Palm oil, is a very good and healthy tonic because it could affects ones health in many positive ways. The fatty acids, the antioxidant and phytonutrients combine to provide many health benefits. Under this topic, I will show how Palm oil can affect the entire body by improving blood circulation, and the delivery of oxygen to vital organs and tissues of the body.
Blood has long been regarded as the seat of life and vitality. Indeed, without it, one would literally die off. With its too little or its flow hampered, it could result in a very harmful effects in our body. This is because; it supplies the needed oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in our body. The main function of blood is to act as body transport system by delivering oxygen as earlier mentioned, nutrients, hormones and enzymes throughout the body as well as removes waste and toxins. Our blood, consist of cells that include RED BLOOD CELLS, WHITE BLOOD CELLS, PLATELETS, While the remaining is called PLASMA. This contains, dissolved proteins, sugar, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Functions of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from lungs to the tissue where it is exchanged for waste products called carbon dioxide while the white blood cells is our workforce that protect us from various diseases and viruses. The vessels carrying the oxygenated blood are called arteries and, as they travel throughout the body, they become smaller and smaller till they become so small that, they are now the size of of the red blood cells itself. They are at this point called capillaries. Passage through capillaries is so narrow the blood cells must pass through it one at a time in a single file. As they are moving through, oxygen is then released while carbon dioxide is then picked up in the capillaries. As the carbon dioxide is picked up, they are headed back to the lungs traveling in blood vessels called veins. That’s the process through which we get our body works minute by minute and on daily basis.
Every cells require continuous supply of oxygen and if one cells is deprived for just a seconds, it could result into serious health problems. Blood going to the heart if blocked, the heart will begin to die and heart attack sets in while that of the brain is blocked, stroke results immediately etc.
BLOOD CELLS ROGIDITY
Since every organ in our body contains an intricate system of capillaries to bring it to life giving oxygen and carry away waste, and because these capillaries are so narrow, blood cells must literally squeeze through them. Doing this requires that the blood cells be flexible enough to pass through the capillaries . Many conditions that are associated with many health problems is the loss of ELASTICITY OR DEFORMABILITY in the blood cells which prevents them from passing through easily. Blood cells that become too rigid, may clog narrow passageways, preventing the delivery of oxygen , glucose and other nutrients to the cells and organs. 40% of volume of blood is composed of red blood cells hence! actions of these cells are quite important in our health. But, if they become too stiff, they can pool in any parts of the body and such area become starved of oxygen and health problems occur. One of the symptoms associated with the loss of blood cell deformability is elevated blood pressure.
What causes Blood Cell Rigidity?
Many causes are daily showing up among researchers as causing this action but, generally , it’s been agreed that oxidative stress is the primary cause. Oxidative stress that results as results of our consumption of polyunsaturated fat is the real culprit . This is because they become easily oxidized from the production process employed till it get to our kitchen when it is even extremely heated for our cooking purposes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in its original form, makes cell more fluid while saturated fatty acids and cholesterol gives cells the strength and elasticity. However, when polyunsaturated fatty acids becomes oxidized, they make the cells to become stiff and loose its ability to deform and move freely. Saturated fat, being highly resistant to oxidation do not harden. In fact, saturated fat can act as an antioxidant and prevent oxidation. When polyunsaturated fatty acids are surrounded by saturated fatty acids, they are protected to some degree from oxidation.
Palm oil preserves Blood cell flexibility:
Greatly reducing the amount of polyunsaturated fats in ones diet and replacing them with Palm oil can protect one from many of the health problem created by stiffened blood cells. The saturated fat in Palm oil protects polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood cell from oxidation and provide the cell membrane with strength , elasticity and prevents deformability . Saturated fats have over the years been unjustly criticized as causing heart disease by clogging the heart but, in pure scientific sense, it does the opposite by improving blood circulation thereby protecting the cell membrane as well as blood flexibility.
FACTORS THAT AFFECTS BLOOD CELL FLEXIBILITY
Studies shows that flexibility and strength of red and white blood cells are reduced by many factors amongst which are the following
Low antioxidant status. Diets lacking adequate fruits and vegetables
Diet high in polyunsaturated oils
Elevated blood glucose level ( diets high in simple carbohydrates )
Excessive prooxidants in the diet or environment (smog, cigarette smoke, food additives etc)
Low immunity and frequent infection.
Drugs( e,g aspirin, morphine, antidiabetice drugs, cholesterol lowering drugs)
There are replacements for any parts of our body now and that’s the good works of modern science and technology but, there are just two that are exception to any other parts of our body and that’s BRAIN and SPINAL CORD. Here, I will limit myself to brain. One of the things that affects neurological functions is blood flow. It requires a constant supply of oxygen and glucose to function. Palm oil has been shown to increase blood circulation in arteries that feed the brain, thus helping to prevent stroke and maintain good brain health. The brain is composed primarily of about 60% fat and cholesterol , this is a fact. Thus, an adequate amount of fat in the diet, keeps our mind sharp,memory clear, and helps to keep us sane and mentally balanced. Too little of good fat, can lead to depression, suicide and other neurological disorders. A large part of our brain is predominantly saturated hence, the need for us to consume saturated fat for optimal functioning of our brain. Palm oil, provides a good source of fat for this all important purpose.
Because of the high percentage of lipids (fats and cholesterol) in nerve tissue, the brain is very suspectible to lipid preoxidation and free radical induced degeneration. The saturated and monounsaturated fat contents of this oil, along with its abundance of antioxidant makes it very good for brain function and lipid preoxidation .
Vitamin E has been very effective in blocking the free radical formation especially tocopherols from any source but, Palm oil has been of great interest to researchers because of its TOCOTRIENOLS which have significantly shown, by research, to be more effective in protecting the brain as well as the proteins. Free radicals have been implicated in some of the neurological disorders e.g Parkinson’s diseases , epilepsy, stroke, head trauma etc
Neurological disorders in recent times have given worries to researchers and going to work, it has been discovered that most of these diseases, have lots of correlation to the diet and the food we consume these days. This is because, our food have been devitalized and too much processed as well as loaded with lots of Nerotoxins substances that damaged nerve and brain cells . One of these is glutamate. Glutamate, is an amino acids that causes nerve and brain damage. The primary source of glutamate is hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein as well as monosodium glutamate and it is commonly used as a food additive. Why glutamate are added to our food? is just to stimulate our senses and enhance flavours. Eating too much of it, can stimulate our nerve cells to such a degree that they become exhausted and die off. For this simple reason, it is not good and recent research have shown that glutamate interfere with the brain function and kill brain cell. High level of glutamate have been traced to various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s which; is being touted as third case of diabetes. Aside oxidative damage, glutamate interferes with cell communication, thereby activating processes within cells that leads to ultimate death of the cells. However, tocotrienols from Palm oil in addition to its antioxidant properties, protects brain cells from glutamate induced death by regulating cell communication. Glutamate is in our food in one form or the other especially restaurants and it’s almost difficult to avoid it. But, using Palm oil in our food on daily basis is very beneficial in blocking the destructive actions of glutamate and other neurotoxins in our foods. Although, I highly recommend that if possible, we should avoid it like a plague. Let’s research into other form of seasoning that our forefathers used that make their food to be very tasty and sweet. I believe we can and we should.
The respiratory system which include the lungs and air passageways known as bronchitis . The need for oxygen in these area of our body cannot be over stressed. The health of the lungs and the passageways ( bronchial tubes) can have overall effects ones health. They are majorly affected by diet and our environment . It thus works in this way, our lungs are filled with millions of tiny air sacks called aloveli, it is in this aloveli that oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide . When we take a breadth in, air flows into the aloveli and our lungs expand and while expanding, aloveli are inflated like little balloons. Here oxygen diffuse into the bloodstream and is replaced by carbon dioxide. As we exhale , the aloveli are compressed, forcing the air back out of the lungs expelling carbon dioxide. The surface of the aloveli is surrounded by membrane called surfactant whose major role is to reduce surface tension and prevent aloveli from collapsing. Should the aloveli collapse, air cannot fill the cavity and the oxygen- carbon dioxide exchange cannot and will not takes place . Saturated fat is essential for this activity to takes place. A deficiency or dysfunction of the surfactant can play a very major role in respiratory disease including asthma, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis , Lung disease etc .continued consumption of polyunsaturated fat indicate that red blood cells get trapped more easily in some organs of the body namely, spleen, liver, lungs. Here, blood is pooled and free flow of blood decrease which trigger various diseases.
PALM OIL AND NUTRIENT ABSORPTION.
Generally, good fat over time have been studied to have a very considerable effect on digestion and nutrient absorption. This is very possible because, fats slow down considerably the passage of food in our system. There are several benefits to this ; one of such is that, foods remaining contact with stomach acids and digestive enzymes for a longer amount of time , thus reducing the likelihood that harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi will survive and be passed to where they could do harm to the body.
Second benefits is that, holding food in the stomach for a longer period of time, it makes us feel satisfied for a longer period of time before we feel hungry again. In this way, we are not likely to snacks between meals and we feel less hungry at the next meal thus, reducing the consumption of excess calories we might otherwise consume.
Still on other benefits, sugars are released into the bloodstream at a lower rate so that there’s less impact on blood sugar and insulin level. This is very important to diabetes patients. Also, perhaps an important benefits is that it allows for digestive enzymes and acids within the stomach ample of time to breakdown and release nutrients trapped in our food for our body to utilize . It is on record by researchers that, fat is needed for some fat soluble vitamins to break down and for our body to gets its benefits. Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D ,E, and K . Others are beta- carotene and alpha – carotenes . We can eat fruits and vegetables that are loaded with abundant vitamins but, without fat, we are only getting a very partial benefits of the fruits but, with fat, all the benefits inherent in the fruits and vegetables will be available to our body.
COMPARISON OF DIETARY FATS
Saturated fat Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat
Safflower oil 9%. 13%. 78%
Sunflower oil. 11%. 20%. 69%
Corn oil. 13%. 25%. 62%
Soybean oil. 15%. 24%. 61%
Cottonseed oil. 27%. 19%. 54%
Peanut oil. 18%. 48%. 34%
Canola oil. 7%. 62%. 31%
Lard (pig) oil. 41%. 47%. 12%
Palm oil. 50%. 40%. 10%
Olive oil. 14%. 77%. 9%
Beef fat. 52%. 44%. 4%
Butter. 66%. 30%. 4%
Palm kernel oil. 82%. 15%. 3%
From the above analysis, one can see that the most saturated fat were mentioned below . This is deliberate just for us to see that what we currently consume as our fat, are above and we see increases in the degenerative diseases while those that were consumed before this turn of century were the ones that does not give us diseases. The more saturated a fat is, the more it is heat resistant while used in cooking and the less technology is needed to produce them. The ones we employ technology to produce are the bad ones. The above is based on sound scientific analysis available in most of the world known health sites.
DIFFERENT TYPES AND USES OF PALM OIL
From the fruit of Palm oil comes different form of oil but red or virgin Palm oil is of great interest and very popular. However, white Palm oil is very preffered in commercial uses. The very difference between these two is just the degree of processing and its fractionalisation in order to have different fat molecules. Each of the molecules, have different melting point while, polyunsaturated fat have the lowest melting point compared to Monounsatuated and saturated fat have the highest point of melting. So at fractionalisation of Palm oil, polyunsaturated fat comes out first followed by Monounsatuated while saturated fat comes last . One major benefit of fractionalisation is just to get different purposes of Palm oil for different uses . The processes, produced Palm olein (liquid) and stearin (solid)
PLAM KERNEL OIL :
This comes from the seed after extraction of cred or virgin Palm oil. These two oils are very different from each both in composition and effects on health. Both of the are high in saturated fat content with PKO having the higher of the two, as much as 82% compared to 50%. Palm oil contains majorly palmitic (c16:0) and olein fatty acids (c 18:1). Palm kernel oil contains primarily LAURIC ACID (c 12:0). It’s the lauric acid that is very potent against majorly all the viruses and infections that affect human beings. Once it mixed with the body system, it begins its work of anti-Protozoa , antibacterial and antiviral effects (this oil among lipid researchers, is often referred to as medium chain fatty acids, MCFA). This will be discussed later in some of the write ups that will follow this. This oil has a very sharp taste but, it’s preferred in commercial food industry . Lots of research have been done on this oil and many more are still being discovered by researchers . So, this oil and its original parents, which is Palm oil, is very good for human consumption as well as our commercial food preparations.
MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACIDS IN PALM KERNEL OIL
Palm Kernel oil which comes from the inner seed after red Palm oil have been extracted from the fruit contains largely medium chain fatty acids that have been studied extensively by lipid reaearchers and it has been confirmed to have lots of anti microbial effects that have been used to treat a lot of viruses, fungi, bacteria causing diseases. It has been recorded to have a very considerable effects on the viruses that causes HIV anomgst others. Of the dietary oil that have been compared sos far to date, it has the highest LAURIC acid hence, its importance among folk in Eastern Africa and even Western Africa where it has become a culture to use this oil to test lots diseases with success stories. The writer personal experience about the benefits of the PKO oil is as follows :
An epilepsy suffer of about 20 years was brought to me in the village. This was because I happened to be there as at the time of the events when it happened. What I could only do was to place the sufferer on the oil and within some minutes , the sufferer was restored back to her normal self and I have asked her to continue this oil. To the amazement of villagers alike, she has not for a day, experienced the disease again since being on the oil. It has relived her and her parents from the daily embarrassment and permanent synthetic drugs she would have been struggling to buy.