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The therapeutic benefits of argan oil consumption have been claimed by natives of Morocco and explorers for more than eight centuries. However, argan oil has remained unresearched for a long time. Traditionally, argan oil has been well known for its cardioprotective properties and it is also used in the treatment of skin infections. Argan oil is principally composed of mono-unsaturated (up to 80%) and saturated (up to 20%) fatty acids. As minor components, it contains polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, squalene, and triterpene alcohols. Together with the mono-unsaturated fatty acids, these minor components are likely to be responsible for its beneficial effects. This review aims to present an overview of the known pharmacological properties of argan oil. Antiproliferative, antidiabetic, and cardiovascular-protective effects of argan oil have been particularly actively evaluated over the last 5 years in order to build on phytochemical studies that indicate the presence of large amounts of possibly pharmacologically active compounds. This review shows that a lack of clinical data constitutes a serious weakness in our knowledge about argan oil, therefore it is difficult to correlate the reported pharmacological activities to any potential clinical relevance.
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Therapeutic potential of argan oil: a reviewjphp_11901669..1675
Hanae El Monfaloutia,b, Dom Guillaumea, Clément Denhezaand
Zoubida Charroufb
aUniversité de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Laboratoire de Chimie Thérapeutique, 51 Rue Cognacq Jay,
51100 Reims, France and bUniversité Mohammed V-Agdal, Laboratoire de Chimie des Plantes, Faculté des
Sciences, BP 1014, Rabat, Morocco
Objectives The therapeutic benefits of argan oil consumption have been claimed by
natives of Morocco and explorers for more than eight centuries. However, argan oil has
remained unresearched for a long time. Traditionally, argan oil has been well known for its
cardioprotective properties and it is also used in the treatment of skin infections. Argan oil
is principally composed of mono-unsaturated (up to 80%) and saturated (up to 20%) fatty
acids. As minor components, it contains polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, squalene, and
triterpene alcohols. Together with the mono-unsaturated fatty acids, these minor components
are likely to be responsible for its beneficial effects. This review aims to present an overview
of the known pharmacological properties of argan oil.
Key findings Antiproliferative, antidiabetic, and cardiovascular-protective effects of argan
oil have been particularly actively evaluated over the last 5 years in order to build on
phytochemical studies that indicate the presence of large amounts of possibly pharmaco-
logically active compounds.
Summary This review shows that a lack of clinical data constitutes a serious weakness in
our knowledge about argan oil, therefore it is difficult to correlate the reported pharmaco-
logical activities to any potential clinical relevance.
Keywords Argania spinosa; edible oil; fatty acid; food supplement; tocopherol
‘Cold-pressed oils’ and ‘virgin oils’ are two terms that can be confusing. Clarification was
recently brought to this problem by Matthäus.[1] The term ‘cold-pressed oil’ can be used
when a careful, gentle mechanical extraction of the raw material without application of heat
is used. However, heat-treatment is allowed during preparation of the raw material and/or of
the oil after the pressing process.
Following this definition, edible argan oil is a cold-pressed oil. It is prepared by pressing
the slightly roasted kernels of the argan tree [Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels] fruit. A. spinosa
is only endemic in south-western Morocco, where it covers an area of 3200 square miles that
constitutes a unique biotope, named ‘the argan forest’. In Morocco, the argan forest has an
essential agro-economic function.[2] Because the argan tree is drought-resistant, it is also a
powerful weapon for slowing down desertification.[3]
Sustainable development of the argan forest was initiated 15 years ago but its success was
only recently ascertained.[4,5] The first step in this ambitious programme was the search for
argan tree products possessing an economic value.
Cell-wall polymers of plants constitute the functional matrix that controls plant growth,
development and interactions with biotic and abiotic environments. Some of these polymers
have a cosmetic or nutraceutical value. Cell-wall polymers of A. spinosa leaves and fruit
pulp include potentially valuable xyloglucans, galacturonans and pectins.[6–8] However, none
of these compounds have yet been commercially exploited. Early phytochemical studies led
to the identification of several saponins from A. spinosa.[9] The high saponin content of the
trees was more recently confirmed.[10–12] Some of these saponins appear to have promising
antiviral[13] or antioxidant[14] properties. Their introduction in cosmetic creams has also been
commercially investigated.[15] Other metabolites from A. spinosa also have potential value in
the cosmetic domain, and their industrial use is being actively investigated. In particular, its
press-cake – the residue that remains after pressing the kernels – is a rich source of valuable
proteins,[16] and its leaves contain high level of flavonoids (mainly quercetin and myricetin
JPP 2010, 62: 1669–1675
© 2010 The Authors
JPP © 2010 Royal
Pharmaceutical Society of
Great Britain
Received February 26, 2010
Accepted August 10, 2010
ISSN 0022-3573
Correspondence: Dom
Guillaume, Université de Reims
Champagne Ardenne,
Laboratoire de Chimie
Thérapeutique, 51 rue Cognacq
Jay, 51100 Reims, France.
derivatives), which have potential uses in cosmetics.[17] The
use of A. spinosa triterpenes is also being commercially evalu-
ated.[18] Essential oils are also highly valuable derivatives, due
to their pharmacological properties.[19–21] Essential oils con-
tained in A. spinosa fruit pulp may also be of interest for use
as an insect repellent.[22]
However, argan oil is by far the most valuable product
derived from the argan tree. Its dietary and medicinal qualities
are responsible for argan oil’s important position in the oil
market. Today, not only is argan oil quoted as ‘the world’s
most expensive oil’but in 2009, it was ranked the number one
cosmetic ingredient by Pierce Mattei, an important public
relations firm working in the fashion and beauty area. For
years, argan forest dwellers have claimed that argan oil is
hepatoprotective and choleretic, that it prevents diabetes and
that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Edible argan oil is
therefore the basis of the ‘amazigh diet’.[23] As a cosmetic,
argan oil revitalises the skin, cures acne, hydrates dry skin,
makes hair shine and so on. This review presents an overview
of argan oil’s medicinal properties as presently understood.
Chemical Constituents and
Bioactive Compounds
Glycerides are the main chemical constituents of argan oil (up
to 99%). Triglycerides compose not less than 95% of this
fraction. The main fatty acids in these triglycerides are oleic
and linoleic acids (47 1% and 33 3%, respectively), and
two n-6 (omega-6) fatty acids.[24] There are also small amounts
of saturated fatty acids in the triglycerides of argan oil: stearic
acid (5.5 1.5%) and palmitic acid (13.5 1.5%).[24] For
comparison purposes, the fatty acid content of some common
and ‘less common’ oils[25,26] is reported in Table 1.
Minor components of argan oil include other organic
derivatives such as (poly)phenols. Phenolic concentrations are
very low,[27] but among those compounds unambiguously
identified are vanillic acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, tyrosol,
catechol, resorcinol, (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin.[28–30]
The presence of caffeic acid and oleuropein has been
reported[31] but this finding has never been confirmed.
Squalene, carotenes, triterpene alcohols (butyrospermol, tiru-
callol, b-amyrine, lupeol, 24-methylene cycloartanol, citros-
tadienol and cycloeucalenol), sterols (spinasterol, schottenol,
stigma-8,22-dien-3b-ol (22E,24Z), stigmasta-7,24-28-
dien-3b-ol (24Z)), and a-, b-, g- and d-tocopherols (13%,
16%, 69% and 2%, respectively)[28,32] are other minor organic
components of argan oil. There are also traces of inorganic
elements (iron, copper, manganese and lead).[33]
The chemical composition of most of the edible vegetable
oils is responsible for their favourable pharmacological pro-
files.[34] The particularly beneficial and healthful properties of
argan oil have mainly been attributed to its specific polyphe-
nol, squalene and tocopherol content.[28]
Unsaturated fatty acids are involved in several metabolic
pathways, including chronic inflammation, a causative factor
in a variety of cancers.[35] Although fatty acids belonging to
the n-3 series are sometimes presented as the most efficient
cardioprotectors, n-6 fatty acids are also essential in the com-
position of an equilibrated lipid diet.[36] Indeed, oleic acid is
directly responsible for the reduction of blood pressure,
through regulation of membrane lipid structure[37] and inhibi-
tion of the activity of gelatinase A (MMP-2),[38] an enzyme
involved in cancer proliferation and Alzheimer’s disease.
Moreover, linoleic acid, the second major fatty acid of argan
oil, is the metabolic precursor of arachidonic acid and its
multiple bioactive eicosanoid derivatives.
Because of their free-radical scavenging and antioxidant
properties, phenolic compounds and tocopherols also dra-
matically contribute to the beneficial pharmacological prop-
erties of argan oil. g-Tocopherol is also known for its role in
the primary prevention of heart disease[39] and possibly pros-
tate cancer.[40]
Types of Oil
Traditional argan oil
The traditional process for argan oil extraction has already
been reported in detail several times[2,3,32] and therefore will
not be presented here. This is the type of oil that has been
prepared for centuries by Moroccan women on a family scale.
However, traditionally prepared argan oil chemical composi-
tion is poorly reproducible.[3] Such oil is generally of low
quality and has a short shelf-life (Table 2).[41] For a single
person, 2–2.5 l of oil are obtained from 100 kg of dry fruit
after 58 h of work.
Cold-pressed argan oil
To produce large quantities of high-quality argan oil,
women’s cooperatives have been started in south-western
Morocco.[2,42] In these cooperatives, argan oil is prepared by
mechanically cold-pressing argan kernels. Using this technol-
ogy, 4–6 l of oil can be obtained from 100 kg of dry fruit after
13 h of work by a single person.
Edible argan oil is prepared from roasted kernels, whereas
unroasted kernels are used in the production of cosmetic argan
oil (Table 2). The origin of the fruit and the processing method
Table 1 Percentage of oleic, linoleic, stearic and palmitic acid in common (corn, olive, soybean, sunflower and peanut) and less common (grape seed,
argan) oils
Fatty acid Corn oil Olive oil Soybean oil Sunflower oil Peanut oilaGrape seed oil Argan oil
Oleic 20–42.2 55–83 17.7–28 14–39.4 35–69 12–28 43–49.1
Linoleic 34–65.6 3.5–21 49.8–59 48.3–74 12–43 58–78 29.3–36
Stearic <3.3 <5 2–5.4 2.7–6.5 1–4.5 <3.3 4.3–7.2
Palmitic 8.6–16.5 7.5–20 8–13.5 5–7.6 8–14 8.6–16.5 11.5–15
aContains also behenic, arachidic and eicosenoic acids (1.5–4.5%, 1–2% and 0.7–1.7%, respectively).
1670 Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2010; 62: 1669–1675
used dramatically influence the quality of the argan oil pro-
duced.[43] Because of this, stringent preparation rules have
been implemented in the cooperatives. These include the use
of mechanical pressing in place of hand-pressing and
mechanical fruit peeling. Also, the use of goat-digested argan
nuts has been strictly outlawed, even though such a picking
method was never general practice, as has sometimes been
stated.[44] The polyphenol and tocopherol content of tradition-
ally extracted and cold-pressed argan oils is similar. Their
different shelf life is mainly due to the selection of the argan
nuts and the frequent use of water of poor bacteriological
quality during the traditional process.
Edible argan oil is also the major constituent of ‘Amlou’, a
highly nutritive preparation whose composition also includes
large quantities of crushed almonds and honey.
Cosmetic argan oil is directly used for skin application or
as a hair lotion. It does not have the hazelnut taste of edible
argan oil. Its content of volatile components is lower than
that of edible argan oil[45] and its shelf life is also shorter, the
latter extending up to 2 years, probably due to the formation
during roasting of Maillard compounds, which favour
Solvent-extracted argan oil
Industrially, cosmetic argan oil is prepared by solvent extrac-
tion of crushed argan kernels. No quality control is required
for argan nuts (Table 2). Solvent-extracted argan oil, which is
also sometimes flash distilled and deodorised, is used exclu-
sively in the composition of creams, shampoos and body
lotions. Preservatives are frequently added to compensate for
the naturally protective agents lost during extraction and/or
distillation (tocopherols, polyphenols etc.).
Human Health and Argan
Oil Consumption
Argan oil has been used as a food and as a food ingredient,
and has been applied to the skin for centuries, therefore its
acute and chronic toxicity is assumed to be nil, particularly
when orally administered at ordinary doses. Initially, argan
oil’s pharmacological properties have simply been deduced
by consideration of the properties of its constituents, which
have been isolated and pharmacologically evaluated, often in
simple models. The chemical composition of argan oil
has already been reviewed in detail,[32] and this aspect will
therefore not be discussed here. Recently, scientific evaluation
of the traditionally claimed benefits of argan oil consumption
has begun, using animal models or cohort or clinical studies.
These studies (Table 3) were aimed at determining if argan oil
has only nutritional properties or if it can be said to also
possess pharmacological properties.[65] Nevertheless, the
general benefits indicated by some primary results have
already triggered the preparation of argan oil-based emulsions
for parenteral nutrition.[47]
Table 2 Differences between the four argan oil types
Traditional oil Cold-pressed edible oil Cold-pressed cosmetic oil Industrial cosmetic oil
Material Uncontrolled fruit,
roasted kernels
Hand-picked fruit,
roasted kernels
Hand-picked fruit,
unroasted kernels
Uncontrolled fruit,
unroasted kernels
Process Hand malaxing Press Press Solvent
Preservation One to two weeks Several months Up to one month Several months
Colour Yellow to brown Copper-like Gold-like No colour
Taste Not reproducible Hazelnut like Bitter Not suitable as food
Quality Low Very high Very high Very high
Moisture Variable Low Some amount None
Antioxidants Variable High High None
Table 3 Key papers on the pharmacology of argan oil and their scien-
tific findings
Reference Keys papers and their scientific findings
Khallouki et al.[28] Chemical composition of argan oil indicates its
potential interest in preventing cancer
Bensouada[47] Emulsion containing argan oil can be used for
parenteral nutrition
Berrougui et al.[48] Argan oil phenolic extract inhibits low-density
lipoprotein oxidation and has hypolipemiant
Berrougui et al.[49] Argan oil has hypolipidemic and
hypocholesterolemic effects in rats
Drissi et al.[50] Argan oil has hypolipemiant and antioxidant
Derouiche et al.[51] Argan oil has an hypolipemiant effect in man
Berrougui et al.[52] Argan oil lowers blood pressure in rats
Adlouni et al.[53] Argan oil prevents obesity risk
Cherki et al.[54] Argan oil presents an antiatherogenic effect in
Mekhfi et al.[55] Argan oil inhibits platelet aggregation but has no
influence on bleeding time
Bennani et al.[56] Argan oil polyphenols and sterols have an
antiproliferative effect on human prostate cancer
cell lines
Bennani et al.[57] Argan oil polyphenols have an antiproliferative
effect on human prostate cancer cell lines
Drissi et al.[58] Argan oil tocopherols have an antiproliferative
effect on human prostate cancer cell lines
Samane et al.[59] Argan oil has a potential interest as an antidiabetic
Bnouham et al.[60] Antidiabetic activity of argan oil is confirmed
Samane et al.[61] Argan oil is less efficient than fish oil to treat
Derouiche et al.[62] Argan oil has no impact on thyroid hormone
Benzaria et al.[63] Argan oil does not influence immune system
Astier et al.[64] Argan oil triggers allergic reaction
Therapeutic potential of argan oil Hanae El Monfalouti et al.1671
Cancer chemoprotective effects
Because argan and olive oils share a similar composition, the
cancer chemoprotective effect attributed to olive oil has also
been attributed to argan oil.[28] Argan oil’s high levels of
g-tocopherol – by far the most potent antioxidant of the toco-
pherols – and its high squalene content have even led to a
suggestion that its chemoprotective effect may even be
Antioxidants present in argan oil[67] are believed to
prevent or delay the onset of reactive oxygen species after
lipid peroxidation observed in rats or human plasma.[48,49]
Specific investigations on prostatic cells have shown that, in
vitro, argan oil polyphenols and sterols have cytotoxic prop-
erties and exert an inhibitory effect on the proliferation of
hormone-independent (DU145 and PC3) as well as of
hormone-dependent (LNCaP) prostate cancer cell lines. The
relative cytotoxic activity of argan oil polyphenols measured
by means of the MTT assay indicates IC50 values of 75, 100
and 50 mg/ml for the DU145, LNCaP and PC3 cell lines,
respectively.[56] For argan oil sterols, the IC50 values are 25,
75 and 70 mg/ml for the DU145, LNCaP and PC3 cell lines,
In respect of cell proliferation, the calculated polyphenol
concentrations inhibiting cell growth by 50% (GI50) at 24 h,
in comparison with 2-methoxyestradiol, were 75, 100 and
50 mg/ml for the DU145, LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, respec-
tively.[56] The sterol GI50s, in the same conditions, were 25,
75 and 70 mg/ml for the DU145, LNCaP and PC3 cell lines,
respectively.[56] On the canine prostate cancer epithelial cell
line (DPC-1), argan oil polyphenols showed a dose-
dependent antiproliferative effect at an IC50 of 10 mg/ml.[57]
However, only a weak antiproliferative effect was observed
when argan oil polyphenols were evaluated on the SV40-
immortalised human prostate epithelial cell line PNT1A.[57]
A cell cycle arrest mediated by up-regulation of the P27
cell cycle regulatory protein may explain the observed physi-
ological activity of the tocopherols.[58] Large-scale epidemio-
logic studies using a g-tocopherol-enriched diet have
confirmed the beneficial effects of g-tocopherol on prostate
cancer prevention in humans.[40] Consequently, these results
have encouraged the study of the antiproliferative effects of
the polyphenol and sterol fractions of argan oil.
Inhibition of several enzymes, including ornithin decar-
boxylase, an enzyme highly expressed in prostate cancer, and
NO synthase, or of the autophosphorylation of the epithelial
growth factor receptor could explain the observed anti-
proliferative activity.[68] In an independent study, the antipro-
liferative effect of the squalene and polyphenol-rich
unsaponifiable extract of argan oil on two cell lines (human
HT-1080 fibrosarcoma and the transformed and invasive
MSV-MDCK-inv cells) was clearly evidenced.[59] Using
hepatoma tissue culture cells, it was shown that the squalene-
and polyphenol-rich extract of argan oil reduces the ability of
extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) to
respond to increasing doses of insulin.[59] Conversely, the
response of the serine/threonine kinase (Akt), whose major
function is to promote growth-factor-mediated cell survival
and to block apoptosis response, remained undisturbed.
Further in-vitro studies showed that argan oil polyphenols
specifically interrupt the insulin-signalling cascades at the
MEK1/2-ERK1/2 interface.[59]
Prevention of obesity and adverse
cardiovascular outcomes
Hypercholesterolemia and platelet hyperactivity are associ-
ated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular out-
comes (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.[48] Phenolic compounds
also enhance reverse cholesterol transport by increasing high-
density lipoprotein (HDL) lipid-bilayer fluidity.[48] The pres-
ence of these derivatives is therefore commonly used to
explain the anti-atherogenic potential of argan oil.[48]
Initially evidenced on rats,[49,52] the hypolipidemic and
hypocholesterolemic potency of argan oil in humans has been
demonstrated by mean of a cohort study on 60 men.[54] The
effect was shown to be due to a paraoxonase-related improve-
ment 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 lipoper-
oxide and conjugated diene formation.[54] Other complex path-
ways, initially resulting from an intracellular accumulation of
squalene and ultimately triggering the liver X receptors,[69]
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.[50] Here,
subjects consuming argan oil on a regular basis presented
significantly lower levels of plasma LDL cholesterol and lipo-
protein (a) and lower concentrations of plasma lipoperox-
ides.[50] Argan oil also increases HDL cholesterol levels and
lowers triglyceride levels in men,[51] therefore, and as might be
expected, regular argan oil consumption has the potential to
prevent obesity.[53]
Argan oil also inhibits platelet aggregation without causing
either prolongation of bleeding time or a change in platelet
levels.[55] In vitro, an inhibition of thrombin- or epinephrin-
induced aggregation up to 50% was obtained at a dose of 0.5%
of argan oil.[55] 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%).[55]
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 plate-
lets to the vascular endothelium.[55] 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.[70]
Influence on thyroid hormone profile
Thyroid hormones and fatty acid metabolism are closely
related. Unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to possibly
prevent hypothyroidism.[71] The thyroidic activity of argan oil
has been evaluated in a cohort study performed on 149 euthy-
roidic volunteers consuming non-iodised salt by measuring
plasmatic concentrations of free tri-iodothyronine (FT3),
1672 Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2010; 62: 1669–1675
tetra-iodothyronine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone.
This study evidenced that no activity on hypothyroidism
could be expected from argan oil dietary supplementation.[62]
Antidiabetic activity
The cardiovascular protective and antidiabetic effects of argan
oil are the most longstanding claimed pharmacological effects
of argan oil.[3] So far, however, the only scientific demonstra-
tion of a possible antidiabetic activity has been in rats.[60] Oral
glucose test tolerance was performed on healthy or
streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Intraperitoneal adminis-
tration of argan oil (2.5 ml/kg) 30 min before oral glucose
loading (1 g/kg) induced a significant glycemia reduction that
lasted for 3 h.[60] Argan oil also significantly reduced the
amount of absorbed glucose in perfused jejunum segment.[60]
Samane et al. compared the metabolic response of rats to a
free-access high-fat/high-sucrose diet in which 6% of the fat
was replaced either by argan oil or fish oil. Intake of argan and
fish oil resulted in the restoration of insulin signalling in fat and
liver but fish oil also restored systemic insulin sensitivity.[61]
Influence on the immune system
Recent biochemical studies have shown that fatty acids may
modify immune responses.[72] Indeed, lymphocyte prolifera-
tion, lymphocyte-derived cytokine production and cell-
mediated immunity can all be influenced by dietary lipids.
The effect of dietary argan oil on the immune system has been
evaluated on rats.[63] These studies concluded that argan and
olive oil’s effects on immune cells are similar, and that argan
oil has no marked effects on immune cell function.[63]
Anaphylaxis properties
The first, and so far unique, case of an allergy to argan oil has
recently been presented.[64] Allergen was characterised as a
10 kDa protein, probably belonging to the family of oleosins
that is also encountered in peanut and sesame.
Argan Oil Versus Other Edible Oils
The quality of an edible oil can be reflected in different
factors. Among these, the most important are its sensory
quality, its nutritional value and its pharmacological effect. If
the sensory quality is important to get consumer acceptance
and hence to occupy a reasonable market share, nutritional
and pharmacological qualities are essential from a dietary
In evaluating the nutritional quality of oil, fatty acid com-
position occupies a special place. More particularly, (poly)un-
saturated fatty acids are essential nutrients, for they are the
biological precursors of leukotrienes and prostaglandins, two
types of compounds acting as hormone-like cell messengers.
However, the simple presence of a high amount of linoleic
acid does not necessary imply an oil of high nutritional value,
as reported for grape seed oil.[73]
Olive oil is oleic acid-rich (Table 1). It is a globally used
edible oil that is considered to be a key ingredient in the
Mediterranean diet. Hence, its nutritional quality is recogn-
ised as high,[74] as are its unique biological properties.[75]
Olive and argan oil contain high levels of oleic acid, with
linoleic acid as the second major unsaturated fatty acid of
each oil. The saturated fatty acids of both oils are palmitic
and stearic acids, therefore the general nutritional qualities
of olive and argan oils are likely to be identical. If only
average values are considered, olive oil contains statistically
higher values of monounsaturated fatty acid than argan oil.
Argan oil is therefore nutritionally close to peanut oil, even
though the latter contains small amounts of arachidic and
behenic acids, saturated fatty acids that are not found in
argan oil.[26] Nevertheless, this type of classification relies
only on statistical analysis. The major difference between
argan and olive oil is the large chemical variability tolerated
for olive oil. Indeed, olive oil is produced in the whole
Mediterranean basin and, because of its multiple geographic
origins, olive oil fatty acid composition varies greatly. For
example, its composition in linoleic acid can be either 3.5 or
21% and its level of oleic acid can be up to 83% but can be
as low as 55%. Since consumers are not necessarily aware
of the geographical origin of the olive oil they purchase,
they cannot be certain of the precise nutritional value of any
particular olive oil. In contrast, argan oil fatty acid compo-
sition is much more homogenous and, consequently, its
nutritional value is less variable.
Variation in the geographic origin of edible oils also dra-
matically affects the proportions of the minor oil components.
These oils also contribute to the pharmacological quality of
the oil. Several of olive oil’s minor components (polyphenols,
sterols, tocopherols etc.) have been presented as responsible
for the oil’s pharmacological properties,[75] but large varia-
tions have also been observed in terms of concentration, sug-
gesting that not all olive oils have the same pharmacological
potential.[76] Again, the minor component profile of argan oil
has little variation and is likely to be responsible for a more
reproducible pharmacological profile.
Argan Oil as a Food Supplement
Argan oil’s specific taste and its claimed pharmacological
properties are at the origin of the culinary and medicinal
interest directed at this oil in the last 10 years. The benefits for
the elderly of a long-term diet rich in argan oil are currently
being evaluated. Even slightly encouraging results could
rapidly lead to argan oil gaining a place in the lucrative food
supplement field.
However, quality matters could prevent this happening.
Because of the elevated price of argan oil and since there are
many other vegetable oils on the market, adulteration of argan
oil is a risk. To prevent this fraudulent behaviour, simple
analytical methods have been designed to unambiguously dis-
tinguish argan oil from other oils, based on the presence of a
marker in low quantity oils.[77] Argan oil’s recently granted
status as a product of protected geographic indication is also
going to be an efficient means to control its sensory, nutri-
tional and pharmacological quality. Processing parameters as
simple as argan kernel storage conditions influence oil quality
and levels of minor components,[78] therefore each processing
parameter is currently being investigated. Optimum param-
eters will become mandatory after inclusion in the geographic
indication file in order to maintain argan oil’s chemical and
pharmacological quality.
Therapeutic potential of argan oil Hanae El Monfalouti et al.1673
This review shows that while the chemistry and a few phar-
macological aspects of argan oil have been studied, there are
still no strong clinical data available that provide evidence of
the efficacy of argan oil in humans. That argan oil constituents
have pharmacological properties in vitro is not sufficient to
ascertain the clinical potential of whole argan oil. More
studies are necessary to determine its impact on human health.
Considering the elevated price of argan oil, these studies
should be aimed at demonstrating the intrinsic as well as
relative efficacy of argan oil compared to other oils. Interest-
ingly, the position of argan oil as a natural product with strong
consumer expectations resulting from traditional claims of
activity that are insufficiently supported by scientific proof is
shared by several other plant extracts or products.[79,80] Such a
trend is likely to continue in view of the strong current
demand for food supplements. This demand justifies pharma-
cological studies on these products.
Conflict of interest
The Author(s) declare(s) that they have no conflicts of interest
to disclose.
This review received no specific grant from any funding
agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
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Therapeutic potential of argan oil Hanae El Monfalouti et al.1675
... Как и многие другие виды масел с высоким содержанием ПНЖК и природных антиоксидантов, при регулярном включении в рацион аргановое масло проявляет желчегонное, кардио-, гепато-и химиопротекторное действие, смягчая негативные биохимические изменения и гистопатологические повреждения почек, печени и головного мозга (Bakour, 2018;. Предполагается, что эти эффекты более выражены, чем у других видов масел, благодаря высокому содержанию в аргановом масле γ-токоферола и наличию сквалена (El Monfalouti, 2010). Вероятно, эти же компоненты отвечают за компенсацию негативных изменений, связанных с этанольным стрессом и синдромом отмены (El Mostafi, 2020b), а также нейродегенерацией мозга, чем обусловливают нейропротекторные эффекты арганового масла не только для смягчения стресса, улучшения памяти и обучаемости, но и в отношении значительно более серьезных когнитивных нарушений и нервно-психических расстройств, таких как зависимость, депрессии, тревожность и эпилепсия (Bousalham, 2015;El Mostafi, 2020a). ...
... Наиболее ранними клинически подтвержденными диетотерапевтическими эффектами арганового масла являются его кардиопротекторные и противодиабетические свойства (El Monfalouti, 2010). Включение арганового масла в диетотерапию представляет собой магрибскую версию средиземноморской диеты, однако механизмы действия, посредством которых аргановое масло оказывает липидомодулирующее и антиатерогенное действие, до конца еще не изучены. ...
... Тем не менее, значительное улучшение липидного профиля плазмы у пациентов, которые в процессе терапии употребляли аргановое масло, -более высокие концентрации витамина Е в плазме, более низкий уровень триглицеридов, более низкий уровень общего холестерина и холестерина ЛПНП, улучшенный профиль антиоксидантов в плазме и клетках по сравнению с контролем -являются без-условным свидетельством снижения восприимчивости липидов крови к окислению . Отмечено также, что аргановое масло ингибирует агрегацию тромбоцитов, не вызывая ни изменения уровня тромбоцитов, ни повышения адгезии тромбоцитов и свертываемости крови (El Monfalouti, 2010). ...
The article provides an overview of the world experience in obtaining and food use of the oil of Argania spinosa. The relationship between technological methods of oil extraction and purification and the composition of its biologically active components: polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, sterols, phenolic compounds is considered. The main directions of the usage of argan oil in dietary nutrition are analyzed and the results of international clinical studies based on the inclusion of argan oil in diet therapy for metabolic disorders and psycho-neurological disorders of various nature are summarized. The effectiveness of argan oil components in gene expression and remodulation of steroid and hormone metabolism has been noted. It has been shown that, with regular inclusion in the diet, the components of argan oil provide choleretic, cardio-, hepato- and chemoprotective effects, exhibit neuroprotective effects in relation to the causes of cognitive impairments and neuropsychiatric disorders. Along with the high nutritional value of argan oil, the geographical area of growth of Argania spinosa is very limited, the species does not lend itself well to introduction, which is the leading reason for the overestimated market value of the oil, its falsification and the limited circle of real consumers. In this regard, it is advisable to search for technological solutions that make it possible to include argan oil in the diet of a larger number of consumers and, at the same time, make the very idea of falsifying this product senseless. Such a solution, according to the authors of the article, can be achieved by scientifically grounded combination of argan oil with other edible vegetable oils that have a different composition of fatty acids and associated biologically active components. Promising directions for blending vegetable oils are proposed.
... Oil extracted from Argania spinosa (L.) fruits plays an important socioeconomic role in Amazigh women. Each argan fruit contains two to three kernels, which are used to produce argan oil; unroasted kernels produce cosmetic oil, and roasted kernels produce culinary oil [5]. Regarding the bioactive components of the Argania spinosa (L.) tree, Argania Spinosa (L.) press-cake remains a diverse source of bioactive phytochemicals (phenolic compounds) [6], and is the residue obtained after argan oil extraction. ...
... Ethnobotanical studies have reported the traditional medicinal uses of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd (also named gum arabic) and Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels against kidney stone formation and other chronic kidney diseases [4,5]. Thus far, no studies have confirmed the effectiveness of these two medicinal plants against kidney stone formation. ...
Full-text available
Ethnobotanical studies have reported the traditional medicinal uses of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. and Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels against kidney stone formation and other chronic kidney diseases. The present work is undertaken to study the litholytic activity and the inhibiting activity of calcium oxalate crystallization by bioactive compounds identified in Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels press-cake (residue of Argan oil) and in Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. The litholytic activity was studied in vitro on cystine and uric acid stones using a porous bag and an Erlenmeyer glass. The study of the inhibiting activity of calcium oxalate crystallization, was based on temporal measurements of the optical density, registered at a 620 nm wavelength for 30 min using an ultraviolet-visible spec-trophotometer. The silylation method was performed to identify phytochemicals, followed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrophotometry (GC/MS) analysis. The results show significant litholytic activity of Argania Spinosa press-cake hydro-ethanolic extract on uric acid and cystine stones, respectively, with dissolution rates (DR) of 86.38% and 60.42% versus 3.23% and 9.48% for the hydro-ethanolic extract of Acacia senegal exudate. Furthermore, the percentages of nucleation inhibition are 83.78% and 43.77% (p ˂ 0.05) for Argania spinosa and Acacia senegal, respectively. The results point to the detection of 17 phytochemicals in Argania spinosa press-cake extract, the majority of which are phenolic acids and have potent anti-urolithiatic action. Citation: El oumari, F.E.; Bousta, D.; Imtara, H.; Lahrichi, A.; Elhabbani, R.; El mouhri, G.; Al kamaly, O.M.; Saleh, A.; Parvez, M.K.; Grafov, A.; et al. Chemical Composition and Anti-Urolithiatic Activity of Extracts from Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels Press-Cake and Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. Molecules 2022, 27, 3973.
... The choice of a woman-only type of production is dictated to benefit from the traditional knowledge in argan oil preparation held by women, empower them, and improve rural women's quality of life (2). Argan oil is extracted from the fruit kernels using the traditional method, either by press or solvent extraction (3). ...
... Oleic acid is the predominant fatty acid in argan oil. With regular use of argan oil, oleic acid (cis 18 : 1 n-9) lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and has hypotensive effects (3,12). ...
Full-text available
Argan oil is prepared from the fruits of endemic argan trees. Cold-pressed edible argan oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, which makes it particularly valued in nutraceutical do�mains. Its beneficial properties depend on the quality of the oil. This study was carried out on the quality of cold-pressed edible argan oil available on the European market. The content of fatty acids, acid and peroxide values were determined. The quality of argan oils was assessed using cluster analysis. This study showed the quality of all analyzed argan oils was within the recommended EU standards. Cluster analysis was used to classify oils with similar characteristics, which may be useful in the consumer’s choice of oil.
... linseed oil or argan oil). Many vegetable oils, including linseed and argan oils are considered bioactive lipids owing to their rich content in ω-6 fatty acids, responsible for antiinflammatory effect, hypotriglyceridemic and hypocholesterolemia properties, antioxidant, and antidiabetic actions [32]. Argan oil (AO) is a product harvested from the fruits of the argan tree (Argania spinosa). ...
Full-text available
This study focuses on comparing the ability of two kinds of lipid matrices-solid lipids and vegetable oil associated or not with a lipid mediator (phenylalaninol oleamide, PO), for an efficient loading of Curcumin (CRC) into nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC). The Curcumin-loaded NLC were analysed in terms of particle size, physical stability, and encapsulation efficiency. By using the in vitro ABTS assay this research underlined the dominance of vegetable oils on the antioxidant properties of developed NLC formulations prepared with argan oil (AO) and linseed oil (LO). Another direction was to investigate the influence of the argan oil and linseed oil for a desired in vitro sustained release of CRC from the designed NLC formulations. Both antioxidant activity results and controlled release study highlighted the potential role of such formulation in normalizing the in vitro fate of poorly soluble Curcumin. Rezumat Acest studiu are ca obiectiv compararea capacității a două tipuri de matrice lipidice-lipide solide și ulei vegetal asociat sau nu cu un mediator lipidic (fenilalaninol oleamidă, PO), pentru o încărcare eficientă a curcuminei (CRC) în carrieri lipidici nanostructurați (NLC). NLC-urile încărcate cu curcumină au fost analizate în ceea ce privește dimensiunea particulelor, stabilitatea fizică și eficiența încapsulării. Prin utilizarea testului ABTS in vitro, această cercetare a subliniat dominanța uleiurilor vegetale asupra proprietăților antioxidante ale formulărilor NLC dezvoltate, preparate cu ulei de argan (AO) și ulei de in (LO). O altă direcție a fost investigarea influenței uleiului de argan și uleiului de in pentru o dorită eliberare susținută in vitro de CRC din formulările NLC proiectate. Atât rezultatele activității antioxidante, cât și studiul cu eliberare controlată au evidențiat rolul potențial al unei astfel de formulări în normalizarea profilului in vitro a curcuminei slab solubile.
... Similar findings illustrated the same variation in the ratio UFA/SFA values at several regions fluctuating around 4.42 in Morocco and 3.30 in Tunisia (Botanical Garden of "Institut National de Recherches en Génie Rural, Eaux et Forêts") for solvent extraction. On the other hand, the ratios with cold pressing are 4.21 in Morocco and 4.40 inAlgeria(Belcadi-Haloui et al., 2008;El Monfalouti et al., 2010;Hanana et al., 2018). For that reason, lipids with high monounsaturated fatty acid content, argan seed oil in particular, are used in emollient skin care products, creams, bath oils, hair conditioners, and makeup(Goik et al., 2019).To complete the present work search, fatty acid profiles were performed, including palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, alpha linolenic, vaccenic, linoleic, arachidic and gadoleic acids. ...
Full-text available
Argania spinosa (L.) is one of the most economically and culturally important indigenous species in Morocco. Its seeds contain a vegetable oil, internationally known as argan oil, which is widely used in edible, cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of variation in oil content and fatty acid composition of eighteen trees to identify genotypes with desirable traits in terms of oil quantity, quality and industrial utilization. Oil yield of eighteen genotypes was determined after mechanical pressing, and fatty acid methyl ester analysis was carried out using gas liquid chromatography. Obtained results show that oil yields ranged between 37.2 to 43.8% and major fatty acids in the extracted oil were oleic (47.15%), followed by linoleic (31.57%), palmitic (14.24%) and stearic (5.8%) acid. Fatty acids composition was significantly different among genotypes tested. Significant correlations, both positive and negative were located between some fatty acids. The high variability observed between genotypes represents a very promising base to develop a new argan variety with high oil quality.
... Other studies have highlighted the presence of several phytochemicals, such as catechol, tyrosol, catechin, and epicatechin [21]. In addition, several pharmacological activities of Argania spinosa L. press cake have been confirmed [22][23][24]. The usefulness of these two fractions against kidney stone development and the phytochemical composition of each fraction have not yet been verified by research. ...
Full-text available
A wide range of biological properties and a potent therapeutic and prophylactic effect on chronic diseases are all present in Argania spinosa L. press cake. The aim of this research is to valorize the anticrystallization properties against calcium oxalate crystals of Argania spinosa L. press cake fractions and identify its bioactive components. Chemical species identification was performed using GC–MS analysis. The turbidimetric model was used to investigate crystallization inhibition in vitro. Infrared spectroscopy technique was used to characterize the synthesized crystals. Furthermore, both DPPH and FRAP methods were used to assess antioxidant activity. The results show that the fractions are equally important in crystallization inhibition percentages of calcium oxalate crystals. For saponin and polyphenol fractions, the inhibition percentages are in the orders of 83.49% and 82.83%, respectively. The results of the antioxidant activity by DPPH method show that the two fractions are equally important in the elimination of free radicals; the inhibition percentages were 77.87 ± 4.21 and 89.92 ± 1.39 for both polyphenols and saponins, respectively. FRAP method showed that the absorbance increases proportionally with concentration, and the absorbance are almost similar for both fractions and reach maximum values in the orders of 0.52 ± 0.07 and 0.42 ± 0.03, respectively, for saponins and polyphenols. These findings demonstrate that both fractions are rich in bioactive chemicals and have an anticrystallization capacity, allowing them to be employed for the curative and prophylactic effects against urolithiasis.
... Its composition has been extensively studied in numerous studies, with them reporting that it is especially rich in long-chain monounsaturated fatty acids-principally oleic (49%) and linoleic acid (36%)-and natural antioxidants, such as sterols, polyphenols, and tocopherols (Madawala et al. 2012;Sour et al. 2012Sour et al. , 2015Aabd et al. 2013;Lopez et al. 2013;Kharbach et al. 2018;Maleš et al. 2018;Miklavčič et al. 2020;Gharby and Charrouf 2021;Simões et al. 2021). Its high nutritional value and biochemical properties have led to it being believed to have therapeutic value for treating and preventing several diseases (Drissi et al. 2004;Cherki et al. 2006;Charrouf and Guillaume 2008;El Monfalouti et al. 2010;Guillaume and Charrouf 2011;Sour et al. 2015). While the growing demand and soaring prices for Moroccan argan oil present economic and social opportunities, it is unfortunately also tempting for fraudsters and dishonest traders to make quick financial gains by mislabeling and/or adulterating products. ...
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For the purpose of implementing low-cost, field-deployable analytical techniques to ensure the authenticity and traceability of argan oil, a comprehensive approach that combined mid-infrared spectroscopy data with discriminant and modeling classification methods—including principal component analysis (PCA), soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA), and data-driven soft independent modeling of class analogy (DD-SIMCA)—was applied to classify and check the authenticity of 78 argan oil samples according to their geographical origins and distinguish them from two sets of 24 argan oil samples that contained 5–100% w/w soya or sunflower oil. Optimal models were selected as combinations of many wavelength ranges and data pre-processing methods, thus leading to maximum efficiency for cross-validation. The discrimination approach provided satisfactory classification results with good efficiency for determining argan oil authenticity and detecting adulteration. In addition, an adulteration quantification study was performed with the help of partial least square (PLS) regression of binary mixture, with this demonstrating good linear regression for actual values against predicted ones. The coefficient of determination (R²) was 0.999, while the root mean square errors of calibration (RMSEC) were low at 0.389% and 0.685% w/w and the root mean square errors of validation (RMSEV) were 0.639 and 0.863% w/w for soya and sunflower adulteration, respectively. Moreover, the PLS models best predicted adulterant content, with the R² and root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) being 0.998 and 1.067% (w/w), respectively, for soya and 0.997 and 1.199% (w/w) for sunflower.
... Ağacın ortalama ömrü 150-200 yıldır. 2,5 ...
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Argania spinosa is a member of the Sapotaceae family and is an endemic tree that grows in approximately 800,000 hectares in Southwest Morocco. It is registered that the argan oil obtained from the seeds of the plant is used by the people of the region in dermatological disorders and to lighten skin color. Because of its high content of oleic acid, linoleic acid, and polyphenols has become noticeable among other fixed oil sources. Recently, it has become exceptionally preferred in the cosmetic industry and has found its place in various formulations in pure or enriched forms. Apart from dermo-cosmetic use, there are many studies on the plant's chemical contents and biological activities, primarily argan oil. In this study, biological activity and dermatological effect studies of argan oil obtained from SciFinder, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect databases were listed and evaluated in terms of cosmetic use. As a result of the evaluations, it was determined that the ethnobotanical uses of argan oil, the preparations and formulations prepared for dermocosmetic use and the compiled biological activity studies showed parallelism. In the study, case reports that argan oils used for cosmetic purposes can cause allergic reactions are also included and the need for more side/toxic effect profile studies on argan oil has been revealed.
In this study, a comparison of the intra-regional variation in the quality of Argan oil and pomace collected from 12 cooperatives in the Essaouira region (Morocco) during the COVID-19 period was carried out. All studied Argan pomaces together with the extraction solvents showed a significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) in the total phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins contents. The proteins, residual oils, total sugars, and total reducing sugars contents in the collected pomaces vary considerably among cooperatives of origin, with maximum averages of 50.45%; 30.05%; 3.82 milligrams of glucose equivalent per gram of dry matter; and 0.53 milligrams of glucose equivalent per gram of dry matter, respectively. Therefore, it is a very valuable ingredient for livestock feed and some cosmetic products that may contain it. The remaining Argan oil content in the pomace varied significantly among cooperatives, ranging from 8.74 to 30.05%. Pomace from traditional extraction recorded the highest content (30.05%), showing that the artisanal and modern extraction processes are not standardized. The measurements of acidity, peroxide value, specific extinction coefficient at 232 nm and 270 nm, and conjugated dienes were carried out in accordance with Moroccan Standard 08.5.090 in order to qualitatively classify all investigated Argan oils. Accordingly, the analyzed oils were categorized as “extra virgin Argan oil,” “fine virgin Argan oil,” “ordinary virgin Argan oil,” and “lampante virgin Argan oil.” Therefore, several factors can explain these variations in quality grades, both endogenous and exogenous. Overall, the variation observed in the obtained result allows us to deduce the most significant variables impacting the quality of Argan products and by-products. graphical abstract Fullsize Image
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disease and has been studied extensively in recent years as no promising therapy available so far for its treatment and remains a great challenge for health care specialists. Although the identification of some major mechanisms that contribute to this disease suggests a plethora of bioactive agents in tackling the associated complications yet OA's pathophysiology is still poorly understood owing to complex mechanistic changes observed. Experimental research is now exploring a wide range of therapeutically effective agents in an effort to find a way to repair OA-related joint degeneration and halt it from getting worse. Data was acquired and reviewed from most relevant and recent studies. This review summarizes the studies that are currently available and focuses on how various unconventional functional oils affect osteoarthritis and the affected joint tissues. An analysis of the recent scientific literature allowed us to highlight the potential anti-arthritic properties of edible oils and their main constituents, which seems to suggest an interesting new potential therapeutic application. Due to eccentric nature of OA, it is necessary to concentrate initially on the management of symptoms. The evidence supporting functional oils chondroprotective potential is still accumulating, underpinning a global need for more sustainable natural sources of treatment. More clinical research that focuses on the consequences of long-term treatment, possible negative effects, and epigenetic implications is necessary to get optimistic results. However, different animal or clinical studies suggest that linolenic and linoleic fatty acids decreased chondrocyte oxidative stress, cartilage breakdown, and expression of inflammatory markers. Distinct fatty acids along with minor components of oils also reduced the generation of prostaglandins and decreased oxidative stress. Furthermore, the potential roles of the main components of edible oils and possible negative results (if any) are also reported. While no severe side effects have been reported for any edible oils. Overall, these studies identify and support the use of functional oils as an adjuvant therapy for the management of OA and as a means of symptomatic alleviation for OA patients. However, to prove the effectiveness or to draw precise conclusions, high-quality clinical trials are required.
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A substantial body of evidence supports the conclusion that chronic inflammation is a causative factor in a variety of cancers. Inflammatory mediators include metabolites of arachidonic acid, cytokines, chemokines, and free radicals. These mediators increase cell proliferation, mutagenesis, oncogene activation, with ultimately the loss of cell growth control. Among the nutritional factors that can influence inflammation and cancerogenesis, fatty acids are clearly the most directly involved. Indeed, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids exert opposite effects on inflammation and potentially on tumor formation. The present review analyses in a non-exhaustive manner some of the mechanisms that have been proposed to explain how omega-6 can be detrimental while omega-3 have beneficial effects.
A composition which includes a pulp extract from the fruit of Argania spinosa and at least one dermopharmaceutical or cosmetic auxiliary and/or additive is provided. A process for producing an extract from the fruit of Argania spinosa, and a triterpene fraction of an extract of the pulp of the fruit of Argania spinosa including lupeol, α-amyrine, β-amyrine, taraxasterol, and psi-taraxasterol are also provided.
Argan tree (Argania spinosa (L.) Skeels) is endemic in Morocco. The aroma compounds of argan oil prepared from roasted and unroasted argan kernels were analyzed using GC-MS and olfactometry. Influence of the fruit peeling method on the olfactometric parameters was also studied. Oil coming from unroasted kernels furnished fourteen compounds if the fruits had been mechanically-peeled fruits (uRK), and twenty two when the kernels had been goat digested (GuRK). Thirteen compounds were common to the two studies. The oil obtained from roasted kernels of mechanically-peeled fruits (RK) furnished nineteen compounds. Twenty one were isolated from the oil obtained from roasted kernels of goat digested fruits (GRK). Twelve compounds were common to the two analyses. In all oil samples, the aldehyde/ketone derivatives composed the largest group of odorants. Acetophenone and p-methylacetophenone appear to be the most important contributors to the RK oil aroma. The unpleasant smell presented by argan oil prepared from naturally-peeled argan fruits (GuRK, GRK) could result from the presence of one or two odorants presenting a rancid odor.
For years, in southwestern Morocco, the decline of the argan forest has been accompanied by the concomitant desert encroachment. Preservation of this forest by increasing the economic value of argan tree was proposed twenty years ago, but successful large scale production of certified, high quality argan oil, an edible oil introduced as a functional food, has only been recently achieved. Argan oil is now marketed in most developed countries, despite its elevated price, and protection of the argan forest is now seriously being considered. The aim of this work is to present the recent progress made in argan oil production, the ways explored to commercialize the oil extraction by-products, and recent attempts to use other argan tree parts as part of a long term aim to preserve the argan forest.
Thyroid hormones affect reactions in almost all pathways of lipid metabolism. It has been reported that plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration in hypothyroidism is generally within the normal range. In this study, however, we show that plasma FFA concentration in some hypothyroid patients is higher than the normal range. Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction in these individuals were less severe than those of patients with lower plasma FFA concentrations. From these findings we hypothesized that the change in FFA concentration must correlate with thyroid function. Using an animal model, we then examined the effect of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester (EPA-E), a n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid derived from fish oil, on thyroid function in 1-methyl-2-imidazolethiol (MMI)-induced hypothyroid rats. Oral administration of EPA-E inhibited reduction of thyroid hormone levels and the change of thyroid follicles in MMI-induced hypothyroid rats. These findings suggest that FFA may affect thyroid functions and EPA-E may prevent MMI-induced hypothyroidism.
Sensory quality of edible oil is essential to get the consumer acceptance. Modifications during processing can alter edible oil sensory quality. The storage stability and sensory quality of argan oil prepared from (1) mechanically pressed unroasted kernels, (2) mechanically pressed roasted kernels, (3) hand-pressed roasted kernels, and (4) hand-pressed roasted kernels coming from goat-digested fruits was studied at room temperature and under accelerated conditions (60°C). The roasting process had a positive effect on storage stability of the resulting oils, while argan oil prepared from mechanically pressed roasted kernels provides the optimum storage stability. Oil from hand-pressed roasted kernels originating from goat-digested fruits was not suitable for human consumption because of the unpleasant taste and odoûr. Only oil from mechanically pressed roasted kernels did not produce negative sensory attributes like fusty or Roquefort cheese.
For good scientific reasons it has been argued that the Mediterranean diet has beneficial anticarcinogenic effects, evidenced by a relatively long cancer-free survival. Olive oil plays an important culinary role in the different regions of the Mediterranean basin, providing a legitimate reason to hypothesize that its constituents could exert a beneficial effect in cancer prevention. Indeed, many experimental studies have shown that both the monounsaturated oleic acid, the major lipid in olive oil, and minor olive oil components exert an anticancer effect, particularly on breast cancer and colon cancer cells. A recent meta-analysis by Sofi et al. (2008) provided solid evidence that adherence to the Mediterranean diet is positively correlated with a diminished cancer risk and there is a growing understanding that olive oil components act in an integrated manner with other molecules present in the diet. Data from epidemiological studies consistently show a beneficial effect of olive oil consumption on reducing breast cancer, but -up until now-not for colon cancer. Olive oil and olive oil phenolics have been positively associated with reduced oxidative DNA damage in humans. These encouraging findings need further confirmation in human interventional trials or large cohort studies in order to determine how this translates into decreased cancer incidence. Copyright © 2009 Prous Science, S.A.U. or its licensors. All rights reserved.