Argan oil is the oil pressed from the argan tree kernel. In Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta. It’s heavily used in the Mediterranean diet. Much like olive oil, argan oil is anti-inflammatory and has a lot of antioxidants. It also has good fatty-acid ratios for testosterone production.
It’s a rare oil that is high in both oleic (omega 9) and linoleic (omega 6) fatty acids, both of which aid acne-prone skin. Omega-6 will reduce inflammation, acne and increase skin moisturisation levels. Research has shown that omega-9 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Omega-9 benefits heart health because omega-9 has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and decrease LDL cholesterol.
- Oleic (Omega 9) 42.8%
- Linoleic (Omega 6) 36.8%
- Palmitic 12.0%
- Stearic 6.0%
- Linolenic (Omega 3) <0.5%
One of the main reasons that argan oil is so therapeutic is because it’s rich with vitamin A and vitamin E. Applied to the face, argan oil can help to reduce fine wrinkles and moisturise.
The main tocopherol (vitamin E) found in argan oil is γ-tocopherol (between 80-90%) ; it is a strong antioxidative agent that will protect against reactive oxygen species and fight inflammation. γ=gamma
γ-tocopherol and its major metabolite reduces inflammation by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) enzyme. Cox-2 an enzyme that acts to speed up the production of certain chemical messengers, called prostaglandins that play a key role in in promoting inflammation. When cox-2 activity is blocked, inflammation is reduced. Cox-2 is central to inflammatory processes. Nitrogen free radicals play an important role in diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer, heart disease and degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Colon cancer may be another type of cancer that gamma tocopherol helps prevent.
γ-tocopherol has distinctive chemical properties that differentiate it from alpha tocopherol (the other version of vitaminE). γ-tocopherol is a more effective at removing reactive nitrogen oxides, toxic compounds that must be removed from the body.
Source: draxe.com, tandfonline.com, lifeextension.com