Keeping Cholesterol Under Control
By Anthony Almada, M.S.
Octacosanol (C28), a long-chain alcohol (LCA) found in waxy fractions of plants, can lower cholesterol by improving blood lipids when working in combination with other LCAs. One such combination, Policosanol—the most widely studied LCA complex—is derived from sugar cane wax. In numerous studies, it has shown significant benefit in curtailing blood lipids, which are a precursor to high cholesterol, requiring only 5-20 mg per day. Policosanol also has been shown to be equal or superior to two different cholesterol-lowering drugs, at least in the short term.
In the past, C28 was believed to be a magic, endurance-enhancing molecule found in wheat germ oil. This premise, however, was based on a single human study that was eventually found to be questionable. Although later studies in lab rats found adding C28 to the diet (300 mg/100 g of diet) improved swimming time and cholesterol/fat metabolism, no other studies have shown benefit from the pure compound.
Nutrition and exercise biochemist Anthony Almada, M.S., has collaborated on more than 45 university-based studies and is founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition.