Wheat Germ – Frequently Asked Questions


Since starting this website back in November 2009, I have been asked dozens of questions regarding wheat germ and its health benefits.

Even though many of these questions are answered in the comments section of each article, I have decided to create a separate page to answer the most frequently asked ones.

This page will continue to grow as more questions come in and more research is revealed.

If you have any questions regarding wheat germ – its uses, health benefits etc. please add them to the comments section below.




Wheat Germ Question and Answers

  1. What is wheat germ oil?
  2. What’s the difference between wheat germ and wheat germ oil?
  3. Can I Take Wheat Germ and Wheat Germ Oil? 
  4. What’s the difference between wheat germ and “raw” wheat germ?
  5. How Long Does Wheat Germ Keep For?
  6. Should I Take Wheat Germ With Other Supplements?
  7. What Do I Eat Wheat Germ With?
  8. Is Wheat Germ Safe For Children/Toddlers?
  9. Is Wheat Germ Good For Constipation? 
  10. Can Wheat Germ Lower My High Cholesterol Levels?
  11. Are There Any Side Effects of Wheat Germ?
  12. Is Wheat Germ Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

What is wheat germ oil? (Back to Top)

Wheat germ oil is oil extracted from the wheat germ. The wheat germ makes up only 3% of the wheat grain and contains approximately 13% oil. As you can imagine it takes a lot of wheat germ to produce a bottle of wheat germ oil.

What’s the difference between wheat germ and wheat germ oil? (Back to Top)

Wheat germ oil can be used both internally and externally where as wheat germ is purely a dietary source of food.

External uses for wheat germ oil include using it on the skin to treat scars, wrinkles and the signs of aging. It is also effective for hair and scalp treatment. See Wheat Germ Oil for Hair.

Both wheat germ and its oil contain vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E, but the oil does not contain the good amounts of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates found in the germ.

Wheat germ oil contains a greater concentration of essential fatty acids – especially omega 3 which is deficient in most people’s diet. It is also a great alternative to consuming fish oil.

Can I Take Wheat Germ and Wheat Germ Oil? (Back to Top)

Yes it is perfectly safe to consume both wheat germ and wheat germ oil. This is a natural product that has an abundance of health promoting properties.

What’s the Difference Between Wheat Germ and “Raw” Wheat Germ? (Back to Top)

Wheat germ is available to buy either in its raw or natural state or as toasted wheat germ. Both types contain the same nutrients and compounds but wheat germ that is toasted has a more nutty taste and texture.

Most people prefer wheat germ to be toasted so that it can be sprinkled directly onto foods.

Raw wheat germ is cheaper to buy and as long as it remains vacuum packed, it also has a long shelf life.

How Long Does Wheat Germ Keep For? (Back to Top)

Raw wheat germ will keep fresh in a sealed container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. You will be able to smell if it has ‘gone-off’ as it will go rancid after this time.

Toasted wheat germ kept in its sealed jar will last for at least twice as long as raw wheat germ. Store it in a cool dry place for maximum shelf life.

Should I Take Wheat Germ With Other Supplements? (Back to Top)

Wheat germ is a natural food source and if you only consume up to 2 to 3 tablespoons a day, it has not been shown to interfere with any other forms of supplements or medication.

Depending on your reasons and other considerations such as age, health, if pregnant etc., there is no reason why you can’t take supplements in addition to wheat germ.

What Do I Eat Wheat Germ With? (Back to Top)

You can eat wheat germ with a number of different foods. You can add it to baked food such as bread and cookies or you can simply sprinkle it on foods like salads, cereal, soup, smoothies, pancakes, yogurt and shakes.

For more inspiration on adding wheat germ to food, see my wheat germ recipes page.

Is Wheat Germ Safe For Children/Toddlers? (Back to Top)

Yes, adding wheat germ to children’s/toddler’s diet can only be a good thing. For young children I wouldn’t give them any more than a teaspoon a day.

Is Wheat Germ Good For Constipation? (Back to Top)

Yes wheat germ can certainly help with constipation. It is a good source of dietary fiber which helps add bulk to your stools. It will also stimulate proper bowel contractions, and promote healthy bacteria in the colon. A healthy colon will aid in the absorption of nutrients.

Ensure you also drink lots of water with your wheat germ as the fiber will absorb water like a sponge and can then actually cause constipation.

Can Wheat Germ Lower My High Cholesterol Levels? (Back to Top)

Studies have shown that foods containing plant sterols help block the absorption of cholesterol into your blood stream. Plant sterol are able to lower the amounts of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) while have no effect on the more beneficial High Density Lipoprotein (HDL).

Wheat germ is a good source of sterols and regular consumption will help keep a healthy balance of the overall cholesterol in the body.

As well as plant sterols, wheat germ contains essential fatty acids and vitamin E, both sources being acknowledged in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and lowering cholesterol.

Are There Any Side Effects of Wheat Germ? (Back to Top)

Side effects of wheat germ are very rare and very unlikely. Probably the biggest consideration to take into account with wheat germ is for anyone who might suffer from a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, without yet being diagnosed.

If after you eat wheat germ you develop various symptoms such as diarrhea and sickness, you might have a condition known as celiac disease. It is important that you get diagnosed in order to follow a gluten and wheat free diet.

Obviously if you know you have this condition then you should not consume wheat germ or wheat germ oil.

However, applying wheat germ oil to your hair or skin is perfectly safe as it will not enter your blood system this way.

Is Wheat Germ Safe to Eat During Pregnancy? (Back to Top)

Yes, not only is it safe to eat, it is positively encouraged! During pregnancy a woman needs to take on more vitamins and minerals.

Natural foods like wheat germ which is a ‘complete’ food, contains a whole host of nutrients as well as essential fatty acids.




3 Responses to “Wheat Germ – Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. justina iyitor says:

    is wheat gem oil safe in pregnancy ? what is the recommended daily dosage

  2. Peter says:

    Hi Justina – wheat germ oil is perfectly fine to consume while pregnant. There isn’t a RDA.

    Peter

  3. Derrick says:

    Huh? I’m confused by the following two statements quoted from http://wheatgermbenefits.com/wheat-germ-information

    Faq 4 Raw wheat germ is cheaper to buy and also has a longer shelf life than toasted wheat germ.

    Faq 5 Toasted wheat germ kept in its sealed jar will last for at least twice as long as raw wheat germ.

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