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J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Nov;89(1):15-8.

Hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic effect of argan oil (Argania spinosa L.) in Meriones shawi rats.

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School of Pharmacy and Medicine, UFR (Natural Product), University of Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco.


The potential health benefits of various dietary oils in relation to cardiovascular disease and cancer are recently receiving considerable attention. The main proposal of this study is to investigate the effect of dietary argan oil, obtained from seeds of Argania spinosa L. (Sapotaceae) endemic from Morocco, on serum lipids composition. Hyperlipidemia was induced by high calorie and cholesterol (HCC) diet administration in 16 rats (Meriones shawi, a rodent of the Gerbillideae family). Eight rats were treated with argan oil (1ml/100g weight) daily by oral route during 7 weeks (treated group). Control animals were also fed with HCC diet for 7 weeks. After 7-week treatment with argan oil, blood lipoproteins were significantly reduced. Total cholesterol decreased with 36.67% (P<0.01), low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol in 67.70% (P<0.001), triglycerides in 30.67% (P<0.05) and body weight in 12.7% (P<0.05). High density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentration remained unaltered. These results indicate the beneficial effect of argan oil in the treatment of the hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia. This effect will be related with the polyunsaturated fatty acids and other constituents of studied oil.

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