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Palm Oil- What is it?

palm-oil

What is it?

Palm oil is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree.

Palm oil is used for preventing vitamin A deficiency, cancer, brain disease, aging; and treating malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cyanide poisoning. Palm oil is used for weight loss and increasing the body’s metabolism.

As food, palm oil is used for frying.

Industrially, palm oil is used for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, waxes, lubricants, and ink.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for PALM OIL are as follows:

Possibly effective for…

  • Preventing a lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency). There is some evidence that adding palm oil to the diet of pregnant women and children in developing countries might reduce the risk of developing vitamin A deficiency.

Possibly ineffective for…

  • High cholesterol. Consuming palm oil as part of a specific diet plan does not seem to reduce cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. In fact, some research suggests that palm oil might actually increase cholesterol levels compared to other oils, such as soybean, canola, or sunflower oil.
  • Malaria. Some research suggests that dietary consumption of palm oil by children under 5 years of age in developing countries does not seem to decrease symptoms of malaria.

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • High blood pressure.
  • Cyanide poisoning.
  • Weight loss agent.
  • Cancer.
  • Anti-aging.
  • Brain disease.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of palm oil for these uses.

How does it work?

Palm oil contains saturated and unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. It might have antioxidant effects.

Are there safety concerns?

Palm oil is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts found in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine by children or adults for up to 6 months.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a medicine during pregnancy for up to 6 months.

Are there interactions with medications?

Moderate
Be cautious with this combination.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Palm oil might increase blood clotting. Taking palm oil along with medications that slow clotting might reduce the effectiveness of these medications.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox) heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Beta-carotene
Palm oil contains beta-carotene. There is some concern that taking beta-carotene supplements along with palm oil might result in too much beta-carotene and an increased risk of harmful side effects.
Vitamin A
Palm oil contains beta-carotene, which is a building block of vitamin A. There is some concern that taking a vitamin A or beta-carotene supplement along with palm oil might result in too much vitamin A and an increased risk of harmful side effects.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For preventing vitamin A deficiency: about 3 tablespoons (9 grams) per day of palm oil for adults and children over age 5. About 4 tablespoons (12 grams) per day for pregnant women. For children less than 5 years old, 2 tablespoons (6 grams) per day.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

  1. Alfatni, M. S. M., Shariff, A. R. M., Shafri, H. Z. M., Ben Saaed, O. M., and Eshanta, O. M. Oil Palm Fruit Bunch Grading System Using Red, Green and Blue Digital Number. Journal of Applied Sciences 2008;8:1444-1452.
  2. Pletcher, J. Public interventions in agricultural markets in Malaysia: rice and palm oil. Modern Asian Studies 1990;24:323-340.
  3. Hinds, E. A. Government policy and the Nigerian palm oil export industry, 1939-49. Journal of African History 1997;38:459-478.
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Beta-Carot​ene Supplement​s Benefit The Aging Brain

Regular Beta-Carotene Intake Beta Carotene herbal product
Throughout Middle Age May Benefit The Aging Brain

A recent study of people taking beta-carotene supplements analyzing the key potential benefits against cognitive decline demonstrates there are ways, through basic “health-minded” lifestyle modifications, that proper nutritional intake can help memory as people get older.

Most importantly, the findings also suggest beta-carotene may help keep the brain sharp if taken regularly as a supplement for many years.

Results of the placebo-controlled study of 5,956 men were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported that men who took betacarotene supplements every other day for an average 18 years scored much better in cognitive testing than those taking a placebo.

They scored especially well on verbal memory. However, those in a shorter-term test who averaged only one year of supplementation, did not demonstrate a similar benefit.

“Men who took beta-carotene for a mean of 18 years had about the same degree of cognitive function as men one year younger,” the researchers explained. “In other words, if you take beta-carotene for 18 years, you delay cognitive aging for about one year.”

They also said that women would likely see a similar long-term benefit. The researchers suggested that beta carotene might help delay the effects of aging on cognitive abilities by counter-acting oxidative damage in the brain.

“In this generally healthy population, the extent of protection conferred by long-term treatment appeared modest,” they noted. “Nonetheless, studies have established that very modest differences in cognition (especially verbal memory) predict substantial differences in eventual risk of dementia.”

The long-term group in the study included 4,052 participants in the Physicians Health Study who began taking supplements or placebo in 1982. Between 1998 and 2001, an additional 1,904 men were randomly assigned to one of the two groups.

Both groups were followed through 2003, completing yearly questionnaires about their health and their compliance with taking the supplement. The men were assessed  for cognitive function at least once between 1998 and 2002, then evaluated at the study’s conclusion using a set of five cognitive tests.

Beta-carotene’s benefits against the ravages of cognitive decline surpassed those of other medications tested in healthy older people, making it worthy of continued study.

Story Source:

Archives of Internal Medicine

 

Journal Reference:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA
This article is for informational and educational

purposes only;  It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.

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