Common names: argan, argon, argan oil
Botanical name: Argania spinosa
English names: Argan oil
Parts used: seeds of the argan tree.
Habitat and origin: The argan tree is a tree that grows in the Maghreb countries, especially southwestern Morocco. This tree that grows without fertilizer is found in the plains as well as on the hills. The fruit (argane) matures in full summer then is dried in the sun.
Hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. 25 g / day of argan oil for three weeks
The argan tree has been used for two millennia by the Berbers who use both the pulp to feed the animals and the hull to serve as fuel. Argan oil only appeared in the 14th century, described by an Arab doctor for its virtues, and did not appear in Europe until the 1990s.
Production of argan oil
Once the argane is dried in the sun, the pulp can be removed after much experience. It remains then the hull that an expert hand must break to recover the seed (also called amandon). It is from the amandon that we obtain argan oil. It takes about 30 kilos of fruit to get a kilo of almonds and half a liter of argan oil. It is one of the most expensive oils sold.
Ingredients of argan oil
Glycerides are the main ingredients that account for up to 99% of argan oil. They include triglycerides such as omega-3 and omega-6 acids, stearic acid and palmitic acid. There are also fewer polyphenols and phenolic acids, known for their antioxidant properties, as well as caffeic acid, squalenes, sterols and tocopherols1. Omega-3 and omega-6 acids, polyphenols, squalenes and tocopherols are believed to be responsible for the preventive effects of oil on hypertension, heart disease and perhaps prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer. Argan oil has high levels of tocopherols and squalenes, suggesting that it may be an anti-cancer agent. In vitro studies have shown that the polyphenols and sterols derived from this oil inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells, whether this proliferation is hormone-dependent or hormone-independent. This property has been confirmed on human cell lines.
Hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia. Argan oil has phenolic constituents that have the property of inhibiting the oxidation of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and increasing the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) in humans, two known phenomena to reduce the risk of hypercholesterolemia6. These results obtained in vitro were confirmed in a study involving 96 people who consumed argan oil (25 g / day) for three weeks with LDL levels 13% lower than those without not consumed argan oil7. Likewise, this oil lowers triglyceride levels in humans8.
Argan oil also has anticoagulant properties by inhibiting platelet aggregation in vitro as well as in rodents, without increasing the risk of haemorrhage, making it an effective supplement in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. obesity.
Diabetes. Only one study to date has reported a significant decrease in blood glucose in a diabetic rat model.
Immune system. It has been suggested that fatty acids alter the response of the immune system. One study evaluated the effect of rich argan oil on the rat immune system but reported no stimulatory effect on the immune system.
Menopausal disorders. Some studies suggest that vitamin E supplements may be beneficial in postmenopausal women. A study published in 2013 showed that vitamin E levels were increased in 151 postmenopausal women who had taken argan oil, suggesting that argan oil could prevent menopausal disorders.
Moisturizer. Argan oil is considered a conditioner and skin moisturizer, which can cure acne. It is part of the composition of some body creams and lotions.