Red palm oil is a product of the fruit of the oil palm tree and is an important crop in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and South America. Red palm oil is generally obtained by cold pressing the fruit of the tree. It is bottled for use as cooking oil, and it is often blended into mayonnaise and salad oil.
Red palm oil is less processed than regular palm oil, and its high concentration of carotenes, such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, gives it a distinctive red color. It is believed the process used to create regular palm oil removes the carotenes and other nutrients. Vitamins A and E are two essential nutrients that are lost in the process. Red palm oil is an excellent source of vitamin K, and it contains significant amounts of glycolipids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, CoQ10, and squalene.
Red palm oil has been used for medicinal and nutritional purposes for thousands of years. It was so revered as a sacred food that it was entombed with the pharaohs in Egypt so they would have access to it in the afterlife. Red palm oil may be purchased through health food stores and some retail outlets.
Benefits of Red Palm Oil
Red palm oil contains fatty acids which have been shown to be essential for proper human growth and development, and it provides numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and other phytonutrients important for good health. Carotenes, when combined with fat, can be converted to vitamin A by the body, and vitamin A is essential to prevent blindness, weakened bones, low immunity, and learning and mental impairments. In countries where the population does not consume many animal products and the fat contained in them, vitamin A deficiencies are prevalent.
Some studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build-up in arteries and may reverse the process of atherosclerosis.
Studies have been inconclusive; however, red palm oil may be effective, because of its high levels of vitamin A, for treating vitamin A deficiencies. It has been considered, but with no conclusive results, as a factor in the treatment of high blood pressure, cyanide poisoning, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, effects of aging, brain disease, and some other conditions.
Red palm oil appears to be safe if consumed in amounts generally found in foods. It is not recommended that pregnant women or women who are breast-feeding use red palm oil. Because it is suspected as a factor affecting bleeding, it is recommended that a person expecting to have surgery within a period of two weeks refrain from using red palm oil.
Uses for Red Palm Oil
Red palm oil is primarily used for cooking. It is also used as a supplement to obtain doses of vitamins, carotenes, and other nutrients.
On a recent segment of the “Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz touted red palm oil as the #1 miracle nutritional substance on his 2013 Miracle Hit List. The primary reason was the high level of carotene found in the oil. According to the report, the red in the oil is like a “stop sign for aging.”
It evident that red palm oil has been shown in medical studies, treatments, and daily usage to be safe for use for most people when it is used as directed and in the recommended doses.
Negative effects from red palm oil include blood clotting issues, and it is recommended that anyone who anticipates having surgery cease use of red palm oil about two weeks prior to the surgery. If you are using red palm oil, be vigilant for changes that might signal an adverse reaction and seek medical attention, if necessary.