The Common Kitchen Staple Linked to Cancer in New Study

Corn oil is a common ingredient found in many of our favorite everyday foods like chips, pizza, and margarine. But did you know that a diet rich in corn oil may lead to some serious health issues including obesity, inflammation, and even cancer? In this article, we’ll dive into the scientific research behind the concerns associated with corn oil and offer some alternatives to help make your diet a bit healthier.

The Link between Diet and Disease

Researchers at UCLA have found that a diet high in calories and fat, specifically corn oil, has been linked to obesity, metabolic disturbances, pancreatic inflammation, and even an increase in the development of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Guido Eibl, an associate professor in the department of surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, led the study, which consisted of feeding lab animals a diet rich in corn oil.

The results were alarming: 90 percent of the lab animals fed a diet high in corn oil became obese, and they all developed insulin resistance and inflammation in the pancreas – conditions known to stimulate the growth of both precancerous and cancer cells. These animals also developed significantly more advanced precancerous lesions than those fed a normal diet.

Corn Oil’s Role in Inflammation & Insulin Resistance

Dr. Eibl’s research is a call for concern due to the extensive incorporation of corn oil in the modern diet. Corn oil, derived from the germ of corn, contains a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids. While these fatty acids are necessary for our bodies in moderation, an imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can lead to inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a key factor linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In addition to inflammation, high corn oil consumption can also lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels and eventually, type 2 diabetes. A diet high in fat and calories, such as that from corn oil, has been shown to contribute to the development of insulin resistance.

The Downside of Processed Foods

One of the main reasons why corn oil consumption has increased over the past few decades is due to the rise of processed foods. The use of corn oil in processed foods is cost-effective for manufacturers and provides a good taste profile. However, when consumed regularly and in high quantities, it can lead to the aforementioned health issues of inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, and a possible increased risk of cancer.

That’s not to say that all processed foods are inherently bad; it’s important to note that corn oil in moderation is unlikely to pose a risk to your health. However, the issue lies in the fact that it can be difficult to consume corn oil in moderation when it is hidden in many of our favorite packaged foods.

Healthy Alternatives to Corn Oil

Considering the potential health risks associated with a diet high in corn oil, there are several healthier alternatives you can try:

  1. Olive oil: Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil can help reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Avocado oil: Like olive oil, avocado oil is high in good-for-you monounsaturated fats and has been linked to a variety of health benefits.
  3. Coconut oil: Although high in saturated fats, coconut oil contains a unique type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than other fats and may actually increase fat burning and decrease body fat.
  4. Walnut oil: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, walnut oil can provide a healthy balance to your diet’s fatty acid ratio. It is commonly used in salad dressings and other cold preparations as it has a low smoke point, which means it shouldn’t be used for high-temperature cooking.

In addition to these alternative oils, you can also make a conscious effort to reduce processed food consumption and focus on incorporating whole, nutrient-rich foods into your diet. Supporting an overall balanced and varied diet will ensure optimal health and help lower the risk of chronic diseases.


The research conducted by Dr. Eibl and his team at UCLA has shed light on the concerning link between diets high in corn oil and potential health issues such as obesity, inflammation, insulin resistance, and even cancer. By opting for healthier oil alternatives, reducing processed food consumption, and focusing on a whole, balanced diet, you can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and lower the risk of chronic diseases associated with corn oil consumption.