A new study, whose findings were accepted to be shown at ENDO 2020, which is the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, observed the effects of consuming coconut oil on a daily basis on features of metabolic syndrome in people with extreme obesity.
Previously, the medical literature present on coconut oil and its association with cardiometabolic health concluded that its inclusion in the daily diet may lead to an elevated risk of developing cardiometabolic-related issues.
Consequently, coconut oil is not recommended to people with cardiac or metabolic issues as well as those who are at high risk of them due to having other health conditions such as diabetes.
Currently, obesity is one of the biggest issues worldwide. According to the statistics from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly forty percent of the population in the United States alone is obese.
In addition, the number of cases of obesity is rising just not within the US but elsewhere in the western world in all age groups including very young children, which is an alarming situation.
Obesity is not only harmful to health itself but also increases the risk for several health conditions including heart disease, which is the leading cause of death around the world at the moment.
Secondly, being obese is also linked to other well-known health issues including type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and even mental health issues.
Metabolic disorders are particularly common in people with extreme obesity. The CDC reports that around one in five people in the US is diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
In accordance with the Endocrine Society’s Hormone Health Network, metabolic disorders have a direct association with obesity and are partly caused by it. This problem is further aggravated when people consume a high-fat diet.
In the US, the Standard American Diet contains around forty percent fats which is one of the primary reasons why obesity has become so common and is predicted to impact even more people in the future.
The new research, whose findings are expected to be published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, looks particularly at whether the consumption of a controlled amount of coconut oil even with a standard diet with high fats can make a difference in metabolism in people who suffer from obesity.
For this purpose, the researchers used an animal model with reproductive and mature females mini-pigs who had obesity and metabolic syndrome which was divided into two groups.
Both groups were fed diets similar to the Standard American Diet. The only difference was that one group was given five percent nonorganic coconut oil while the other had five percent animal lard.
Regardless of similar diets, the researchers noted that female mini-pigs who consumed coconut oil had lower blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels in comparison with those who had animal lard.
Annie Newell-Fugate, who is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University in College Station and the leading author of the study concluded the study in the words “Our research suggests that coconut oil may be used with lifestyle modifications and anti-diabetic drugs to treat metabolic syndrome, at least in women with obesity,”
She added that “Substituting one tablespoon of your saturated fat calories per day with coconut oil could result in an improvement in your cardiometabolic health,”
However, it should be noted that the authors of the new paper as well as health experts, in general, do not recommend relying alone on such strategies. Proper medical attention and treatment should be sought along with other necessary lifestyle changes for effectively treating obesity alone with metabolic and other related complications.