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Nutr Rev. 2017 Feb 1;75(2):98-113. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw054.

Health-promoting effects of red palm oil: evidence from animal and human studies.

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Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. University of Malaya Centre for Proteomics Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Pathology Division, Faculty of Medicine and Health, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineesis) is the source of antioxidant-rich red palm oil. Red palm oil is a rich source of phytonutrients such as tocotrienols, tocopherols, carotenoids, phytosterols, squalene, and coenzyme Q10, all of which exhibit nutritional properties and oxidative stability. Mutagenic, nutritional, and toxicological studies have shown that red palm oil contains highly bioavailable β-carotene and vitamin A and is reasonably stable to heat without any adverse effects. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the nutritional properties of red palm oil. The possible antiatherogenic, antihemorrhagic, antihypertensive, anticancer, and anti-infective properties of red palm oil are examined. Moreover, evidence supporting the potential effectiveness of red palm oil to overcome vitamin A deficiency in children and pregnant women, to improve ocular complications of vitamin A deficiency, to protect against ischemic heart disease, to promote normal reproduction in males and females, to aid in the management of diabetes, to ameliorate the adverse effects of chemotherapy, and to aid in managing hypobaric conditions is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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