Cardiovascular effects of edible oils: a comparison between four popular edible oils

Edible oils form an essential part of the modern diet. These oils play a role as an energy source, and provide the diet with many beneficial micronutrients. Although a popular conception may be that fat should be avoided, certain edible oils as a dietary supplement may play an important role in the improvement of cardiovascular health. CVD has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Dietary supplementation with different oils may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. While olive oil and sunflower-seed oil are known to reduce serum cholesterol, fish oil has become well known for reducing potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmias. Recently, red palm oil research has shown beneficial effects on cardiac recovery from ischaemia– reperfusion injury. It is clear that dietary supplementation with edible oils may play a vital role in reducing the mortality rate due to heart disease. The specific benefits and disadvantages of these oils should, however, be explored in greater depth. The present review will attempt to identify the benefits and shortcomings of four popular edible oils, namely olive oil, sunflower-seed oil, fish oil and palm oil. Additionally the present review will aim to reveal potential areas of research which could further enhance our understanding of the effects of edible oils on cardiovascular health.