UQ cardiologist confirms coconut oil is not the good oil for heart health

May 27, 2013, University of Queensland

(Medical Xpress)—Research from The University of Queensland has reconfirmed oily fish or fish supplements are vital for heart health and debunked popular myths about coconut oil.

Associate Professor David Colquhoun, a cardiologist from UQ School of Medicine and Wesley and Greenslopes Private Hospitals, said the value of fish oil and its health benefits have been questioned.

"My research review confirms oily fish or fish supplements are important for heart health and should be a regular part of our weekly diet," Associate Professor Colquhoun said.

According to the Heart Foundation, healthy adults should consume about 500 milligrams of omega-3 oil from marine sources per day to lower their risk of .

This can be achieved by eating two to three serves of a week or by taking .

Associate Professor Colquhoun also debunked popular myths about krill oil and coconut oil.

"Krill oil is a good source of omega-3s however it is no better for you than fish oil and is usually more expensive," he said.

"Don't take too much notice of krill oil labeled 'organic', 'sustainable' or 'eco-friendly' - the current harvesting of krill is less than 1 per cent of what is in the ocean, so it is all wild and sustainable.

"There have also been bizarre claims that coconut oil lowers cholesterol, cures Alzheimer's disease and even prevents heart disease, however the research does not support this.

"In fact, coconut oil is full of unhealthy saturated fat which raises bad , clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease.

"With over 90 per cent saturated fat I would definitely be keeping off the menu."

Associate Professor Colquhoun presented his findings at the Heart Foundation Conference (16-18 May) in Adelaide.

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2 comments

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toby_dayrit
5 / 5 (1) May 28, 2013
Where is Prof. Colquhoun's evidence to support such a statement that coconut oil clogs arteries and increases the risk of heart disease? There is WHO data on fat intakes which contradicts his statement.
tekram
5 / 5 (1) May 28, 2013
According to Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University who has extensively reviewed the literature on coconut oil, a considerable part of its stigma can be traced to one major factor.

"Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data," Dr. Brenna said. "Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn't so bad for you after all."

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