Coconut Oil Dangers

Save

Coconut oil, once shunned for its connection to heart disease, began enjoying a renaissance around 2005. Authors claimed it a weight loss magic bullet and even a disease cure. The hype, however, may be hazardous to your health.

Saturated Fats

  • Coconut oil contains no trans fats or dietary cholesterol. But it's extremely high in saturated fats, which the American Heart Association names the leading contributor to high blood cholesterol, itself a clear risk factor for heart disease. (see References 1)

Fad Diets

  • Single-ingredient diets encourage dieters to binge unhealthily on the latest panacea. Coconut oil is benign enough in moderation as part of a balanced, low-fat diet. But retailers of Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, calling it "one of the most healthy super foods in the world," recommend three tablespoons of the product daily. This alone represents a saturated fat intake of 189% of the FDA recommended daily allowance. (see References 2)

Bad Science

  • Claims made about coconut oil exaggerate actual study findings into unfounded conclusions. For instance, some claim that the lauric acid sourced from coconut oil can cure AIDS. But according to the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange, what studies actually show is that monolaurin (a form of lauric acid) attacks herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus and HIV in the test tube environment. No studies of the effects of lauric acid on actual AIDS sufferers have been documented. (see References 3)

Conflict of Interest

  • The biggest promoters of coconut oil tend to be retailers of coconut oil diet products. For example, Dr. Mercola's "Truth About Coconut Oil" article links directly to a sales page for Fresh Shores Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Literature positioned to drive consumers toward specific products should be considered marketing, not nutritional science.

Illegal Claims

  • Many marketing claims about coconut oil are not only unsupported by scientific study but are out-and-out illegal. Certain therapeutic claims cause a product to be classified as a drug and thus held to stricter legal standards for safety, labeling and marketing according to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. When a website makes such claims but does not meet those standards, the FDA issues them a warning letter. You can see which companies received such letters--and whose claims should therefore be accorded healthy skepticism--in the FDA's Cyber Letters database.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Resources

You May Also Like

  • About the Benefits of Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil, a dietary cooking oil extracted from the coconut, includes antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that stem from the existence...

  • Tanning Oil Dangers

    More than 1 million skin cancer cases are diagnosed every year, yet many people continue to tan for beauty reasons. Unfortunately, tanning...

  • Fractionated Vs. Partially Hydrogenated Oils

    Fractionated oil may look suspicious to label-reading consumers, but so far it has proven no worse than other saturated fats. Partially hydrogenated...

  • Flax Oil and Coconut Oil

    When figuring out which cooking oil to use, you need to consider the composition of the oil, its effects on health and...

  • How to Heal With Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is a tropical vegetable oil derived from the dried fruit of the coconut palm tree. In traditional medicine, coconut oil...

  • Safety and Dangers of Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is one of those miracle products that have numerous uses. It comes from the nut of the coconut tree and...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!