Health CareSesamol-Natural phenol compound

1. What is Sesamol?

Sesamol is a natural phenol compound found in processed sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds. Sesamol (CAS 533-31-3) is considered the major active and potent constituent of sesame oil that play role in its therapeutic effects.

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is an important oilseed in the family of Pedaliaceae. It is regarded as one of the oldest oilseeds known and utilized by man for not only its nutritional value but also its medicinal value. The major parts of sesame conferring therapeutic value are leaves and seed oil.

Sesamol 533-31-3 compound is found in trace amounts besides other lignin compounds of sesame oil, sesamin and sesamolin. This water-soluble compound is regarded as a strong antioxidant.


2. How does sesamol work?

Sesamol works in different ways to offer its vast therapeutic benefits such as neuroprotection, antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-radiation and radical scavenging effects.

Below are some modes in which sesamol work to achieve the said effects:

  • Prevents DNA damage by oxidative stress

Sesamol can inhibit DNA damage by radiation-induced stress. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the cellular DNA by inducing chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei in proliferating cells.

  • Stimulates the activity of important antioxidants

Sesamol works by up-regulating the activities of important antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which is accompanied by increased levels of reduced glutathione (GSH). These enzymes play vital roles in preventing cellular damage by radicals.

  • Inhibits pro-apoptotic proteins thus enhancing cell  viability

Pro-apoptotic proteins are proteins that promote cell death. They include p53, caspase-3, PARP, and Bad enzymes. These enzymes are involved in programmed cell death and hence may reduce cell viability.

Sesamol has been demonstrated to promote cell viability by inhibiting the activity of pro-apoptotic enzymes.

  • Inhibition of lipid peroxidation

Lipid peroxidation is a kind of lipid degradation occurring due to oxidation. This results in the formation of reactive aldehydes, such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and 4- hydroxynonenal (HNE) that cause cell damage. Sesamol has been shown to prevent lipid peroxidation thus offering protection to cells.

  • Inhibits the generation of free radicals including  hydroxyl radicals

Free radicals are unstable compounds that are associated with diseases and ageing. Hydroxyl radicals are the most powerful oxidants that cause illness. Sesamol decreases the generation of free radicals including hydroxyl.

  • Enhances the radical scavenging activity

In addition to inhibiting the generation of free radicals, sesamol is able to eradicate free radicals such as hydroxyl, lipid peroxyl and tryptophanyl radicals.

  • Suppression of inflammatory cells

Sesamol inhibits the signalling pathways involved in the production of reactive species thus minimising inflammatory response.

  • Reduces inflammatory cytokines

Nitric oxide, produced by iNOS, leads to lung inflammation by stimulating inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF, and enhancing the inflammatory response. Sesamol has the ability to inhibit the release.

  • Arresting of cell growth at different phases

Sesamol has been shown to induce cell growth arrest at different cell growth phases including the S phase and G0/G1 phase. Sesamol’s anti-cancer properties, therefore, help, for instance, reduce cancer cell growth.

  • Activation of caspase pathway

The caspases are enzymes involved in programmed cell death. Sesamol has been demonstrated to activate these pathways hence leading to cancerous cell death.

  • Induces apoptosis via intrinsic and extrinsic pathways

Apoptosis is a physiological process in which organized cell death occurs. It is an essential process as it helps the body eliminate dead cells. Sesamol induces apoptosis in two distinct ways, the intrinsic and extrinsic ways.

  • Hinders mitochondrial autophagy

Mitochondrial autophagy is a particular kind of degradation that helps get rid of defective mitochondria. When sesamol inhibits this process, then apoptosis is induced.

  • Reduces nitrate and neutrophil levels

Nitrites and neutrophils play role in the inflammatory response. They are involved in the release of nitric oxide which mediates inflammatory response by inducing or otherwise inhibiting inflammation.

Sesamol plays a role as an anti-inflammatory agent by reducing the levels of nitrites and neutrophils.

3. What is sesamol used for?

Sesamol is used for various health benefits including:

  • High blood pressure

Sesame oil is used along with a few blood pressure drugs as proven medication to lower blood pressure.

Wide research on sesame oil suggests that sesamol and sesamin (lignans available in sesame oil) play a big role in regulating blood pressure. Taking sesame oil, more so cooking with it, for three weeks lowers the blood pressure of people with hypertension to normal.

During the research, medical practitioners subjected a group of hypertensive patients to medications (Procardia, Nefedica and Adelta) for a period of 21 days. Though there was a slight decrease in their blood pressure, it had not normalized. Sesame oil was used as a replacement for the medications, and the patients were tested after the same period. The result was that their blood pressure had fallen to normal.

These results were reported to American Heart Association during an annual meeting of the Inter-American Society of Hypertension by Professor Devarajan Sankar of Annamalai University, India.

  • Blockage in the bowel

Research on the effects of sesamol on bowel blockage suggests that it could be far much better than aspirin. In a study about ulcerative colitis, an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), which causes damage to the mucosal tissue through dysregulating the inflammatory system. In a study involving rats, sesamol was found to reduce the activities of inflammation-causing enzymes.

Though aspirin is known to effectively kill inflammation disorders when ingested, it could lead to ulcer development in long-term use. Aspirin causes gastroduodenal injuries by wearing out the cells.

More research indicates that nasogastric intubation of sesamol in patients suffering from minor bowel blockage along with standard care lowers the chances of undergoing surgery.

  • Heart disease

Risk factors attributed to cardiovascular diseases have a big portion of the world s mortality and morbidity. They could lead to oxidative stress and if untreated worsen to increment in the production of reactive oxygen species, including a distorted antioxidant defence system.

Sesamol uses its anti-oxidative properties to inhibit atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, high concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and low high-density lipoprotein.

Further research has concluded that sesamol has membrane stabilizing and lipid-lowering effects. Moreover, it offers protection to the myocardium against DOX-induced cardiomyopathy.

  • Child growth

Sesamol is used in a wide range of child development aspects. In different studies, sesamol used for reducing ADHD in mentally disordered children was termed slightly effective if used in small amounts. DHA deficiency is very common in children with ADHD.

Over ten researches indicate favourable benefits in ADHA symptoms including word reading, impulsivity, visual learning, working memory, and hyperactivity.

Infants massaged on sesame oil for four weeks recorded improved growth and physical activeness.

  • Diabetes

Sesamol works effectively as a supplement to diabetes medication to lower blood sugar levels swiftly. Taking sesamol supplements or rather shifting to a sesame oil diet while on diabetes drugs give a better yield for the work.

In several kinds of research, most involving patients with type 2 diabetes, sesamol has depicted great results. One of the studies involved three groups, each suffering from type 2 diabetes. One group was subjected to sesamol alone, another to a daily dose medication of glibenclamide (Glyburide), and the last to both sesamol and Glyburide for a period of about 7 weeks.

Sesamol was reported to have a synergetic effect with glyburide, as the combined therapy had lowered both haemoglobin A1c and blood sugar levels significantly, and far better than either of the single therapies.

Hyperlipidemia. Researchers report that sesamol used for burning cholesterol and other lipids in the blood has given positive results. In a model test, the effectiveness of sesamol was tested for high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia, chronic hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, and acute hyperlipidemia.

Decreased triacylglycerol levels as the end results suggested that sesamol significantly reduces the absorption of triacylglycerol. Sesamol is also used to reverse elevated cholesterol levels.

Studies suggest that the sesamol supplement increases cholesterol excretion as well as reduces its absorption.

  • Metabolic syndrome and obesity

Sesamol is reported to contain various biological capabilities including the ability to revert obesity and metabolic disorders. It’s reported to possibly inhibit anti-obesity effects.

The research was conducted to test how effective sesamol is on obesity, it was found that it could regulate hepatic lipid metabolism. This subsequently improved insulin resistance and boosted weight loss. Obesity and its related metabolic disorders are widely related to lipid accumulation within the body. Reduced accumulation means reversed obesity trend.

Sesamol use increases lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation and reduction rate of hepatic lipogenesis, vital factors in lowering lipid accumulation. These activities (i.e. lipid uptake, synthesis and catabolism) are among many that take place in the liver. People using sesamol have reported better hepatic and serum lipids profiles and also ameliorated insulin sensitivity.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis

Though rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and chronic autoimmune disease, has several chemical therapies, their long-term use is usually hepatotoxic. Sesamol could be a potential natural remedy. Studies investigating the same reported that sesamol has better anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects that effectively ameliorated the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a major contributing factor to joint pain, estimated to affect about 15% of the global population. Oxidative stress, however, has a great part in skeletal muscle dysfunction. Research on the effects of sesamol on osteoarthritis-associated joint pain indicated that taking a sesamol supplement for a week could lower the pain. This is attributed to the anti-oxidative stress property of sesamol.

Scientists have concluded that a similar process to postmenopausal osteoporosis is undergone to cause ovariectomy, where there’s a progressive loss in bone weight and strength. It is therefore found that bone loss is highly attributed to estrogen. Sesamol is reported to bind to estrogen receptors and induce estrogen-responsive gene transcription. The beneficial effects promote bone strength by producing bone matrix proteins.

  • Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and stroke

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain impairment attributed to brain cell degeneration. It commonly eradicates the mental independence of the affected persons. The neuroprotective effects of sesamol have been reported promising. A study was set to elucidate the therapeutic potential of sesamol in epilepsy, a condition widely linked to cognitive impairment and oxidative stress. The research concluded that sesamol exerted ameliorative effects against stroke, cognitive impairment, seizures, and oxidative stress. Sesamol use for antiepileptic medication could be beneficial.

4. Where to buy sesamol

Sesamol powder is available online from different sesamol manufacturers. Most users of sesamol buy from different websites, some for retail or wholesale purposes. Verify the legitimacy of every sesamol manufacturer using outlined state laws before purchase.



  1. Joo Yeon Kim, Dong Seong Choi and Mun Yhung Jung “Antiphoto-oxidative Activity of Sesamol in Methylene Blue- and Chlorophyll-Sensitized Photo-oxidation of Oil” J. Agric. Food Chem., 51 (11), 3460 -3465, 2003.
  2. Kumar, Nitesh & Mudgal, Jayesh & Parihar, Vipan & Nayak, Pawan & Nampurath, Gopalan Kutty & Rao, Chamallamudi. (2013). Sesamol Treatment Reduces Plasma Cholesterol and Triacylglycerol Levels in Mouse Models of Acute and Chronic Hyperlipidemia. Lipids.
  3. Majdalawieh, A. F., & Mansour, Z. R. (2019). Sesamol, a major lignan in sesame seeds  (Sesamum indicum): Anti-cancer properties and mechanisms of action. European Journal of Pharmacology, 855, 75C89.DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.05.008.
  4. Ohsawa, Toshiko. “Sesamol and sesamol as antioxidants.” New Food Industry (1991), 33(6), 1-5.
  5. Sesamol Archived 2010-01-14 at the Wayback Machine at
  6. Wynn, James P.; Kendrick, Andrew; Ratledge, Colin. “Sesamol as an inhibitor of growth and lipid metabolism in Mucor circinelloides via its action on the malic enzyme.” Lipids (1997), 32(6), 605-610.

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