Health Risk of Corn Oil

Health Risk of Corn Oil
by Jennifer Elliot | November 9, 2012

Corn oil is extracted from corn germs and is used extensively for food purposes. According to Soyatech, it is used in bottled form for the purpose of cooking directly targeting consumers and it is also used commercially for the making of fried snack items and margarine. As stated by the Corn Refiners Association, one of the biggest drawbacks of corn oil is that it is a rich various kinds of fats, including the unhealthy types. However, it further goes on to say that as compared to crude corn oil, refined corn oil is free of unhealthy fatty acids and is excellent for frying purposes, is resistant of discoloration of fried foods and prevents the smoking effect, is great with retaining flavor of foods and promotes digestion.
However, there is a massive flipside to corn oil and the consumption of corn oil as well. Here are some of the drawbacks of using corn oil for various purposes.

Toxicity Concerns: Kidneys, Liver and Other Organs

Most corn oil brands use genetically modified corn to extract the oil from.  Genetically modified corn is grown on a large scale worldwide in an attempt to make it resistant to pesticides and herbicides as reported by Soyatech. Since the concept of genetically modified corn used to extract corn oil does not age far back, the consequences, both short and long term are not profoundly known. However, a research published in 2009 in the ‘International Journal of Biological Science’ documents consuming genetically modified corn can lead to toxicity in the kidneys, livers and spleen organs in rats. The study indicates that the level of toxicity caused is directly proportional to the amount of genetically modified corn that is consumed, that is, the more of it you consume, the greater the toxicity levels would be.

Weight Gain

According to the ‘Journal of American Medical Association’, more than two-thirds of the American population is obese. Obesity is an issue that reigns supreme over America and is the reason of a bundle of diseases and disorders. A research conducted on mice to account for the health risks of corn oil found out that when mice were given the choice to consume corn oil fed foods, they had a greater tendency to overeat in the long term than those who were given sugar or neither of the two foods. This research showed that the former group of mice was more prone to having a greater caloric intake and chances at obesity than the latter group. The research further stated and proved that mice who were fed corn oil gained more body weight and fatty liver as compared to the mice who were given sugar or neither of the two foods.       

Cancer

Consuming foods which are made in corn oil can substantially increase risk of cancer. This is because corn oil consists of a chock full of polyunsaturated fats, omega 6 fatty acids to be more precise, which as the reputation of increasing risk of cancer by aggravating the growth of various cancer cells. These cancer cells primarily include prostrate tumor cells. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most of the omega 6 content present in corn oil takes the form of linoleic acids which the body converts into arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid, according to a research published in the ‘British Journal of Cancer’ leads to the causation of prostate cancer and facilitates the spread of cancer to bones.

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About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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