In this, my final post on coconut oil, I’ll discuss some purported benefits of consuming the oil. This will include its effects on bacteria, viruses, cancer, the liver, and oxidation. Alright! Continue reading
As I’ve already pointed out, coconut oil is almost entirely saturated fat and for this reason the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetics Association, and American Heart Association advice against its consumption due to the effect of saturated fats on cholesterol levels. What a buzzkill for coconut lovers. Yet many defenders of coconut oil argue that the majority of saturated fats in coconut oil are of medium chain length, which produces a favorable effect on cardiovascular disease and CVD risk factors. So what are the effect of coconut oil on cholesterol levels? And more importantly, what does the scientific literature suggest about coconut oil and cardiovascular disease? Let’s find out. Continue reading
Coconut oil has oozed into mainstream nutrition lately and established itself as a seemingly miraculous health food. Proponents sing its praises and seem to hold it in god-like esteem. But do these claims hold up to the rigors of scientific research? Furthermore, what are the health effects of consuming coconut oil, good and bad? Let’s find out. Continue reading
A few months ago a study titled “Effects of n−6 PUFAs compared with SFAs on liver fat, lipoproteins, and inflammation in abdominal obesity: a randomized controlled trial” was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study compared the effects of polyunsaturated fat, in the form of sunflower oil, with saturated fat, in the form of butter on various markers of health. The results of this study seem to indicate that saturated fat produces higher insulin, higher levels of inflammatory mediators, a worse lipid profile, and greater accumulation of liver fat. Ouch.
Still, I think there are some problems with this study that weakens it as evidence that saturated fat is bad and polyunsaturated vegetable oils are good. Continue reading