Cutting-edge research reveals that the oil from tart black currants can help treat — and even stave off — a slew of age-related woes, including heart disease, cancer, joint pain, hot flashes, dry eyes, weight gain, and thinning hair.
What is it?
Extracted from a berry native to Europe and Asia, black currant seed oil (BSCO) is brimming with healthy compounds. The benefits of them are many. Here are a few:
BSCO keeps the skin supple.
BSCO is the top natural source of the healthy omega-6 fatty acid gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which makes up about 10% of the outer layer of your skin and is essential for shielding it from water loss. What’s more, BCSO’s vitamin C is used by the body to form collagen and elastin, the skin’s structural supports.
It can improve eyesight.
The berry is rich in a powerful antioxidant (anthocyanin), which helps reduce the risk of nearsightedness and poor night vision, Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, explains.
It protects against Alzheimer’s.
BSCO’s antioxidants also shield your brain from destructive molecules called free radicals, and they boost production of the “happy” brain hormone dopamine. That’s key: Reduced levels of dopamine have been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
It can ease arthritis.
The GLA in black currant oil is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, a British study found. In fact, in some studies, BSCO supplements were so effective that participants with rheumatoid arthritis were able to reduce their usual pain medications.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.