Sesame oil seeds and its health benefits

Sesame oil and studies on health benefits such as lowering cholesterol


Sesame seeds enjoy high level of natural antioxidants called sesamolin, sesamol and sesamin oils. These oils contains about 47 percent oleic and 39 percent linoleic acid. Like sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids. Furthermore, sesame seeds contain 25 percent of its weight in proteins. After after oil extraction, the sesame seed flour that remains is between 30 to 50 percent protein and these remains have good effective carbohydrates and furthermore contain water-soluble antioxidants called sesaminol glucosides responsible for added shelf-life to many products. In short sesame seeds contain many different B-complex vitamins such as thiamin (B1), niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine (B6) and riboflavin. B-complex vitamins are essential to improve the nervous system, metabolism, eyes, organs, skin, muscles and hair, vital for red blood cell production, bone mineralization, enzyme synthesis and hormone production So sesame seeds are high in fibre, vitamin B-complex, protein, magnesium, calcium, iron and copper as shown in the table on the right:


Sesamin reducing LDL and cholesterol levels

An early study showed that hypercholesterolemic patients treated with 32 mg/day of sesamin reduced their levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol after only eight weeks, compared with control patients with unchanged levels.

Source: Hirata F, Fujita K, Ishikura Y, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of sesame lignan in humans. Atherosclerosis. 1996 Apr 26;122(1):135-36.


In yet another study 21 hypercholesterolemia patients showed significant reductions in both LDL and cholesterol, due to the fact of consuming 40 grams of sesame seeds during 4 weeks. Interesting to mention is that this benefit in cholesterol disappeared when the patients resumed their diet with no sesame seeds for the next four weeks.

source: Chen PR, Chien KL, Su TC. Dietary sesame reduces serum cholesterol and enhances antioxidant capacity in hypercholesterolemia. Nutr Res. 2005;25(6): 559-67


Recent studies on the benefits of sesame seeds have confirmed these findings. Similar consisten reductions in LDL, triglycerides  and total cholesterol. Hypertensive patients compared the cholesterol-lowering ability of sesame oil with groundnut and sunflower oils, sesame oil demonstrated to be a superior antioxidant and a better protector against lipid peroxidation.

Source: Sankar D, Sambandam G, Ramakrishna RM, Pugalendi KV. Modulation of blood pressure, lipid profiles and redox status in hypertensive patients taking different edible oils. Clin Chim Acta. 2005 May;355(1-2):97-104.


In yet another study sesame seeds made clear inhibition effect of the atherosclerosis lesion formation. the build up of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis) is provoked by lipid peroxidation which Is in principle is a harmful free radical-generating process. Sesame oil inhibits this process by altering the lipid profile.

Source: Bhaskaran S, Santanam N, Penumetcha M, Parthasarathy S. Inhibition of atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-negative mice by sesame oil. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4):487-90.

Rich In Beneficial Minerals; facts and figures:

sesame health benefits

The table shows the nutrients of sesame seeds. It shows that sesame seeds are a very good source of copper, magnesium and calcium. Just a quarter-cup (0.25 cup) of sesame seeds supplies 74.0% of the daily value for copper, 31.6% for magnesium, and 35.1% of the daily value for calcium. These nutrients reflect the following health benefits:


- Copper Provides Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

- Magnesium Supports Vascular and Respiratory Health

- Calcium Helps Prevent Colon Cancer, Osteoporosis, Migraine and PMS

- Zinc for Bone Health

- Sesame Seeds' Phytosterols Lower Cholesterol


Sesame seeds are also high in so called ‘mono-unsaturated’ fatty acid and oleic acid. Oleic acid helps to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the blood preventing the coronary artery disease and strokes as the research on the left show.



For more nutrition facts and figures please visit the sesame seed nutrition fact page

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