• Zea mays
    Zea mays
  • Zea mays
    Zea mays

Zea Mays


Linnea extracts and manufactures Zea Mays as a botanical ingredient for pharmaceutical purposes.

The unsaponifiable fraction is obtained from the corn oil of Zea mays L. which is rich in phytosterols such as isomeric Sitosterols, (1 to 3%) Tocopherols, and waxy substances such as Myricyl and Ceryl alcohols [1].

Phytosterols are known to have a wide range of biological activities, such as the ability to lower serum cholesterol levels in humans and to give beneficial effects against colon cancer, and they are also believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-ulcerative properties [2]. They have applications in medicine, cosmetics and as food additives [3].


Zea mays L. belongs to the Poaceae / Gramineae family and is a domesticated plant species native to America. For thousands of years, Zea mays has been a staple food for humans in Central and South America and an important fodder plant for animals. Today, corn is the third most widely cultivated cereal in the world by crop volume (between 500 and 600 million tons per annum) after wheat and rice. Some forms and varieties are cultivated for their flour.

In the meal corn, soft and loose starch predominates as it is easier to mill. Corn is profusely cultivated in the South American Andes, in areas of the ancient Inca Empire. Linnea extracts the Unsaponifiable fraction of Zea mays exclusively from GMO free raw materials of European origin. Due to its close relationship with suppliers, Linnea can directly control and select the raw materials used.

Common Applications and Evidence

Zea mays is commonly used to reduce tooth mobility, mitigate gum swelling and promote alveolar bone repair by stimulating osteocytes [4]. Zea mays is cited for its use in the prevention of cardiovascular disease especially among the elderly [5]. Known cosmetic indications include the use of Zea mays as a skin protectant, an anti-inflammatory and an anti-arthritic and for its skin regenerative properties.

Dental diseases

Plaque, calculus and gingivitis are dental diseases that cause great concern to dentists and other oral physicians and can, if left untreated, lead to loss of supporting bone and tissue and ultimately to the loss of a patient's tooth or teeth. Plaque and calculus are microbial formations on a tooth or teeth that may develop into gingivitis when the soft tissue supporting the teeth is inflamed. Gingivitis is a mild, often reversible form of periodontal disease. It develops when the toxins in plaque irritate the gums and may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease, called periodontitis. Tooth mobility and loss occur when toxins destroy the tissues that anchor the teeth to the bone. If left untreated, the disease may progress to the bone. In later stages of the disease, the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth may be destroyed, causing the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Moderate and severe cases of periodontitis, tooth mobility and tooth loss often require dental intervention, systemic antibiotics, root coverage for receding gums or, in the most severe cases, periodontal surgery. The development of gingivitis can be controlled using mouthwashes and toothpastes based on the unsaponifiable fraction of Zea mays which provides the major building material for growth, repair and maintenance of a healthy oral cavity. In all cases, a good oral hygiene program is vital for prevention and ongoing treatment. As a supportive treatment to mainstream dental intervention the unsaponifiable fraction of Zea mays provides active support for the treatment of periodontal conditions [6, 7].

Clinical evidence

Use of the titrated unsaponifiable fraction of Zea mays germ oil was originally studied in the treatment of periodontal diseases associated with tooth loss using a formulation consisting of 18 to 25% phytosterols administered by systemic ingestion in tablet form, which was found to reduce gingival inflammation [8].

It was subsequently tested in several clinical trials conducted on patients suffering from periodontosis, periodontolysis, gingivitis, periodontitis and drug-induced oral dryness[9,10,11,12,13,14] and was found to reduce tooth mobility (in 75% of cases) through:

I Decrease in gingival inflammation (50 % of cases) demonstrated by a lower tooth neck sensitivity, cessation of gingival bleeding, increase in keratinisation of gingival tissue and a decrease in leukocyte infiltration.

II Disappearance of bone lysis.

III Reduction in dental plaque accumulation.

The efficacy of the product was demonstrated by a marked reduction in the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease also confirmed by the histological patterns. The main mechanism of action has been correlated to the blocking of bone lysis and the enhancement of alveolar bone repair through osteocyte stimulation. Additional studies have been conducted with results demonstrating its effectiveness in the control of mouth dryness induced by psychotropic drugs [15].

The most recent studies conducted demonstrate also the efficacy of the use of Zea mays in conjunction with surgical periodontal therapy [15,16,17].

Technical Description
Name of the plant Zea mays L.
Source Corn oil
Formula -
Chemical definition Mixture of natural hydrocarbons and phytosterols
Synonyms -
Structural Formula  

Structural Formula

Bibliografic References
  1. Developmental changes in phytosterol and phytostanol composition of dent corn (Zea mays L.) Kernel fractions Journal of Food Biochemistry Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 260–277, February 2011. Saoussem Harrabi, et el.
  2. Antiinflammatory effects of substances contained in maize oli. Farmakoter Zrp Vol 22 (6) p 423-46, 1976. Lenfeld, Jiri et al.
  3. Phytosterols in the prevention of human pathologies. Biomedecine & Pharmacotherapy Volume 57, Issue 8, October 2003, Pages 321-325 H. Tapiero a, D. M. Townsendb and K. D. Tewb.
  4. L’insaponifiable d’huile de germe de mais et les parodontolyses. Rev. Franç. Odonto-Stomato 1964;11(5):866- 872. De Mourgues Fr.
  5. Phytosterols: physiologic and metabolic aspects related to cholesterol-lowering properties. Nutrition Research Volume 28, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 217-225. G. Brufaua et Al.
  6. Etude Clinique et ultrastructurale de l’action de l’insaponifiable d’huile de germe de mays au cours d’une observation de parodontolyse chez l’homme. Actualites Odonto-Stomatologiques 1978;121:125-139. PorteJ., et al.
  7. Influence of Standard Extract of the Unsaponifiable Fraction of Zea Mays L on Periodontal Disease Son Dental Science and Research, 1982, 8, 895-901.
  8. Etude Clinique à double insu de l’Extractum Titré de la fraction insaponifiable de Zea Mays L (*) sur l’inflammation gingivale J. L’information Dentaire du 3/7/1975 27, 1-12. F. Tecucianu
  9. A clinical report on insadol. “Insaponifiable oil of maiz germs” in the treatment of pyorrhea. Rev Dent Liban. 1967 Apr-Sep;17(2):62-4. Lakiss GI.
  10. Essais Clinques de L’unsaponifiable D’Huile de Germe de Mais en Parodontologie. L’Information Dentaire 1967, 8, 3-7 (749-753). Fourel J.,Siau Th., Barkat A.
  11. Experimentation hospitalière. L’insaponifible d’huile de mais. Inform.Dent. 1968,38(8):751-756. Ackerman R., Predine M.F.
  12. Double blind study of Insadol pills. Minerva Stomatol. 1970 Jul-Aug;19(7):293-8. De Mourgues F.
  13. Clinical study on the effectiveness of Insadol. 1978 May;88(5):582-91. Maer MA, Studer-Stäheli C. - SSO Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnheilkd.
  14. Clinical study on treatment effect of a standard extract of the unsaponifiable fraction of Zea Mays L.on periodontitis. Kim JG;Chai JK;Cho GS
  15. Un Traitement des Secheresses Buccales Post- Therapeutiques: L’Extrait Titre de la Fraction Insaponifiable de Zea Mays. Progres Medicale 1978, 108, 473-475. L. Bailly P.J.
  16. Clinical trial of unsaponifiable fraction of Zea Mays L. on healing after surgical periodontal therapy in human Sang Mook Choi, Soo Boo Han, Kwang Se Hwang
  17. A clinical study of the effects on the healing process of administration of the Zea Mays L. after periodontal surgery. Aca Periodontol 1994;24:649–660. Kwon YH,Lee MS,Yang SH,Kim Y,Park JB J Korean
  18. Clinical study on effect of administration of a standard extract of the unsaponifiable fraction of Zea Mays L.after periodontal operation on curing process Kwon YH;Lee MS;Yang SH
  19. Experimenta studies in pharmacology and toxicology of Insadol Christian Jacquot- Lab Syntex


Zea Mays