Octacosanol information, FAQ and product listing page. This page contains information and frequently asked questions about octacosanol as well as a complete list of products containing octacosanol.
Quick jump to the sub-sections on this page:
Octacosanol, or wheat germ oil, is one of the best sources of Vitamin E available. It is a valuable part of a balanced diet, and if a fatty diet or cholesterol concerns you, wheat germ may be exactly what you need to take the center of a heart-healthy diet and supplement program.
Wheat germ is the baby wheat plant (embryo) of the wheat kernel. Wheat germ oil is a fatty liquid that can be found in the wheat germ. Octacosanol is one of the many fatty, long-chain waxy alcohols that can be found present in the wheat germ oil extracted. Wheat germ oil is one of the most bountiful sources of octacosanol, but it can also be found in whole grains, nuts, vegetable oils, as well as sugar canes.
A natural product that has been recently developed over the past several years known as a Policosanol is a concentrated waxy alcohol, consisting of octacosanol and a handful of others like triacontanol and hexacosaonol. These are typically extracted from beeswax or sugar canes.
You can find wheat germ in cereal or used in a variety of baking products like breads, muffins, etc. It is also available in supplement form as a powder or concentrate.
Wheat germ is a very concentrated source of nutrients like Vitamin E and vitamin B, as well as minerals like iron and calcium and some random proteins. There are high concentrations of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. This makes it almost like a multi-supplement providing many different benefits and filling many voids, particularly if your diet likes nuts, green vegetables, and other sources of Vitamin E.
Linoleic acid is present in wheat germ oil and has the precursors for omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. As you may be aware, essential fatty acids have a variety of beneficial health effects like an improved heart function.
There are many theories that exist on how wheat germ has the ability to increase strength and endurance. There have many proposed theories, such as one that concentrates on some evidence that octacosanol may improve the efficiency of transferring nerve impulses, or that it may have the possibly to increase oxygen transport and/or uptake. On other theory is that is boosts the energy applied to muscles via the promotion of the transfer of fatty acids in the muscles.
Researches in Japan have indicated that octacosanol may be able to drastically reduce fat accumulation in the tissue of humans, as studies have proved with rats. Many of the minor tonic actions and cardiovascular benefits attributed to octacosanol may have to do with its ability to affect fat metabolism, blood platelet stickiness, and cholesterol production.
Those that are looking to lose weight or increase their energy can possibly reap the benefits from supplementing with octacosanol. This can make octacosanol supplementation very appealing for athletes and bodybuilders.
In addition, those that have certain cardiovascular problems may want to consider taking octacosanol. However, before deciding to help treat a certain medical condition with a certain supplement you should consult with your doctor or a licensed medical professional.
Wheat germ oil can be found packaged as softgel capsules and liquids. These normally come in ranges of 500 to 1,000 mg per pill. Daily recommended usage is one to two grams. When it comes to octacosanol, single doses can provide anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 mcg.
Of course, you should always follow the label directions found on the package of the supplement that you are looking to supplement.
Because of octacosanol’s almost inabilityof toxicity and its short list of drug interactions, encountering danger or negative reactions from taking this supplement are slim. Both wheat germ oil and octacosanol are considered very safe and nontoxic when taken in recommended doses. However, pregnant or nursing women should consult their physician before taking it.
Drug interaction may be with a single drug, levodopa. This is used to help combat Parkinson’s disease. In addition, Policosanol may have the ability to thin the blood and should be taken cautiously by those with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning drugs.
Sources used:Arruzazabala, M.L., et al., "Comparative Study of Policosanol, Aspirin and the Combination Therapy Policosanol-Aspirin on Platelet Aggregation in Healthy Volunteers," Pharmacol Res 36.4 (1997) : 293-7Carbajal, D., et al., "Effect of Policosanol on Platelet Aggregation and Serum Levels of Arachidonic Acid Metabolites in Healthy Volunteers," Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 58.1 (1998) : 61-4.Castano, G., et al., "A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effects of Policosanol in Patients with Intermittent Claudication," Angiology 50.2 (1999) : 123-30.Fontani, G., et al., "Policosanol, Reaction Time and Event-Related Potentials," Neuropsychobiology 41.3 (2000) : 158-65.Niwa, Y., et al., "Successful Treatment of Severe Atopic Dermatitis-Complicated Cataract and Male Infertility with a Natural Product Antioxidant," Int J Tissue React 20.2 (1998) : 63-9.Norris, F.H., et al., "Trial of Octacosanol in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis," Neurology 36.9 (1986) : 1263-4.Saint-John, M., and McNaughton, L., "Octacosanol Ingestion and Its Effects on Metabolic Responses to Submaximal Cycle Ergometry, Reaction Time and Chest and Grip Strength," Int Clin Nutr Rev 6.2 (1986) : 81-7.Stusser, R., et al., "Long-Term Therapy with Policosanol Improves Treadmill Exercise-ECG Testing Performance of Coronary Heart Disease Patients," Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 36.9 (1998) : 469-73.