Updated: May 8
Octacosanol is obtained in pure form from wheat germ oil and has been described as an "ergogenic aid." The word ergogenic refers to the energy-releasing action this substance has within muscle fibers. It works a little like a vitamin but is not officially classified as a vitamin. Octacosanol may be a cellular catalytic agent, speeding the conversion of fuel to available energy.
Because octacosanol is a natural ingredient of alfalfa, wheat, and various vegetable oils, it cannot be considered a drug. The FDA allows it to be classified as a food substitute. It comes under the category of "high-powered nutrition."
Extensive studies giving octacosanol to horses show it to improve stamina, strength, and reaction time. These are the very characteristics that benefit the performance horse. There is also evidence that octacosanol improves cardiovascular function and may cure certain neurological disorders.
Octacosanol is available in powdered form to be sprinkled on grain or in a dose syringe dissolved in dextrose. The formulation can be put on the grain or directly into the horse's mouth. The recommended dose for the horse is 5 mg daily. Equine nutrition is a subject the wise trainer should not ignore!