Argan oil prevents the obesity and adverse cardiovascular outcomes

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Hypercholesterolemia and platelet hyperactivity are associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes (coronary artery disease, hypertension etc.). Phenolic compounds, phytosterols and tocopherols are well known as efficient hypocholesterolemic agents. Not surprisingly, argan oil’s phenolic fraction prevents low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation in isolated human plasma.


Phenolic compounds also enhance reverse cholesterol transport by increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) lipid-bilayer fluidity. The presence of these derivatives is therefore commonly used to explain the anti-atherogenic potential of argan oil. Initially evidenced on rats, the hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic potency of argan oil in humans has been demonstrated by mean of a cohort study on 60 men.


The effect was shown to be due to a paraoxonase-related improvement of the plasma oxidative status. The anti-atherogenic properties of argan oil have been evidenced by significant increases in paraoxonase activity and a decrease in lipoperoxide and conjugated diene formation. Other complex pathways, initially resulting from an intracellular accumulation of squalene and ultimately triggering the liver X receptors, may also explain argan oil’s anti-atherogenic effects.


A series of nutritional interventions has also shown that argan oil induces a lowering of LDL cholesterol and has antioxidant properties, as shown by a cohort study of 96 persons. Here, subjects consuming argan oil on a regular basis presented significantly lower levels of plasma LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein and lower concentrations of plasma lipoperoxides. Argan oil also increases HDL cholesterol levels and lowers triglyceride levels in men, therefore, and as might be expected, regular argan oil consumption has the potential to prevent obesity.

Argan oil also inhibits platelet aggregation without causing either prolongation of bleeding time or a change in platelet levels. In vitro, an inhibition of thrombin- or epinephrininduced aggregation up to 50% was obtained at a dose of 0.5% of argan oil. When rats were orally treated for 4 weeks with 10 ml/kg/day of argan oil, the thrombin-induced aggregation of isolated platelets was significantly inhibited (36%). However, bleeding time remained unchanged,[55] therefore argan oil may act on the attachment of fibrinogen to GIIb/IIIa platelet receptor without affecting the adhesiveness of platelets to the vascular endothelium. Together, these studies have led to argan oil consumption being recommended for the reduction of cardiovasuclar risk and the prevention of obesity, as has been traditionally claimed.


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