Dr. Oz says Red Palm Oil is a miracle oil for longevity. The science says otherwise.

red-palm-oil-dr-oz

If there is an antithesis to the principles of science-based medicine, it’s probably the Dr. Oz show. In this daytime television parallel universe, anecdotes are evidence. There are no incremental advances in knowledge — only medical miracles. And every episode neatly offers up three or four takeaway health nuggets that, more often than not, seem to leave the audience more ill-informed about health and medicine than they were 30 minutes earlier.

After I completed my post on Dr. Oz’s prolonged embrace of the “miracle” that is green coffee bean extract, a number of readers brought me up to speed. Green coffee beans are yesterday’s miracle. The new weight loss miracle for 2013 is red palm oil. This constant drive for miracles must keep the producers in a perpetual panic. They need at least five miracles per week. Having now watched a few episodes, I’m reminded of the classic “That Mitchell and Webb Look” skit where two nutritionists pick a new superfood. It could be just a matter of time until we see white veal profiled as a superfood in a future Dr. Oz episode.

If there is a common characteristic of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) proponents who believe themselves to be scientific (and I include Dr. Oz in this group), it is that they extrapolate from weak clinical evidence to grandiose claims by cherry picking the most supportive strands of evidence to give the impression of being evidence-based. They have the belief, and then they look for the supporting evidence to bolster the claim. In short, to paraphrase a quote attributed to Hahns Kuhn, they use scientific evidence like a drunkard uses a light post: for support, not for illumination. As I noted with green coffee bean extract, Dr. Oz extrapolated from ambiguous, preliminary data to recommendations to consume green coffee bean extract as a weight loss strategy. Frankly, the evidence isn’t there, so I didn’t have high expectations with the latest miracle. All I knew going in about palm oil is that it’s used in most industrial food production and the demand for it is linked to massive destruction of tropical rainforests and the slaughter of orangutans. But who doesn’t want the longevity that Dr. Oz promises? So I sat down and watched another episode.

Dr. Oz’s first miracle solution of 2013 is red palm oil, an amazing fat that helps stop the signs of aging inside and out!

DoctorOz.com

Let’s look at the claims made on the show, and then consider the evidence supporting them. I’m quoting liberally from the show so it’s completely clear exactly what Dr. Oz said, but I recommend you watch both clips for the full effect. This show needs to be seen to be believed. Keep in mind that Dr. Oz is no ordinary daytime television host: he is an accomplished and still active cardiac surgeon, an academic, and a research scientist. He has hundreds of scientific publications to his name. His show has been broadcast since 2009 and he reaches millions every day. He is perceived as a credible authority, because he’s a real health professional. Unfortunately Dr. Oz has a persistent history of giving dubious health advice that doesn’t hold up when it’s checked against the evidence.

This episode is all about miracles for 2013 and the segment features Canadian homeopath Bryce Wylde, introduced by Dr. Oz as a “miracle worker and alternative medicine expert”). Oz introduces red palm oil with an argument from antiquity:

That red color is perfect because I think of it as a stop sign for aging, inside and out. Did you know that palm trees contain an ancient remedy that can slow down the aging process, fight belly fat, and combat heart disease?

There’s a secret inside the flesh of this fruit, extending the warranty of nearly every organ in your body. This mega-oil may very well be the most the most miraculous find of 2013.

The purported benefits Wylde mentions include carotene, described as a “a super-powerful antioxidant” and tocotrienols, “a special form of vitamin E, very, very cardioprotective”. Oz is impressed:

I think this will actually help protect us against Alzheimer’s…

Wylde continues from there, showing a sliced apple that has browned (emphasis added):

This apple is just like our brain. When…oxygen from the environment, stress hits it, it will ultimately denature, it will become rotten. We all know the culinary trick…of putting lemon juice juice or lime juice on our fruit salad or apple. That protects it, keeps it white. Well red palm oil does the exact same thing in our brains, protecting it….That special form of tocotrienols we’re talking about, that special form of vitamin E, is actually going to increase blood circulation, it’s going to reduce incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s, so it’s going to protect our most important organ.

The “demo” then moves on to the heart. Dr. Oz asks Wylde to explain why saturated fats protect the heart. Two fake arteries (actually what appears to be sections of bisected PVC sewer pipe) are shown. Both are coated with clumps of white goo. Oz pours some liquid down one pipe. The liquid is viscous and sticks to the goo. Then he pours some red palm oil down the other pipe. It washes the pipe clean. This new biochemical model clearly impresses Dr. Oz:

Folks who were using this lowered their bad cholesterol by nearly 40% in one month! Drugs don’t even do this!

In a statement on the Dr. Oz website, Wylde elaborates:

Over the past two decades, researchers have intensely studied red palm oil’s effect on cardiovascular health and the preliminary results initially baffled scientists. At room temperature, this semi-solid oil seems as likely as lard to clog your arteries. But what might shock you to learn, as it has equally stunned researchers, is that although red palm fruit oil is indeed high in saturated fat, it actually protects against heart disease. Saturated fats behave like a thick molasses through the cardiovascular system, eventually contributing to plaque (atherosclerosis). But studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build-up in arteries and, therefore, reverse the process of plaque and prevent blockages.

The demonstration finally moves a piece of fat that Dr. Oz says is our omentum. Wylde notes:

Red palm fruit oil goes straight to the liver and gets used up as calories, and might help to reduce your fat tissue concentration, because you’re not storing it, your burning it.

Then Dr. Oz ignites a candle, which he likens to other fats, and a sparkler (which explodes) which he likens to red palm oil:

There was another study done of women who ate two tablespoons of an oil that was like palm oil. And it helped turn up their metabolism and whittled away this belly fat that so many of you are frustrated by.

So at the end of the segment we are left with three distinct, testable claims about red palm oil consumption and supplementation:

  1. Red palm oil protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  2. Red palm oil reduces bad cholesterol, reduces atherosclerosis, and prevents new blood clots.
  3. Red palm oil spot reduces belly fat.

Palm Oil

If you eat any packaged or prepared foods that contain “vegetable oil”, you’re probably eating palm oil. The palm tree is the source of one of the most widely used industrial oils in the world. Raw palm oil does contain a rich source of carotenoids and vitamin E. Red palm oil is a refined version of raw red palm oil which retains a significant amount of these ingredients. For industrial purposes, however, red palm oil is not ideal. It is described as having a bitter, pronounced flavor which some describe as unpalatable. The dark colour, a consequence of the carotenoids, can discolor prepared foods. Refining raw palm oil further, with bleaching, eliminates the carotenoids and tocoperols. Refined, palm oil is very versatile: it’s stable at high heat, largely tasteless, trans-fat free, and is low cost. With the exception of the carotenoids and vitamin E, red palm oil, and refined palm oil, are essentially the same product: saturated fatty acids palmitic acid (44%), stearic acid (5%) and myristic acid (1%), and the unsaturated fatty acids oleic acid (39%) and linoleic acid (11%).

It’s the vitamin content that has driven most of the research into uses for red palm oil. Vitamin A deficiency is a significant public health issue in developing countries [PDF], as major cause of blindness as well as overall mortality. Red palm oil has been studied as a supplement and as part of food fortification to boost vitamin A levels. It seems to be effective and could serve to help fortify the food supply in nations where widespread deficiency exists. Vitamin A deficiency, however is rare in developed countries, though it can still appear in some malabsorbtion-related disease states. When used as a supplement, red palm oil seems to be a good source of the vitamin E compounds as well. Compared to vitamin A, however, vitamin E deficiency is almost unheard of — even in developing countries.

Do consumers in developed countries need to routinely supplementation with carotenoids and vitamin E? Here we get into the complexity of diet. Dietary patterns have been examined in observational studies that have suggested that foods high in antioxidants like carotene may offer protection from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Randomized trials with antioxidants have not borne out the touted benefits of supplements, however, so the most pragmatic advice seems to be that eating a diet of foods that contain these factors is a better approach than using supplements. Given red palm oil is not consumed routinely in populations that have been studied in supplement trials, the overall effect of a diet that includes regular consumption of red palm oil isn’t clear. Unlike the well-studied “Mediterranean Diet” that features olive oil as the primary oil consumed, there have been no similar studies of populations that consume red palm oil routinely as part of their diet.

The rationale for specific vitamin E supplementation is even more questionable. The idea for years was “oxidation bad, antioxidant good”. Eating foods that contain sources of vitamin E seems to be beneficial to health. Yet trials with supplements haven’t been shown to protect against heart disease or stroke, and at higher doses may increase the risk of cancer and of overall mortality. On balance the best evidence seems to suggest that diets rich in fruits and vegetables may be protective of different diseases, but specific supplementation may not. What this means if you decide to consume red palm oil isn’t clear — it may be influenced by whether you add it to your existing diet, or if you substitute it for something else.

The Evidence Check

Dr. Oz’s statements were unambiguous and testable. Here is how they stack up against the evidence.

Claim 1: Red palm oil protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s

There is no direct evidence to substantiate this claim, either with refined palm oil or red palm oil. I couldn’t locate any trial that has prospectively examined this — and I’m not surprised, because studying treatments for the prevention of dementia are notoriously difficult to do, requiring hundreds of patients and years if not decades of follow-up.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but not the only cause. Antioxidants have been proposed as possible preventative treatments for dementia, given oxidative stress may be a component of the degenerative changes observed with the disease. Trials studying vitamin E supplementation for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease have shown no effect, though it may have a role in the treatment of established disease. It’s been similarly disappointing with beta-carotene, where no clear benefit has been demonstrated.

If we look at the fatty acid components, there’s no evidence suggesting palm oil will have any meaningful effects. Rather what evidence exists suggests negative effects from saturated fats. In contrast to palm oil, the evidence is at least promising for the omega-3 fatty acids, particularly when consumed as fatty fish. The same can be said for the Mediterranean diet. But the usual biases in studying diet confound the results.

Overall, there is no convincing evidence to suggest that consuming red palm oil will have any meaningful effect at preventing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. What limited evidence exists suggests either a neutral or possibly a negative effects from supplementation.

Claim 2: Red palm oil reduces bad cholesterol, reduces atherosclerosis, and prevents new clots

There is no convincing evidence with red palm oil to substantiate a recommendation to preferentially consume this oil. Studies with palm oil suggest that it can raise LDL and total cholesterol, but the effects are not consistently shown. None of the studies are large, nor do they clearly establish any role for red palm oil as a therapeutic treatment for reducing LDL cholesterol or preventing clots. Dr. Oz cites a 40% reduction in LDL- he may be referring to this study, which gave a palm-oil-vitamin E concentrate to a group of nine (yes, only nine) volunteers. One subject was noted to have a 37% reduction in LDL. Yet that’s not the mean – just the max. I was unable to find any relevant trials with actual product in question. Despite the impressive effects Dr. Oz showed with his PVC pipe, the effects in the real world, with real arteries, haven’t been established. If only there was a cardiac surgeon there to correct the science presented.

When it comes to the antioxidants in red palm oil, there is no convincing data from prospective trials that vitamin E or the carotenoids have any benefit for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Again, the usual recommendations (lots of fruit and vegetables, using monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of trans fats and saturated fats, and eating omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods) have much better evidence behind them. Like claim 1, there is actually some promising evidence with other oils — particular fish oils and the consumption of fatty fish. And again, it’s really not clear that if you want to reduce bad cholesterol, that palm oil is your best choice. Some data suggests palm oil raises total cholesterol and LDL, compared to olive oils. It also may be inferior to sunflower oil. The data are preliminary and no clear effects on lipids have been established.

Claim 3: Red palm oil spot reduces belly fat

Finally, let’s look at the claim that red palm oil won’t cause belly fat gain and will “melt away” existing belly fat. Spot reduction of fat is a huge red flag for bogus claims. The idea comes from the thought that red palm oil-rich fatty acids are metabolized by the body, and not deposited as fat. Spot reduction is a persistent but unfounded dietary myth that can give unrealistic expectations about weight loss and what constitutes a healthy diet. While weight loss can result in fat loss in different areas of the body at different rates, this is due to genetic effects — not due to any specific treatment. Not surprisingly, there is no direct evidence suggesting red palm oil, or refined palm oil, contributes to a loss of belly fat. Oz may be extrapolating the idea the medium-chain triglyceride oil, when used instead of other oils, can cause weight loss. But MCT oil isn’t red palm oil. There’s been a trial in coconut oil that was unimpressive, showing a 1.4cm difference versus soy oil after 12 weeks. In aggregate, the evidence isn’t impressive, even when coconut oil is used as a substitute for other oils. Whether any of the studies with other oils are relevant to the consumption of red palm oil isn’t known — it hasn’t been directly studied. Certainly if net calorie intake goes up because of specific supplementation, all things being equal, we should not expect any meaningful changes in weight or waist size. On balance, supplementing with or switching oils probably has a trivial effect compared to the big drivers of obesity, like overall energy intake and expenditure. Calories clearly still matter. Substituting oils may not.

Other considerations

If environmental impact is a factor in your oil selection, palm oil may not be the best option. Orangutan protection advocates are outraged Dr. Oz has endorsed red palm oil, and have launched a campaign to shame him. Says Orangutan outreach:

Dr. Oz Declares war on Orangutans
Dr Oz and his staff should have done more research before recommending palm oil. In doing so, he has inadvertently declared war on orangutans– along with every other living creature in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra.
While originally from West Africa, today 90% of the global supply of palm oil actually comes from Indonesia & Malaysia. This has come at a tremendous environmental cost. Indonesian and Malaysian forests are being burned to the ground– releasing so much carbon into the atmosphere that Indonesia now ranks 3rd behind China and US in carbon emissions– and it is barely industrialized. The UNEP estimates that the forests of Indonesia are being cleared at a rate of 6 football fields per minute every minute of every day.

While this may be the case, it’s unlikely that even Dr. Oz-driven demand for red palm oil is meaningful compared to the current worldwide use of palm oil. With use predicted at 42.6 million tons this year, I’d be surprise if even the Dr. Oz effect will have a big effect on what appears to be a consequence of our already massive consumption of palm oil.

Conclusion

If there is one thing that really frustrates me about the Dr. Oz show is that he ignores the boring-but-factual and always hypes the gimmicks. Red palm oil is no exception. It’s foolish and short-sighted to declare red palm oil as healthy or beneficial based on the limited data that exists. The history of dietetics and nutrition is replete with cases of extrapolating preliminary data into supplement and dietary advice, only to see population-level data, and good clinical trials later refute it. There is no clearly established need for the routine supplementary consumption of the carotenoids and vitamin E in red palm oil. And you may already have palm oil as a routine part of your diet — perhaps unwittingly. The impact of red palm oil consumption on your health is likely to be insignificant, compared to the big drivers of health. But none of this matters on the Dr. Oz show. Because just as quickly as this post is published, Oz will have moved on to the next dietary fad, leaving consumers who watch his show more confused than ever about what constitutes good health and nutrition.

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21 thoughts on “Dr. Oz says Red Palm Oil is a miracle oil for longevity. The science says otherwise.

  1. Eric Gumpricht says:

    Scott,

    I have no interest in defending Dr. Oz. The good doctor has an increasing number of detractors and for good reason. However, your evaluation of the effects of red palm oil (RPO) left a much-needed addendum unmentioned.

    The relationship between RPO production, massive deforestation, and the potential eradication of orangutans, while depressing (and hopefully, hyperbolic) has no relevance to whether or not RPO provides health benefits. Furthermore, I find your RPO=tocopherols, carotenoids, and saturated fats to be much too reductionist for my taste in the same way that the health attributes of an orange are likely more than the sum of its fructose, ascorbic acid and citrus bioflavonoid content. But for this, your miles may vary.

    The main purpose of my comment is to inform you that RPO is a particularly good source of tocotrienols (T3). Yes, a form a vitamin E but in every area of comparison (antioxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-lipidemic, anti-inflammatory) significantly greater than that of its dominant brothers, the tocopherols. In fact, the story of the resurrection of T3 is and of itself quite fascinating, and more than worth searching. Much, if not most, of its attention the past 10 years has originated from Dr. Chandan Sen, who beginning as a post-doc in Lester Packer’s laboratory at Berkeley demonstrated that T3 were particularly potent neuroprotectants in models of neurotoxicity-particularly potent in this context meaning offering complete protection in nM concentrations!). Fast forward a decade and Sen’s laboratory at Ohio State University has provided extensive biochemical, pathophysiological, and clinical benefits of T3 in models from cells to mammals-all with exquisite detail to mechanisms, the way I was schooled. Of particular relevance, they published a very important paper in the Journal of Nutrition (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/142/3/513.long) showing that T3 accumulates in all tissues from human supplemented with the rather modest dose of 200mg of a T3 preparation free of tocopherols. More important of course than simply demonstrating transport and increased concentrations of T3 in humans was the observation that patients in end-stage liver disease (which unfortunately requires liver transplantation as the only effective “treatment”) were so improved by T3 that they were be re-prioritized on the liver transplantation list, indicative of their clinical improving scores. Finally, it should be stated that there is now an NIH-clinical trial (NCT01578629) funded for evaluating the effect of T3 on ischemic stroke (another disease with virtually no effective treatment options save tissue plasminogen activator and aspirin), which is a natural extension of the original neuroprotection afforded by T3.

    Stay tuned.

    Eric Gumpricht, Ph.D.

    • Art Tricque says:

      Your comments are interesting. However, the article you cite has at the conclusion of its abstract (read it on Pubmed): “The findings of this study, in the context of the current literature, lay the foundation for Phase II clinical trials testing the efficacy of TE against stroke and end-stage liver disease in humans.” We’re not even at Phase II yet. That means it is a long way from Phase III with multiple investigating teams and longer still to product launch. It’s not just about Dr. Oz: given the stage of trials we are at, the evidence does not support red palm oil being used as a treatment for anything.

      • Eric Gumpricht says:

        Art, there are a few studies in either Phase I or II regarding T3 and disease. You don’t need me to tell you where you can find that information. Even the preliminary data I’ve seen has been promising. T3 are nutrients, not drugs, so there is no “product to launch”. Finally, to respond to your “the evidence does not support RPO being used as a treatment for anything”. Fair enough. But no nutrient will ever meet such a qualification (minus of course strict deficiency diseases)! A good, balanced diet, along with a healthy lifestyle, is the best we have thus far for primary prevention of “chronic diseases of western civilization”. I am a mechanism-based science by education and on that level I’ve seen virtually no nutrient that has so consistently demonstrated benefits from cell models of toxicity to evidence in clinical trials of the T3. I suggest that if so inclined, do a search of T3 on pubmed, or if less inclined just watch a 10-20min youtube video of Dr. Chanden Sen discussing his own T3 research. Quite rewarding.

      • Art Tricque says:

        Eric, science is littered with this and that treatment that showed promise at Phase I and even Phase II, only to crash and burn at Phase III, or even in post-introduction followup. Even more so for treatments primarily investigated by one researcher or lab. I merely am suggesting you temper your enthusiasm with this cold, hard reality.

        “But no nutrient will ever meet such a qualification…”
        Incorrect: Vitamin D recommendations have been changed to higher intakes for certain disease preverntion effects by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) based on hard, complete, and voluminous scientific research. That is what it takes.

      • Eric Gumpricht says:

        Hi Art,

        Thanks for your response. I think we’ll agree to disagree with what exactly nutrition is and can offer vs. drugs. Aspirin treats headaches at least in part by acetylating a serine residue on PG synthase (COXs). T3 is not and will never be a “treatment” for anything, save preventing vitamin E deficiency associated with fat-malabsorption syndromes. That is, if we can sort out how T3 has such high biological activity despite its rapid catabolism and poor affinity for alpha-TTP! Perhaps my apparent “overenthusiasm” as you see it can be melded with your obvious cynicism?

        T3 is simply a form of vitamin E that exhibits 10-100X greater biological potency than alpha-tocopherol in virtually every biological comparision performed.

        Please reread your comment to me: you interestingly switched “treatment” in paragraph one with “prevention” (vitamin D and IOM) in paragraph two. Therein proving my point. I conceded in my comment above (and this one here once again) that neither T3 NOR ANY OTHER NUTRIENT will ever meet the criteria of TREATING a disease save for deficiencies! Which chronic disease did IOM state that vitamin D TREATS (not prevents)? Perhaps I’ve missed the latest Michael Holick research?

        Respectfully,

        Eric Gumpricht, Ph.D.

  2. I would be interested in knowing the author’s qualifications. I note that he is so intent on bashing Dr. Oz that he trips over his own arguements. By his own admission Red Palm Oil is healthy for you, even if he doesn’t think there is anything special about the type of nutrients in it. He explains that, to make it more palitable all of the nutrients are usually stripped from it before it is used commercially. He then insists there is no reason to use it since we already probably consume plenty of the stripped down, nutritionless version. Huh? I like truthfull comentary, not exagerated, distorted bashing for the sake of bashing. One wonders if Dr. Oz maybe had an affair with the author’s wife or something. It seems too personal a resentment.

    • Regardless of whether palm oil is good or bad for you, destroying the Indonesian rain forests to build palm oil plantations is bad for the world. It’s particularly bad for orangutans, a highly intelligent ape that are currently facing extinction. Perhaps this could be a motivation for you to stop using palm oil.

      • Deb Hart says:

        Andrew…absolutely! I’ve read from the top comments down, and can’t believe that in their convoluted responses to each other neither Eric nor Art have even given pause for the plight of the forests and the orangutans in particular! Are scientifically biased people really so blinkered?? As for Dr Oz promoting the use of Palm Oil for human longevity…I am speechless. By purchasing products containing crude palm oil, we are helping destroy ancient, pristine rainforest, wipe out species like the orangutan, and create a large-scale ecological disaster. Consider the consequences next time you do your grocery shopping; the consequences not only for orangutans and other animals, but for we humans as a race. We cannot survive without the rainforests either. We have a choice, orangutans do not. There is only a 1 chromosome difference between orangutans and us. They are the largest tree-dwelling mammal on the planet, and also the most intelligent animal after humans. With their amazing intellect, they have the ability to reason and think; along with almost all other human feelings and emotions. And that this so-called ‘intelligent and learned’ man should openly promote such genocide on his program defies all logic….except that of ‘graft’ and ‘payment for promotion’. Methinks Dr Oz has dirty money in his pocket, and the blood of thousands of orangutans on his hands.

    • “One wonders if Dr. Oz maybe had an affair with the author’s wife or something.”

      You guessed it. There could be no other reason for questioning Oz’s science, could there?

  3. Ricky says:

    It still amazes me that as a licensed practionner Oz is not destituted by the medical assocition for fraudalent medical advice.

    It’s their duty to make sure doctors uphold the passing of sound medical advice.

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more! What happened to the coconut oil which was the superfood last year, or the chia seeds? He should talk those things up every day so people don’t just walk in a store and ask for “that bean” or that vitamin you take under the tongue! Three minutes on a health item is nothing..they walk away with the word belly fat on their brain..belly fat belly fat belly fat!!!

    Really? That bean? You can even say it or remember why your spending 27 dollars for something you do not know how to even say?
    Now the red palm oil! Oh, remember the raspberry ketones? Synthetic and stupid but people came by the thousands asking for them..I was in awe of the phenomenon..
    thanks for letting me vent:)

    • Joe says:

      I hate to say it but you are all wrong. If u people remember when he anounced that Aloe Vera juice would take away your heartburn I personally went out and bought it and yes it works. Now Im not on a prescription drug which was Nexium that caused more side effects than u could have imagined. So start believing and quit being so negative.

      • first of all, I am glad you got good results with aloe vera, it does work well for some, but dr oz is not a religion we should believe in. It is up to you to read up on what will help you or come talk to one of us at a health store about what works for our customers. I have been in the health business for thirty years and I always check the research. It isn’t what you believe in! It is what is practical solutions to your everyday problems.It is science thatis real not believing..
        I am not being negative I am simply being critical of dr oz because everyday it is something new. Red palm oil is stupid in every way! He should have known that!
        Seriously, do have to ravage every part of earth for belly fat?

      • TwistBarbie says:

        Joe,
        What happens when we try one of these “miracle cures” and they don’t work? Are we not believing hard enough? Eleneethastasia is right, this is not religion. It’s about proof (or at least good evidence) , not belief.
        PS, Did the aloe vera you are taking warn you of potential adverse effects? Hepatitis? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17726067
        Kidney dysfunction? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16690538

  5. ddbc says:

    “The relationship between RPO production, massive deforestation, and the potential eradication of orangutans, while depressing (and hopefully, hyperbolic) ” Quote from Eric Gumpricht,Phd first post above. I am not a Phd, but would like to say that NO, massive deforestation and the potential eradication of orangutans, is not hyperpolic. Oranguatan Outreach is just one organization that makes this claim, and deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra which is then replaced by palm oil plantations is well documented as the cause which will lead to the extinction of orangutans, and possibly other wildlife species such as the Sumatran tiger. Palm Oil is used in so many products including toiletries because it is cheap and aids in prolonging shelf life of products. It’s use is based on corporate greed and higher profits. Many in developed world are ignorant of this, or do not care. Now we have the Dr. Oz show helping with the promotion of consuming Red Palm Oil and I do not believe there is enough science based evidence behind this. Even if there were, I avoid products made with Palm Oil (which btw has many names, including “vegetable oil”, trickery in itself as far as I’m concerned, and would like to see this ingredient labelled only as Palm Oil so that consumers such as myself are made aware of it’s use in any of the many products that contain it. I, and others in what I hope is a growing movement, choose to make what we consider an ethical decision based on the wish to not contribute to the eradication of original forest destruction, orangutans and other wildlife in Sumatra and Borneo for palm oil plantations and try to find similar products made without palm oil.

  6. Muriel Servaege says:

    There is no scientific evidence that palm oil will make you live longer.Therefore I think Dr Oz is just a quack, interested in money. His ‘great’ idea should bring him an important naive customer-base at the expense of orangutans and other endangered species of Indonesia. But he obviously considers that’s none of his business.

  7. scrappy says:

    i think that what you have stated is not entirely true , you fail to mention that wylde warns against purchasing brands of red palm oil that do not “claim” to be orangutan and rain forest safe. i read your article because an “honest” second opinion is always a good thing. however you sound like a boxer boefore a fight throwing out mean and spiteful things … the fact is there is nothing you have said that proves dr.oz claims wrong!!! i wont be searching science based pharmacy again. at least not for an “unbiased” or “honest” opinion!!!

    • Art Tricque says:

      “nothing you have said that proves dr.oz claims wrong”
      It is not for Scott or anyone to prove Dr. Oz or Bruce Wylde wrong; it is for them to provide the evidence that they are right. Scott has demonstrated that such evidence does not exist. Do you chose to believe things without evidence?

      “…throwing out mean and spiteful things…”
      Which of Scott’s comments are mean or spiteful. Be specific. When making a claim, one should back it up with evidence.

      “…“unbiased” or “honest” opinion…”

      Which of Scott’s comments are biased or dishonest? Be specific. When making a claim, one should back it up with evidence.

  8. Art Tricque says:

    “nothing you have said that proves dr.oz claims wrong”
    It is not for Scott or anyone to prove Dr. Oz or Bruce Wylde wrong; it is for them to provide the evidence that they are right. Scott has demonstrated that such evidence does not exist. Do you chose to believe things without evidence?

    “…throwing out mean and spiteful things…”
    Which of Scott’s comments are mean or spiteful. Be specific. When making a claim, one should back it up with evidence.

    “…“unbiased” or “honest” opinion…”

    Which of Scott’s comments are biased or dishonest? Be specific. When making a claim, one should back it up with evidence.

  9. don’t get mad scrappy..I know you love him and he makes you feel better:)
    The thing is he is wrong about red palm oil and also krill oil and also raspberry ketones..on the other hand he brings you to the health store and you are making a difference every day..eating spinach with apple cider vinegar… every day eat a carrot or some kale and and you’ll get healthier than any palm oil can deliver..just saying and then maybe you’ll read a book or two on the subject and you’ll know that krill is whale food and they’ll (whales) starve at the rate we’re harvesting the krill when we can easily get astaxanthin from red algea..why krill? As far as red palm oil, think for yourself if it is worth it..you can get vitamin e from an avocado or a couple teaspoons olive oil, palmitic acid in red palm is also rich in olive oil..see?

  10. referring to vitamin e – when used generically I presume this means alpha-tocopherol. what about beta, delta, and (especially) gamma-tocopherol? Are there any studies that demonstrate whether mixed tocopherols are beneficial/harmful in comparison to alpha-tocopherol in isolation if consumed as supplements? My biochemistry background makes me believe that if you consume large quantities of alpha-tocopherol (aka ‘vitamin e’), competitive exclusion will block the action of the other tocopherols. Thus studies on vitamin e may not be representative of the outcomes of a mixed tocopherol supplement study.

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