Impact of coconut oil consumption on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Teng, Monica; Zhao, Ying Jiao; Khoo, Ai Leng; Yeo, Tiong Cheng; Yong, Quek Wei; Lim, Boon Peng
March 2020
Nutrition Reviews;Mar2020, Vol. 78 Issue 3, p249
Academic Journal
Context Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids and has been claimed to have numerous health benefits. Objective This review aimed to examine the evidence surrounding coconut oil consumption and its impact on cardiovascular health. Data Sources A systematic literature search of the PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and CINAHL databases, up to May 2019, was performed. Data Extraction Study characteristics including study design, population, intervention, comparator, outcome, and source of funding were summarized. Data Analysis Meta-analyses included 12 studies to provide estimates of effects. Subgroup analyses were performed to account for any differences in the study-level characteristics. When compared with plant oils and animal oils, coconut oil was found to significantly increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) by 0.57 mg/dL (95%CI, 0.40–0.74 mg/dL; I2 = 6.7%) and 0.33 mg/dL (0.01–0.65 mg/dL; I2 = 0%), respectively. Coconut oil significantly raised low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 0.26 mg/dL (0.09–0.43 mg/dL; I2 = 59.7%) compared with plant oils and lowered LDL-C (−0.37 mg/dL; −0.69 to −0.05 mg/dL; I2 = 48.1%) compared with animal oils. No significant effects on triglyceride were observed. Better lipid profiles were demonstrated with the virgin form of coconut oil. Conclusion Compared with animal oils, coconut oil demonstrated a better lipid profile n comparison with plant oils, coconut oil significantly increased HDL-C and LDL-C.


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