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.