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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Cottonseed Oil: Benefits, Side Effects and Uses

There are many different kinds of oils that are used for the purpose of cooking in households. Among them, a lesser known oil is the cottonseed oil. Extracted from cotton plant seeds, cotton seed oil is mainly produced in the United States. Similar to many oils, the seeds of cotton must be husked in order to obtain an oil rich kernel which is then pressed to bring out cottonseed oil.

Apart from being a cooking oil, cottonseed oil is also widely used as biofuel. This oil contains around 38% kernel and around 20% kernel depending on the seed quality or its species. Varying qualities of cottonseed oil can be found in varied seasons as well as places.

When it comes to its benefits, there is a long list waiting to be discovered. It has been shown that cottonseed oil is able to minimize cholesterol, protect your skin, boost immunity, and speed the healing process of your body. However, its benefits are not the only thing you should be aware of. It is also not free of many side effects and problems. It happens mainly because its quality differs from region to region so people must be careful regarding it and consume that oil which is high in quality.

What Are the Benefits of Cottonseed Oil?

  1. Protects against cancer

  2. Boosts the health of skin

  3. Strengthens your immunity

  4. Enhances heart health

  5. Lowers inflammation

1.   Protects Against Cancer

Cottonseed oil for cancer prevention

Woman with a doctor, Credit: Canva

Cottonseed plants consist of a toxin called gossypol. According to studies, it has anticancer properties and is linked to decreased levels of the growth of prostate tissue. A high quality cottonseed oil lowers your risk of prostate cancer.

2.   Boosts the Health of Your Skin

Glowing skin from cottonseed oil

Woman with nice skin, Credit: Canva

Cottonseed oil has concentrated levels of vitamin E along with various antioxidants. Thus, it greatly helps in boosting your skin health. It can also enhance the appearance and moisture levels of dry skin. Due to this it can also prevent the onset of premature aging.

3.   Strengthens Your Immunity

strong immunity

High immunity illustration, Credit: Canva

As mentioned before, there are many antioxidants that are found in cottonseed oil. They work to eliminate oxidative stress in the immune system. Thus, your immune levels become high and your body is able to effectively fight off infections and diseases. It is very useful in protecting your body against foreign bodies and the pathogens present in the environment.

4.   Enhances Heart Health

healthy heart

Man with hands on his chest, Credit: Canva

Although cottonseed oil contains large amounts of saturated fats, it also has a sufficient quantity of poly and monounsaturated fatty acids in it. It also has gamma-linolenic acid which is highly effective in helping a person to control their cholesterol. Hence, by consuming it moderately, you can prevent yourself from blood pressure and heart health issues.

Uses of Cottonseed Oil

Cottonseed oil is widely used for baking purposes as it is lighter than most oils. It has high oxidation resistance and thus can be safely used as a salad dressing. For those in search of a remedy to help them minimize their cholesterol levels, this oil is a great choice. Cottonseed oil brings out the flavour of fresh food items and thus is widely used in deep frying dishes. Apart from this, it is also used for restoring the elasticity of skin and for hair care. However, all these uses of cotton seed oil depend on its quality. A low grade oil will not give you all these benefits and may even put your health at risk. So be careful whenever you purchase. Opt for a trusted brand of cottonseed oil whenever you go out to buy it.

Side Effects of Cottonseed Oil?

Cottonseed oil side-effects

Woman looking at a pregnancy test, Credit: Canva

Although cottonseed oil has been hailed as a healthful oil, yet, there is also a controversy that surrounds it. It is mainly centered around the toxin gossypol that is found in it. The side effects of gossypol include:

  1. Infertility issues in women and reduced sperm count in men

  2. Problems in pregnancy. It may cause the embryo to develop prematurely..

  3. The toxin is known to cause liver damage

  4. Respiratory problems is another common side effect of cotton seed oil

  5. It can also cause loss of appetite and consequently eating disorders

Recently, many researches have been undertaken to find out the allergies that cottonseed oil may cause in people. Some people find themselves allergic to cotton seed extracts. They should stay away from this oil.

Cottonseed oil thus presents itself as quite a healthy oil. However, it does not boast of anything extraordinary. In fact, many of its benefits are the same as that of other oils. If you are purchasing it, ensure that you are purchasing it from a reputable brand.

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