Black Currant Oil: A Natural Healthcare Remedy
Black currant seed oil has multiple health benefits, most of which are attributed to its high content of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). The anti-inflammatory nature of GLA not only gives your immune system a much-needed boost, but can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Consuming as little as 6g can help ward off sallow skin and even a receding hairline.
Have you ever heard of black currant oil? This seed oil is jam-packed with antioxidants, immune-boosting abilities, and other good-for-you nutrients. It can even act as an elixir for your skin and hair. Typically, this magical oil is sold in the form of soft capsules. And once you learn about its surprising benefits, there’s a good chance it’ll be on your shopping list.
1. Fights Hair Loss
Using black currant oil supplements can help androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness. The condition plagues both men and women, causing hair thinning and loss. One research study looked into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including those in black currant oil, as a treatment for women who experienced hair loss. After just six months, the hair density of the participants improved.1 These fatty acids also include gamma-linoleic acid, which is abundant in this oil.2 So, how does it work? This fat inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that causes hair loss. In androgenetic alopecia, DHT attacks the hair follicles.3
Black currant oil is also rich in linoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory essential omega-3 fatty acid.4 This fat can fight the inflammatory prostaglandins that reduce hair growth.5
2. Improves Immune Response
If your immune system needs a boost, black currant oil might help. A two-month-long study found that this oil moderately improved the immune systems of elders by inhibiting the creation of prostaglandin E2.6 This prostaglandin happens to be linked with fever and suppression of T cells, the white blood cells that are crucial for immunity. It’s also the main mediator of inflammation and has been involved in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Needless to say, it’s an important piece in the puzzle of fighting illness during old age.7
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Experts also believe that the gamma-linoleic acid in black currant oil can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Consuming as little as 6 gm may help reduce diastolic blood pressure. You can take it alone or with fish oil, which has eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This combo can lower systolic blood pressure as well. However, more research is needed before you can totally give up your blood pressure meds.8
4. Cuts Cholesterol
The soft capsule form of black currant oil has been around for a few years. One study looked into its ability to treat those with hyperlipidemia. It was found that the oil lowered both total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. To top it off, it even boosted levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. It was the most effective in those with mild hyperlipidemia and a lower BMI.9 Black currant oil might be just what you need to nip a cholesterol problem in the bud.
5. Keeps Skin Looking Youthful
Using black current oil on the skin can keep it looking young and fresh. Thanks to the high vitamin C content in black currants (181 mg per 100 g serving),10 it’s useful for giving your body an antioxidant boost. This will help your skin stay supple while warding off sallow, wrinkled, and dry skin.11 According to the American Academy of Dermatology, including supplements like vitamin C and E in your diet can also help slow down the photoaging of skin from sun damage.12 The vitamin C will also improve collagen production, making your skin more elastic and firm.13
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory potential of flavonoids14 in black currant seed oil, it has also been used to treat inflammatory skin problems like eczema and acne.
6. Cope With Menopause And Fight Hot Flashes
While evening primrose oil is a more popular remedy for menopausal hot flashes, black currant oil might act in a similar way. Remember those high levels of gamma-linolenic acid? They have an anti-inflammatory effect that can suppress nighttime hot flashes in menopausal women.15 Be careful, though. The scientific community and medical experts are still exploring this remedy. Its side effects and interactions with other drugs aren’t totally clear yet.16
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Floc’h, Le, Ahsène Cheniti, Sophie Connétable, Nathalie Piccardi, Colombina Vincenzi, and Antonella Tosti. “Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 14, no. 1 (2015): 76-82.|
|2, 4.||↑||Lee, Deborah. “Essential Fatty Acids.” Pleasent Grove, UT: Woodland Publishing (1997).|
|3.||↑||Causes of Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association.|
|5.||↑||Nieves, Ashley, and Luis A. Garza. “Does prostaglandin D2 hold the cure to male pattern baldness?.” Experimental dermatology 23, no. 4 (2014): 224-227.|
|6.||↑||Wu, Dayong, Mohsen Meydani, Lynette S. Leka, Zachary Nightingale, Garry J. Handelman, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, and Simin Nikbin Meydani. “Effect of dietary supplementation with black currant seed oil on the immune response of healthy elderly subjects.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 70, no. 4 (1999): 536-543.|
|7.||↑||Park, Jean Y., Michael H. Pillinger, and Steven B. Abramson. “Prostaglandin E 2 synthesis and secretion: the role of PGE 2 synthases.” Clinical immunology 119, no. 3 (2006): 229-240.|
|8.||↑||Gamma-linolenic acid. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|9.||↑||Fa‐lin, Zhao, Wu Zhen‐yu, Hou Yan, Zhang Tao, and Li Kang. “Efficacy of blackcurrant oil soft capsule, a Chinese herbal drug, in hyperlipidemia treatment.” Phytotherapy Research 24, no. S2 (2010): S209-S213.|
|10.||↑||Currants, European black, raw,National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. USDA.|
|11.||↑||Pandel, Ruža, Borut Poljšak, Aleksandar Godic, and Raja Dahmane. “Skin photoaging and the role of antioxidants in its prevention.” ISRN dermatology 2013 (2013).|
|12.||↑||Beauty from the inside out: Improving your diet or taking supplements may lead to younger-looking skin. American Academy of Dermatology.|
|13.||↑||Vitamin C and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University.|
|14.||↑||Tabart, Jessica, Thierry Franck, Claire Kevers, Joël Pincemail, Didier Serteyn, Jean-Olivier Defraigne, and Jacques Dommes. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Ribes nigrum extracts.” Food Chemistry 131, no. 4 (2012): 1116-1122.|
|15.||↑||Philp, Hazel A. “Hot flashes-a review of the literature on alternative and complementary treatment approaches.” Alternative Medicine Review 8, no. 3 (2003): 284-302.|
|16.||↑||Hot Flushes. NHS.|