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What is Octacosanol?

Scientific Name(s):1-octacosanol, n-octacosanol, octacosyl alcohol
Common Name(s):24 to 36 carbon alcohols isolated from wheat germ oil or other plants.

Clinical Overview:
Uses of Octacosanol:
Octacosanol is being investigated as a herpes antiviral and as a treatment for inflammatory diseases of the skin. It may be helpful with Parkinson disease and ALS, but more studies are needed. Octacosanol administration also has conferred enhanced physical endurance in some studies.

Octacosanol Dosing:
Octacosanol (policosanol) has been studied at doses from 10 to 20 mg daily in cholesterol reduction and heart disease.

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Octacosanol Interactions:
None well documented.

Octacosanol Adverse Reactions:
There have been no reported side effects with the use of octacosanol except for a suggestion of interaction with levodopa/carbidopa in Parkinson disease patients.

There are no data on the long-term toxicity of products containing octacosanol.

Studies in the 1930s and 1940s suggested that athletes who were given daily or weekly doses of raw, unrefined wheat germ oil outperformed subjects who received only vitamin E supplements. The biologic value of wheat germ was reconfirmed in a 1951 study in which college students received wheat germ oil for 18 weeks. Treated subjects improved their “all-out” bicycle riding times by 47%, while the untreated controls increased their average riding times by only 4%. All of these studies suggested that some component of unrefined wheat germ oil increased physical endurance, and that vitamin E was not entirely responsible. Further investigations culminated in a patent for the combination of “physiologically active” components of raw wheat germ oil. 5 No published scientific studies were provided that evaluated the physiologic activity of these “active constituents.”

Studies indicate that octacosanol allows for the efficient conversion of food and storage fuels into biological energy, resulting in increased muscle strength, endurance, vigor, quicker reaction and faster recovery times. Octacosanol contains sterols, phosphatides, stearins, long chain alcohols, waxes, and other substances from the unrefined portion of wheat germ oil. It is possible to extract octacosanol from wheat but it would take over 10 pounds of wheat to get a tiny 1000 micrograms of octacosanol.

Octacosanol has been clinically proven to increase oxygen utilization during exercise or workouts. It also improves glycogen storage in your body's muscles. The results of octacosanol supplementation are it increases stamina, increases endurance, reduces high altitude stress, improves your reaction time, and helps get oxygen to your body tissue. Some people also use octacosanol to increase muscle size or mass.

Octacosanol also has the additional benefit that it helps lower blood cholesterol levels.

Octacosanol can also benefit those people who get muscle pain after workout or other exercise. It can help with other neuromuscular disorders as well.

Solgar's Octacosanol

Now's Octacosanol

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