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June 25, 2016

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
[
Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our panel of
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members
of our Editorial Board.
]




Is it possible that a simple oil could help manage diabetes, boost
bone health, and even prevent cancer? Sesame seeds and the oil
they produce are powerhouses of health.

Almost invisible in dishes, sesame seeds nonetheless contain high
levels of nutrients that directly improve many aspects of your
wellbeing, from skin tone to oral health. Sesame oil is prized for
its resistance to rancidity, and also for its health benefits. Want to
know how sesame oil can change your life? Read on.

A Short History of Sesame Seeds and Sesame Oil

Sesame seeds have been grown in India, Asia and the Middle East
since prehistoric times. But the influence of sesame goes back
even further. Assyrian legend says that when the gods created
the world they drank sesame wine. Sesame seeds were first
grown in India and they have been included in ancient legends as
a symbol of immortality. Evidence shows sesame seeds being
used in baked goods as far back as ancient Egyptian times. During
the late 17th century exporters brought sesame seeds from Africa
to the US.

Sesame oil was one of the first oils produced from a crop and
today plays an important role in cooking, nutrition, and skin care.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Sesame Oil?

Sesame seeds and the oil produced from them contain excellent
levels of some important nutrients for health. Sesame oil contains
comparatively high levels of copper as well as manganese,
calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B1, phosphorous,
selenium, and fiber.

In addition, sesame oil contains two important substances -
sesamin and sesamolin. They are part of a group of special fibers
called lignans, which have been demonstrated to have
considerable health benefits, from treating high cholesterol and
preventing high blood pressure, to preventing cancer.

Not bad for a humble seed oil.

How to Enjoy Sesame Oil

Sesame oil can be used in place of vegetable oil or olive oil for stir
frying, and in salad dressings. The nutty flavor goes particularly
well with Asian-inspired dishes. You can also use sesame oil as a
skin treatment – many skin products already include sesame oil as
a base for lotions and massage oils.

We looked at the scientific evidence for the power of sesame oil
so you can know the ways in which this popular oil benefits your
health.






























1.
Sesame Oil Improves Your Oral Health

Using sesame oil for the practice known as oil "pulling" removes
dental plaque and boosts your overall oral health, according to
experts.

Oil pulling involves swilling oil in your mouth to whiten teeth, and
remove toxins.

A 2008 study from Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Chennai,
India demonstrated that oil pulling with sesame oil reduced the
amount of streptococcus mutants in tooth plaque and mouth
saliva, which directly benefited overall health.

2.
Sesame Oil Can Help Counter Diabetes

The high levels of magnesium and other nutrients in sesame oil
make it potentially valuable as a treatment for diabetes.

A 2011 study from Vinayaka Missions University in India
discovered that sesame oil boosted the effectiveness of the oral
anti-diabetic drug "glibenclamide" in Type 2 diabetic patients. The
study looked at 60 patients with
Type 2 diabetes.

Sesame oil has also, according to the study’s authors, helped
lower blood pressure and improved the antioxidant status of
diabetic patients.

A 2006 study from Annamalai University in India showed this to
be the case, too - “substitution of sesame oil as the sole edible oil
has an additive effect in further lowering BP and plasma glucose
in hypertensive diabetics”.

3.
Sesame Oil Helps Protect Against Radiation Damage

It seems sesame oil may even help to protect DNA from damage
caused by radiation.

The compound "sesamol" in sesame seeds and oil has been
shown to protect the body from the effects of radiation in studies
such as a 2009 report from Annamalai University in India.

Sesamol has antioxidant effects which partly protects against cell
damage caused by radiation, according to experts.  

4.
Help Prevent Cancer with Sesame Oil

Lignans in sesame oil have been linked to cancer prevention.

A 1997 study from the University of Helsinki in Finland says that
people eating more foods like sesame oil that contain lignans have
a lower incidence of breast and colon cancer.

In a 2010 study from the German Cancer Research Center,
Heidelberg, Germany a high intake of lignans was linked to a
reduced risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Not only that, but the magnesium in sesame oil could have anti-
cancer properties according to studies. A 2012 study from
Imperial College London found that the risk of colorectal tumors
decreased by 13 percent and the risk of colorectal cancer
decreased by 12 percent for every 100mg of magnesium
ingested.

5.
Sesame Oil Boosts Bone Health

Experts say that zinc boosts bone mineral density, which helps to
protect against
osteoporosis and the dangers of broken bones
particularly as people age.

In 2004, scientists from the University of California, San Diego
found a strong correlation between zinc deficiency and
osteoporosis of the hip and the spinal area.

Sesame seeds and sesame oil contain high levels of zinc, and
sesame oil also contains calcium which is an important mineral in
the protection of bone.

6.
Using Sesame Oil May Help to Reduce Menopausal Symptoms

It may be true that the lignans in sesame oil also help to decrease
menopausal symptoms, experts suggest. A 2006 study from the
University of Naples Federico II in Italy looked at 80
postmenopausal women who took either a calcium supplement or
a lignans treatment over three months.

Women taking the lignans combination experienced an
improvement in symptoms of menopause.

However, studies are mixed on the subject. A 2010 study from
the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil looked at 38
postmenopausal women who were told to eat either two slices of
bread with 46mg of lignans or two slices of bread with less than
1mg of lignans over the course of 12 weeks.

At the end of the study, women eating the bread with the high
levels of lignans did not experience any greater decrease in
menopausal symptoms of hot flashes or other issues.

7.
Sesame Oil Improves Skin Elasticity and Smoothness

Sesame oil is widely used in massage as the base carrier oil due to
its texture and also its beneficial health qualities. Sesame oil is
also used as the carried oil in many widely available cosmetic
products.

As sesame oil contains zinc, it helps improve your skin’s elasticity
and smoothness, reducing the appearance of age-related spots
and lines and wrinkles. It also provides a protective layer over the
skin that can help protect against the damaging particles in the
air.










































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