posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 03:04 AM
Found the following on wikipedia:
During the 1980's, The American Heart Association, found that coconut oil's high saturated fat content was detrimental to cardiovascular health
and promoted heart disease. A research study at the Heart Research Institute in Sydney, Australia used coconut oil and safflower oil (high in mono or
polyunsaturated fat) in two otherwise identical meals for the study's participants. The study found that:
“...three hours after eating the coconut oil meal, the lining of the arteries was hindered from expanding to increase blood flow. After six hours,
the anti-inflammatory qualities of the good cholesterol were reduced.
“...the safflower oil meal seemed to improve those anti-inflammatory qualities. Also, fewer inflammatory agents were found in the arteries than
before the meal.”
Although the above study involved only 14 subjects, and it is unclear how the coconut oil used for the study was processed, the conclusion that
coconut oil is unhealthy is consistent with prior concerns.
However, some studies in humans and rats concluded that consuming the coconut kernel together with the oil (as opposed to consuming just the oil)
reduces serum total and LDL cholesterol.
Other research has shown some promising health benefits for coconut oil. One study demonstrated that lauric acid (the most abundant fat in coconut
oil) is highly effective at stimulating Peptide YY (PYY) release and suppressing ghrelin secretion. Ghrelin suppression usually leads to lowered
hunger levels, and thus a lowered likelihood of snacking between meals and eating too much during meals.
There are many additional heath benefits of coconut oil put forth by its advocates (see links below under "coconut oil proponents"). However, more
rigorous scientific research is needed to verify these claims.
It seems that the weight loss effects would have to do with that peptide YY release, but possibly it wouldn't be too healthy to be consuming coconut
oil all the time. (Although that study only had 14 subjects, and it doesn't seem much would be consumed each day, or that it would be much or any
worse than other cooking fats used in common foods).
The skin benefits are definitely real when applied to the skin. I use an organic moisturizer during the winter when my skin dries up, and the main
ingredient is "coconut fatty oil"...it works better than anything else I have used.