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What Is Wheat Germ Oil?

Wheat germ oil has been used to reduce wrinkles.
Pile of wheat germ.
Wheat germ oil may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Oil from wheat germ is known to be an excellent source of Vitamin E.
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  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2014
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Wheat germ oil is extracted from the kernel of the wheat grain. This unrefined oil is more viscous than other vegetable oils, is deep amber in color, and has a strong scent. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, better in fact than any other vegetable oil. Also rich in vitamins A and D as well as protein, fatty acids and lecithin, this oil is used as a food ingredient, as a dietary supplement and as a component of skincare products.

A variety of skin conditions might respond to treatment with wheat germ oil. Vitamin E is often used to nourish and moisturize the skin and is commonly used in skincare products. Used topically, the oil can help repair damage from sunburn, burns and ulcers; can reduce wrinkles and stretch marks; and can minimize scarring. Dry or cracked skin, eczema and psoriasis also can be treated with it.

As a dietary supplement or used in meal preparation, studies suggest that wheat germ oil might help improve the function of the heart. Production of cholesterol by the liver might be slowed by the oil, which also might improve the body's ratio of "good" cholesterol to "bad" cholesterol. The oil also can affect the proper function of the lymphatic, immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems.

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Other claims concerning the benefits of the oil include hormone regulation. It contains a substance called octacosanol, which is reputed to improve strength and endurance. Clinical studies have not been able to confirm this effect.

Proper storage is an important concern with wheat germ oil. It is sensitive to high temperatures, oxidation and light, which can cause the oil to degrade and become rancid. When properly stored and refrigerated, however, it can last for several months.

The oil should not be heated or used for cooking, because it reacts poorly to high temperatures. It can, however, be substituted for other vegetable oils when used cold. It can be included in pasta dishes, salads and pesto. The oil also is present in products containing wheat germ.

Wheat germ oil should not be used as either a food or a topical treatment by anyone with an allergy to wheat or gluten. People regularly on blood thinning medication such as warfarin should avoid this oil and similar products that are rich in vitamin E. Anyone experiencing any adverse effects should discontinue the use of the oil and consult a medical professional.

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Discuss this Article

anon253722
Post 4

My dog has mast cell cancer and must be on a grain free diet. Does anyone know if I can use this topically on her tumors since it is wheat germ? Is it still a grain?

mabeT
Post 3

Sorry to be a downer, but I just find it hard to believe that wheat germ oil does all of this to a huge extreme. Doesn’t it seem like someone would have not only picked up on its miraculous qualities by now, but also have marketed it to make a few million?

It’s just one of those healthy guru things that aren’t actually worth a hill of beans.

I’m not saying that it has no value whatsoever. I’m sure that it does have some nutritious points in its favor. All I’m saying is that it isn’t likely to be a wonder food.

Eviemae
Post 2

Whenever I think of wheat germ and people who actually eat it, I think of those folks who abhor meat and do Yoga three times a day. I guess I also picture them with a scarf on their heads, a tassled vest and holding up a perpetual peace sign.

I know that’s not fair, but I can’t help what just comes to mind! However, after seeing all of the benefits it’s supposed to have, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t drag out my yoga mat and get my own peace sign ready! (Sorry, folks. I treasure a good steak.)

Who knew that wheat germ was supposed to be able to do all of this? I’d love to know more about it, and I’m wondering how affordable it is.

Does anybody have any experience with using organic wheat germ oil? I haven’t a clue about it at all.

tlcJPC
Post 1

You know, I’ve often heard of pure wheat germ oil throughout my life, but I don’t actually know what it is. However, after reading this article, I’m wondering why in the world we aren’t using it more in our diets!

I suppose some people do, but I’m talking about regular people just trying to stay healthy on a budget. I’m particularly interested in whether or not it could actually be beneficial to out of control hormones.

I have a disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome, and my hormones are totally out of balance at times. I even had a very difficult time conceiving my first child.

There are not a whole lot treatments available for this disorder. Rather there are a lot of treatments for many of the symptoms, and they are rather hit and miss.

It would be awesome if someone, somewhere could research this in depth. I often think that the answers to all of our problems are right in front of our faces, but we can’t see the forest for the trees.

What if wheat germ oil could be my forest?

Wouldn’t it be something if all natural wheat germ were the key to some of those problems which seem to have no answers?

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