Aug 18, 2020

Emami Smart Balance Oil With Immunity Booster Review of Ingredients

 I recently came across an ad for this brand of cooking oil that stresses on the buzzword of 2020 - Immunity. Diya Mirza is the celebrity promoting this brand.
As always, I was curious to know about the ingredients - This brand Emami Smart Balance Oil with Immunity Boosters is a blended oil with refined soyabean oil (75%) and refined ricebran oil (25%). 
The ingredients added in addition to these oils are the ones that are linked to immunity - the added vitamins (A, C, E and D).

Refined vegetable oils are heavily processed and affects our health in multiple ways, leading to inflammation, obesity, thyroid disorders and diabetes. 

Quoting from the book "The magic weight loss pill" by Luke Coutinho (Page 52-53)

Soybean oil is found in almost every processed food. It is difficult to visit a restaurant that doesn't use soybean oil or some sort of vegetable oil that contains soybean. Soybean oil is a polyunsaturated oil. This and its products are used to feed livestock to fatten the animals. It also promotes unhealthy weight gain in human beings.

Do we need to invite new lifestyle disorders in the name of "boosting our immunity"? Something to think about.

It is best to stay away from all forms of refined oils as much as possible and switch to cold pressed oils that are native to our region (groundnut oil, sesame oil, coconut oil or mustard oil).

Let's focus on the immunity boosting added vitamins and their associated values.
As you can see from this table, the added vitamin values are incomparable to the nutrition provided by real, natural foods. We can easily get these vitamins from various plant-based sources.

Let's not jump into buying any new brands or products stressing on immunity. Our immune system is so complex that we cannot just "boost" it by popping supplements or using fortified products. Let's think holistically when it comes to our overall health and immunity - diet, sleep, exercise, physical activity and stress levels. All these components play a vital role in our immunity.

For Vitamin A, the brand has mentioned the values in mcgRE (retinol equivalent). I converted the betacarotene values of food sources (mentioned in IFCT tables) into retinol equivalent using a ratio of 12:1 as given in this research paper

For a healthy population, the major factors that affect the bioavailability of food carotenoids and the bioconversion of food provitamin A carotenoids to vitamin A in humans are food matrices, food preparation, and the fat content of a meal. Recent studies reported that the conversion efficiency of dietary β-carotene is in the range of 10 to 28:1 by weight. These data indicated that the bioconversion of β-carotene to vitamin A was not as efficient as expected, and, as a result, the Food and Nutrition Board recently revised the estimated efficiency factor for the conversion of dietary β-carotene to vitamin A from 6:1 by weight to the new value of 12:1 by weight. However, this new conversion ratio must be regarded as temporary and could well change, as more data become available.

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