Palm Oil – Nutrition and Health: A One-Stop Quick Reference Guide


Palm Oil – Nutrition & Health:
A One-Stop Quick Reference Guide

Palm oil continues to feature as major edible oil for the world’s population. No matter what your cultural background may be and despite the large variations in each of our culinary habits, palm oil often features as part of our daily dietary choices. For some it is a major contributor to the overall fat consumed daily; for many others, it is but a small part of our dietary composition, often deemed necessary to provide the functionality for many food products that would otherwise be inappropriate for our palates.

To match the growing reach of palm oil in the culinary habits of the global population, significant efforts have also been undertaken to ensure that we fully understand the health and nutritional implications of palm oil consumption.  Leading these efforts, the Malaysian palm oil industry has invested millions of research dollars through collaborative research with leading global biomedical centers to document the relevant health and nutritional outcomes. You may be surprised that there are in excess of 200 peer-reviewed publications on various aspects of palm oil health and nutrition. Despite the volume of evidence, misinformation about palm oil abounds. 

Misinformation about palm oil may be largely due to a lack of access to information that has already been peer-reviewed by leading scientists and which have passed the test of scientific scrutiny. We feel that if enough expose to these authoritative material was available to all concerned, there would be less inclinations to put a blanket negative label on palm oil, especially in terms of its effects associated with the saturated fatty acid content. Although such is higher than found in seed oils, palm oil has nevertheless yielded some surprisingly positive nutritional outcomes when tested in cell culture and animal models as well as through human dietary trials.  The minor components in palm oil, especially the vitamin E tocotrienols, carotenoids and phenolics all tend to synergistically add to the overall benefits of palm oil consumption.

We are thus creating this One Stop Quick Reference Centre.

To further assist your understanding, peer-reviewed and published studies have been selected and the salient outcomes from each of these studies have been simplified with the help of tables and power point diagrams to deliver the core messages from each study. Thereafter, if you are further interested in each of these studies, you would be able to go back to the respective journals and read full details.

It is our aim to progressively update these published information on this web site with the hope that ultimately, all our readers have a more rounded and balanced knowledge about palm oil in terms of its nutritional and health outcomes. 

Dr. Kalyana Sundram
2 January, 2013

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