Misconceptions and Facts About Virgin Coconut Oil


Coconut oil is like other vegetable oil. No, coconut oil is made up mostly of medium chain fatty acids. Corn oil and soybean oils contain mostly long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; while palm oil has about equal amounts of long chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Vegetable oils (coconut, corn, palm) are rich in cholesterol just like animal fats and dairy products. Animal fats (lard, butter, and egg products) are rich in cholesterol, vegetable oils contain insignificant amount of cholesterol – coconut oil having the least.
All saturated fats are the same. Saturated fats differ. Some may contain mostly long chain triglycerides or LCTS (e.g. pork fat); other mostly medium chain triglycerides or MCTS (e.g. coconut oil). LCTS and MCTS differ in absorption, transport, as well as in metabolism and end-product.
Coconut oil is bad; it raises serum cholesterol. Coconut eating people like the Polynesians and the Bicolanos of the Philippines have low serum cholesterol and few coronary heart disease.
People who take plenty of saturated fats and cholesterol will develop high serum cholesterol. Individuals who take plenty of saturated LCTS and cholesterol and who are “diet responders” may develop high serum cholesterol: “non-responders” are not affected by diet. Responsiveness is gene-related. (i.e. hereditary)
Since polyunsaturated oils such as corn, peanut and soybean oils lower cholesterol, we should use these oils exclusively for cooking our foods. Polyunsaturates in large amounts may increase cancer risk.
Hydrogenated corn or soybean oils are polyunsaturated oils and are safe. Hydrogenation converts polyunsaturated to saturated long chain fatty acids or to isomeric trans-forms. Both of these are believed to raise serum cholesterol just like saturated LCTS.
High serum cholesterol must be prevented at all cost because of risk of coronary heart disease a.) high serum cholesterol is a definite risk for coronary heart disease among young to middle-age males (Framingham). High serum cholesterol should be lowered in these persons.

b.) No relationship has so far been established between hypercholesterolemia and (1) cerebrovascular disease; (2) females; and (3) elderly males. Lowering of high serum cholesterol in the elderly is prudent but must be balanced against drug toxicity if drugs are used.

Related Information:

  • Comparison of Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acid Composition of Various Fats and Oils

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administation. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.

You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program.

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