Coconut Oil: Not the Miracle Fat it is Touted to be…

Background: Coconut oil has been touted as a miracle fat benefiting many aspects of human health including “anti-microbial” properties and ketogenicity. We are not aware of any peer-reviewed publications showing that intact coconut oil has antimicrobial properties in vivo (in living humans). Many of our customers related to us that before discovering C8 KetoMCT oil, they made coconut oil a major part of their ketogenic diet plan to increase their ketones. Some even call it “keto coconut oil”. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support that coconut oil is ketogenic. Coconut oil actually dilutes the ketogenicity of C8 MCT, by virtue of having only 10-15% C8/10 and not being ketogenic in clinical studies. Please see these previous postings for information on the ineffectiveness of coconut oil and lack of ketogenicity:

Herein, we review two recent additional studies on coconut oil, one a review article, and the other discussing the frying properties of coconut oil:

Results: In a recent review of 8 clinical trials and 13 observational studies 1, it was concluded that despite lay (non-technical) media claims to the contrary, relative to unsaturated fats, coconut oil raises total and LDL (bad) cholesterol (but less than butter, which contains saturated fats and cholesterol).

Consumption of coconut flesh or squeezed coconut in the context of traditional dietary patterns does not lead to these adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Enjoy fresh coconuts!

In another recent study, it was concluded that lauric acid (C12)-rich oils such as coconut oil may be better for moderate-temperature frying than C6-C10 MCTs 2. Our experience has been that frying and baking with C8 MCT is quite feasible below the smoke point of 315 degrees Fahrenheit, and low temperature heating is generally healthier as there is less thermal degradation products formed.

Conclusions and Discussion: Herein, the authors of the review article state that higher amounts of coconut oil can be deleterious to cardiovascular health, which is why we typically recommend to our customers to consume only 1-2 tablespoons per day of coconut oil. Consistent with our earlier findings, coconut oil should not be called “keto coconut oil”, due to its lack of ketogenicity. In small quantities as part of a low carbohydrate, ketogenic lifestyle, coconut oil will impart nice flavors and will not deleteriously affect triglycerides nor elevate “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Low temperature frying, which is better than high temperature frying, is quite feasible with both coconut oil and our true C8 KetoMCTs. Coconut oil may impart a nice taste, but can also impart a soapy taste (since the C12 in coconut oil can form soaps) in some cases.

We care about your health. As always, if you have any questions, please write to us and we'll be more than happy to address all your questions.

1.    Eyres, L., et al., Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Nutr Rev, 2016. 74(4): p. 267-280.
2.    McCarty, M.F. and J.J. DiNicolantonio, Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart, 2016. 3(2): p. e000467.

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