Coconut Oil

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All Essential Benefits/Effects/Facts & Information

Frequently asked questions and answers related to Coconut-oil

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Things To Know

Also Known As

Cocos nucifera, Coconut, Medium Chain Triglycerides (partially synonymous but commonly touted as such)

Things to Note

  • Although single-use heating of coconut oil appears to be free of harm (use as a home cooking oil) multiple heating (deep frying) may be associated with production of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, a carcinogenic compound, which is common to all tested fatty acids

Is a Form Of

Goes Well With

  • Vitamin E (enhanced topical absorption when using medium chain triglycerides as base)

Caution Notice Medical Disclaimer

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what effects coconut oil has on your body, and how strong these effects are.

Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Skin dryness Notable - See study
Appears to be comparable to mineral oil, which is usually the active control in these studies.
Skin moisture Notable Very High See 2 studies
Appears to be comparable to mineral oil, the active control
Metabolic Rate Minor Moderate See all 4 studies
Appears to be a short lived and of small magnitude increase in metabolic rate.
Processing Speed Minor - See study
Study was unable to properly assess coconut oil as it was used as an active control; some benefit appears apparent relative to fish oil.
Working Memory - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support an increase in working memory
Fat Mass Minor - See study
May decrease fat mass to a greater degree than an isocaloric amount of long chain fatty acids.
Fat Oxidation Minor - See study
Appears to increase the percentage of calories derived from lipids in obese persons; no comparator.
HDL-C Minor - See study
Decrease in HDL-C is minor and likely not practically relevant.
Insulin Sensitivity Minor - See study
May improve insulin sensitivity in diabetics, requires more evidence though as the one study was confounded with fat loss.
Ketone Bodies Minor - See study
Has been implicated in increasing serum ketones more than other fatty acids.
LDL-C Minor - See study
Not an overly significant reduction of LDL-C, but it does appear to be present relative to longer chain fatty acids
Skeletal Muscle Atrophy Minor - See study
Was able to attenuate the rate of skeletal muscle loss during a hypocaloric diet in obese persons; unknown if this applies to lean persons and may be related to ketone production.
Total Cholesterol Minor - See study
A decrease in total cholesterol (both the LDL and HDL portions) has been noted with coconut oil to a minor degree relative to longer chain fatty acids
Weight Minor - See study
Appears somewhat effective in reducing weight of obese persons to a greater degree than an isocaloric amount of longer chain fatty acids
Apolipoprotein A - - See study
No significant changes in apo-A levels with dietary inclusion of coconut oil
Apolipoprotein B - - See study
No significant alterations in Apolipoprotein B levels
Blood Glucose - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support alterations in blood glucose.
Infant Growth - See study
Insulin - - See study
No significant influence detected on fasting insulin levels following coconut oil consumption
Thermic Effect of Food - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support alterations in the thermic effect of food compared to other oils
Triglycerides - - See study
Insufficient evidence to support changes in serum triglycerides.