Coconut oil no risk to heart, reveals a latest study

Coconut oil no risk to heart, reveals a latest study

N.B. Nair

Kochi (ISJ) ? A study by cardiologists at a Kochi hospital reveals, coconut oil has no risk factors to patients with heart diseases. The study at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre shows ?coconut oil even though rich in saturated fatty acids in comparison to sunflower oil, when used as cooking oil media over a period of 2 years did not change the lipid-related cardiovascular risk factors and events in those receiving standard medical care.?

The two-year randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil conducted at the behest of Coconut Development Board, under the Government of India, was published in the recent issue of Indian Heart Journal. It was conducted to investigate the impact of coconut oil and sunflower oil on lipid profile, antioxidant mechanism and endothelial function in patients with known coronary artery disease (CAD).

?There was no statistically significant difference in the anthropometric, biochemical, vascular function, and in cardiovascular events after 2 years in the patients subjected to the study,? said Dr. M. Vijayakumar, Professor of Cardiology at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and the main author of the study.

Saturated fatty acids are considered one of the major causes for CAD. Though lowering lipid levels are possible through drugs, modulating HDL to a safe level could not be achieved due to a variety of factors like genetic, lifestyle and dietary. Most of the time, the concern about dietary oil begins after the occurrence of cardiac event or being diagnosed as having CAD.

Kerala is among the states with high prevalence of heart diseases in India and coconut oil, which is the most common cooking medium, was considered to be the culprit. However, in the recent years, sunflower oil, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids have become the second preferred cooking media.

The researchers however, admit the study has its own limitations like the intervention population is very small and the outcome could have been influenced as they were receiving standard medical care. Secondly, the duration of two years was not sufficient to commend on the impact of coconut oil as a cooking medium and its impact on major cardiac diseases.

Source: Indian Heart Journal

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