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June 23, 2014

Corn Oil Lowers Cholesterol More Than Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:51 am

  A full page ad from Mazola Oil in a recent Sunday coupon insert, made an astounding claim:


What? Corn oil is better for you than olive oil? There is a block of almost unreadable fine print at the bottom of the page. It reads in part:


“…Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tbsp (16 grams) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in corn oil. FDA concludes there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, corn oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”

How limited was the test? According to a summary of the results, the theory was only tested on 54 people.

Two other points:

  • Mazola seems to be claiming that eating just one tablespoon of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease. Yet, the test they conducted required subjects to eat FOUR tablespoons a day.
  • Mazola shared the cost of this study, and it does not appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    The question becomes whether it is fair to tout this health claim in big headlines with such a limited test? We asked the makers of Mazola to comment on this and the discrepancy in the amount of oil needed to achieve the claimed benefits, but they failed to respond.

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    1. “…Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests…”

      I don’t think I would base changes in my diet on limited and unproven research. It’s nice that Mazola included a summary of the research, but the fact that it is limited to 54 people and not published would immediately raise questions to their claims.

      Mazola sells extra virgin olive oil as well, so I don’t know exactly why they feel the need to make such claims. Perhaps corn oil has much higher profit margins and they would prefer it to stay that way. Weird, because I don’t think corn oil sales will decline any time soon.

      Comment by Wayne R — June 23, 2014 @ 9:59 am
    2. This definitely makes them look shady, whether they are or not. Lack of transparency tends to offer shade, after all. 😉

      Comment by spstanley — June 23, 2014 @ 10:16 am
    3. nice…
      You could also do a whole study on olive oil too. Many are blends of mostly canola. The mouse print on those is massively cryptic.

      Comment by me — June 23, 2014 @ 11:59 am
    4. The study contained 54 people, thus it means 27 got the corn oil and 27 got the olive oil. But what is lacking is a control group. Since the subjects were provided all their food needs, I wonder if a control group’s numbers will drop during the same period of time too?

      Comment by Joseph — June 23, 2014 @ 3:26 pm
    5. I will not use any of these products until GMO information is on the label! If you are not willing to disclose this ,I am no willing to use the product.

      Comment by RJ — June 23, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
    6. What the report doesn’t tell you is that 4 tablespoons of Mazola Corn Oil = 480 calories, or 24% of your calories on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. That’s way above the 5% – 10% recommended in their own report. How much did people weigh before and after the study? Look for what isn’t reported.

      Comment by Marcus — June 24, 2014 @ 7:14 am
    7. They never state just exactly who ran this study on behalf of whom. I saw the study mentioned online in several articles, however most of them were even sketchier than the information you found. Wanna bet that the corn oil people funded it? Today there are too many bogus studies floating around all claiming the opposite thing, and then later it is found out that the methods of one of them were “compromised”. I wasn’t born yesterday. It’s getting so that I don’t accept the results of studies unless several completely independent and thorough studies all come up with the same result.

      Comment by Renée — June 24, 2014 @ 7:52 am
    8. Well Marcus they have to cherry pick the data…… How many people are really going to read the study??

      Comment by richard — June 24, 2014 @ 2:13 pm
    9. You know this study and Mazola’s erroneous conclusions are BS. Corn oil has an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 60 to 1. You don’t want to eat any source of fat with the ratio more than 4 to 1, and 1 to 1 is the ideal. And you want to eliminate all genetically modified foods from your diet. 90% of corn grown in the US is GE, therefore, unless you know it was organically grown, eat no corn products. It’s not easy. Thanks to government corn subsidies making it cheap, corn derivatives in one form or another are all over the place.

      Comment by rjdriver — June 24, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

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