Argan Oil: Benefits and Uses

Moroccans have used argan oil for centuries as a mainstay in their cuisine. This is not just because of its subtle flavor but also because of the many health benefits it offers.

This oil is naturally found in the kernels of the argan tree.

Although it is a Moroccan product, Argan oil can be used worldwide for many culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes.

This article will explain the health benefits and uses that argan oil has.

Contains Essential Nutrients

Argan oil is mostly made up of fatty acids and a range of phenolic compounds.

Argan oil’s fat content is dominated by oleic acid and linoleic acids.

Linoleic acid (or Omega-6) accounts for between 29-36% of argan oil’s fatty acid content, making it an excellent source of this vital nutrient.

Although not necessary, oleic acid makes up between 43 and 49 percent of argan oil’s fatty acids. It is also very healthy. Oleic acid, also found in olive oil, positively affects your heart health.

Argan oil is also a rich source of vitaminof essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. This vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant.

SUMMARY

Argan oil is a great source of linoleic and oleic fatty acids. These fats are known to promote good health. High levels of vitamin E are also found in this oil.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory properties

Argan oil’s various phenolic compounds are probably responsible for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble vitamin rich in argan oil that acts as an antioxidant to lessen the harmful effects of free radicals.

Argan oil also contains CoQ10 and plant sterols.

Recent research revealed that mice fed argan oil before being exposed to highly inflammatory liver toxins had significantly lower levels of inflammatory markers than the control group.

Research has shown that argan oil can be used directly on your skin to reduce inflammation from injuries and infections.

These results are encouraging, but more research is required to determine how argan oil can be used to reduce inflammation or oxidative stress in humans.

SUMMARY

Argan oil contains multiple compounds that may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. However, more research is required.

May Boost Heart Health

Argan oil is rich in oleic acid, which is monounsaturated omega-9 fat.

Oleic acid can also be found in avocados and olive oils. It is often associated with heart-protective properties.

A small human study found that argan oil could reduce the risk of heart disease by affecting antioxidant levels in the blood.

Another small study on humans found that a higher intake of argan oil was associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of antioxidants.

A study of 40 healthy individuals on the risk of heart disease found that those who consumed 15g of argan oil per day for 30 days saw a 16% reduction in LDL and 20% in triglycerides.

These results are encouraging, but more research is needed to understand how argan oil might support human heart health.

SUMMARY

Although argan oil’s antioxidants and fatty acids may reduce your heart disease risk, more research is required.

Diabetes may have some benefits.

Early animal research suggests that argan oil could help avoid diabetes.

Two studies showed significant decreases in fasting blood sugar and insulin resistance for mice fed high-sugar foods and argan oil.

These benefits were largely attributed to the oil’s antioxidant content.

These results don’t necessarily mean that humans would experience the same effects. Human research is, therefore, necessary.

SUMMARY

Argan oil has been shown to reduce animal insulin resistance and blood sugar. This may help prevent diabetes. Human studies are not available.

Anticancer effects may be possible.

Argan oil can slow down the growth and reproduction process of certain types of cancer cells.

One study used argan oil-derived polyphenolic compounds to kill prostate cancer cells in a test tube. The extract reduced cancer cell growth by half compared to the control.

Another test-tube study showed that a mixture of vitamin E and argan oil increased cell death in breast and colon cancer cells.

This preliminary research is interesting, but more research is required to determine if argan oil could be used to treat human cancer.

SUMMARY

Some studies in the test tube showed potential cancer-fighting benefits of argan oil. However, more research is needed.

 

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