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Minister of Industry, Plantation and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong consumed vitamin E when visiting the exhibition booth after opening the Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceutical 2107 conference in Putrajaya, also seen Sime Darby Nutrition Officer, Che Khalid Embong (right). (pix by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH)

SEPANG: Malaysia’s annual RM70 million palm oil vitamin E exports to the global pharmaceutical industry are set to expand, as medical studies show that it lowers bad cholesterol levels, kills cancer cells and protects our brain against the debilitating effects of a stroke.

“As more medical studies (discover) the benefits of palm oil vitamin E, the future is bright for mankind,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

“Malaysia’s Health Ministry has just released its sampling study on the country’s 30 million population consuming palm oil in their daily diet. The results affirmed that consuming palm oil doesn't have any adverse effect on our heart’s health,” he said.

Mah was speaking to reporters after officiating the opening of the Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceutical Conference (PINC 2017) here today. The two-day conference is organised by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

He assured the public that the Health Ministry's study confirms the age-old advice that we should consume adequate fats in our daily diet, for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.

“I believe palm oil provides the right amount of fat in a balanced diet. Vitamins A and E are essential for normal growth and good health,” he said.

Mah added that scientists had briefed him that all vegetable oils contain Vitamin E, namely tocopherols and tocotrienols.

“The good thing is that palm oil has the richest known content of natural tocotrienols.

“I am very encouraged to learn from clinical trials conducted in the United States and Malaysia that tocotrienols extracted from palm oil have promising medical benefits.

“We export palm oil vitamins and phytonutrients to a tune of some RM70 million a year. As the medical evidence on tocotrienol benefits accumulates, the export value will keep expanding,” said the minister.

Mah noted that the value chain of oil palm cultivation will continue to contribute significantly to the country's economy.

“The oil palm is the national economic security crop. Bank Negara has had the oil palm tree printed on the back of the RM50 note, for the past decade.

“The first commercial cultivation of this wonderful crop was 100 years ago. The palm oil industry is here to stay, from generation to generation, beyond another 100 years,” Mah added.

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