The high antioxidant content of red palm oil makes it a potent anti-cancer food. Though tocotrienols can be found in rice bran, barley and wheat, red palm oil is the richest source of tocotrienol. Research suggests that this form of vitamin E may help fight skin, stomach, pancreas, liver, lung, colon, prostate, breast, and other cancers.
Additionally, research has shown that red palm oil promotes nutrient utilization, improves liver detoxification pathways and improves immune function.
Availability and Sustainability
By now, one question you may have is, “Where do I get some?” Actually, you can already purchase this at your local health food store. It gets imported from Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer of palm oil.
Besides its known nutritional virtues, private enterprise has recognized palm oil’s other lucrative applications.
With the price of crude oil and gas hitting an all-time record high through 2012, palm oil seems to have caught the attention of scientists and corporations as one of the few plausible sources of biodiesel. The concept that palm oil should be used as a renewable substitute for petroleum-derived diesel has already received criticism from various non-governmental organizations worldwide.
The controversy is focused primarily on three issues: Extinction of orangutans, deforestation, and, particularly, the food vs. fuel dispute. Besides demolishing the habitat of one of the most wonderful creatures on earth, it is thought that the conversion of the crops currently used for food over to fuel would significantly decrease accessibility to those looking to use the oil for dietary purposes, increasing the number of undernourished people in the world.
A Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products. Where some researchers believe that the palm oil industry has the capacity to fulfill both demands, responsible people don't want to create negative environmental impact. So, on top of “virgin” and “organic” red palm fruit oil, we need to look for brands that produce the oil sustainably.