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Octacosanol May Enhance Performance

Octacosanol is a waxy substance naturally present in some plant oils, especially wheat germ oil. A recent study (1) showed that rats fed octacosanol for 4 weeks exercised 46% longer than rats not taking the supplement. Octacosanol apparently increased endurance by sparing muscle glycogen and increasing the oxidative capacity of muscle. Octacosanol is also the primary component of a sugar cane extract called policosanol. Several recent studies have shown that policosanol (10-20 mg/day) works as well as statins in improving cardiovascular risk factors with less side effects. These include reducing total cholesterol (16% to 21%), LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, increasing good HDL-cholesterol, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and suppressing inflammatory factors (2-4). So octacosanol may not only enhance performance but it also favorably affects risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It does not require a prescription and its cheaper than going on a statin to lower cholesterol.

1. Kim H, Park S, Han DS, Park T. Octacosanol supplementation increases running endurance time and improves biochemical parameters after exhaustion in trained rats. J Med Food. 2003 Winter;6(4):345-51.
2. Castano G, Menendez R, Mas R, Amor A, Fernandez JL, Gonzalez RL, Lezcay M, Alvarez E. Effects of policosanol and lovastatin on lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in patients with dyslipidemia associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2002;22(3-4):89-99.
3. Castano G, Mas R, Fernandez L, Illnait J, Mesa M, Alvarez E, Lezcay M. Comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol with atorvastatin in elderly patients with type II hypercholesterolaemia. Drugs Aging. 2003;20(2):153-63. 4. Janikula M. Policosanol: a new treatment for cardiovascular disease? Altern Med Rev. 2002 Jun;7(3):203-17.