In January 2013, the Dr. Oz Show touched off a firestorm when Dr. Oz and alternative health expert Bryce Wylde discussed the numerous health benefits of red palm oil, particularly for the heart and brain. Oz called red palm oil his “most miraculous find for 2013”. Demand skyrocketed, but there were unintended consequences.
In a segment that aired yesterday, Oz stated that supermarkets are banning products made with palm oil out of concerns for the environment. But both experts agreed that they didn’t want people to lose out on palm oil’s tremendous health benefits. “Red palm oil is rich in antioxidants, it sweeps away plaque. People are getting this stuff because it works,” said Oz. Wylde concurred, pointing out that it contains more carotenes than carrots and tomatoes combined, and its vitamin E tocotrienols have shown promise in the areas of cardiovascular health and stroke.
So Wylde traveled halfway around the world to Malaysia, one of the biggest suppliers of the world’s palm oil, to conduct a grass roots investigation. Wylde said that what he discovered was a country committed to animal welfare while keeping up with the growing demand for palm oil. While other countries are showing disregard for their lush forest and animal habitats, Wylde stated that Malaysia’s is an “ecofriendly model for the world to follow.”
Bottom line: Oz encouraged viewers to continue using red palm oil. Just make sure that it’s sourced from a country that follows sustainable practices. The Malaysian Palm Oil industry is the largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), and is responsible for more than 50 percent of total CSPO production.
Did you know : An oil palm plantation with its perennial green cover and closed canopy displays the main features of a tropical rainforest. It is also a more efficient carbon sink than a tropical rainforest and helps absorb greenhouse gases.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.