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Canola Oil: Choose Something Else

Canola Oil

Rapeseed Oil

When I was in chiropractic school, (about twenty-eight years ago,) I remember constantly having my fellow students work on my mid-back. It would cramp up, off and on, and releasing my spine would give relief…sometimes. I always thought it was a rib-head problem. (It was probably inflamed as well.) My perspective on it, as a student, was that the abdominal sick-ache and cramping was result of the back pain and nerve irritation. This is one description of a chiropractic subluxation. This is also known as somato-visceral complex/pain. This went on, particularly in those school years.  I was dead wrong. It turned out to be viscero-somatic complex/pain, as I will explain here.

Fifteen years ago, I had another attack after eating a bunch of Hostess chocolate covered donuts. I thought the same thing that anyone would think: I ate too many donuts. That attack lasted a month. I just looked up the ingredients for this post, and canola oil is used in them.

Now, years later, I have run into the same thing. My wife bought some soft butter that had canola oil added. Three months ago I smeared a goodly amount on some banana bread, and later went into cramping like I haven’t seen in years. I didn’t put two and two together, and about a week later, I had some more of that butter on something else. I started cramping up again, with the gas pocket I had not identfied before. Then it occurred to me that the butter said “Canola Oil” on the front label, as if it were an attribute.

I know, as a doctor, that any number of things can cause the symptoms I am describing, such as a gallbladder problem. However, I know when my gallbladder is acting up, and that is not this. I laser my gallbladder, it passes the stone, and that’s that. It’s in the book.

This is in the my upper left quadrant, and not the gall bladder. It is an intestinal gas pocket and inflammation.

I thought about it, and when I was in school, (twenty-eight years ago,) I read an article about this new thing called “canola oil”, and that it was great for health, because it was a monounsaturated oil, like olive oil. I didn’t like olive oil much, and it burned easily, so I opted for the canola oil, and bought it from then on. I did this for about 4 years straight.

After I graduated, my wife did the buying, and she bought corn oil. As I am human, and humans usually don’t notice when things are better, I didn’t notice that the severe mid-back pain and cramping went away.

I’ve checked it out, and canola oil comes from a genetically engineered form of the rapeseed plant, which comes from the mustard family. If you read the de-bunking websites, everything is rosy, and this healthy oil is just great. It is also major money maker, (read MAJOR,) as it is relatively cheap to make, even with the processing:

“The procedure involves a combination of high-temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extract, usually using hexane. Hexane! Even after considerable refining, traces of the solvent remain. Like most vegetable oils, Canola oil also goes through the process of bleaching, degumming, deodorizing, and caustic refining, at very high temperatures. This process can alter the omega-3 content in the oil, and in certain conditions bring the trans fat level as high as 40 percent.”


There is a great de-bunking article at:

If you have been researching canola oil on the net, the author nicely picks apart the rumors and work done by others. You will recognize some things you have read there.

Even so, when there is smoke, there may be fire. Also, I have learned that research almost always contradicts itself, in spite of the fact that this idea defies logic. I have learned that research isn’t everything, (even though I love reading it,) because you will almost always find disagreement.

For example, from the last web address given, here is an excerpt:

“Studies with lab animals were disastrous. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When canola oil was withdrawn from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs.”

This was a disastrous circumstance indeed. Why? Because the natural diet of a rat is made up of grains, raw fruits and vegetables and is very low in fatty acids. Introduce a load of heavier fats into a critter’s diet and sure all sorts of health problems might develop. Later studies demonstrated that cooking oils other than canola (specifically, sunflower seed oil) produced the same results in laboratory rats, as well as demonstrated that the digestive system of a rat is rather different from that of a human.

Gee, I wonder who did the follow-up study and stuffed rats with enough of the various oils above to cause problems? Who sponsored it? I am sorry if I sound skeptical of this statement of the skeptic, but I know how I feel, and I am looking for evidence to back it up. I am biased towards finding evidence against canola oil. Now, I am not on a quest. I am not writing a book about it, I am just musing about it on this blog in an informal manner, without spending much time on my own research.

Why post this then? Because we still have some of that butter in the refrigerator, (it doesn’t seem to bother my wife,) and I am afraid to try it again and see. It hurts too much. I think that a large concentration of it makes the symptoms more clearly recognizable.

1 comment to Canola Oil: Choose Something Else

  • Thanks for your blog. You are the first person I have found to have described the EXACT pain I have from Canola oil as well. Upper left quadarant, intestinal gas/cramping. Took me 7 years to figure out it was Canola oil since the pain doesn’t occur for about 24 hours…sometimes even 48 hours but it is exactly as you describe. Eating out is a nightmare since every place seems to use it. Most people look at me crazy when I tell them I can’t do Canola oil. I’ll take pure butter fat over it any day.

    Anyway, thanks for your post. So glad I am not alone.


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