Exploring the 4 Main Octacosanol Uses

Sep 21,2023
Category:Product News

Octacosanol is a kind of naturally occurring one-membered high-level fatty alcohol, which is recognized as a functional anti-fatigue substance in the world. 1937, foreign scholars extracted octacosanol from wheat germ oil and found that it has significant therapeutic effects on human reproductive disorders [1], which has been gradually known to the public since then. In 1949, Dr. TK Cureton and other scholars from the University of Illinois [2] began to study the physiological functions of Octacosanol, and after more than twenty years of research, it was proved that Octacosanol has a series of unique uses, and since then, research on Octacosanol has been widely carried out and a series of exciting results have been achieved.


Octacosanol is a safe and effective functional factor. According to the oral test in mice , the LDso of Octacosanol is more than 18,000mg/kg, which is safer than table salt (LDso=3000mg/kg), and it is also negative in the spermatozoa aberration test in mice, the bone marrow micronucleus test in mice and the Ames test, which is also confirmed by the arguments of scholars from the Center for Natural Products of Cuba, such as C.L. Aleman and other scholars [3].


The distinctive feature of octacosanol is that it can achieve significant physiological activity at a very low dosage. According to Nippon Yakin Co., Ltd [4], fatigue can usually be eliminated with 0.2 mg of Octacosanol per person per day by oral intake; physical strength and endurance can be enhanced with 0.5 mg per day, and 5 mg per day for therapeutic purposes. In addition, Octacosanol, as a natural alcohol, is biodegradable and easily absorbed and utilized by animal bodies.


Because of its physiological functions, such as improving physical performance and lowering cholesterol, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan listed it in the "Development of Functional Foods" catalog as early as 1988 to guide the actions of the domestic food industry, and in October 1999, the U.S. FDA clearly listed it as a functional food additive of natural plant origin in the Dietary Supplement Sales Information (DSSI) published by the U.S. FDA. In October 1999, the U.S. FDA published the DSSI (Dietary Supplement Sales Information), which clearly lists octacosanol as a functional food additive of natural plant origin. China also proposed in its national standard "General Standard for Health (Functional) Foods" (GB16740-1997) in 1997 that octacosanol can be added to health foods as an efficacy ingredient.


At present, octacosanol is widely used in functional foods, various nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and toiletries overseas, and these products are very popular. Especially in Japan, the United States, and some countries in the European Union, the functions of octacosanol have been generally recognized, and the annual consumption is relatively stable, so the market is very mature. Please follow us to explore the 4 main octacosanol uses in various fields.

1. Applications of Octacosanol in the Food Industry

As a functional food base [5], octacosanol is used in beverages, confectionery, cookies, capsules, tablets and liquids, etc. It can be used as a functional additive in a wide range of health food products as well as in general food products such as confectionery, pastries, and beverages.


Japan is the largest producer and seller of functional foods and beverages in the world, and in 1987, the sales of Octacosanol-related products in Japan amounted to 350 million yen [6].In 1990, the sales of Octacosanol-added products in Japan exceeded 2 billion yen, and the annual sales increased by 20%.In 2002, a company in Japan used Octacosanol to make a sports drink, which sold 1 million cases within two months of its launch. In 2002, a Japanese company made a sports drink with Octacosanol and sold one million cases in two months after its launch, with annual sales reaching six million cases.


In the United States, Octacosanol has been marketed in large quantities as a health food and vitamin compound and has become a new favorite in the health food market [7]. China Patent [8] discloses a health care edible oil containing Octacosanol and its preparation method, which has balanced nutrition, reasonable fatty acid ratio, and the added natural active ingredient Octacosanol has physiological effects such as anti-fatigue, physical strength, and lowering of blood cholesterol, and it is a new type of functional edible fat with nutritional and health care functions.


In addition, the most notable applications of Octacosanol in functional foods are the sports products developed for athletes that utilize its ability to improve sports endurance and enhance reaction acuity, as well as the aerospace and military food products that utilize its ability to improve hypoxic endurance, blood viscosity, and the prevention of osteoporosis, which are very effective in replenishing physical energy, and have a broad prospect for development.


2. Application of Octacosanol in the Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, the development of medicines with Octacosanol as the main efficacy component, such as lipid-lowering drugs, liver protection drugs, osteoporosis prevention drugs, etc., is a hot spot for research and development.


Currently, the main effect of foreign drugs containing Octacosanol is to regulate lipid metabolism and lower cholesterol. For elderly patients with hypercholesterolemia and coronary artery disease, Octacosanol is safe and effective. Some conventional drugs for the treatment of atherosclerotic vascular disease (especially coronary heart disease), such as lovastatin, simvastatin and pravastatin, have many side effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, cholelithiasis, impairment of fertility, etc., coupled with the need for long-term use, and thus have many contraindications, especially for elderly patients and patients with active liver disease should be very careful. On the other hand, Octacosanol is completely free of the above disadvantages, and is safe and effective, with a broad development prospect.


3. Application of Octacosanol in Feed Industry

Studies at home and abroad have shown[9] that the addition of Octacosanol to animal feed has a variety of physiological effects, such as promoting growth, enhancing physical fitness and endurance, strengthening the resistance of animals, and reducing the mortality rate of animals, which is a good natural feed additive.


Japanese patent reported that when long-chain fatty alcohols containing C₂₆~C3₂ or Octacosanol were added to feed, the animals' strength, especially durability, was enhanced after ingestion. If combined with L-carnitine, the effect is even better, and the recommended dosage is 0.002-1.00 mg of Octacosanol and 0.02-20 g of L-carnitine per kg of body weight. It has also been reported that the water temperature has a great influence on the growth and development of fish, especially in the winter when the water temperature is low, the fish will have less food intake and less vitality and therefore have poorer development and growth. In addition, the physical strength of fish is often reduced during migration or during the sale of live fish after catching, which is often accompanied by a high mortality rate. The addition of Octacosanol to the feed of aquatic animals can increase resilience and reduce mortality in both marine and freshwater fish.


Xu Renpu et al. conducted a test on raising chickens with Octacosanol and confirmed that chickens in the group with 25 mg/kg Octacosanol added to the feed had a low mortality rate, fast growth, good neatness, 4% increase in weight gain, and 5.9% increase in feed efficiency, which had a good feeding effect and economic benefits.


Chen Chengxun et al. applied Octacosanol and L-carnitine to the aquaculture process, through the feeding of aquatic animals and the analysis of their internal organs, observed that the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of the test group of fish was significantly enhanced, malondialdehyde (MDA) level was significantly reduced, muscle tissue catalase (CAT), head and kidney tissues lysozyme was also significantly improved, and its physiological activity and domestication performance were significantly stronger than that of the control group. Its physiological activity and domestication performance were significantly stronger than that of the control group, which proved that the feed could improve the growth rate of aquatic animals, and the effect of increasing their physiological activity and stress resistance was also very significant.


In addition, octacosanol is also added to the high-grade feed for cats, dogs, racehorses, ornamental fish and other animals to improve their mobility and maintain high vigor.


4. Application of Octacosanol in the Daily Chemical Industry

Octacosanol is used in cosmetics and toiletries, its main function is to promote blood circulation, improve oxygen delivery capacity, improve the basic metabolic rate, and at the same time, after wiping, absorbed through the skin, has the role of energizing the cells, enhance skin activity and eliminate skin wrinkles.


So far, Octacosanol has been widely used in Japan in daily chemical products such as hair conditioners, lipsticks, and nail polishes, and the effects of their use are very obvious. For example, Nakata Masahide et al. [10] used 12% and high purity Octacosanol in a closed skin patch test to compare skin irritation and confirmed that Octacosanol is very safe for the skin.


According to the patent report of Ivy Needle Valley, skin care products formulated with eicosanoids were tested in a comparative manner in a population of women aged 40 to 50 years, with 10 people in each group, and the skin care products used in the control group were the same as those used in the test group, except for the absence of the addition of Octacosanol. The control group used the same skin care products as the test group, except that no octacosanol was added. The two groups rubbed their skin care products on their faces twice a day in the morning and evening, and after two months of self-assessment scoring, the control group scored 1.46, and the test group scored 2.32, and the effect of the use of the skin care products was significantly higher than that of the control group.


In addition, long-chain fatty alcohols have been shown to improve cell function and activity. Masa Funada [11] reported that a hair growth promoter made with Octacosanol and camellia oil had significant therapeutic effects on alopecia areata.



[1] Katahira, Ryota. Octacosanol, A New Health Food Additive. New Food Industry, 1984,26(3):49~52

[2] Cureton T K. The physiological effects of wheat oil on human in exercise sport field [M]. Illinois,UACC Thomas Publishes,1978:246~252

[3] Zheng Jianxian. Development of Modern Functional Grain and Oil Products [M]. Science and Technology Literature Press, 2003,217~220

[4] Toru Takagi. Oleochemistry [M].  1978,27(3):172~176

[5] Aleman C, Mas R. A  12-month study of policosanol oral toxicity in  Sprague-Dawley rats. Toxicol. Lett,1994,70:77~87

[6] Zan Sun, Huiying Zhang, Gaoxiong Rao. Progress of Research and Development of Natural Octacosanol. Journal of Yunnan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2006, 29(5):52~54

[7] Hernndez F, Innait J, et al. Effects of policosanol on serum lipids and lipoproteins in healthy volunteers.  Curr.  Ther.  Res,  1992,51:568~575

[8] Yang Fei, Et Al . A Health Care Edible Oil Containing Octacosanol and Its Preparation Method [p]. China Patent: 200610013624. 2006-05-10

[9] Masa Funada. Octacosanol Properties and Applications. Frgrance Joumnal,1991(8):79~60

[10]  Chaytor  A  C,See  M  T,  Hansen  J  A,  et  al.  Effects  of chronic  exposure  of diets  with  reduced concentrations of aflatoxin and deoxynivalenol on growth and immune status of pigs. J Anim Sci,    2010, 89  (1):124~135

[11] Katahira, Ryota. Octacosanol, A New Health Food Additive. New Food Industry, 1984,26(3):49~52

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