Sacha inchi oil is similar in fat composition to flaxseed oil, unique in that it contains a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially omega 3 and omega 6), and is currently a popular health oil supplement
What are the benefits of sacha inchi oil in empirical medicine? Are there any side effects of sacha inchi oil? See text analysis for details
What is Sacha Inchi oil?
Sacha inchi/Plukenetia volubilis, also known as star oil vine/Inca peanut/mountain peanut, is a perennial climbing oil-producing plant in the Euphorbiaceae family, native to the Amazon rainforest at altitudes of 200 to 1500 meters in Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and South America.
The fruit of this legume is star-shaped, the seeds are dark oval, rich in protein (about 30%) and fat (about 50%), and the oil squeezed is called sacha inchi.
Its seeds are mainly characterized by high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acids (a type of omega 3) and linoleic acid (a type of omega 6) They account for 50% and 35% of the total fat, respectively, have great potential economic value for the food and pharmaceutical industries, and are also good raw materials for the production of biodiesel.
In addition to essential fatty acids, it also contains vitamin E, carotenoids, phytosterols and polyphenols, whose health benefits and biological activity give it its superfood name.
What are the proven benefits of sacha inchi oil?
1. Sacha inchi oil is good for dry eyes
Dry eye disease is a multifactorial ocular disease characterized by abnormal intraocular homeostasis in the tear film, often accompanied by eye discomfort or impaired vision, including eye fatigue, pain, foreign body sensation, burning, blurred vision, and decreased vision.
Tear hyperosmolar is the core pathogenesis of the disease. Hypertonic tear fluid can damage the ocular surface, promote inflammatory response, accelerate apoptosis of corneal and conjunctival epithelial cells and goblet cells, resulting in further reduction of the stability of the tear film and aggravation of symptoms.
A prospective, randomized, active-controlled, parallel, quadruple-blind study (30 days, 64 patients with moderate or severe dry eye) found that multicomponent Sacha Inchi Microemulsion eye drops were safe and effective in improving the causes of dry eye (tear film instability, tear hyperosmolation, ocular surface damage, and inflammation). Note 1
*Conclusion: For dry eye syndrome, the use of inchi inchi as the main ingredient eye drops may bring positive help, but limited by the small sample size, more studies are needed to further validate
2. Sacha inchi oil boosts omega-3 fatty acid levels
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important macronutrients that must be obtained from dietary sources because the body cannot synthesize them efficiently.
Such fatty acids have a series of beneficial effects on human health, such as improving immune function, enhancing cognition, regulating blood lipids, and optimizing neuromuscular function.
The main types of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and their precursor, linolenic acid (ALA). Dietary sources of ALA include flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, walnuts, and leafy greens. The dietary sources of EPA and DHA are fish and shellfish.
A human study has shown that taking Sacha sacha oil can help increase blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA and DHA). Note 1
*Conclusion: Sacha inchi oil intake has a positive effect on increasing omega-3 fatty acid levels
3. Sacha inchi oil is beneficial for hypercholesterolemia
Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis and transmembrane communication within and between cells.
Hypercholesterolemia has been shown to lead to arterial endothelial cell and capillary damage, decreased blood flow, metabolic disorders, and decreased levels of nutrition and oxygen in the brain, increasing the likelihood of cognitive impairment.
Treatment of hyperlipidemia includes dietary control, exercise, fibroic acid, bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, statins, and selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
A pilot study (4-month, 24 hypercholesterolemia patients) showed that oral sacha sacha oil reduced total cholesterol and non-esterified fatty acids, as well as HDL-cholesterol. Note 2
*Conclusion: Oral sacha inchi oil may have a positive effect on improving hypercholesterolemia, but due to small sample sizes, more large studies are needed to support this
4. Sacha inchi oil improves insulin sensitivity
Insulin plays a central role in regulating human metabolism, and its key functions are mainly related to stimulating glucose uptake from the systemic cycle and inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis to jointly regulate glucose homeostasis.
Inadequate insulin or decreased insulin sensitivity can lead to hyperglycemia, and long-term tissue exposure to hyperglycemia is associated with complications of large and small blood vessels, particularly coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy.
A double-blind randomized trial (42 men) suggested that adding sacha inchi to a high-fat diet improved insulin sensitivity (particularly in subjects with triglycerides’ and hyperglycemic responses). Note 3
In addition, sirtuin-1 expression was found to correlate with postprandial insulin sensitivity under these conditions.
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*Conclusion: Oral sacha inchi oil may be of positive benefit in improving insulin sensitivity, but more studies are needed to support this due to small sample sizes
5. Sacha inchi oil is good for skin care
The skin acts as a barrier, protecting the underlying tissues from dryness, infection, mechanical stress, and chemical irritation.
Dry skin or xeroderma is a common problem caused by a complex interaction between environmental and individual factors, including: low ambient temperature, low humidity, exposure to chemicals, microorganisms, aging, psychological stress, atopic dermatitis and eczema, often affecting the patient’s social life, psychological satisfaction and quality of life.
A study has shown that applying sacha sacha oil externally to the skin has low irritation and can improve moisture content and dryness of the skin. Note 4
*Conclusion: Topical application of sacha inchi oil may be beneficial in improving dry skin
Are there any side effects of Sacha Inchi oil?
Sacha inchi oil is a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) food ingredient recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
However, to date, there have been few human studies on this ingredient, in which a possible side effect or adverse reaction has been reported as nausea.
Safety precautions (3 contraindications to use)
1. Allergic reactions may occur, and various allergic symptoms may include: dizziness, rash, itching, hot swelling, shortness of breath, wheezing, runny nose, respiratory and throat tightness, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, if the above symptoms occur after consumption, please seek medical assistance immediately without delay
2. Do not combine with drugs, which may affect the efficacy of drugs
3. Pregnant women, lactating women, liver and kidney function are poor, please consult a doctor before use