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12 Coconut Oil Studies and Its Effects on Human Health

coconut oil studies

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Interestingly, several coconut oil studies have researched in individuals. In recent years, coconut oil has got an impressive deal of attention. This is because of coconut potential health benefits, many of which can be attributed to the triglycerides (MCTs). There are many promising animal studies. These types of studies, however, can not show that coconut oil in humans is useful. This article reviews 12 Coconut oil studies and their effect on human health.

1. Lipids, 2009

Effects of coconut oil on females with abdominal obesity biochemical and anthropometric profile (1).

Forty females with abdominal obesity consumed 10 ml of soybean oil or coconut oil at each meal, for 12 weeks three times a day.

This amounted to 30 ml of coconut oil per day (2 tablespoons). They followed a low-calorie diet and walk every day for 50 minutes.

Both groups lost approximately 2.2 lbs (1 kg). However, in the waist circumference, the coconut oil group had a reduction of 0.55-in (1.4-cm), while the soybean oil group had a slight increase.

There was also an increase in HDL (the healthy) cholesterol in the coconut oil group and a 35% decline in C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker.

In addition, there was an increase in LDL (the bad) cholesterol in the soybean oil group, a reduction in HDL cholesterol and a decline in CRP of 14 percent.

2. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 2009

Comparison of lipid profile and antioxidant enzymes among South Indian males who consume coconut oil and sunflower oil (2).

Seventy males with type 2 diabetes and 70 healthy males split into groups for cooking over a six-year period depending on their use of coconut oil versus sunflower oil.

Analysis of cholesterol, triglycerides, and oxidative stress markers. No significant differences between coconut oil and sunflower oil groups observed.

The diabetic males, regardless of the oil used, had greater indicators of oxidative stress and risk of heart disease than the non-diabetic males.

3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999

Enhanced postprandial energy expenditure in premenopausal women with medium-chain fatty acid feeding reduced after 14 days (3).

Twelve females of normal weight followed a 14-day diet of medium-chain-triglyceride (MCT), consuming butter and coconut oil as their primary fat sources.

A long-chain-triglyceride (LCT) diet followed for another 14 days, consuming beef tallow as their primary source of fat. After 7 days, the MCT diet was considerably greater in resting metabolic rate and calories burning after meals relative to the LCT diet. The gap between the diets was not statistically important anymore after 14 days.

4. International Journal of Obesity, 2000

Endogenous fat oxidation in medium chain versus long chain triglyceride feeding on healthy women (4).

12 normal-weight females consumed a diet followed by either butter or coconut for 6 days. For 8 days, both groups consumed long-chain fat to test fat burning.

By day 14, more body fat burned by the MCT group than the LCT group. Resting metabolic rate in day seven in the MCT group was considerably greater than in the LCT group, but by day 14 the gap was no longer important.

5. Obesity Research, 1999

In healthy adolescent females, total energy expenditure did not affect after 14 days of feeding medium-versus long-chain triglycerides (5).

Twelve females of normal weight had a blended diet with butter and coconut oil (MCT diet) for 14 days and different 14-day beef tallow (LCT diet).

Resting metabolic rate on day seven of the MCT diet was considerably greater than the LCT diet, but by day 14 the gap was no longer important.

Total calorie expenditure throughout the research was comparable for both sides.

6. International Scholarly Research Notices Pharmacology, 2011

An open-label pilot study to test the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in decreasing visceral adiposity (6).

Twenty people overweight consumed 10 ml of virgin coconut oil three times a day before meals for four weeks, for 30 ml per day. They followed the usual diets and exercise routines.

The males had lost an average of 1.0 in (2.61 cm) after four weeks, and females around the waist had lost an average of 1.2 in (3.00 cm). The average weight loss in males amounted to 0.5 lbs (0.23 kg) and in female 1.2 lbs (0.54 kg).

7. Lipid Research Journal, 1995

Effects on lipids and lipoproteins of coconut oil, butter and safflower oil in people with moderately high cholesterol levels (7).

For six weeks each, twenty-eight individuals with elevated cholesterol followed three diets that contained either coconut oil, butter or safflower oil as the primary source of fat.

Measured lipids and lipoproteins. In females, but not in males, coconut oil and butter boosted HDL substantially more than safflower oil. Butter more than coconut oil or safflower oil raised complete cholesterol.

8. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1985

Plasma lipid and human lipoprotein reaction to beef fat, coconut oil, and safflower oil (8).

Nineteen males with ordinary concentrations of cholesterol ate lunch and dinner for three consecutive analysis periods with three different fat. They consumed five weeks of coconut oil, safflower oil and beef fat each, alternating between each analysis period with ordinary eating for five weeks.

The diet of coconut oil raised complete cholesterol, HDL and LDL more than the diets of beef fat and safflower oil, but raised triglycerides less than the diet of beef fat.

9. Lipids Health Disease Journal, 2014

The effects on quality of life (QOL) of virgin coconut oil (VCO) among breast cancer patients (9).

This research on 60 females with advanced breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. They received 20 ml or no daily therapy of virgin coconut oil.

Women in the coconut oil group had scored for symptoms including sleep, loss of appetite, sexual function and body image than those in the control group for the quality of life.

10. Journal of Nutrition, 2003

The serum LDL / HDL cholesterol ratio is more favorably influenced by exchanging saturated with unsaturated fat than by reducing saturated fat in the diet of women (10).

25 women were consuming 3 diets. A high-fat diet based on coconut oil, a low-fat diet based on coconut oil, and a diet based on highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA).

They ate each for 20–22 days, alternating between each test training period with one week of their ordinary nutrition. The diet group based on high-fat coconut oil had higher rises in HDL and LDL cholesterol compared to the other groups. The diet group based on low-fat coconut oil showed a rise in the LDL to HDL ratio, while there was a reduction in the other groups.

11. Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, 2016

The effects on Streptococcus mutans of coconut oil pulling counts in saliva compared to chlorhexidine mouthwash (11).

Sixty individuals for 10 minutes with coconut oil to rinse their mouths. One minute with chlorhexidine mouthwash or one minute with distilled water.

Before and after therapy, plaque-forming bacteria were estimated in their mouths. They discovered both coconut oil and chlorhexidine considerably reduced the quantity of plaque-forming saliva bacteria.

12. Niger Medical Journal, 2015

Effect of coconut oil in plaque-related gingivitis a preliminary report (12).

Sixty adolescents aged 16–18 with gingivitis (gum inflammation) spent 30 days pulling coconut oil. After 15 to 30 days, inflammation and plaque markers were estimated.

Plaque and gingivitis markers reduced considerably by the seventh day and continued to decline over the length of the research. However, this study did not have a control group. Therefore, we can not conclude that coconut oil has these benefits.

The Bottom Line

Coconut oil seems to help people to lose abdominal fat. It also appears, at least momentarily, to boost the metabolic rate. However, as every tablespoon of coconut oil offers 130 calories. To decrease the bacteria responsible for plaque, they discovered the practice of oil pulling with coconut oil. In addition, it improved gingivitis in adolescents. Adding a tiny quantity of coconut oil to women’s diets undergoing breast cancer chemotherapy led in considerably better quality of life results.

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Naeem Durrani BSc
Naeem Durrani is a freelance journalist who specializes in health and wellness innovation. His interests include medical research, nutrition, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to positively transform their lives.
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