Aceite de Palma, African Palm Oil, Crude Palm Oil, Elaeis guineensis, Elaeis melanococca, Elaeis oleifera, Huile de Palme, Huile de Palme Brute, Huile de Palme Rouge, Huile de Palmiste, Oil Palm Tree, Palm, Palm Fruit Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Oil Carotene, Palmier à Huile, Red Palm Oil, Virgin Palm Oil.


Overview Information

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

Palm oil is used for preventing and treating vitamin A deficiency. Other uses include cancer and high blood pressure, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

As food, palm oil is used for frying. It is also an ingredient in many processed foods. Palm oil is also used for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, wax, 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.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Likely Effective for

  • 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

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

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Palm oil is LIKELY SAFE when taken in amounts found in food. But palm oil contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels. So people should avoid eating palm oil in excess. Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine, short-term. Taking 9-12 grams daily for up to 6 months seems to be safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a medicine during the last 3 months of pregnancy. There isn't enough reliable information to know if palm oil is safe to use as medicine when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Children: Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine. Palm oil has been used for up to 6 months in children under 5 years of age and for up to 12 months in children 5 years of age and older.

High cholesterol: Palm oil contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels. Regularly eating meals containing palm oil can increase levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This might be a problem for people who already have high cholesterol.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with PALM OIL

    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.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



  • 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.

  • 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.

View References


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  • Lai, H. C. and Ney, D. M. Corn oil, palm oil and butterfat fractions affect postprandial lipemia and lipoprotein lipase in meal-fed rats. J Nutr 1995;125(6):1536-1545. View abstract.
  • Lietz, G., Mulokozi, G., Henry, J. C., and Tomkins, A. M. Xanthophyll and hydrocarbon carotenoid patterns differ in plasma and breast milk of women supplemented with red palm oil during pregnancy and lactation. J Nutr 2006;136(7):1821-1827. View abstract.
  • Lynn, M. The profitability of the early Nineteenth Century palm oil trade. African Economic History 1992;20:77-97.
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  • Melo, M. D. and Mancini, J. Natural antioxidants from palm fruit (Elaeis guineensis, Jacq). Revista de Farmacia e Bioquimica da Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil) 1989;258:147-157.
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  • Muller, H., Jordal, O., Kierulf, P., Kirkhus, B., and Pedersen, J. I. Replacement of partially hydrogenated soybean oil by palm oil in margarine without unfavorable effects on serum lipoproteins. Lipids 1998;33(9):879-887. View abstract.
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  • Ng, T. K., Hayes, K. C., DeWitt, G. F., Jegathesan, M., Satgunasingam, N., Ong, A. S., and Tan, D. Dietary palmitic and oleic acids exert similar effects on serum cholesterol and lipoprotein profiles in normocholesterolemic men and women. J Am Coll.Nutr 1992;11(4):383-390. View abstract.
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