Sunflower oil is most commonly used for high cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
How does it work ?
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
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 applied to the skin in appropriate amounts.
Special Precautions and Warnings
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 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.
We currently have no information for SUNFLOWER OIL overview.
- 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.
Fallah R, Akhavan Karbasi S, Golestan M, Fromandi M. Sunflower oil versus no oil moderate pressure massage leads to greater increases in weight in preterm neonates who are low birth weight. Early Hum Dev. 2013;89(9):769-72. View abstract.
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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Sola, R., La Ville, A. E., Richard, J. L., Motta, C., Bargallo, M. T., Girona, J., Masana, L., and Jacotot, B. Oleic acid rich diet protects against the oxidative modification of high density lipoprotein. Free Radic.Biol.Med. 1997;22(6):1037-1045. View abstract.
Thies, F., Garry, J. M., Yaqoob, P., Rerkasem, K., Williams, J., Shearman, C. P., Gallagher, P. J., Calder, P. C., and Grimble, R. F. Association of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with stability of atherosclerotic plaques: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2-8-2003;361(9356):477-485. View abstract.
Turpeinen, A. M., Alfthan, G., Valsta, L., Hietanen, E., Salonen, J. T., Schunk, H., Nyyssonen, K., and Mutanen, M. Plasma and lipoprotein lipid peroxidation in humans on sunflower and rapeseed oil diets. Lipids 1995;30(6):485-492. View abstract.
van Gool, C. J., Thijs, C., Henquet, C. J., van Houwelingen, A. C., Dagnelie, P. C., Schrander, J., Menheere, P. P., and van den brandt, P. A. Gamma-linolenic acid supplementation for prophylaxis of atopic dermatitis--a randomized controlled trial in infants at high familial risk. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77(4):943-951. View abstract.
Wilkinson, P., Leach, C., Ah-Sing, E. E., Hussain, N., Miller, G. J., Millward, D. J., and Griffin, B. A. Influence of alpha-linolenic acid and fish-oil on markers of cardiovascular risk in subjects with an atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. Atherosclerosis 2005;181(1):115-124. View abstract.
Caglar S, Yildiz GK, Bakoglu I, Salihoglu O. The effect of sunflower seed and almond oil on preterm infant skin: A randomized controlled trial. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2020 Aug;33(8):1-6. View abstract.
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de Oliveira PA, Kovacs C, Moreira P, Magnoni D, Saleh MH, Faintuch J. Unsaturated fatty acids improve atherosclerosis markers in obese and overweight non-diabetic elderly patients. Obes Surg. 2017;27(10):2663-2671. View abstract.
Middleton, S. J., Naylor, S., Woolner, J., and Hunter, J. O. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of essential fatty acid supplementation in the maintenance of remission of ulcerative colitis. Aliment.Pharmacol.Ther. 2002;16(6):1131-1135. View abstract.
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.
Aguilera, C. M., Mesa, M. D., Ramirez-Tortosa, M. C., Nestares, M. T., Ros, E., and Gil, A. Sunflower oil does not protect against LDL oxidation as virgin olive oil does in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Clin.Nutr. 2004;23(4):673-681. View abstract.
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.
Almallah, Y. Z., Ewen, S. W., El-Tahir, A., Mowat, N. A., Brunt, P. W., Sinclair, T. S., Heys, S. D., and Eremin, O. Distal proctocolitis and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs): the mucosal effect in situ. J Clin Immunol. 2000;20(1):68-76. View abstract.
Almallah, Y. Z., Richardson, S., O'Hanrahan, T., Mowat, N. A., Brunt, P. W., Sinclair, T. S., Ewen, S., Heys, S. D., and Eremin, O. Distal procto-colitis, natural cytotoxicity, and essential fatty acids. Am.J.Gastroenterol. 1998;93(5):804-809. View abstract.
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.
Castro, P., Miranda, J. L., Gomez, P., Escalante, D. M., Segura, F. L., Martin, A., Fuentes, F., Blanco, A., Ordovas, J. M., and Jimenez, F. P. Comparison of an oleic acid enriched-diet vs NCEP-I diet on LDL susceptibility to oxidative modifications. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 2000;54(1):61-67. View abstract.
Cater, N. B., Heller, H. J., and Denke, M. A. Comparison of the effects of medium-chain triacylglycerols, palm oil, and high oleic acid sunflower oil on plasma triacylglycerol fatty acids and lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in humans. Am.J Clin.Nutr. 1997;65(1):41-45. View abstract.
Demonty, I., Chan, Y. M., Pelled, D., and Jones, P. J. Fish-oil esters of plant sterols improve the lipid profile of dyslipidemic subjects more than do fish-oil or sunflower oil esters of plant sterols. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84(6):1534-1542. View abstract.
Elmadfa, I. and Park, E. Impact of diets with corn oil or olive/sunflower oils on DNA damage in healthy young men. Eur.J.Nutr. 1999;38(6):286-292. View abstract.
Filteau, S. M., Lietz, G., Mulokozi, G., Bilotta, S., Henry, C. J., and Tomkins, A. M. Milk cytokines and subclinical breast inflammation in Tanzanian women: effects of dietary red palm oil or sunflower oil supplementation. Immunology 1999;97(4):595-600. View abstract.
Gustafsson, I. B., Vessby, B., Ohrvall, M., and Nydahl, M. A diet rich in monounsaturated rapeseed oil reduces the lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and increases the relative content of n-3 fatty acids in serum in hyperlipidemic subjects. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1994;59(3):667-674. View abstract.
Jantti, J., Isomaki, H., Laitinen, O., Nikkari, T., Seppala, E., and Vapaatalo, H. Linoleic acid treatment in inflammatory arthritis. Int.J.Clin.Pharmacol.Ther.Toxicol. 1985;23(2):89-91. View abstract.
Khan, F., Elherik, K., Bolton-Smith, C., Barr, R., Hill, A., Murrie, I., and Belch, J. J. The effects of dietary fatty acid supplementation on endothelial function and vascular tone in healthy subjects. Cardiovasc.Res. 10-1-2003;59(4):955-962. View abstract.
Kuriyan, R., Gopinath, N., Vaz, M., and Kurpad, A. V. Use of rice bran oil in patients with hyperlipidaemia. Natl.Med.J.India 2005;18(6):292-296. View abstract.
Malpuech-Brugere, C., Verboeket-van de Venne WP, Mensink, R. P., Arnal, M. A., Morio, B., Brandolini, M., Saebo, A., Lassel, T. S., Chardigny, J. M., Sebedio, J. L., and Beaufrere, B. Effects of two conjugated linoleic Acid isomers on body fat mass in overweight humans. Obes Res 2004;12(4):591-598. View abstract.
Menendez, S., Falcon, L., Simon, D. R., and Landa, N. Efficacy of ozonized sunflower oil in the treatment of tinea pedis. Mycoses 2002;45(8):329-332. View abstract.
Ferrara LA, Raimondi AS, d'Episcopo L, et al. Olive oil and reduced need for antihypertensive medications. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:837-42. View abstract.
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/.
Ghosh S, An D, Pulinilkunnil T, et al. Role of dietary fatty acids and acute hyperglycemia in modulating cardiac cell death. Nutrition 2004;20:916-23. View abstract.
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.
Ludwar L, Mannel H, Hamacher S, Noack MJ, Barbe AG. Oil pulling to relieve medication-induced xerostomia: A randomized, single-blind, crossover trial. Oral Dis. 2020 Dec 12. 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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