Thursday, July 25, 2013

What’s wrong with mustard oil ?

Mustard oil is traditionally used in North Indian cuisine and many Bengali fish dishes. Unfortunately, mustard oil also frequents news, where adulterated mustard oil causes dropsy in its consumers. What probably many Indians are unaware is that in the west, the sale of mustard oil for food is illegal (US, Canada and EU), largely because of two compounds found in the oil. One is an irritating compound called isothiocyanate and the other one an unusual fatty acid called 'erucic acid'. Mustard oil, contains copious amounts of Erucic acid (about 42%), which is known to cause heart damage in laboratory animals.
Many scientists believe that Erucic acid can cause accumulation of triglycerides in heart, fibrotic lesions in heart and lung cancer. Its effects though on humans are unknown, as it is not studied. Hence, just to be on the cautions side, its best to avoid mustard oil, especially when many other oil alternatives are available.


  1. Aarina12:09 pm

    Wasn't aware about this. Very informative!

  2. Exactly Whats wrong with mustered oil.....

  3. Exactly Whats wrong with mustered oil.....

  4. MustOil , India4:23 pm

    Nothing wrong in using Mustard oil. The tests were carried out on rats and it was discovered that rats were not able to convert the fatty acids unlike humans who can. People in India have been using Mustard oil for centuries and no adverse event has ben reported because of it's use. Actually it is a ploy to promote the use of conola - a oil from canada.

    1. 1. Rats are unable to digest fatty acids like humans in any oil; not only mustard oil. But the effect of Erucic acid were noticed in Mustard oil.
      2. Mustard oil is being used in India for a long time- But is there any statistical study to show that there have "been no adverse effects". (Wheat too is being used in India for many decades- But how many are aware of the effect it is having in their bodies)
      3. It may or may not be a ploy to promote Canola, but the effect of Erucic acids need further study- Hence I clearly say "Better safe than sorry."

  5. Anonymous1:46 am

    I'm a bit confused now. Just to make it clear, shall we avoid this mustard oil to include in food?, or shall we avoid to for oiling hair and skin? - Frank A.