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Beneficial Effects Of Coconut Oil In Humans

Coconut Oil is a major edible oil in the southern parts of india, particularly in Kerala. The characteristic feature of Kerala diet is the use of fresh coconut kernel in most culinary preparations, apart from the use of free coconut oil. This has been our habit from time immemorial.  It is generally believed that consumption of coconut oil may elevate blood cholesterothere by predisposing the user to coronary attery disease (CAD). This fear is based on the fact that coconut oil is a saturated fat and the view that ail saturated fats elevate blood cholesterol. But no systernatic scientific study has been carried out so far in this respect in human subjccts. Such a study has now been undertaken in human subjects under free living conditions.  This study revealed the following :  * Consumption of coconut oil did not alter blood total cholesterol.

* Consumption of coconut kernel along with coconut oil lowered blood  cholesterol significantly.

*  Coconut oil increased blood HDL cholesterol.

*  Coconut oil produced higher HDL cholesterol when compared to groundnut oil.

* It did not elevate LDL cholesterol or LDL cholesterol/H DL cholesterol ratio, while it lowered sertun triglycerides.  The accepted risk factors for coronary artery disease are elevated blood total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol and increased triglycerides. Coconut oil does not cause increase in blood cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, but increased HDL cholesterol and decreased blood triglycerides. Thus it cannot contribute to any of the risk factors involved in coronary artery disease.

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