Friday, November 26, 2021

    Coconut Oil and Waist Size: Does it Work?


    Coconut oil contains MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are saturated fats with 6–12 carbon chain length. Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) have 13 to 21 carbon chain length. Thus, the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil can influence the body differently and have direct effects on energy and heat production within the body [1], [2]. Some studies in obese peoples and people with coronary disease show that eating coconut oil reduced waist size [3], [4], [5]. However, there was no effect of coconut oil on body weight. Studies also show that the MCTs in coconut oil may also provide appetite suppressing effects compared to other fats [6], [7], [8], [9].

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    The mechanism behind coconut oil and waist size reduction can be because of its metabolism boosting effects. In fact, coconut oil has no direct impact on body weight. When you ingest MCTs, they enter the mitochondria and produce heat and energy. As a result, you will burn more calories.

    The MCTs in coconut oil are transported to the liver and used in the processing of energy and heat production. MCTs have appetite suppressing effects and can decrease your waist size.


    The MCTs in coconut oil may aid in the reduction of waist size and appetite. This could be because of how your body metabolises fat. However, coconut oil is a natural source of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides).

    Suggested article: Top 10 health benefits of coconut oil and daily uses


    1. Mumme K, Stonehouse W. Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Feb;115(2):249-263. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022. PMID: 25636220.
    2. Dulloo AG, Fathi M, Mensi N, Girardier L. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8. PMID: 8654328.
    3. Liau KM, Lee YY, Chen CK, Rasool AH. An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity. ISRN Pharmacol. 2011;2011:949686. doi: 10.5402/2011/949686. Epub 2011 Mar 15. PMID: 22164340; PMCID: PMC3226242.
    4. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. doi: 10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6. Epub 2009 May 13. PMID: 19437058.
    5. Cardoso DA, Moreira AS, de Oliveira GM, Raggio Luiz R, Rosa G. A COCONUT EXTRA VIRGIN OIL-RICH DIET INCREASES HDL CHOLESTEROL AND DECREASES WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE AND BODY MASS IN CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE PATIENTS. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Nov 1;32(5):2144-52. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.32.5.9642. PMID: 26545671.
    6. Han JR, Deng B, Sun J, Chen CG, Corkey BE, Kirkland JL, Ma J, Guo W. Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects. Metabolism. 2007 Jul;56(7):985-91. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2007.03.005. PMID: 17570262.
    7. Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):435-44. PMID: 8696422.
    8. Van Wymelbeke V, Himaya A, Louis-Sylvestre J, Fantino M. Influence of medium-chain and long-chain triacylglycerols on the control of food intake in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Aug;68(2):226-34. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/68.2.226. PMID: 9701177.
    9. St-Onge MP, Mayrsohn B, O’Keeffe M, Kissileff HR, Choudhury AR, Laferrère B. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;68(10):1134-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.145. Epub 2014 Jul 30. PMID: 25074387; PMCID: PMC4192077.
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    Naeem Durrani BSc
    I am a retired pharmacist, nutrition expert, journalist, and more. My interests include medical research, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices, which empower people to transform their lives.
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