Beta-Sitosterol and why cosmetic companies should know about it

Anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory; these are some of the effects exhibited upon the consumption of a certain phytosterol called Beta-Sitosterol. Beta-Sitosterol is found in many plants, and therefore is also found in many natural cosmetic oils.  Although there has long been serious consideration and discussion about the effects of applying Beta-Sitosterols directly to the skin, it wasn’t until recently where an important study was published that states the success of this phytosterol when applied as a skin serum.

The first study that was done was completed in 2014 and focused specifically on Beta-Sitosterol’s effect on atopic skin lesions that resemble dermatitis.  The group of scientists conducting the study noted that Beta-Sitosterol has been proven to have positive health effects when consumed, but there has been little to no research testing its application to skin. After observing and testing skin lesions using Beta-Sitosterols and a control serum, they confirmed their hypothesis saying that Beta-Sitosterol “can be helpful in treating allergic inflammatory diseases including atopic dermatitis.”

So how does this pertain to us?  Well it turns out that natural oils from South Africa contain impressive levels of Beta-Sitosterol.  For example, our Marula oil contains 287 mg/100g of b-Sitosterol, our Baobab oil – 438 mg/100g, and our Kalahari Melon Seed oil contains an impressive 486 mg/100g.  For comparison, olive oil, on average, has 80-97 mg/100g of Beta-Sitosterol.  We are hopeful that as further research becomes available on this specific phytosterol we will be able to collectively understand more about the positive effects of Beta-Sitosterol.

Virgin or Cold Pressed – Which is it?

We know you have heard all about virgin oils and cold pressed oils, but what do these labels really mean?  Let’s start with the similarities.  Both virgin oils and cold pressed oils are obtained by mostly mechanical procedures, as opposed to chemical procedures that may alter the nature of the oils.

Fresh Marula Oil straight from the press.

Examples of mechanical methods of obtaining oil include expelling or pressing.  Upon extracting the oils, they typically incur multiple stages of further purification which can include techniques such as settling, filtering or centrifuging.  The striking difference between these two oil classifications is the application of heat.

While extracting and refining virgin oils, applying heat is the only non-mechanical method that may be used to purify the oils.  Heat might help degrade pesticides in oils being pressed from harvested fruits or vegetables (virgin olive oil being the obvious example), but the result is highly dependent upon the pesticides used.

In contrast, as the name suggests, when extracting cold-pressed oils, the use of heat is forbidden.  Researchers have shown that the use of heat can alter the structure of the oil itself and cause it to lose valuable antioxidants that protect and give nutrients to the skin.  This is what makes cold-pressed oils so sought after in the natural cosmetics industry.

At DLG Naturals BW, a supplier facility of DLG Naturals, Inc. in Botswana, our production of Marula oil is 100% cold pressed.  The abundance of wild-harvested Marula that thrives without the use of pesticides allows us to produce a natural and safe cosmetic oil without the use of heat.  Our cold-pressed Marula oil maintains its characteristic high concentration of oleic fatty acid throughout the entire process –it’s like applying the oil directly to your skin, from the kernel.

10 Days, 36 Tons of Marula

Ten days ago, a middle-aged man from Gabane knocked on DLG BW’s factory door.  He asked for the manager saying he’d heard that “people here buy wild harvest Marula fruit.” Hungara, our manager at DLG BW, smiled and nodded in response to the man’s question.  While the man only had 150 kilograms (about 330 lbs.) of Marula fruit to offer, he had taken a major logistical piece of the supply chain out of the equation.  Typically, DLG BW sent their representative to villages far outside of Gabarone to collect Marula fruit and transport them back to the factory.  This is an important strategic step, however it accumulated expenses from transportation, hotels and unexpected vehicle repairs that can often occur on the unpaved roads of northern Botswana.

Marula Fruit flows into the DLG BW Factory

The very next day, a few more individuals showed up to the factory saying they had wild harvested Marula to sell as well.  Collectively they offered ½ ton of natural Marula.  A few days later, we received 3 tons, a few days after that; 6 tons, and yesterday; 12 tons.  The word has spread throughout the Gabane area and people are bringing more and more Marula by whatever means available to them.

 

At one point, Hungara looked out at the factory gate to see two young boys pushing a wagon with two large bags of natural Marula.  Hungara spoke with them, learning that they had pushed that wagon 4 kilometers to arrive at the factory.

A Truck-Full of Marula Fruit

Another day, Tris Lahti, one of the owners, looked out the window to find two men pushing a pickup truck filled to the brim with Marula fruit.  They were on their way to our factory when their pickup ran out of gas.  Their solution was to push the pickup to our site, sell the Marula and use that money to refill their truck.  They were thrilled when their compensation far exceeded the cost to fill their tank of gas.

In merely ten days, DLG BW has received over 35 tons of natural, wild harvested Marula from over 50 individuals which pumped over P40,000 (about US$4,000) directly into the local economy.  In a country where the unemployment rate hovers around 25%, this is a significant opportunity that many locals have capitalized on.  Additionally, with the influx of local

Hungara with the Natural, Wild Harvest Marula Fruit

residents approaching us with Marula, this allows us to pass along those logistical savings to the local population, raising their compensation per kilo of Marula. With the Botswana school year beginning soon, and the end of summer in sight, this extra income can be used to pay for school fees, winter coats and gloves or food to feed their family for a couple weeks.  This high response rate from local villagers is promising and helps us all envision how DLG’s processing of Marula will help fulfill our mission of empowerment through commerce.

 

Marula oil included as one of the key developments within the face oils market

A recent report from Business Wire states that there is good news for the global face oils market. The market research report for that sector provides overwhelming evidence to suggest a surge in demand for anti-aging beauty oils, facial cleansing oils and face moisturizing oils.  All of the oils DLG Naturals distributes falls into one (or several) of these categories.  Furthermore, the article from Business Wire includes Marula oil as one of the most prominent ingredients in the natural and organic anti-ageing segment.

To read the full article by Business Wire and view the market report itself, follow the link below:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161017005415/en/Face-Oils-Market-Witness-Launch-Range-Products

Running with the Big 5 animals? We’ll stick with the Big 5 oils.

Seeing the big five animals in Africa is something that is on the bucket lists of many. Now, to make that 100 times more extreme (or dangerous) take away the safety of the safari car and personal guide, then run 26 miles. Sound fun? Well, maybe it’s not for everyone.

Here at DLG Naturals, we define the big 5 in a different way. They include our five most popular premium Southern African oils; Marula Oil, Baobab Oil, Kalahari Melon Seed Oil, Mongongo Oil and Ximenia Oil. These nutritious oils capture the essence of Africa. Check out our Wholesale Catalog for more information!

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DLG Natural’s Big 5 oils with the addition of Moringa Oil

Alexandra Wexler wrote a fascinating article for the Wall Street Journal about an adrenaline-packed marathon that includes the world’s most formidable animals. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-latest-in-marathon-one-upmanship-have-you-ever-run-from-a-rhino-1469991934 July 31, 2016). Below we post the article in its entirety.


The Latest in Marathon One-Upmanship: Have You Ever Run From a Rhino?

Safari park course offers bragging rights, wildebeest detours

Runners encountered herds of blesbok antelope at the Big Five Marathon, in June at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy.
Runners encountered herds of blesbok antelope at the Big Five Marathon, in June at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy. PHOTO: ALEXANDRA WEXLER/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 

ENTABENI SAFARI CONSERVANCY, South Africa—In the pink post-dawn light, nearly 300 runners stretched and limbered up, some nervously chattering, some focusing silently on the task ahead—running 26.2 miles in a game reserve filled with the five most-difficult African species to hunt: rhinoceros, leopard, buffalo, elephant and lion.

“Guys, when you see a ranger with a rifle, that means that something could be quite close by,”J.P. Meyer, the jovial and khaki-clad general manager at Honeyguide Ranger Camp, said during a briefing the day before the 12th running of the Big Five Marathon in June. “If our rangers do tell you, ‘Please, get on the vehicle,’ there’s a reason for it. Something brown and furry is joining the marathon.”

It wasn’t an idle threat. Later that night, a lioness killed a wildebeest on a section of the runners’ route, forcing organizers to scramble and reroute 1.5 miles of the course.

South Africa’s Big Five Marathon is part of a fast-expanding pantheon of ultra-endurance races that include marathons along the Great Wall of China, in Antarctica and along Peru’s Inca Trail. As long-distance running has exploded in popularity, runners and companies that organize races have been thinking up increasingly challenging contests, from 100-plus-mile ultramarathons through the desert to the World Marathon Challenge—seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, a feat accomplished by 26 runners to date.

Runners come from around the world to compete in the Big Five Marathon in South Africa.
Runners come from around the world to compete in the Big Five Marathon in South Africa. PHOTO: ALEXANDRA WEXLER/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 

“The bragging rights of saying you’ve done a marathon ain’t cutting the mustard anymore,” said ultramarathoner Tobias Mews, author of “50 Races to Run Before You Die.” “People look for something that sounds a bit more impressive, that would make a better story.”

For runners from Japan to Brazil to Poland who come to compete alongside Africa’s Big Five—the race provides the inimitable thrill of trying to avoid becoming lunch.

“I hope I don’t get eaten,” said Rosetta Steeneveldt, 46, of Trondheim, Norway, the night before the race as she loaded her dinner plate with pasta. After the race, the South African native was covered in dust, exhausted. “I did it,” she said, brandishing her finisher’s medal.

So far, no marathoner has ever been injured by an animal, but brushes with the big five’s smaller cousins happen regularly. Emile Hunter ramped up training before her college graduation trip to South Africa, where she would run the race with her parents, who are attempting to run a marathon on each continent over a few years. A couple days before, monkeys got into her room through an open window and ate all of her energy chews.

“My Crest white strips, my toothpaste…the powder from my drink mix was everywhere,” said the 25-year-old who lives in San Antonio. “My mom was shouting at them, and I was kicking the curtains to make sure there weren’t any more hiding in them.”

Rhinos rested at the side of the Big Five Marathon course on the route inspection.
Rhinos rested at the side of the Big Five Marathon course on the route inspection.PHOTO: ALEXANDRA WEXLER/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 

This year, dozens of runners were cut off by herds of galloping wildebeest and blesbok antelope, which kicked up huge clouds of dust in their wake. Runners on either side oohed and aahed, excitedly snapping pictures and selfies with their smartphones.

The race, run by Danish travel-running company Albatros Adventure, isn’t the only game-park marathon. Kenya’s Safaricom Marathon, a charity event now in its 17th year, attracts about 1,400 runners. Two helicopters clear the course of big game before the start.

The race here is capped at 300 runners, who brave a steep mountainside climb. Big Five Marathon times are typically far off personal bests, and this year, 12 of 140 starters in the full marathon failed to complete the course within the seven-hour time limit.

“This was the hardest physical challenge of my life to-date,” said Ms. Hunter’s monkey-scolding mother, Barbara. “It’s a bit like childbirth. At first I told [my husband] there was no way I would do that again,” she said. “But this morning I was thinking maybe I’d do the half” marathon option.

A lot of planning goes in to making sure the biggest physical challenge of the race remains simply completing it.

“The rhinos and elephants have a tendency to pull off a lot of the signs [marking the course], and it can actually be a matter of life or death if you make a wrong turn,” said Lars Fyhr, head of Albatros Adventure Marathons. “You just know if you run into a lion…yeah. The race is closed.”

To avoid that scenario, rangers head out the night before the race to track down the park’s resident lions and stay with them until the last runner is picked up or across the finish line. Some 30 rangers, in addition to the park’s game-management team, are deployed on race day, to make sure runners and the big five stay separated.

“We are in their space, so we must respect them,” said Trevor Mthunzi, head ranger on race day this year.

Mr. Mthunzi spent race day with some of Entabeni’s hippos, which kill about five times more people world-wide a year than lions, according to the Gates Foundation.

“From the first runner coming through, they were like, ‘What’s happening here?’ ” Mr. Mthunzi said of his hippo charges, who wiggled their ears and grunted in the dam behind him. “Of course, they’re excited to see human beings running on the ground.”

Near the hippo ponds, the park’s game-management team carefully monitored a cheetah—the world’s fastest land animal, who can clock speeds of 60 miles an hour—who unbeknown to the runners, was lazing about just 300 meters from the course.

The game reserve is inhabited by herds of blesbok antelope, as well as lions, leopards and elephants.
The game reserve is inhabited by herds of blesbok antelope, as well as lions, leopards and elephants. PHOTO: ALEXANDRA WEXLER/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 

This year’s race wasn’t completely without incident. Rashaad Forehand, 38, of San Diego, was running down the course’s steep mountainside when he heard something rustling in the bushes to his right.

“I turned back, tripped on a rock and I hit my head on another rock,” he said afterward. “It didn’t hurt when it hit, but I saw all of this blood.”

Luckily, the noise Mr. Forehand heard was a ranger, not one of the big five.

“You think, ‘It could be something,’ ” he said, especially after hearing “distinct growling” during a training jog the morning of the race. “You never know.”

An Exclusive Look into the World’s Most Valuable Diamond Mine

Botswana holds a special place in the hearts of employees here at DLG Naturals. We adore the vibrant culture, kind people, extraordinary wildlife and of course the heavenly food (special shout out to Mountain Valley in Gabane – their braai seasoning is out of this world!) Here we share with you an article that highlights one very important asset to the Botswana government- the Jwaneng diamond mine. This article discusses the economic effects of this mine, the challenges the Botswana government has faced and foresees for the future, and how the government was able to avoid the “resource curse,” that has been so prevalent in other parts of the African continent.

Peter Guest wrote an insightful article for CNN about the complexities that go along with having the world’s most valuable diamond mine. (http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/03/africa/botswana-diamonds-jwaneng/ December 3, 2015). Below we post the article in its entirety.


Gaborone, Botswana (CNN) Debswana’s Jwaneng mine is a giant cauldron of pale dust, 2 kilometers across at its widest point and patrolled by colossal 300-tonne trucks that labor up the terraced slopes.

The operation, owned as a joint venture between De Beers and the government of Botswana, is the richest diamond mine in the world and, as managing director Albert Milton says, “one of the most important assets in the country.”

Nicknamed “the Prince of Mines”, Jwaneng was opened in 1982, as the diamond trade propelled Botswana from one of the poorest countries on earth to one of Africa’s wealthiest.

The mine’s current production output is about 10.6 million carats per year, or just over 2,100 kilos.

Today, diamonds make up more than 60% of Botswana’s exports, and nearly 25% of its gross domestic product.

Unlike many other countries that are similarly dependent on a single export, Botswana has avoided the “resource curse” of poor governance and slow economic development. By regional standards, its public services are strong, education is free, and corruption is largely in check.

‘Good luck’

An expert inspects Canadian diamonds at De Beers' Sightholder Sales facility in Gaborone, Botswana

Why beauty experts are going crazy for Marula Oil!

Georgie Lane-Godfrey wrote an outstanding article about the exciting functions of Marula oil in Marie Claire (http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/beauty/553955/why-beauty-experts-are-going-crazy-for-marula-oil.html August 3, 2016). Below we post the article in its entirety.  For wholesale purchasing information for this miraculous oil, visit https://www.dlgnaturals.com/marula.html or email us at sales@dlgnaturals.com


Why you need to add Marula oil to your beauty regime NOWafrican botanics

Remember when argan oil came on the scene and our minds were well and truly blown? And when we became so obsessed with coconut oil that we filled both our kitchens and bathrooms with it? Well, get ready for a whole new obsession in the form of Marula oil, the latest miracle product that beauty industry experts are obsessed with.

Here’s everything you need to know…

What is marula oil?

A super oil harvested from the nut inside a marula fruit found in southern Africa. Marula oil has been used for medicinal reasons by the Ovambo women in northern Namibia for generations thanks for its ability to protect skin and hair from environmental aggressors such as harsh heat, wind and sun.

What’s the big deal?

Marula oil really is the whole package – it’s light, it’s fast-absorbing, packed with nutrients and super-hydrating without leaving a greasy residue.

It’s therefore suitable for every skin type, helping to soften skin and balance moisture levels.

It’s also proven to reduce the signs of ageing by increasing skin elasticity, minimising fine lines and repairing damage caused by pollution and sun exposure.

It also contains four times as much Vitamin C as oranges and 60% more antioxidants than any other oil, including argan oil, making it a real superhero when it comes to beauty.

How does it work?

The nutrients contained in marula oil are essential fatty acids such as omegas-6 and -9 which protect your skin from environmental damage that can lead to premature ageing.

Since these nutrients are made from much smaller molecules than other, thicker hydrating oils, they are absorbed my your skin much more easily. This means that they penetrate deeper rather than just locking moisture into the surface like other traditional oils.

What if I have acne?

Marula oil can actually help. By hydrating your skin, marula oil will heal blemishes faster and help prevent them in the future thanks to its antimicrobial properties which fight bacteria.

It will also ensure that your skin stays hydrated, a factor which is key in preventing it from overproducing the oil that can lead to breakouts. Don’t worry about it clogging your pores either – marula oil is a non-comedogenic, meaning that it doesn’t block pores and cause blackheads because it’s so quickly absorbed.

What else can I use it for?

Marula oil is also great for hair and nails thanks to its moisturising properties. Use it on your cuticles to quickly hydrate your nail bed without leaving you with greasy fingers and on brittle nails to help fortify them.

Meanwhile, slick it on your hair to nourish and protect hair from the elements. It’s also great for fighting frizz and giving hair a weightless satin finish.

Time to start stocking up your cupboards STAT…

Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/beauty/553955/why-beauty-experts-are-going-crazy-for-marula-oil.html#2AEiybpflCqZMLRi.99

Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/beauty/553955/why-beauty-experts-are-going-crazy-for-marula-oil.html#m0coMZrscqz2xy1d.99

Nilotica Shea Butter: Feel the difference

We offer a wonderful shea butter – soft, creamy, easily absorbed – as an ingredient for cosmetic formulations. Our customers say it’s the finest shea butter they have ever encountered.

The shea butter we offer is called Nilotica Shea, which varies from the well known West African Shea.

However, we often get questions about Nilotica Shea. “Is it a different kind of shea?” “What do these differences mean to me?” “Why should I pay more for Nilotica Shea than the one I get now?”

We found this great video that compares the two types of shea butter and highlights the unique characteristics of each oil. Before making that next purchase of shea butter, consider the following differences and how they can make an impact in your formulations.

Traditional Medical Uses and Suggestive Research for South African Botanical Oils: Part V

Moringa Oil

Today is our final chapter in discussing ongoing research for medical benefits and traditional uses for our oils.  As a disclaimer, the information included in this post is based on ongoing research and not meant to be interpreted as scientifically proven results of applications.  With that, these claims are compelling and hopefully with further research, scientists will be able to discover concrete evidence for these medical claims.

Moringa oil is a very stable oil that comes from the seeds of the Moringa Oleifera.  It is considered an up and coming ingredient for the cosmetic and personal care industries because of its extremely high amounts of oleic acid and its ability to increase the shelf life of the formulations it is added to.  This clear, yellow oil provides rich, hydrating nourishment to the skin by preventing moisture from escaping through the epidermis.  A few of the health claims and traditional uses of Moringa oil are listed below:

  • Natural antioxidant – Due to its high content of tocopherols, (also referred to as vitamin E) Moringa oil is suggested to be useful in protecting skin from certain types of cell damage, when applied directly to the skin.
  • Nourishing emollient – Researchers that contributed to the journal Oils of Nature, state that Moringa oil serves as an ideal ingredient in both hair and skin products due to its ability to seal in moisture throughout various layers of the skin. This is most likely a result of Moringa oil’s high oleic acid content.
  • Scar reduction – Again, since Moringa oil has substantially high levels of oleic acid, information from oilhealthbenefits.com indicates that Moringa oil is a powerful force in reducing redness and scarring, acting as a strong regenerative agent.

Traditional Medical Uses and Suggestive Research for South African Botanical Oils: Part IV

Kalahari Melon Seed Oil

On part four of our blog series we will be discussing the interesting ongoing research and traditional usages for Kalahari Melon Seed oil.  As a disclaimer, the information included in this post is classified as suggestive connections and is not meant to be interpreted as scientifically proven results of applications.

KMS
Cross section of a Kalahari Melon (Citrullus Lanatus)

This beneficial oil dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians and has a long history of providing nutrients and healing properties to the skin.  In many countries this oil was traditionally used as a skin treatment for sores and leg ulcers.  Kalahari Melon Seed is rich in protein, Vitamins C, B2, E and G (better known as riboflavin), and is able to moisturize, restructure and provide regenerative properties for the skin.  Here are a few additional traditional uses or research claims made about this oil:

  • Promote hair growth – Since this oil has been used for centuries, many cultures have many varied uses for it. One particularly intriguing use for this oil comes from South Africa where Phytotrade reported it being used traditionally to stimulate hair development by providing ample nutrients and protein to the hair follicles, thus increasing the growth cycle of the hair.
  • Anti-inflammatory agent & dermatitis treatment – Due to the extremely high levels of linoleic acid in this oil, many researchers connect Kalahari Melon Seed Oil as being an effective anti-inflammatory product useful against dermatitis and various inflammatory skin diseases.
  • Acne treatment – Again, because of the high linoleic values of Kalahari Melon Seed Oil, scientists suggest that this oil may be a powerful treatment of acne as well as assist in the prevention and healing of Propionibacterium acnes.  There exists documentation of Kalahari Melon Seed oil being traditionally used to combat acne stretching from Central America to Southeast Asia.