Coconut oil, which is taken from the fruit portion of the seed off the coconut palm tree, is one the most beneficial foods one can consume. There is an array of positive research published in the last few years showing the significance of coconut oil.1-3
Coconut oil is the most saturated of all fats. Saturated fat has three subcategories; short chain, medium chain, and long chain. Coconut oil contains approximately 65% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). The saturated medium chain lipid lauric acid, which comprises approximately 50% of coconut oil, is the antibacterial, anti-viral fatty acid found in mother’s milk.4 But, it’s the MCFA’s thermogenic or fat burning effect that we’re most concerned about in this article.
In a study, researchers compared the thermogenic effect between MCFA’s and Long chain fatty acids (LCFA’s), like those found in vegetable oil after single meals. The meals were 400 calories and consisted entirely of either MCFA’s or LCFA’s. The thermogenic effect of MCFA’s over six hours was three times greater than that of LCFA’s. Researchers concluded that as long as the calorie level remained constant substituting MCFA’s for LCFA’s would result in weight loss.5 The same number of calories from two different substances yielding different outcomes. How weird.
A study was conducted by researchers at McGill University to evaluate existing data describing the effects of MCFA’s on energy expenditure and to determine their efficacy as agents in the treatment of obesity. They reported that several different studies had shown weight loss equivalent to 12 – 36 pounds a year simply by changing the types of oils used in everyday cooking and food preparation. Animal and human studies have shown greater energy expenditure, less body weight gain, and decreased the size of fatty deposits when using MCFA’s as opposed to LCFA’s .6,7 How about that calorie theory?
Best source of coconut oil is TropicalTraditions.com
1. Enig, M. (2000). A new look at coconut oil. Wise Traditions in food, farming and the healing arts , Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1wdunT2
2. Rethinam, P. Muhatoyo. “The Plain Truth About Coconut Oil.” http://www.apccsec.org/truth.html
3. Enig, M. (2006). Latest studies on coconut oil. Wise Traditions in food, farming and the healing arts, 7(1)
4. Enig, M. (2000). Know your fats. (p. 115). Silver Springs, MD: Bethesda Press.
5. Seaton, T. B., et al. (1986). Thermogenic effect of medium chain and long chain triglycerides in man. American journal of clinical nutrition, 44(5), 630. Retrieved fromhttp://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/44/5/630.full.pdf+html
6. Hill, J. (1989). Thermogenesis in humans during overfeeding with medium chain triglycerides. Metabolism, 38(7), 641-8. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2739575
7. Jones, P. (2002). Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity. Journal of Nutrition, 132(3), 329-32. Retrieved from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/3/329.full