Coconut Oil: Separating the Street Noise From the Street News

Coconut oil is the latest food to capture the imagination of food faddists. Health claims include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, prevention of dementia and being an anti-bacterial agent. Little evidence exists to support any of these claims. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have a small effect on weight loss, but the MCT content in coconut oil is much lower than used in weight-loss studies. It’s not likely that coconut oil has any significant effect on weight loss. Coconut oil is probably bad for cardiovascular health because it increases LDL cholesterol, which is associated with coronary artery disease. There is no evidence that coconut oil promotes brain health, prevents dementia or improves immunity. The widely promoted health benefits of coconut oil are based more on hype than reality. (Nutrition Action Health Letter, December 8, 2014)

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