Better Body Clinical Nutrition


Enter Text

A New Look at Coconut Oil – Part 2

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 11:08 AM

Article by MARY ENIG, PHD 
January 2, 2000
Photo by Fulvio Ciccolo on 
Health and Nutritional Benefits from Coconut Oil: An Important Functional Food for the 21st Century
Presented at the AVOC Lauric Oils Symposium, Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, 25 April 1996
I. Introduction
Mr. Chairman and members of the ASEAN Vegetable Oils Club, I would like to thank you for inviting me to participate in this Lauric Oils Symposium. I am pleased to have the opportunity to review with you some information that I hope will help redress some of the anti-tropical oils rhetoric that has been so troublesome to your industry.
I will be covering two important areas in my presentation. In the first part, I would like to review the history of the major health challenge facing coconut oil today. This challenge is based on a supposed negative role played by saturated fat in heart disease. I hope to dispel any acceptance of this notion with the information I will present to you today. I will show you how both animal studies and human studies have exonerated coconut oil of causing the problem. 
In the second part of my talk, I will suggest some new directions where important positive health benefits are seen for coconut oil. These benefits stem from coconut oil’s use as a food with major antimicrobial and anticancer benefits. I will present to you some of the rationale for this effect and some of the supporting literature. 
The health and nutritional benefits derived from coconut oil are unique and compelling. Although the baker and food processor have recognized the functional advantages of coconut oil in their industries, over most competing oils, for many years, I believe these benefits are underappreciated today by both the producer and the consumer. It is time to educate and reeducate all those who harbor this misinformation.
Historically, coconuts and their extracted oil have served man as important foods for thousands of years. The use of coconut oil as a shortening was advertised in the United States in popular cookbooks at the end of the 19th century. Both the health-promoting attributes of coconut oil and those functional properties useful to the homemaker were recognized 100 years ago. These same attributes, in addition to some newly discovered ones, should be of great interest to both the producing countries as well as the consuming countries.
  • Click on the subscribe button below to sign up for our monthly newsletter