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Wheat germ

Wheat germ
Wheat germ is a part of the wheat kernel and the main byproduct of wheat flour milling. It has been used in animal fodder for a long time. However, due to its high nutritional value, its potential to be used for healthcare purposes is gaining attention. It can be added to smoothies, cereals, yogurt, ice cream, and various food items.
Wheat germ oil is rich in Vitamin B, A and D which are easily absorbed through the scalp and help in the repair of dull, damaged hair and promotes hair growth. It is also beneficial for the skin as it protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals and prevents skin aging due to its antioxidant properties.
Wheat germ helps to manage constipation because of its high fiber content. This makes it a healthy choice for weight loss. Consumption of wheat germ might help in improving heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing lipid absorption by the intestines.
Wheat germ contains gluten which might cause allergies in people having gluten intolerance(celiac disease), so it is advisable for gluten intolerant individuals to avoid or consult a physician before using wheat germ or other wheat products[1][2][8][35-38].

What are the synonyms of Wheat germ?

Triticum aestivum[5].

What is the source of Wheat germ?

Plant Based

Benefits of Wheat germ

What are the benefits of Wheat germ for Cancer of colon and rectum?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ might be useful in the colon and rectal cancer because of its antiproliferative property. It inhibits the multiplication as well as further spread of cancer cells and also improves the immune system of the body. Some studies also suggest that a combination of chemo/radiotherapy along with Wheat germ extract might increase the survival rate of colorectal cancer patients[10][11][39].

What are the benefits of Wheat germ for Skin cancer?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ extract might have a beneficial effect on patients having melanoma (a type of skin cancer) due to its anti-proliferative property. It prevents the spread of cancer cells and improves immunity of the body. It might be used as a supportive therapy in melanoma patients[9][40][41].

What are the benefits of Wheat germ for Arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ might help manage symptoms of arthritis-like pain and inflammation as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the mediators of inflammation and reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis[12][13].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Arthritis is a condition which occurs due to an imbalance of Vata dosha. This imbalance leads to certain symptoms like pain, dryness or sometimes inflammation in joints. Wheat germ helps manage arthritis due to its Vata balancing and Snigdha (oily) properties. It reduces the symptoms of arthritis-like pain, dryness, or inflammation and provides relief.
Tips for using Wheat germ in breakfast:
1. Take 5-10gm (or as per your requirement) of Wheat germ.
2. Sprinkle it over your favorite cereal during breakfast.
3. This will add extra fiber to your breakfast and help to get rid of the symptoms of arthritis.

What are the benefits of Wheat germ for Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ extract might help in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which is an autoimmune disease. It helps to improve the immune response of the body and may be used as a preventive agent in people who might be at risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)[14].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is co related by Raktadhik Vatarakta. This condition occurs due to an imbalance of Vata dosha which leads to the contamination of blood tissue and further weaken the immunity. The symptoms seen in this condition are joint pain or inflammation. Wheat germ helps manage SLE due to its Vata balancing and Balya (strength provider) properties. This helps reduce the symptoms like pain or inflammation and provide strength to the bones and joints, thus providing relief.
Tips for adding Wheat germ in your meal
1. Wheat germ is found naturally in whole wheat products, including whole Wheat bread, flour, baked goods, and cereals.
2. You can add any one of these products in your daily diet to get the benefits of Wheat germ in an immune disorder.

How effective is Wheat germ?

Insufficient evidence
Arthritis, Cancer of colon and rectum, Skin cancer, Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Precautions when using Wheat germ

Advice from Experts
Important
scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ contains gluten so it might cause allergies in people who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. So it is advisable to avoid the consumption of Wheat germ if you are sensitive to gluten[5][6].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Wheat germ during breastfeeding. So, it is advisable to avoid the use of Wheat germ or consult a physician before using Wheat germ during breastfeeding[5].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available about the use of Wheat germ during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to avoid the use of Wheat germ or consult a physician before using Wheat germ during pregnancy[5].

Benefits of Wheat germ

What are the benefits of Wheat germ for Sunburn?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ might be beneficial in preventing sunburns. It contains certain constituents (polyphenols) that absorbs solar radiation and protect skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Wheat germ oil is also rich in Vitamin E which has antioxidant properties. This helps to nourish and retain moisture in the skin[25][26].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
In Ayurveda, burns and inflammation represent imbalances in the Pitta dosha. Sun burns represent redness, inflammation or blisters with excess burning sensation and itching due to an imbalance of Pitta at skin level. Wheat germ oil helps manage sunburn due to its Pitta balancing and Sita (cold) properties. This helps reduce the symptoms and provide a cooling effect to the affected area.
Tips for using Wheat germ on sunburn
1. Take a few drops of Wheat germ oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Apply it on the affected area once a day for quick healing of sunburn.

How effective is Wheat germ?

Insufficient evidence
Sunburn

Precautions when using Wheat germ

Advice from Experts
scientific
Modern Science View
It is advisable to avoid the use of Wheat germ oil if you are sensitive to gluten or wheat as it might cause allergic reactions like contact urticaria[6].

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can you eat Wheat germ?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, we can eat Wheat germ. It can be added to various food items like smoothies, cereals, yogurt, ice creams, etc.

Q. Which is better for health: Wheat germ or flaxseed?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Wheat germ and flaxseed both have excellent health-benefiting effects on the body. As per Ayurveda, wheat has Sita (Cold) and Rechana (laxative) properties that help to correct constipation, whereas flax seeds are Ushna (hot) in nature which helps to improve digestive fire and reduce the symptoms of indigestion.

Q. Is Wheat germ prebiotic?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ is a food by-product. It is high in nutritional value and is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and essential fatty acids. A study was done on the prebiotic effects of a wheat germ preparation in healthy human subjects which suggested that certain products made from Wheat germ possess a prebiotic effect and may have the potential to improve health[43].

Q. Does wheat germ need to be refrigerated?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ needs to be stored properly as the presence of unsaturated fat can cause it to smell foul quickly. Wheat germ should be stored in an air-tight container in your refrigerator or freezer, once the jar is opened

Q. Can I substitute Wheat germ for flour?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Wheat germ can act as a substitute in some food preparation. However, do not go overboard or remove the main ingredient (flour) completely as Wheat germ is slightly strong in flavor and slightly rough in texture. You can replace 1 cup of wheat flour with ⅓ red cup of Wheat germ to be on a safer side. While baking cookies, muffins, and bread, you can use wheat germ to replace up to 1/2 cup of flour.

Q. Why is Wheat germ good for you?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ has many health benefits. It improves heart health by decreasing cholesterol levels and managing blood pressure levels due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It also improves the immunity of the body and helps it to fight against a number of diseases[15][16].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Wheat germ is good for your health because it provides you with good internal strength and energy due to its Balya (strength provider) property. Wheat germ is also beneficial in improving sexual health due to its Vrishya (aphrodisiac) property. Since it is Snigdha (oily) in nature, it also helps to reduce the dryness of your body.

Q. Can Wheat germ oil help in getting pregnant?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil might increase the chances of getting pregnant. It contains various minerals and nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium, etc. which might increase the production of ova and sperm. It helps to maintain a regular menstrual cycle in females, improves sperm motility in men, and prevents miscarriages[17].

Q. Does Wheat germ lower cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ might help lower cholesterol levels in the body. It contains certain constituents (phytosterols) which decrease the breakdown of lipids in the body and prevents the absorption of cholesterol. Thus, managing cholesterol levels[18][19].

Q. Is Wheat germ helpful in diabetes?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ might help in diabetes as it contains certain constituents which have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants prevent pancreatic cells against damage caused by free radicals and increase insulin secretion[15][20][21].

Q. Is Wheat germ helpful in obesity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, the Wheat germ is helpful in obesity. It has a high fiber content that gives the feeling of fullness and reduces appetite. It inhibits the accumulation of fat in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Wheat germ is also a good source of thiamine whose deficiency might lead to obesity[15][22].

Q. Does Wheat germ have gluten?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ contains gluten. Some people might have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, so it is generally advisable for them to avoid the use of Wheat germ [23].

Q. Does Wheat germ cause constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to suggest for the role of Wheat germ in causing constipation. In fact, it might help in managing constipation as it has high fiber content[24].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
As per Ayurveda Wheat has Rechana (laxative) property and Snigdha (oily) nature. So, Wheat germ which is obtained from Wheat also shows laxative nature. The primary cause of constipation is dryness of the intestines. This dryness gets reduced due to the Snigdha (oily) nature of Wheat germ thus making stool passage easier. So, taking Wheat germ might not causing constipation.

Q. Does wheat germ oil cause diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific is not available to suggest the role of Wheat germ in causing diarrhea.

Q. How much Wheat germ can you eat per day?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Wheat germ doesn’t have any fixed recommended dosage or quantity in a day. You can start eating wheat germ in small quantities in the beginning then increase the quantity to 5-10 gms or as suggested by your health advisor.

Q. Who should avoid taking Wheat germ?

scientific
Modern Science View
People who are gluten intolerant or have gluten allergies should avoid Wheat germ or its supplements, as it contains gluten. Also, its intake should be monitored if you have a condition of heart disease or are at a high risk of heart disease due to the presence of triglycerides in Wheat germ oil. This is because high triglyceride levels in the body are linked with adverse health effects.

Q. Does Wheat germ oil lighten skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to suggest the role of Wheat germ in skin lightening.

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for oily skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes. Wheat germ oil is good for oily skin. It might help in managing the problems associated with oily skin such as irritation, acne etc due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [27].

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for acne?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil is good for acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It might help to reduce the inflammation associated with acne[28].

Q. Does Wheat germ oil contain ceramides?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil contains ceramides. These constituents can easily penetrate into the skin and helps in the nourishment and moisturization of the skin. Ceramides also protect the skin from irritants as well as premature ageing[34].

Q. Does Wheat germ oil increase breast size?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to suggest the role of Wheat germ in increasing breast size.

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil is good for the skin as it gets easily absorbed by the skin and keeps it moisturized. It is a rich source of vitamin E which is an antioxidant in nature. It prevents the skin cells from damage caused by free radicals and protects them against the harmful effects of the sun. It also contains certain constituents like vitamin B6, folate, etc which might help in the process of regrowth and repair of skin cells[29][30].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Wheat germ oil might be good for skin in case of dry skin. This oil helps to maintain the oiliness of the skin due to its Snigdha (oily) property. It also maintains healthy glowing skin due to its Varnya (improves skin complexion) property.

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil is good for hair. It contains vitamin E which gets easily absorbed by the scalp and helps in moisturizing the scalp. It prevents dryness in hair and strengthens them[31].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Wheat germ oil can also be beneficial for hair due to its Snigdha (oily) property. It helps prevent dryness of the scalp and prevents some conditions like hair fall or itching. It also provides a good nourishment to the hair roots.

Q. Does Wheat germ cause breakouts?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to suggest the role of Wheat germ in causing breakouts. However, intake of wheat germ might prevent breakouts (of acne) as it has anti-inflammatory properties[32].

Q. Does wheat germ oil cause blackheads?

scientific
Modern Science View
Enough scientific evidence is not available to suggest the role of Wheat germ in causing blackheads.

Q. Can wheat germ oil cause allergies?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Wheat germ oil might cause allergies in people who are allergic to wheat or gluten. So, it is advisable to perform a patch test or consult a physician before using Wheatgerm oil[33].

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for the face?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Wheat germ oil is good for the face. It is used in cosmetics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, health foods, and dietary supplements. When it comes to skin benefits, applying the wheat germ oil mixed with any carrier oil on the face in a circular motion helps to reduce dryness. Excessive dryness can be a leading cause of dry and dull skin and wheat germ oil usage makes the skin soft and glowing due to its Snigdha (oily) nature.

Q. Is Wheat germ oil good for wrinkles?

scientific
Modern Science View
Wheat germ oil is rich in Vitamin E which makes it a great antioxidant. Antioxidants reduce the presence of free radicals and keep them in check. Reduction of free radicals or decreasing their rate of production may delay aging and its effect on the skin.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Wheat germ oil is good for wrinkles as it has Snigdha (oily) property that makes the skin soft and moisturized when applied to affected areas.

References

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  2. Mahmoud AA, Mohdaly AAA, Elneairy NAA.Wheat Germ: An Overview on Nutritional Value, Antioxidant Potential and Antibacterial Characteristics.Food and Nutrition Sciences.2015;6:265-277.External Link
  3. Kumar GS, Krishna AG. Studies on the nutraceuticals composition of wheat derived oils wheat bran oil and wheat germ oil. J Food Sci Technol. 2015;52(2):1145-51. External Link
  4. Rosário AM, Pinheiro H, Calhau C, et al. Can wheat germ have a beneficial effect on human health? A study protocol for a randomised crossover controlled trial to evaluate its health effects. BMJ open, 6(11), e013098. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013098.External Link
  5. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1500/fermented-wheat-germ-extractExternal Link
  6. Scherf K & Koehler P, Wieser H. Gluten and Wheat Sensitivities – an Overview. Journal of Cereal Science.2015;67doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2015.07.008. External Link
  7. Abdou HM, Mohamed NA, Mekkawy DAE, et al. Vitamin E and/or Wheat Germ Oil Supplementation Ameliorate Oxidative Stress Induced by Cadmium Chloride in Pregnant Rats and Their Fetuses.Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences.2017;10(1):39-48.
  8. Heimbach JT, Sebestyen G, Semjen G et al. (2007). Safety Studies Regarding a Standardized Extract of Fermented Wheat Germ. Int J Toxicol.;26(3):253–259.External Link
  9. Demidov LV, Manziuk LV, Kharkevitch GY et al. Adjuvant fermented wheat germ extract (Avemar) nutraceutical improves survival of high-risk skin melanoma patients: a randomized, pilot, phase II clinical study with a 7-year follow-up. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2008 Aug;23(4):477-82. External Link
  10. Zalatnai A, Lapis K, Szende B et al. Wheat germ extract inhibits experimental colon carcinogenesis in F-344 rats.Carcinogenesis. 2001 Oct;22(10):1649-52.External Link
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  12. Bálint G, Apáthy A, Gaál M et al. Effect of Avemar--a fermented wheat germ extract--on rheumatoid arthritis. Preliminary data.Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 May-Jun;24(3):325-8.External Link
  13. Telekes A, Resetar A, Balint G et al. Fermented wheat germ extract (avemar) inhibits adjuvant arthritis.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep;1110:348-61.External Link
  14. Ehrenfeld M, Blank M, Shoenfeld Y et al. AVEMAR (a new benzoquinone-containing natural product) administration interferes with the Th2 response in experimental SLE and promotes amelioration of the disease. Lupus. 2001;10(9):622-627.External Link
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  17. Dobbyn S. The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age. 2012. External Link
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  38. Garami M, Schuler D, Babosa M, et al.Fermented wheat germ extract reduces chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia in pediatric cancer patients.J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2004;26(10):631-635.External Link
  39. Otto C, Hahlbrock T, Eich K, et al. Antiproliferative and antimetabolic effects behind the anticancer property of fermented wheat germ extract.BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016;16:160.External Link
  40. Patel S. Fermented wheat germ extract: a dietary supplement with anticancer efficacy.Nutritional Therapy and Metabolism.2014; 32(2):61-67.External Link
  41. Judson PL, Al Sawah ED, Marchion DC, et al.Characterizing the efficacy of fermented wheat germ extract against ovarian cancer and defining the genomic basis of its activity.Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2012;22(6):960–967.External Link
  42. Ojo BA, O'Hara C, Wu L, El-Rassi GD, et al. Wheat Germ Supplementation Increases Lactobacillaceae and Promotes an Anti-inflammatory Gut Milieu in C57BL/6 Mice Fed a High-Fat, High-Sucrose Diet. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 149, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages 1107–1115.External Link
  43. Matteuzzi D, Swennen EF, Rossi M, Hartman T, Lebet V. Prebiotic effects of a wheat germ preparation in human healthy subjects. Food Microbiol. 2004. 21(1):119-124. External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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