Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:
- Octacosanol Alcohol
- Wheat Germ Oil
Principal Proposed Uses
Other Proposed Uses
Policosanol is a mixture of waxy substances generally manufactured from sugarcane. It contains about 60% octacosanol, along with many related chemicals. In some cases, the terms octacosanol and policosanol are used interchangeably. Numerous studies have reported that sugarcane policosanol can substantially improve cholesterol profile, with an efficacy approximately equal to that of the most effective drugs used for this purpose. On this basis, policosanol has been approved as a treatment for high cholesterol in about two dozen countries, most of them in Latin America. 73 However, essentially all positive studies of policosanol were performed and reported by a single Cuban research group—a group with a financial relationship to the product. Independent verification of the product’s effectiveness was delayed for several years by various legal obstacles. During the years 2006 and 2007, however, several independent studies of sugarcane policosanol were at last reported. In none of these trials has policosanol proved more effective than placebo.