Palm oil is an excellent choice for food manufacturers because of its nutritional benefits and versatility. The oil is highly structured to contain predominantly oleic acid at the sn2-position in the major triacylglycerols to account for the beneficial effects described in numerous nutritional studies. Oil quality and nutritional benefits have been assured for the variety of foods that can be manufactured from the oil directly or from blends with other oils while remaining trans-free. The oxidative stability coupled with the cost-effectiveness is unparalleled among cholesterol-free oils, and these values can be extended to blends of polyunsaturated oils to provide long shelf-life. Presently the supply of genetic-modification-free palm oil is assured at economic prices, since the oil palm is a perennial crop with unparalleled productivity. Numerous studies have confirmed the nutritional value of palm oil as a result of the high monounsaturation at the crucial 2-position of the oil's triacylglycerols, making the oil as healthful as olive oil. It is now recognized that the contribution of dietary fats to blood lipids and cholesterol modulation is a consequence of the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of the fats. Lipolytic hydrolysis of palm oil glycerides containing predominantly oleic acid at the 2 position and palmitic and stearic acids at the 1 and 3 positions allows for the ready absorption of the 2-monoacrylglycerols while the saturated free fatty acids remain poorly absorbed. Dietary palm oil in balanced diets generally reduced blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides while raising the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Improved lipoprotein(a) and apo-A1 levels were also demonstrated from palm oil diets; an important benefits also comes from the lowering of blood triglycerides (or reduced fat storage) as compared with those from polyunsaturated fat diets. Virgin palm oil also provides carotenes apart from tocotrienols and tocopherols that have been shown to be powerful antioxidants and potential mediators of cellular functions. These compounds can be antithrombotic, cause an increase of the prostacyclin/thromboxane ratio, reduce restenosis, and inhibit HMG-CoA-reductase (thus reducing) cholesterol biosynthesis). Red palm oil is a rich source of beta-carotene as well as of alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienols.
Female Sprague-Dawley rats, 50 days of age, were treated with a single dose of 5 mg of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene intragastrically. 3 days after carcinogen treatment, the rats were put on semisynthetic diets containing 20% by weight of corn oil (CO), soybean oil (SBO), crude palm oil (CPO), refined, bleached, deodorized palm oil (RBD PO) and metabisulfite-treated palm oil (MCPO) for 5 months. During the course of experiments, rats fed on different dietary fats had similar rate of growth. Rats fed 20% CO or SBO diet have higher tumor incidence than rats fed on palm oil (PO) diets; however differences of mean tumor latency periods among the groups were not statistically significant. At autopsy, rats fed on high CO or SBO diets had significantly more tumors than rats fed on the three PO diets. Our results showed that high PO diets did not promote chemically induced mammary tumorigenesis in female rats when compared to high CO or SBO diets. CO and SBO differ greatly from the palm oils in their contents of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and carotenes. But further experiments would be required to determine whether the observed differences in tumor incidence and tumor numbers were due to the differences in these minor components or due to the unique triglyceride structure of the palm oils. Analysis of the fatty acid profiles of plasma total lipids of tumor-bearing rats and of the tumor total lipids showed that, with the exception of arachidonic acid, the fatty acid profiles reflect the nature of the dietary fats. At autopsy, there were no differences in the plasma total cholesterol contents among rats fed on different dietary fats, but rats fed on palm oil diets had a significantly higher plasma triglyceride level than that of rats fed CO or SBO diets. As for the tumor lipids, there were no significant differences in the triglyceride, diglyceride, and phospholipid levels when the CO or SBO groups were compared to the palm oil groups.
Male Sprague Dawley rats were fed semipurified diets containing 20% fat for 15 weeks. The dietary fats were corn oil, soybean oil, palm oil, palm olein and palm stearin. No differences in the body and organ weights of rats fed the various diets were evident. Plasma cholesterol levels of rats fed soybean oil were significantly lower than those of rats fed corn oil, palm oil, palm olein or palm stearin. Significant differences between the plasma cholesterol content of rats fed corn oil and rats fed the three palm oils were not evident. HDL cholesterol was raised in rats fed the three palm oil diets compared to the rats fed either corn oil or soybean oil. The cholesterol-phospholipid molar ratio of rat platelets was not influenced by the dietary fat type. The formation of 6-keto-PGF1 alpha was significantly enhanced in palm oil-fed rats compared to all other dietary treatments. Fatty acid compositional changes in the plasma cholesterol esters and plasma triglycerides were diet regulated with significant differences between rats fed the polyunsaturated corn and soybean oil compared to the three palm oils.
In the present study, we investigated the effect of long-acyl chain SFA, namely palmitic acid (16:0) and stearic acid (18:0), at sn-1, 3 positions of TAG on obesity. Throughout the 15 weeks of the experimental period, C57BL/6 mice were fed diets fortified with cocoa butter, sal stearin (SAL), palm mid fraction (PMF) and high-oleic sunflower oil (HOS). The sn-1, 3 positions were varied by 16:0, 18:0 and 18:1, whilst the sn-2 position was preserved with 18:1. The HOS-enriched diet was found to lead to the highest fat deposition. This was in accordance with our previous postulation. Upon normalisation of total fat deposited with food intake to obtain the fat:feed ratio, interestingly, mice fed the SAL-enriched diet exhibited significantly lower visceral fat/feed and total fat/feed compared with those fed the PMF-enriched diet, despite their similarity in SFA-unsaturated fatty acid-SFA profile. That long-chain SFA at sn-1, 3 positions concomitantly with an unsaturated FA at the sn-2 position exert an obesity-reducing effect was further validated. The present study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that SFA of different chain lengths at sn-1, 3 positions exert profound effects on fat accretion.
The environmental impacts of palm oil mill effluent (POME) have been a concern due to the water pollution and greenhouse gases emissions. Thus, this study was conducted to recover the value-added products from POME source before being discharged. The samples, before (X) and after (Y) the pre-recovery system in the clarification tank were sampled and analysed and proximate analysis indicated that both samples are energy rich source of food due to high contents of fats and carbohydrates. GCMS analysis showed that the oil extracts contain predominantly palmitic, oleic, linoleic and stearic acids. Regiospecific analysis of oil extracts by quantitative 13C-NMR spectroscopy demonstrated that both oil extracts contain similar degree of saturation of fatty acids at sn-2 and sn-1,3 positions. The samples are rich in various phytonutrients, pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, squalene and phytosterols, thus contributing to exceptionally high total flavonoid contents and moderate antioxidant activities. Overall, samples X and Y are good alternative food sources, besides reducing the environmental impact of POME.
The present study aimed to determine the effect of positional distribution of long-chain SFA in TAG, especially at the sn-1, 3 positions, on fat deposition using the C57BL/6 mouse model. Throughout the 15 weeks of the study, mice were fed with diets fortified with palm olein (POo), chemically interesterified POo (IPOo) and soyabean oil (SOY). Mice receiving the SOY-enriched diet gained significantly higher amounts of subcutaneous fat (P= 0·011) and total fat (P= 0·013) compared with the POo group, despite similar body mass gain being recorded. During normalisation with food consumption to obtain the fat:feed ratio, mice fed with the POo-enriched diet exhibited significantly lower visceral (P= 0·044), subcutaneous (P= 0·006) and total (P= 0·003) fat:feed than those fed with the SOY-enriched diet. It is noteworthy that mice fed with the IPOo-enriched diet gained 14·3 % more fat per food consumed when compared with the POo group (P= 0·013), despite their identical total fatty acid compositions. This was mainly attributed to the higher content of long-chain SFA at the sn-1, 3 positions of TAG in POo, which results in delayed absorption after deacylation as evidenced by the higher amounts of long-chain SFA excreted in the faeces of mice fed with the POo-enriched diet. Negative correlations were found between the subcutaneous, visceral as well as total fat accretion per food consumption and the total SFA content at the sn-1, 3 positions, while no relationships were found for MUFA and PUFA. The present results show that the positional distribution of long-chain SFA exerts a more profound effect on body fat accretion than the total SFA content.
The oxidative susceptibilities of low density lipoproteins (LDL) isolated from rabbits fed high-fat atherogenic diets containing coconut, palm, or soybean oil were investigated. New Zealand white rabbits were fed atherogenic semisynthetic diets containing 0.5% cholesterol and either (i) 13% coconut oil and 2% corn oil (CNO), (ii) 15% refined, bleached, and deodorized palm olein (RBDPO), (iii) 15% crude palm olein (CPO), (iv) 15% soybean oil (SO), or (v) 15% refined, bleached, and deodorized palm olein without cholesterol supplementation [RBDPO(wc)], for a period of twelve weeks. Total fatty acid compositions of the plasma and LDL were found to be modulated (but not too drastically) by the nature of the dietary fats. Cholesterol supplementation significantly increased the plasma level of vitamin E and effectively altered the plasma composition of long-chain fatty acids in favor of increasing oleic acid. Oxidative susceptibilities of LDL samples were determined by Cu2(+)-catalyzed oxidation which provide the lag times and lag-phase slopes. The plasma LDL from all palm oil diets [RBDPO, CPO, and RBDPO(wc)] were shown to be equally resistant to the oxidation, and the LDL from SO-fed rabbits were most susceptible, followed by the LDL from the CNO-fed rabbits. These results reflect a relationship between the oxidative susceptibility of LDL due to a combination of the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
To compare the effects of dietary palmitic acid (16:0) vs oleic acid (18:1) on serum lipids, lipoproteins, and plasma eicosanoids, 33 normocholesterolemic subjects (20 males, 13 females; ages 22-41 years) were challenged with a coconut oil-rich diet for 4 weeks. Subsequently they were assigned to either a palm olein-rich or olive oil-rich diet followed by a dietary crossover during two consecutive 6-week periods. Each test oil served as the sole cooking oil and contributed 23% of dietary energy or two-thirds of the total daily fat intake. Dietary myristic acid (14:0) and lauric acid (12:0) from coconut oil significantly raised all the serum lipid and lipoprotein parameters measured. Subsequent one-to-one exchange of 7% energy between 16:0 (palm olein diet) and 18:1 (olive oil diet) resulted in identical serum total cholesterol (192, 193 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (130, 131 mg/dl), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (41, 42 mg/dl), and triglyceride (TG) (108, 106 mg/dl) concentrations. Effects attributed to gender included higher HDL in females and higher TG in males associated with the tendency for higher LDL and LDL/HDL ratios in men. However, both sexes were equally responsive to changes in dietary fat saturation. The results indicate that in healthy, normocholesterolemic humans, dietary 16:0 can be exchanged for 18:1 within the range of these fatty acids normally present in typical diets without affecting the serum lipoprotein cholesterol concentration or distribution. In addition, replacement of 12:0 + 14:0 by 16:0 + 18:1, but especially 16:0 or some component of palm olein, appeared to have a beneficial impact on an important index of thrombogenesis, i.e., the thromboxane/prostacyclin ratio in plasma.