Coconut Oil

Topics: Saturated fat, Trans fat, Nutrition Pages: 1 (293 words) Published: August 12, 2012
The United States Food and Drug Administration,[21] World Health Organization,[22] International College of Nutrition,[23] the United States Department of Health and Human Services,[24] American Dietetic Association,[25] American Heart Association,[26] British National Health Service,[27] and Dietitians of Canada[25] recommend against the consumption of significant amounts of refined/hydrogenated coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat. Advocacy against coconut and palm oils in the 1970s and 80s due to their perceived danger as a saturated fat caused companies to instead substitute trans fats, unaware of their health-damaging effects.[28]

Coconut oil contains a large proportion of lauric acid, a saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol[29] that is also found in significant amounts in laurel oil, palm kernel oil (not to be confused with palm oil), human and animal breast milk and sebaceous gland secretions.[30][31] This may create a more favourable blood cholesterol profile, though it is unclear if coconut oil may promote atherosclerosis through other pathways.[29] Because much of the saturated fat of coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, coconut oil may be a better alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when solid fats are required.[32] In addition, virgin coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain triglycerides,[33] which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats.[32][34] Early studies on the health effects of coconut oil used partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which creates trans fats, and not virgin coconut oil, which has a different health risk profile.[35]

A repellent made from coconut oil can be used to prevent tungiasis-causing sand fleas from invading the body.[36]
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