Amaranth Oil - Health Benefits, Squalene, and More!


Uncovering the secrets of AMARANTH OIL - and everything you need to know.
For your well-being, using better products, and protecting biodiversity.


WHAT IS AMARANTH OIL?

Amaranth oil is a vegetable oil in liquid form that is extracted from the amaranth grain. Just like amaranth grain, amaranth oil has unique components that are not often seen in nature.

If you want to learn more about amaranth, read our “What is Amaranth - The Ultimate Guide.”

Amaranth oil has a clean, yellow-goldish color, a pleasant aroma and delicious taste. Its attractive sensory characteristics hold unusual high amounts, up to 8%, of the super nutrient squalene. Amaranth oil has about 77% of unsaturated fatty acids [1], is rich in Vitamins, especially in Vitamin E, and is full of minerals.

What is Amaranth oil made of?

40-50% C18:2 (ω-6) Linoleic
20-26% C18:1 (ω-9) Oleic
16-22% C16:0 Palmitic
2-5% C18:1 Stearic
4-8% Squalene

Amaranth oil contains also high amounts of Vitamin E.
Not only tocopherol but also tocotrienol.

Amaranth oil contains high amounts of squalene

Squalene is a super nutrient and powerful antioxidant, in fact, it may be one of the most beneficial antioxidants known. We all have squalene in our skin that helps holds on to oxygen [18]. It also provides oxygen to your cells and organs with the help of its powerful activities. Newborn babies have the highest amount of squalene, which decrease with age. By the age of 25, the amounts of squalene in your body significantly drop and it becomes more important to supply your cells and organs with oxygen as you age. This is also one of the reasons babies and children are so full of energy. The high amount of squalene in their bodies enables them to be so active and energetic [19].

Amaranth oil contains high amounts of Unsaturated Fatty Acids

Unsaturated Fatty Acids can be broken into two types: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Amaranth oil has about 46-50% Linoleic Acid, which is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. Linoleic Acid cannot be created within the body and is therefore an essential nutritional component, which basically supports every cellular process [1]. Linoleic Acid is helpful for: Diabetic neuropathy, Rheumatoid arthritis, Allergies, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Breast cancer, Eczema, High blood pressure (Hypertension), Menopausal symptoms, Mastalgia Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, and Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) [11].

About 22-26% of the unsaturated fatty acids in amaranth oil is Oleic Acid [1]. Oleic Acid is classified as a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It is being considered as one of the healthiest sources of fat [2]. Oleic Acid has shown to have positive effects on cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and facilitates wound healing [12].

Amaranth oil contains high amounts of Vitamin E

Vitamin E has similar antioxidant effects like squalene. There are basically two types of Vitamin E: tocopherol and tocotrienol. Most of the Vitamin E’s are tocopherol, whereby tocotrienol is very limited in nature. Recent studies show that tocotrienol is the type of Vitamin E that has groundbreaking health benefits. Amaranth oil carries both, tocopherol and tocotrienol, which adds another unique characteristic to its profile.

Vitamin E has similar benefits like squalene due to its antioxidant qualities. Vitamin E combines with oxygen and destroys free radicals. This helps to protect polyunsaturated fats (Linoleic Acid) and other oxygen sensitive compounds such as Vitamin A from being damaged by oxidation reactions in your body. Tocotrienol is a type of Vitamin E that will become the next Omega 3. Tocotrienols may cure non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [13], may improve end-stage liver disease (ESLD) [14], improve the function of arteries [15], and bioavailable tocotrienols lower cholesterol [16].

The high amount of Squalene, Unsaturated Fatty Acids, and Vitamin E is a special combination of nutrients that hasn’t been seen in nature before. This trio is the uncovered secret of amaranth oil.


SQUALENE - The super nutrient and its dirty truth.

Squalene isn’t new to the world. In fact, the global need of squalene is between 1,000 - 2,000 tons per year [20]. In other words, 6 million deep-sea sharks a year. Yes! You read correctly! 6 million deep-sea sharks are being killed every year for squalene [3]!!!

Many people already know the health benefits of squalene and the excellent use for your skin. But what they don’t know is the source of squalene and how it comes into the market.

Squalene is currently derived from deep-sea shark liver oil. There are several types of sharks that live 3,000 feet under sea where the living conditions in such environment are extreme, under intense pressure, have poor oxygen, and basically no sunlight. These sharks survive because 90% of their internal organs is their liver, which is about a quarter of their total body weight. This abnormally large liver with high amounts of squalene is their key for survival. The squalene supplies the needed oxygen throughout their bodies and enables sharks to live in such extreme conditions [4].

The production of 1 ton of Squalene is estimated to need 3,000 sharks. This fast exploitation of deep-sea sharks accelerates their extinction. Most of these sharks don’t become sexually mature until later in life, making it difficult to reproduce before being caught for health and beauty products.

With the increased awareness of protecting Mother Nature and biodiversity, alternative sources for squalene are emerging. These include: olive oil, rice bran, argan oil, and amaranth oil.

Amaranth oil, is the leading natural, plant-based, and sustainable source of squalene with quantities of up to 8%. In comparison, second highest source is olive oil with up to 0.7% and argan oil with up to 0.4%. It’s pretty clear amaranth oil has an outrageously high amount of squalene that could significantly contribute to saving millions of sharks, and possibly even stop the exploitation of deep-sea sharks altogether.

Consumers have the power to make a change and should demand products that are environmentally friendly and preserve Mother Nature. You have the right to simply not purchase products that support such exploitation. Make sure the products you purchase do not include shark-derived squalene. It’s simple as that.

SQUALENE’S ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES

To understand how squalene’s antioxidant properties can benefit you, you first must understand how oxidation works, the problem with free radicals, where free radicals come from, and how to protect yourself against them.

How oxidation works

The building block of our organs that make our bodies functional are made of tissues, and tissues are made of cells. Therefore, healthy cells are needed to have a healthy and functional body. As oxygen interacts with cells, oxidation happens. Oxidation happens with every type of cell.

For example, if you cut an apple in half, oxidation occurs. This process is changing the cells of the apple and it begins to rotten. These cells may die, such as with the rotten apple.

If you cut your skin, dead cells will be replaced by new cells and, leading to a healed cut. The body metabolizes oxygen very efficiently, nonetheless, some of the cells will get damaged and turn into free radicals [23].

The problem with free radicals

Free radicals injure cells, exposing it to toxins and damages the DNA, which creates the seed for disease. Free radical damage contributes to the etiology of many chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataract, and cancer [21]. Free radicals are like a sharp knife that cut an apple in half, which activates the oxidation process.

Where do free radicals come from?

The body produces free radicals during normal cell functions. These free radicals are not the problem though [23]. They are controllable by the antioxidants that the body produces naturally. The bigger issue are the free radicals that enter our bodies through pollution, radiation, antibiotics in food, chlorinated water, pesticides, fuel emissions - the list goes on and on.

Staying protected from externally entered free radicals

Some of the antioxidants that protect us from free radicals are already produced naturally in our bodies, and squalene is one of them. It is manufactured in the liver of every human body and circulates in our bloodstream [22]. By the age of 25, the amounts of squalene in our bodies significantly drops due to age, and it becomes even more important to supply your cells and organs with oxygen [19]. Amaranth oil is the highest plant-based source with naturally occurring squalene, up to 8%, that will help to neutralize the free radicals and shield from damaging the DNA.


HEALTH BENEFITS OF SQUALENE AND AMARANTH OIL

Each of the nutrients that are found in amaranth oil have a long list of health benefits. Amaranth oil is therefore recommended to be used as a functional food mainly for the prevention of diseases, but may also be used for treatment. Amaranth oil may help to reduce blood pressure and be used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases [1]. 

The extraordinary benefits of Amaranth Oil:

There are many benefits of amaranth oil, which is why it is highly recommended that you try it out. It can help with cardiovascular disease, skin disease, your nervous system, and your digestive system to name a few. It has also been found to be very beneficial for joint pain and your immune system. Furthermore, amaranth oil is great for your blood vessels and can prevent sclerosis from setting in.

Also, you might not know that amaranth oil can help treat varicose veins. Many people suffer from unsightly, dark and enlarged veins found on the legs. Specifically, amaranth oil contains rutin, which is a flavonoid that has been linked to help treat varicose veins by supporting weak capillary walls. Squalene, which is also found in amaranth oil, also plays an important role in fighting varicose veins by helping jumpstart the production of collagen in the skin.

Squalene, Unsaturated Fatty Acids, and Vitamin E are all essential nutrients for glowing skin and beautiful hair as well - and Amaranth oil contains all three! Because of this, it is often used in beauty products to protect, moisturize, and nourish the skin and hair. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it a great barrier for the skin.

Since it has been found to be so moisturizing, amaranth oil is often used for skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, or even scarring!

Amaranth oil is absorbed quickly by the skin and does not need diluted with other ingredients. This means you don’t need to worry about any filler ingredients or chemicals added to the oil, because it doesn’t need them to be effective.

There is not any single oil that can compete with the effectiveness and powerful nutritional nature of amaranth oil. It has the most biologically active substances of any oil on the market. It’s pretty amazing what nature has to offer if you really take a close look, and amaranth oil is definitely worth looking into further for many of your health and beauty needs!

The extraordinary Health benefits of Squalene:

Cancer Fighting

According to studies, low oxygen levels in your body thrive and promote the growth of cancer cells [5]. Squalene’s incredible activity in supplying oxygen to your cells decreases the risk of developing and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells [6].

Stronger Immune System

A weak immune system may lead to catching cold and viruses, being sick a lot, allergies, and fatigue [7]. Squalene helps to prevent these symptoms through its strong immunostimulant properties [6].

Better Skin Health

Lipid peroxidation in the skin’s surface is the result of cell damage. Squalene helps to prevent this process to happen [8]. Lipid peroxidation is a chemical damage that occurs by oxygen free radicals to the polyunsaturated fatty acids of cell membranes [9]. Squalene is also an effective moisturizer [10].

This is only the beginning and is just barely scratching the surface of the health benefits of squalene.

That’s not all! Other health benefits of amaranth oil include:

Amaranth oil contributes to the decrease or disappearance of headaches, weakness, increased fatigability, shortness of breath during a physical activity, edema of legs toward the evening hours and feeling of intermission of heart function in most patients [1].

Amaranth oil helps to reduce inflammation.

Amaranth oil improves the healing of burns and skin related issues.

Amaranth oil improves mental performance and memory functions.

Amaranth oil acts to prevent and reduce CT damage in liver tissue [17].

As you can see, amaranth oil truly has extraordinary health benefits and is the reason why you should try to consume amaranth oil every day.


HOW TO USE AMARANTH OIL

Pure amaranth oil can be used in four different ways:

  1. Use amaranth oil orally. To take advantage of its many health benefits, you can consume it daily. Think of it like a vegetable oil, olive oil or flaxseed oil. Depending on what you are trying to achieve with amaranth oil, it is always recommend speaking to your local doctor first.
  2. Use amaranth oil topically. Amaranth oil is a super ingredient for your skin, and is most commonly known for its anti-aging properties. Specifically, it helps oxygenate your skin cells which in turn stimulates collagen production. Naturally, as we age, collagen breaks down and eventually diminishes over time, so we need added ingredients like amaranth to help slow the aging process. 

    When you use it topically on your skin, you instantly notice smoother, dewier skin that is youthful and glowing. Amaranth oil is a great beauty ingredient because it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy layer of product behind. It’s also provides a great deal of hydration to your skin and can be substituted for your daily moisturizer.

    To use amaranth oil on your skin, simply add a few drops to your fingertips, and massage it into your face using gentle, circular motions. Don’t forget your neck and décolleté! You can use this oil twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed for maximum hydration and anti-aging benefits. Here again, should you have any serious skin issues; it is recommend to speak to your local doctor first.
     

  3. Use amaranth oil for hair. Amaranth oil is not only moisturizing and healthy for your skin, but it’s a great, nutrient rich oil for your hair as well! It really helps treat and diminish the signs of brittle hair, by delivering intense hydration that helps repair and restore your hairs natural vibrancy. It also helps prevent unnecessary hair fall by giving the hair the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong.

    Amaranth also inhibits your hair from prematurely graying. To help prevent your hair from turning gray, massage amaranth oil into your scalp to help nourish it and restore your hair’s natural hue.

    You can use amaranth oil as a hair mask by applying it throughout your hair and wearing a shower cap for 10-15 minutes. Once you’re finished, simply rinse and then lightly shampoo and condition your hair like normal. Some of the oil will be left behind to deliver intense shine.

    You can also use amaranth oil on your ends to hide dry, split ends. Simply apply a couple drops of the oil to your fingertips and rub through the ends of your strands for healthy looking locks.
     

  4. Use amaranth oil in health and beauty products. In addition to the direct use of amaranth oil, it can also be used as an ingredient in many different types of products, specifically skin care products. You can add amaranth oil to your favorite lotion, cream, or even shampoo. In fact, we love it so much we added it to our bestselling Skin Repair Cream!

    There are also many DIY recipes online explaining how you can create your own homemade lotion. Plus, you will find that you have many of the ingredients already in your kitchen!

    Amaranth oil is also the perfect solution for the cosmetic industry to make the switch from shark-derived squalene to a plant-based squalene. Amaranth oil can also be used in the nutraceutical industry with combination of other ingredients to create targeted health improving products.


AMARANTH OIL BUYING GUIDE

When you are using amaranth oil, you want to make sure that the amaranth oil is 100% organic. When you use non-organic amaranth oil, you are putting toxins into your body that you are actually trying to eliminate through the use of amaranth oil. Sounds contradictory, right?

Buying good quality amaranth oil

  1. How was the amaranth grown? Organically or conventionally? If the amaranth grain that was used for the production of amaranth oil was grown conventionally, then the oil will also have pieces of toxins that you do not want in your body. Make sure that you are able to track back the origins of the grain amaranth.
     

  2. How was the amaranth oil produced? If you are orally drinking amaranth oil, you need to make sure that your amaranth oil was produced through cold-pressing. Cold-pressed amaranth oil is the only method that will guarantee you the highest quality possible. Do not use CO2 extracted amaranth oil, and especially not hexane extracted amaranth oil if taking orally.
     

  3. How is the amaranth oil being stored? Amaranth oil becomes rancid if you do not store it correctly. Do not purchase amaranth oil that is stored in plastic containers. Do not purchase amaranth oil that is stored in clear glass containers. Both types of containers will significantly decrease the quality and shelf life. Amaranth oil must be stored in a dark glass container that stops the light from becoming rancid. Store amaranth oil at room temperature (do not refrigerate it) and keep it away from direct sunlight. If you store amaranth oil correctly, without constantly opening the bottle, the shelf life can last for years. If you open and close the bottle often, we recommend a shelf life of 1 year.

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References:

 

[1] Martirosyan, Danik M.; Miroshnichenko, Lidia A.; Kulakova, Svetlana N.; Pogojeva, Ala V.;, Zoloedov, Vladimir I.. “Amaranth oil application for coronary heart disease and hypertension.” Lipids in Health and Disease. 6(1): 2007 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1779269/

 

[2] What is Oleic Acid?. (n.d.). wiseGEEK. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-oleic-acid.htm

 

[3] Save the Deep Sea: Save Deep-sea Sharks: Squalene and Trade Restrictions. (2011, August 24). Save the Deep Sea: Save Deep-sea Sharks: Squalene and Trade Restrictions. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://savethedeepsea.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/save-deep-sea-sharks-squalene-and-trade.html

 

[4] The Detox Center - Detox Products - Detox Tablet, Detox Capsules, Detox Liquid Drink. (n.d.). The Detox Center - Detox Products - Detox Tablet, Detox Capsules, Detox Liquid Drink. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.thedetoxcenter.com/psqualene.ht

 

[5] Raven, K. (2012, May 3). UGA Today. Study suggests new approach to explain cancer growth: low oxygen levels. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/study-suggests-new-approach-to-explain-cancer-growth-low-oxygen-levels/

 

[6] The Role of Squalene in Health. (n.d.). The Science behind squalene.. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.scienceforlife.eu/tekst%20role%20of%20squale%20in%20health.htm

 

[7] Weakened Immune System. (n.d.). - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Information. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.diagnose-me.com/symptoms-of/weakened-immune-system.html

 

[8] Kohno Y, Egawa Y, Itoh S, Nagaoka S, Takahashi M, Mukai K. Kinetic study of quenching reaction of singlet oxygen and scavenging reaction of free radical by squaleen in n-butanol. Biochim.Biophys.Acta 1995;1256:52-6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7742356

 

[9] Lipid Peroxides Profile (TBARS) - Serum. (n.d.). - Metametrix Clinical Laboratory. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/oxidative-stress-indicators/lipid-peroxides

 

[10] Dr. Bikul Das. The Science behind Squalene. The Human Antioxidant. 2000. Toronto Canada. http://www.scienceforlife.eu/tekst%20sciencebehindsqualene.htm

 

[11] Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega6-fatty-acids

 

[12] An overview of the modulatory effects of oleic acid in health and disease.

Sales-Campos H, Souza PR, Peghini BC, da Silva JS, Cardoso CR. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23278117

 

[13] Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: an emerging threat to obese and diabetic individuals.

Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2013 Apr 30;1281:106-22. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Howard C Masuoka, Naga Chalasani http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23363012

 

[14] J Nutr. 2012 Mar;142(3):513-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.151902. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Oral tocotrienols are transported to human tissues and delay the progression of the model for end-stage liver disease score in patients. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22298568

 

[15] J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2006 Dec;52(6):473-8.

Dose dependent elevation of plasma tocotrienol levels and its effect on arterial compliance, plasma total antioxidant status, and lipid profile in healthy humans supplemented with tocotrienol rich vitamin E. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17330512

 

[16] J Nutr Biochem. 2001 Jun;12(6):318-329.

Synergistic effect of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF(25)) of rice bran and lovastatin on lipid parameters in hypercholesterolemic humans. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11516635

 

[17] Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2014; 4(5):159- 171. (2014, May 7). Hepatotropic, antioxidant and antitoxic action of amaranth oil. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://functionalfoodscenter.net/files/89126853.pdf

 

[18] Kelly, G.S. (1999) Squalene and its potential clinical uses. Altern. Med. Rev. 4(1): 29-36 http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/4/1/29.pdf

 

[19] Squalin - 99% pure squalene. (n.d.). Squalin - 99% pure squalene. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.permahealthcare.com/squalin-supplement.htm

 

[20] Anonymus 2007. Personal communication with cosmetic industry representatives and Oceana. http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/o/fileadmin/oceana/uploads/europe/reports/From_Head_To_Tail.pdf

 

[21] Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (1929, December 5). Abstract. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/

 

 [22] Squalene-based adjuvants in vaccines. (2008, December 3). Global Vaccine Safety. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/committee/topics/adjuvants/squalene/questions_and_answers/en/

 

[23] Feature, J. (n.d.). How Antioxidants Work: Preventing Free Radical Damage and Oxidation. WebMD. Retrieved May 21, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-antioxidants-work1