Scientists from Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul and elsewhere found that coconut oil does not benefit the heart and metabolic health.
Coconut oil has a 92% concentration of saturated fatty acid composition, leading to an apparently unfavorable lipid profile, body weight, and blood sugar effect.
However, it is consumed worldwide and has gained popularity.
In the current study, researchers reviewed published findings to analyze the effect of coconut oil intake on the heart and metabolic health.
They included 7 studies in their study. The amount of coconut oil consumed varies and is expressed differently among studies:
12 to 30 ml of coconut oil/day, as part of the number of SFAs or total daily, consumed fat, a variation of 6 to 54.4 g/day, or as part of the total caloric energy intake (15 to 21%).
The team found coconut oil intake did not strongly decrease body weight, waist circumference, body fat, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) levels.
However, coconut oil intake was linked to a small increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C).
The team also found the overall risk of bias was high, and the certainty of the evidence was very low.
They admitted that some studies have small samples and short follow-ups, which undermine the effects of coconut oil intake on metabolic health.
Based on the findings, the team suggests that coconut oil intake has no strong improvement in cholesterol and body composition compared to other oils/fats.
They suggest strategies to advise the public on the consumption of other oils, not coconut oil, due to proven heart and metabolic benefits should be implemented.
The research was published in Lipids in Health and Disease and conducted by Ana Cláudia Duarte et al.
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