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Mind Body Health What are Dolichols? Spiritual Health
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Dolichols, collectively called dolichol, are unsaturated long-chain organic compounds of the molecular formula C100H164O. Dolichols play an important role in biosynthesis, protein metabolism, cell vitality and immune system health.
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Chemical Structure of Dolichols

Dolichols exist in the cells of all living creatures. Low dolichol levels can cause such health problems as:
  • decrease in energy
  • compromised immune system
  • hormone imbalance or deficiency
  • low sperm count
  • cell damage or cell death
  • poor brain function
  • nervous disorders
  • depression
Factors causing dolichol deficiency can include medication, liver dysfunction or underlying illness, poor nutrition, trauma or stress. Medication such as statin drugs, used to reduce the body's natural production of cholesterol, can inhibit the synthesis of dolichols, which are produced via the same pathways.

In humans and other vertebrates, polyprenols ingested from certain plants are metabolized by the liver into dolichols. Research indicates that an increased intake of polyprenols can effectively raise the body's dolichol levels.

Dolichols have come under medical scrutiny as a potential treatment for some brain diseases. In healthy brains, the amount of dolichols increases with age. In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, the brain shows a marked deficiency of dolichols.

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