Palm oil is used for preventing vitamin A deficiency, cancer, brain disease, and aging. It is also used to treat malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, dementia, and cyanide poisoning. Palm oil is used for weight loss and for increasing the body’s metabolism.
As food, palm oil is used for frying. It is also an ingredient in many processed foods.
Industrially, palm oil is used for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, waxes, lubricants, and ink.
How does it work?
Palm oil contains saturated and unsaturated fats. Some types of palm oil contain vitamin E and beta-carotene. These types of palm oil might have antioxidant effects.
Likely Effective For
Preventing or treating a lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency). Research shows that adding red palm oil to the diets of pregnant women and children in developing countries reduces the chance of having too little vitamin A. It also seems to help increase vitamin A levels in those who have too little. Red palm oil seems to be as effective as taking a vitamin A supplement for preventing or treating low levels of vitamin A. Doses of about 8 grams or less per day seem to work best. Higher doses don’t seem to have more benefit.
Insufficient Evidence for
Malaria. Early research suggests that eating palm oil in the diet does not seem to decrease symptoms of malaria in children under 5 years of age in developing countries.
High blood pressure.
Weight loss agent.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of palm oil for these uses.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
For preventing or treating a lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency): About 7-12 grams of red palm oil daily has been used in some research. Some evidence shows that using 8 grams of red palm oil or less per day is most beneficial.
For preventing or treating a lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency): Up to 6 grams of red palm oil per day in children 5 years and under, and up to 9 grams per day in children over 5 years of age, has been used for up to 6 months. Also, 14 grams of red palm oil three times per week for about 9 weeks has been used. Some evidence shows that using 8 grams of red palm oil or less per day is most beneficial.