Blackcurrant oil consists of oil pressed from black currant seeds. It can be purchased in health food stores in supplement capsules of 500 mg, or in liquid form. The oil is promoted as effective for treating a variety of disorders, including candidiasis, fatigue, high blood pressure, pain and inflammation and skin problems. A limited number of scientific studies have shed light on the potential benefits of taking black currant oil
blackcurrant oil supply essential fatty acids, are rutin and other flavonoids, and a high amount of vitamin C. Essential fatty acid supplements often recommended in the form of fish oil capsules, as a benefit for cardiovascular health and as an immune system booster. Blackcurrant oil is a natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty that can be difficult to get through diet. Flavonoids also show benefits for cardiovascular health, and flavonoids and vitamin C are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against free radicals that can cause cell damage and disease.
Skin, nails and hair
Physician Andrew Weil notes on its website that blackcurrant oil may be effective in treating eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders. Many naturopath websites recommend black currant oil for these purposes as well. Weil also recommends oil for weak and brittle nails and dry, brittle, splitting and thinning hair.
A study published in a 2003 issue of Rheumatology found moderate support for the effect of GLA in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. GLA shows promise in reducing pain, stiffness and joint tenderness. Rheumatoid arthritis patients tend to search for alternatives to drug therapy, such as drugs prescribed to treat this autoimmune disease usually have toxic effects.
An in vitro study showed blackcurrant extract can inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer and colon cancer cells. Scientists theorize this effect is due to the high vitamin C content. In Viro studies have been conducted in a controlled environment outside a living organism, is so much more research is needed in this area.
Weil says that GLA is an effective anti-inflammatory agent without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. The body actually uses GLA to create their own anti-inflammatory agents. Weil prescribes it for inflammatory autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Naturopathic physician Jody Noe, of Brattleboro Naturopathic Clinic in Vermont, also recommends people with lupus take 500 mg to 1000 mg daily in a GLA source, blackcurrant oil.
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