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What does octacosanol do?

Octacosanol is a waxy substance naturally present in some plant oils and is the primary component of the sugar cane extract called policosanol.

Octacosanol-containing wheat germ oil was investigated decades ago as an exercise performance–promoting (ergogenic) agent. These preliminary studies found that octacosanol had promising effects on endurance, reaction time, and other measures of exercise capacity.1 In another trial, 1,000 mcg per day of octacosanol for eight weeks was found to improve grip strength and visual reaction time, but it had no effect on chest strength, auditory reaction time, or endurance.2

Where is octacosanol found?

Octacosanol is a waxy substance found in vegetable oils and sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum). Another compound, called policosanol, contains a large amount of octacosanol, along with several similar compounds.

Octacosanol has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):


Rating Health Concerns

Athletic performance

Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.


Who is likely to be deficient of octacosanol?

Because octacosanol is not an essential bodily constituent, deficiencies do not occur.

How much octacosanol is usually taken?

When octacosanol is taken as part of policosanol, 5–10 mg of policosanol is taken twice each day with meals. For exercise performance, 1 mg per day of octacosanol has been used.

Are there any side effects or interactions with octacosanol?

Long-term trials in humans using amounts up to 20 mg per day have not shown any negative effects.3

At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with octacosanol