) For Policosanol  Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)=6  was the highest number available on the Natural Medicines Database.

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)=6  NOW Foods Policosanol 20mg Plus by NOW Foods Canada*

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)=6  Policosanol 20mg by Source Naturals

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)=6  Nature’s Life Policosanol Tablets, 23 Mg, 60 Count by Nature’s Life

Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)=6  GNC Policosanol 10mg By GNC


PAGG/AGG Combo by Pareto Nutrition: contains 23 mg of policosanol (not ranked on the Natural Medicines Database)

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