Some sunflowers are grown to contain high amounts of oleic acid. Sunflower oil that comes from these plants is called high-oleic acid sunflower oil. It's used as a source of polyunsaturated fat in the diet.
People use sunflower oil for high cholesterol and preventing heart disease. It is also used for high blood pressure, eczema, dry mouth, dry skin, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Heart disease. Using high-oleic acid sunflower oil instead of other dietary fats and oils higher in saturated fat might reduce the risk for heart disease. The US FDA allows high-oleic acid sunflower oil products to make this claim on their product labels.
- High cholesterol. Consuming sunflower oil in the diet might reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels in some people.
Possibly Ineffective for
Special Precautions and Warnings
When used as a mouth rinse: There isn't enough reliable information to know if sunflower oil is safe or what the side effects might be.
When applied to the skin: Sunflower oil is likely safe when used for up to 6 weeks.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sunflower oil is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if sunflower oil is safe to use in amounts greater than those found in food when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Children: Sunflower oil is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe to take by mouth in larger amounts as medicine. Sunflower oil is possibly safe when applied to the skin for up to 2 months.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Sunflower oil may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others.
Diabetes: A diet that is high in sunflower oil seems to increase fastinginsulin and blood sugar levels. It also seems to increase after-meal blood fats. This might increase the chance of developing "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis) in people with type 2 diabetes.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with SUNFLOWER OIL
Sunflower oil might increase blood sugar levels. Taking sunflower oil along with diabetes medications might reduce the effects of these medications. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Be cautious with this combination
As medicine, sunflower oil has been taken by mouth in varying doses. It's also been applied to the skin and used as a mouth rinse. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.