Soybean oil is extracted from the seeds of the soybean plant and is one of the most widely used vegetable oils globally. The use of soybean oil for consumption can be traced back to Chinese civilization around 2000 BC. Soybeans are among the most commonly cultivated plants, due to which there is an extensive supply for producing soybean oil. It is further classified based on the refinement processes used and the levels of hydrogenation.
There are a variety of essential fatty acids in soybean oil including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, due to which it is considered to be a healthier alternative to other vegetable oils. In addition, there are plant sterols, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and other minerals that make soybean a popular choice for cooking and consumption. Apart from the health benefits, the demand for soybean oil has further increased due to easy availability in comparison to other vegetable oils in the market.
Role of Soybean Oil Market In The Healthcare Industry
The current global production of the soybean oil market is estimated to be growing at a rate of 4.6 percent, while the consumption is growing at a rate of 4.1 percent. The production of soybean oil is driven by demands from the Asia region and the U.S., with China as the major soybean oil-consuming country at a global level. The largest soybean oil exporting countries are Argentina and Brazil, accounting for nearly 56 percent of the total global exports, while India is the largest importer of soybean oil.
Soybean oil is playing a major role in the healthcare industry by providing a host of health benefits and a healthier alternative to other oils.
- Heart Health: Using soybean oil for cooking can help slow down the accumulation of the ‘bad’ cholesterol or LDL levels in the blood, reduce hypertension and overall decrease the chances of getting atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and other heart conditions. The balanced fatty acids that are present in soybean oil, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid serve to regulate cholesterol levels. Unchecked levels of LDL deposits clog the blood vessels and interfere with proper blood circulation, increasing the risks for hypertension and adding pressure to the heart.
- Bone Health: Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects both men and women (although more common in women) as a part of the aging process, in which the bones of the body lose their density and become weak, making them more likely to break and fragile overall. Soybean oil contains Vitamin K which is considered effective in promoting the healing of bones. Also, soybean oil contains isoflavones known as phytoestrogen which has an impact similar to that of estrogen, and it helps in keeping bones strong and healthy.
- Skin Care: Soybean oil is useful in improving skin and the benefits can be garnered by both consumption and topical application. The high value of Vitamin E in soybean oil provides benefits on consumption, as Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is linked with reducing blemishes, delaying premature aging of the skin, protecting against sunburn, and stimulating the overall regeneration of new skin cells. Soybean oil can be used directly on the skin or through gels and lotions that include derivatives of soybean oil. There is a rich amount of linoleic acid, antioxidants, vitamins, and isoflavones in soybean oil protects and nourishes the skin, protecting it from harmful UVB rays. It can also be used to reduce inflammation and trans-epidermal water loss, boosting recovery of the skin.
- Reduce Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease: A debilitating neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, which affects the cognitive skills of a person, including memory, thinking, and behavior. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and it is ultimately fatal, however, there are certain ways to reduce its effects. A natural way to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease is by incorporating soybean oil in the diet. Soybean oil has a high content level of Vitamin K which has been connected with alleviating and even reversing certain symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The fatty acids present in soybean oil are also beneficial for those suffering from cognitive, cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disorders.
There are numerous ways that soybean oil can be used for healthcare, by using it as cooking oil, as an emulsifying agent, for baking, in salad dressings, sauces, for deep frying foods and to prepare icings and fillings.
The soybean oil market, especially the surplus supply, is helping the healthcare industry by offering a nutritious and beneficial oil that can be used in a variety of ways to naturally help people get better health. One of the most popular trends across the world is using natural foods as health supplements, avoiding the use of artificial and processed medication as much as possible, and soybean oil meets those needs efficiently.