Argan oil is a natural vegetable oil with high economic value.
The main traditional use of this oil is for consumption, usually directly with bread for breakfast or for cooking, in addition, it is also used in traditional medicine and more recently hair and makeup products.
In empirical medicine, what are the benefits of using argan oil? Are there any side effects of argan oil? See text analysis for details
What is argan oil?
Argan oil is extracted from the fruit of the argan tree, which is endemic to southwestern Morocco, and is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and bioactive substances such as vitamin E and phenolic compounds, which can bring anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
The argan tree is a versatile tree species endemic to Morocco and has an important ecological and socio-economic role in the region.
Depending on the mode of use (cosmetics, hair care, skincare, cooking, etc.), oils and fats are manufactured through different extraction processes, including cold pressing or solvent extraction, resulting in slightly different compositions.
What are the recommended benefits of argan oil?
1. Argan oil is beneficial for blood lipid regulation
Plasma lipids are involved in all systems of human physiology, and their richness is influenced by the interaction between genetics, diet, and the environment.
Among them, cholesterol is an important substance involved in many functions, such as maintaining cell membranes, making vitamin D, producing hormones, and helping brain cells connect.
However, when the level of cholesterol in the blood rises, there are dangerous consequences. Atherosclerosis, in particular, is the leading cause of death in most countries.
A Meta-Analysis (5 RCTs, 292 participants) showed that argan oil supplementation (doses ranging from 17 to 30 ml per day) reduced plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations, and increased HDL cholesterol compared with controls. Note 1
*Conclusion: Argan oil supplementation has a positive effect on blood lipid regulation, but due to factors such as small sample size and short trial period, more studies are still needed to support it
2. Argan oil is good for knee osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of disability, mainly due to osteoarthritis of the knee or hip.
About 13% of women and 10% of men have symptomatic knee arthritis after age 60, and people with osteoarthritis have a higher risk of diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease than the general population.
One randomized controlled trial (8 weeks, 100 patients with knee osteoarthritis) found that oral argan oil (30 ml per day) significantly improved the following clinical evaluation measures, such as the VAS of pain, the pain and function component of the WOMAC Knee Scale, walking distance, and the Lequesne’ Index, compared with the untreated control group. Note 2
*Conclusion: Oral argan oil may be helpful in improving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, but limited by small sample sizes, more studies are needed for further validation
3. Argan oil improves skin expansion marks (also known as stretch marks)
Striae distensae, also known as stretch marks, are common dermal lesions caused by stretching the dermis, commonly found in the abdomen and breasts after pregnancy.
The acute phase (erythema) is characterized by erythema, redness, and flat stretching (in some cases with slight uplifts) with lesions perpendicular to the direction of skin tone, while the chronic phase (leukoria) is characterized by gradual regression of dilated lines, atrophy, wrinkles, and hypopigmentation.
A small study of 22 patients prone to stretch marks suggested that the use of creams containing argan oil and emollients helped improve epidermal elasticity. Note 3
*Conclusion: Creams containing argan oil may be helpful in preventing or treating stretch marks early, but more studies are needed due to small sample sizes.
4. Argan oil is good for skin health
With age, the loss of skin function and structural stability is inevitable, which is the result of internal and external processes, while leading to a gradual loss of skin integrity, called skin aging.
Intrinsic aging proceeds at a genetically determined rate and is mainly caused by the accumulation of destructive products of cellular metabolism and increased cellular biological aging, resulting in rough skin surfaces, fine lines, and subcutaneous atrophy.
Extrinsic aging is mainly caused by exposure to ultraviolet and infrared radiation, pollution, and smoking, superimposed on the internal skin aging, and the accumulation of these damages can lead to deeper wrinkles and pigmented changes.
A study (of 60 postmenopausal women) pointed out that argan oil, whether applied externally or internally, can restore the skin’s barrier function, maintain the skin’s ability to retain water, and have a beneficial effect on the skin’s moisturizing. Note 4
Another study (of 60 postmenopausal women) showed that argan oil, whether applied externally or internally, helped improve skin elasticity. Note 5
*Conclusion: Argan oil may have a positive effect on fighting skin aging whether ingested directly or externally on the skin, but due to the small sample size, more studies are needed to further validate
5. Argan oil is beneficial for burn wound healing
Burn injuries are a serious problem, with more than 500,000 people seeking treatment each year in the United States, 40,000 hospitalized and 4,000 dying, and the cost of treating these burns is estimated at more than $1 billion a year, not including the overhead costs of disability and rehabilitation.
Common substances that cause burns are fire, chemicals, electrical conductivity, and contact with hot/cold objects, which cause tissue damage through energy transfer, resulting in coagulative necrosis.
An animal study showed that topical argan oil significantly improved wound healing and shrinkage in secondary burns compared with the control group. Note 6
*Conclusion: Topical argan oil may be helpful in improving wound healing rates, but more human studies are needed to support this
6. Argan oil is good for diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes, is caused by insulin resistance and diminished insulin secretion, caused by obesity, aging, genetic predisposition and lack of exercise.
Persistent overnutrition can lead to steady, high blood sugar levels, which are harmful to both the large and microvascular systems, an effect known as glucotoxicity.
An animal study has shown that argan oil has the effect of regulating blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance. Note 7
*Conclusion: Argan oil intake may be helpful for diabetes, but more human studies are needed to support it
Are there any side effects of argan oil?
For most people, argan oil is generally considered safe.
When applied topically, argan oil may irritate the skin, leading to the formation of rashes or acne, to avoid this, take a small dot on your hands before topical use, let it absorb, and observe any abnormalities, if it causes skin irritation or any red shifts appear, discontinue use.
When taken orally, side effects or adverse reactions have been reported: nausea, bloating, loss of appetite, excessive salivation, erythema, urticaria, throat discomfort or diarrhea, which in very rare cases may cause confusion, difficulty sleeping, general malaise, excitement, depression and restlessness (these phenomena are mostly related to allergic reactions), if the above symptoms occur, immediately stop taking and seek medical attention.
Safety precautions (5 contraindications to use)
1. Do not use if pregnant or lactating women (due to unknown safety)
2. Do not use for poor liver and kidney function (due to unknown related safety)
3. Do not use if you have been allergic to nut foods, it may induce allergic reactions, in rare cases, argan oil can cause rashes, itchy skin, redness, allergic reactions, and even cause breathing difficulties
4. To maintain the quality of the oil, store it in a cool, dark place
5. There have been rare cases of rhinitis and conjunctivitis in men who smell argan oil
Where can I buy the highest quality Argan Oil that is recommended by most people?
NOW Foods, Solutions, Certified Organic & 100% Pure Argan Oil, 2 fl oz (59 ml)
(Direct shipping from the United States / Worldwide delivery)
Now Foods is one of the largest health supplement manufacturers in the United States, with high sales rates across all channels
USDA Organic, 100% purity, highest product satisfaction in its class, and trusted quality
Manufactured by conventional pressing, no solvent hexane-free
*For external use only, not internally