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What Are the Benefits of Argan Oil?

By Sylvie Tremblay

Argan oil, also called Moroccan oil, is derived from the kernels of argan tree. It has a high proportion of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and also contains a compound called tocopherol, which is similar to vitamin E. Consumption of argan oil can help fight cardiovascular disease, protect against some forms of cancer, and prevent insulin resistance to fight the development of diabetes.

Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Argan oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In a 2004 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, Dr. Herrara found that rats fed a diet containing argan oil had significantly lower blood pressure than those that did not. Several follow-up studies have found that a diet containing argan oil has a number of effects that both prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. The oil's unsaturated fatty acids will help regulate your blood cholesterol, and incorporating argan oil into your diet is a way to reach your recommended fat intake without risking the health of your heart.

Argan Oil and Cancer

Argan oil has been shown to decrease the rate of cell division of prostate cancer. A 2006 study in Cancer Investigation reported that components of argan oil were able to slow the growth of several types of prostate cancer cells. Exposure to components of argan oil was also able to reverse the cancerous effect of carcinogens on prostate cells. Virgin argan oil is also rich in antioxidants, so it may protect against other forms of cancer. Antioxidants help repair cellular damage, which can accumulate and lead to genetics mutations in cancer. Incorporating argan oil into your diet can help reduce your risk of cancer, and provide a number of other health benefits associated with antioxidants.

Argan Oil and Insulin Resistance

Argan oil is commonly used as a treatment for diabetes in Morocco. Studies have found that argan oil decreases insulin resistance, an initiating step in the development of diabetes. In a 2006 study, Dr. Haddad reported that argan oil enhanced the cellular response to low doses of insulin, a process that gets disrupted in diabetes. According to a 2009 study published in Metabolism, consumption of argan oil also reversed the metabolic changes associated with consuming a high-sugar diet, to reduce the risk on onset of diabetes. Overall, argan oil can reduce the harmful effects of a carbohydrate-rich diet, and protect against insulin resistance to fight diabetes and help keep you healthy.

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