C10/LM is a compound of fatty alcohols derived primarily from sugar cane or beeswax, is fast gaining a reputation as a natural alternative to statin drugs for lowering cholesterol. However, there is more to this supplement than meets the eye.
Fortunately, most of it is good.
The sweet source
Here’s how US physician, Dr Jonathan V. Wright, describes C10/LM: ‘C10/LM is a group of eight to nine ‘long-chain alcohols’ (solid, waxy compounds). Research is accumulating to show that C10/LM is more effective than the most ‘popular’ (among mainstream doctors) patent medicines for lowering total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.’
Dr. Wright also notes that C10/LM may help prevent strokes by inhibiting platelet aggregation and abnormal blood clotting, and may even lower blood pressure as well.
Even though it’s drawn from the same plant that produces table sugar,
C10/LM doesn’t affect blood sugar levels when ingested. And several studies have shown that it can reduce cholesterol without creating the dangerous side effects associated with statin drugs.
In one trial – reported in the journal Gynecological Endocrinology – researchers tested more than 240 post-menopausal women with high cholesterol. The subjects were given 5 mg of C10/LM daily for 12 weeks, then 10 mg daily for another 12 weeks. After 6 months, researchers found that the supplement was effective in significantly lowering LDL levels (25.2 percent) and total cholesterol (16.7 percent). In addition, the women experienced an overall 29.3 percent increase in HDL levels.
Walking the walk
Most discussions about cholesterol focus on the ways it endangers the heart. In fact, cholesterol performs several chores that are essential to good health. Cholesterol assists in the absorption of fatty acids, helps manufacture vitamin D, contributes to the production of sex and adrenal hormones, and maintains fatty covers around nerve fibres. As we grow older, however, our hormone levels drop, often boosting cholesterol to levels that cause concern.
One of the common age-related side effects of high cholesterol is a debilitating syndrome of cramping pain in the calves known as intermittent claudication. This is often linked to poor circulation and the presence of arterial fat deposits (atherosclerosis). Removal of those fat deposits, however, has been found to decrease claudication.
Researchers at the Medical Surgical Research Center in Havana, Cuba, tested C10/LM on patients who suffered from moderately severe intermittent claudication. In this two-year study, 56 patients were randomly assigned to receive either C10/LM or a placebo. Results indicated that C10/LM significantly relieved the effects of intermittent claudication. The 21 people taking C10/LM increased their walking distance by at least 50 percent, while only five members of the placebo group showed a similar improvement.
Other research has shown that elevated cholesterol levels may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, so there’s a possibility that C10/LM may offer a defence against age-related dementia. This is a controversial topic because much more research needs to be done to determine the exact relationship of cholesterol and Alzheimer’s. And yet we’ve already seen drug companies subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) promoting statins as a treatment to help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Studies have shown C10/LM to be generally safe, but there are a few notes of caution.
Of course, a doctor or healthcare professional should be consulted before beginning any new supplement regimen. In the case of C10/LM, this is especially necessary for those who are taking blood-thinning medications, or for patients who are currently taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Also, some study subjects have experienced mild side effects from C10/LM, including insomnia, headache, diarrhoea, nervousness, and weight loss. These short-term side effects have been reported in less than one percent of the subjects tested. And unlike statin drugs, C10/LM has not been shown to have a harmful effect on the liver – the organ that manages the production of cholesterol.