Malaysia upset of Singapore University's research linking palm oil to heart disease
A worker carries palm fruit at a local palm plantation in Shah Alam outside Kuala Lumpur. Reuters

Malaysian palm oil producers are upset over National University of Singapore's (NUS) finding that links palm oil to high levels of blood cholesterol.

Malaysia's Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said he would take up the matter with Singaporean authorities, The Star newspaper reported.

"I plan to visit the relevant minister in Singapore. It is very sad that it (findings) comes from our neighbour," he said.

Singapore's Straits Times had reported in January that researchers from the NUS linked palm oil consumption to higher levels of "bad" cholesterol in the body.

The low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from palm oil raised the risk of coronary heart disease incidence and death by six percent, the report had said.

Malaysian Estate Owners Association president Joseph Tek asked if this was the truth or just bad science.

"There are a number of studies with favourable conclusions about the health aspect of palm oil consumption but unfortunately these findings did not find traction in the public media and mindsets," Tek said.

He urged Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Malaysian Palm Oil Council and government to address "such persistent misperceptions".

"Can the above research be refuted, with the ultimate aim of reversing and correcting the misperception it has caused," Tek asked.

Malaysia is a top palm oil producer which accounted for 31.7% of the global palm oil production and 36.4% of global exports in 2015.