Palm Oil

Last Editorial Review: 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

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


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

Palm oil is used for preventing vitamin A deficiency, cancer, brain disease, aging; and treating malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cyanide poisoning. Palm oil is used for weight loss and increasing the body's metabolism.

As food, palm oil is used for frying.

Industrially, palm oil is used for manufacturing cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, waxes, lubricants, and ink.

How does it work?

Palm oil contains saturated and unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. It might have antioxidant effects.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Preventing a lack of vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency). There is some evidence that adding palm oil to the diet of pregnant women and children in developing countries might reduce the risk of developing vitamin A deficiency.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • High cholesterol. Consuming palm oil as part of a specific diet plan does not seem to reduce cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. In fact, some research suggests that palm oil might actually increase cholesterol levels compared to other oils, such as soybean, canola, or sunflower oil.
  • Malaria. Some research suggests that dietary consumption of palm oil by children under 5 years of age in developing countries does not seem to decrease symptoms of malaria.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

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

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Palm oil is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts found in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine by children or adults for up to 6 months.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a medicine during pregnancy for up to 6 months.


Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

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:


  • For preventing vitamin A deficiency: about 3 tablespoons (9 grams) per day of palm oil for adults and children over age 5. About 4 tablespoons (12 grams) per day for pregnant women. For children less than 5 years old, 2 tablespoons (6 grams) per day.

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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

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