Open Access Impact of red palm oil on human nutrition and health

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The oil that is first obtained in harvesting the fruit of the oil palm is red because it contains carotenes, tocopherols, and tocotrienols. In the past, this fraction was separated from the palm olein and used separately. However, the presence of the palm oil tocopherol-rich fraction (TRF) is what makes red palm oil unique. Red palm oil has been shown to increase retinol levels in populations with marginal vitamin A deficiency. Red palm oil also reduces the severity of cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits (compared with palm olein). There has been considerably more work done with TRF than with red palm oil per se. Some authors find it to be hypocholesterolaemic, whereas others do not. Many, but not all, studies show TRF to have antitumorigenic properties as well. More data concerning the health effects of red palm oil are needed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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