What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?
Octacosanol (C28H58O) is a 28 carbon long-chain saturated primary alcohol, and is the active ingredient in wheat germ oil. It is found in wheat germ oil, spinach and sugar cane wax.
What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?
Octacosanol is believed to perform a number of beneficial actions in the body.
Chief amongst these is its ability to enhance athletic performance by increasing the body's ability to use oxygen during exercise. The hard working muscles of an athlete need oxygen to perform and recover. Octacosanol improves oxygen usage by strengthening the heart, reducing LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL levels, thereby improving heart function and reducing hypertension.1
Octacosanol also acts to increase exercise endurance because of its high vitamin E content. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and free-radical scavenger. Vitamin E protects muscle tissue and DNA from damage, and immune function from oxidative stress. By preventing the buildup of lactic acid and increasing the body's ability to store glucose as muscle glycogen, octacosanol can improve muscular strength and endurance.
Most importantly, octacosanol helps to treat osteoporosis by lowering blood-calcium levels. Calcium plays a key role in the transmission of nerve signals, and thus muscular contraction. If a calcium deficiency exists, muscular contractions and endurance are compromised.
When the body requires calcium, a signal is sent to osteoclasts to harvest calcium from existing bone mass. These osteoclasts break down bone mass to acquire the calcium they require. Doctors can test this process - it is known as bone-turnover.
Bone-turnover is of great concern because this process can lead to thinning of the bones - osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can leave one vulnerable to brittle and fragile bones.
Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?
All persons can benefit from supplementing with octacosanol. Athletes in particular can benefit from its use because of its ability to enhance endurance and improve oxygen usage.
Octacosanol is not an essential bodily constituent and there are no symptoms of deficiency.
How Much Should Be Taken?
And Are There Any Side Effects?
.Adhere strictly to label guidelines.
The effects of this supplement may take several weeks to notice and clinical studies have shown that long-term octacosanol use did not produce negative effects.2,3
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1. Batista, J., R. Stusser, F. Saez and B. Perez (1996). "Effect of policosanol on hyperlipidemia and coronary heart disease in middle-aged patients. A 14-month pilot study." Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 34(3): 134-7.
2. Canetti, M., M. Moreira, R. Mas, J. Illnait, L. Fernandez, J. Fernandez, E. Diaz and G. Castano (1995). "A two-year study on the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in patients with type II hyperlipoproteinaemia." Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 15(4): 159-65.
3. Pons P, Rodriguez M, Robaina C, et al. Effects of successive dose increases of policosanol on the lipid profile of patients with type II hypercholesterolaemia and tolerability to treatment. Int J Clin Pharm Res 1994;14:27-33.