Aceite de Girasol, Adityabhakta, Corona Solis, Fleurs de Soleil, Grand Soleil, Hélianthe, Hélianthe Annuel, Helianthi Annui Oleum, Helianthus annuus, Huile de Graines de Tournesol, Huile de Tournesol, Marigold of Peru, Sunflower, Sunflower Oils, Sunflower Seed Oil.
Overview InformationSunflower oil is pressed from the seeds of the sunflower. In foods, sunflower oil is used as a cooking oil. Sunflower oil is also used as medicine.
Sunflower oil is most commonly used for high cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
How does it work?Sunflower oil is used as a source of unsaturated fat in the diet to replace saturated fats.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Heart disease. There is some evidence that using sunflower oil that contains high amounts of oleic acid in place of dietary fats with higher amounts of saturated fat might reduce the risk of heart disease. The suggested amount of high-oleic acid sunflower oil is about 20 grams (1.5 tbsp) per day in place of other fats and oils. Sunflower oil that contains lower amounts of oleic acid does not seem to be beneficial.
- High cholesterol. Most research shows that including sunflower oil in the diet lowers total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. However, consuming sunflower oil may be less effective at reducing cholesterol compared to palm oil and flaxseed oil. Further, sunflower oil might not be effective for lowering cholesterol in people with peripheral vascular disease or those at risk for atherosclerosis.
- Athlete's foot (Tinea pedis). Some research suggests that applying a specific brand of sunflower oil (Oleozon) to the foot for 6 weeks is as effective as the drug ketoconazole for curing athlete's foot.
Possibly Ineffective for
- High blood pressure. Taking sunflower oil for up to one year appears to be less effective than olive oil at lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Some early research shows that sunflower oil might reduce the extent of atherosclerosis in the arteries and improve blood vessel health in people who are overweight or obese. But other early research suggests that sunflower oil is less effective than fish oil for reducing plaque in the arteries of people with atherosclerosis.
- Dry skin. Early research suggests that applying sunflower oil to the dry skin of newborns might help with moisturization. But it might also hinder the development of normal skin barrier function that occurs during the first 4 weeks of life.
- Growth and development in premature infants. Early research suggests that, when a mother massages her very small premature infant with sunflower oil, the baby puts on weight faster than when the baby is massaged without oil or not massaged at all. But massaging with sunflower oil doesn't seem to increase the length or head circumference of the infant.
- Joint pain and swelling (inflammation) that is caused by an infection (reactive arthritis). Early research suggests that taking sunflower oil for 3 weeks does not improve symptoms in people with Reiter's syndrome.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that taking sunflower oil for 3 weeks does not improve symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Skin conditions, when applied to the skin.
- Wound healing, when applied to the skin.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Sunflower oil is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts.
When applied to the skin: Sunflower oil is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin in appropriate amounts.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: 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 avoid use.
Children: 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. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking sunflower oil.
Diabetes: A diet that is high in sunflower oil seems to increase fasting insulin 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.
We currently have no information for SUNFLOWER OIL Interactions.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For heart disease: For reducing the risk of heart disease, using about 20 grams (1.5 tbsp) of high-oleic acid sunflower oil per day in place of other fats and oils with higher amounts of saturated fat might help.
- For high cholesterol: Sunflower oil at levels of approximately 45-50 grams daily for up to 12 weeks have been used. Diets containing specific brands of mid-oleic acid (NuSun) or high-oleic acid (Sunola, Meadow Lea Foods, Mascot, Australia) providing approximately 15% to 20% of dietary calories for up to 5 weeks have been used.
- For athlete's foot (Tinea pedis): A specific brand of sunflower oil (Oleozon) has been applied twice daily for 6 weeks.
- FDA completes review of qualified health claim petition for oleic acid and the risk of coronary heart disease. November 2018. Available at: www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm624758.htm. Accessed January 25, 2019.
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- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Micronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005. Available at: www.nap.edu/books/10490/html/.
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- AbuMweis, S. S., Vanstone, C. A., Ebine, N., Kassis, A., Ausman, L. M., Jones, P. J., and Lichtenstein, A. H. Intake of a single morning dose of standard and novel plant sterol preparations for 4 weeks does not dramatically affect plasma lipid concentrations in humans. J Nutr. 2006;136(4):1012-1016. View abstract.
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- Allman-Farinelli, M. A., Gomes, K., Favaloro, E. J., and Petocz, P. A diet rich in high-oleic-acid sunflower oil favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and factor VII coagulant activity. J.Am.Diet.Assoc. 2005;105(7):1071-1079. View abstract.
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- Binkoski, A. E., Kris-Etherton, P. M., Wilson, T. A., Mountain, M. L., and Nicolosi, R. J. Balance of unsaturated fatty acids is important to a cholesterol-lowering diet: comparison of mid-oleic sunflower oil and olive oil on cardiovascular disease risk factors. J.Am.Diet.Assoc. 2005;105(7):1080-1086. View abstract.
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- Higdon JV, Liu J, Du S, et al. Supplementation of postmenopausal women with fish oil rich in eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid is not associated with greater in vivo lipid peroxidation compared with oils rich in oleate and linoleate as assessed by plasma malondialdehyde and F(2)- isoprostanes. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:714-22. View abstract.
- Hill AM, Buckley JD, Murphy KJ, Howe PR. Combining fish-oil supplements with regular aerobic exercise improves body composition and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:1267-74. View abstract.
- Lietz G, Henry CJ, Mulokozi G, et al. Comparison of the effects of supplemental red palm oil and sunflower oil on maternal vitamin A status. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;74:501-9. View abstract.
- Madigan C, Ryan M, Owens D, et al. Dietary unsaturated fatty acids in type 2 diabetes: higher levels of postprandial lipoprotein on a linoleic acid-rich sunflower oil diet compared with an oleic acid-rich olive oil diet. Diabetes Care 2000;23:1472-7. View abstract.
- Magro-Filho O, de Carvalho AC. Application of propolis to dental sockets and skin wounds. J Nihon Univ Sch Dent 1990;32:4-13. View abstract.
- Mozaffarian D, Clarke R. Quantitative effects on cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease risk of replacing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils with other fats and oils. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009;63(Suppl 2):S22-33. View abstract.
- Pedersen A, Baumstark MW, Marckmann P, et al. An olive oil-rich diet results in higher concentrations of LDL cholesterol and a higher number of LDL subfraction particles than rapeseed oil and sunflower oil diets. J Lipid Res 2000;41:1901-11.. View abstract.
- Scholtz SC, Pieters M, Oosthuizen W, et al. The effect of red palm olein and refined palm olein on lipids and haemostatic factors in hyperfibrinogenaemic subjects. Thromb Res 2004;113:13-25. View abstract.
- Taheri PA, Goudarzi Z, Shariat M, Nariman S, Matin EN. The effect of a short course of moderate pressure sunflower oil massage on the weight gain velocity and length of NICU stay in preterm infants. Infant Behav Dev. 2018;50:22-27. View abstract.
- Vijayakumar M, Vasudevan DM, Sundaram KR, et al. A randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with stable coronary heart disease. Indian Heart J. 2016 Jul-Aug;68(4):498-506. View abstract.
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