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Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel, which makes up only 2.5% by weight of the kernel. Wheat germ, which is considered the “heart” of wheat since it’s found at the center of the wheat berry. It feeds the wheat plant with nutrients to help it germinate and grow.

Wheat germ oil is clear orange to yellow in color and tastes like wheat. Wheat germ oil has a high content of linoleic acid and contains the rare alpha-linolenic acid. Look for a product that has not been bleached or hydrogenated. This may not be an oil that you use very often so look for a smaller container unless you plan to use it often.Store the oil in an air-tight container in your pantry or in another cool dark place. The recommended temperature is 20-25°C or no more than 77 °F. Cooking or heating wheat germ oil causes it to lose its nutritional benefits. So frying with wheat germ oil is not recommended. However, you can use the oil in salad dressings, drizzle it on vegetables, pasta, or other dishes for a boost of flavor and omega-3 fatty acids.

Both wheat bran and wheat germ oils have tocopherols and tocotrienols (total tocols), and the total tocols were high in wheat germ oil 288 mg/ 100 g. Comprising alpha tocopherol (~57 %), γ tocopherol (~30 %) and 11 % tocotrienols in wheat germ oil.

Wheat germ is the most nutritious component of the wheat kernel and contains 23 different nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and calcium. Its dense nutritional benefits make it a healthy addition to your diet. The oil is also nutrient-packed, which makes it particularly well-suited to moisturizing and soothing your skin. There is no protein in wheat germ oil. However, some healthy eaters may use wheat germ oil in marinades, in protein smoothies, or in yogurt to take advantage of the healthy fat that it provides. If you consume a single serving of wheat germ oil you’ll get 135 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E.

Emollient Properties – Dry hair can lead to splitting and breaking, not to mention frizziness and static. Your scalp secretes oils to moisturize your hair, but this oil tends to build up around the scalp. If you have long hair, the roots may be oily, but the rest of your hair can be dry and brittle. You can use wheat germ oil, which is comprised of long-chain fatty acids that give it emollient properties, to relieve dryness and add softness and moisture to your hair. It can be used in treatments and hair masks to condition and soften your hair, particularly if you frequently use heat or colorants.

Vitamin E – Wheat germ oil contains an array of vitamins, including vitamin E. Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is well-known for its skin benefits and is easily absorbed into the skin and hair. The site states that vitamin E can potentially help to promote skin cell formation. However, it is highly moisturizing, which makes it an ideal addition to shampoos and conditioners. The vitamin E content also keeps the oil from becoming rancid; thereby increasing a cosmetic or hair care product’s shelf life.

Squalene – Wheat germ oil also contains a polyunsaturated fat called squalene. According to a January 2009 study in “Molecules,” shark liver oil is the richest known source of squalene, but plant oils such as wheat germ have been found to contain it as well. Squalene is the main component of skin surface polyunsaturated lipids, making it close to the actual oil your own body produces. This type of oil is readily absorbed by skin cells and hair, and is already being used in cosmetic products.

B Vitamins – Wheat germ oil also contains a host of B vitamins: B1, B2, B3 and B6. Although the oil will not be ingested, B vitamins are readily absorbed through the skin. They may help to increase circulation to your scalp; some companies use a B complex to help thicken hair. B vitamins are needed by the body for cell and tissue formation, particularly blood and nerve cells. Vitamin B6 also plays a role in the incorporation of L-cystine into hair cells. The “Journal of Dermatological Science” in June 2006 featured a study that showed how alopecia in rats could be averted with L-cystine and vitamin B6 supplementation.

For hair – If you want to apply wheat germ oil to your hair and scalp, I recommend you do so sparingly. Just massage a few drops of pure wheat germ oil into the hair and scalp. Add more as it is absorbed. The massaging effect alone will bring more blood to the surface of your head, along with extra nutrients. Leave for a few minutes and thoroughly rinse with warm water. Keep applying on a daily basis and your hair will soon feel a lot healthier and have that lovely shine.


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