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Nutraceuticals (3) Octacosanol

By Lisa Rapport and Brian Lockwood

Octacosanol is an example of a nutraceutical. It is a 28-carbon chainalcohol which is present in the superficial layers of fruit, leaves andskin of many plants as well as whole grains.

Most studies investigating this compound have used either a wheat germoil extract, or policosanol. Policosanol is a natural mixture ofprimary alcohols purified from sugar cane wax, whose main component isoctacosanol. There are many ways in which octacosanol has been used.


It is well known that athletes use anabolic steroids andamphetamines in order to enhance their performance. Alternatively, ifan athlete manages to reduce his body weight by a small amount eachday, he may be able to compete in a lower body weight category,increasing his chances of winning. Many athletes are realising thatapart from being illegal, many of these substances are harmful tohealth and they are therefore turning to more natural products toenhance performance.

Octacosanol is now being advertised in Australia and America assuch a product. However, it is often difficult to assess these productsas any increased performance may also be due to improved training ordiet. A study was carried out using 33 male student athletes to testthese claims.

To read the full artticle, download the attached PDF

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10996068

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