Antioxidants in Virgin Coconut Oil Counteract Environmental Pollutants and Improve Cardiovascular Health
by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
A new study published in Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine sheds further light on how coconut oil, virgin coconut oil in particular, enhances cardiovascular health, in direct contradiction to the U.S. government claims that coconut oil leads to heart disease.
As is to be expected, much of the research published in peer-reviewed journals showing that coconut oil enhances heart health in recent years has been conducted outside the U.S., in tropical cultures where coconuts grow. These countries are finding out for themselves that they have been misled by U.S. policy that condemns their native diets which includes coconuts and coconut oil. See:
War on Saturated Fats Has Harmed People in Poor Countries Who Shunned Traditional Fats Like Coconut Oil
How Africans have been fooled to think coconut oil and other traditional foods from their culture are unhealthy
This current study conducted in Nigeria looked at the pathogenic role of cadmium (Cd) and its exposure in the induction of dyslipidemia implicated in the development and increasing incidence of cardiovascular diseases, and explored whether polyphenolics isolated from virgin coconut oil (VCO) could prevent Cd-induced dyslipidemia.
Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread environmental and occupational pollutant that has emerged as a major cause of pathobiochemical events and damage in a number of organs. Cadmium concentration has increased in the biosphere through mining, smelting, agricultural and industrial activities (Prozialeck and Edwards, 2012 ). It is a stable divalent cation that is not biodegradable and persists in the environment. Human exposures occur in the workplace or via ingestion of Cd-contaminated food or water (Prozialeck and Edwards, 2012 ; Vidal et al., 2015 ). The Cd levels in the air and drinking water are not alarming; however, a considerable amount of Cd is absorbed via food and cigarette smoking (Siu et al., 2009 ).
The title of the study is: Polyphenols isolated from virgin coconut oil attenuate cadmium-induced dyslipidemia and oxidative stress due to their antioxidant properties and potential benefits on cardiovascular risk ratios in rats
The researchers concluded:
The co-administration of VCO polyphenol with Cd remarkably restored lipid profile and cardiovascular risk ratios and stabilized antioxidant defense systems comparable to control group.
This is the first study presenting that polyphenols isolated from VCO prevent Cd-induced lipid abnormalities and cardiovascular risk ratios by improving antioxidant defense systems.
Research and Science Prove Coconut Oil is Not Responsible for Heart Disease
The research proving coconut oil is NOT a threat to heart disease, and in fact is heart healthy, is extensive, and much of it has existed for years.
I was one of the first ones to publish the positive research on coconut oil starting back in 2001, and CoconutOil.com, now part of the Health Impact News network, contains the bulk of that research that we have collected over the years.
It is obvious that the attacks on coconut oil are based solely on the fact that it is a saturated fat, and the faulty premise that all saturated fats are bad, and lead to heart disease. This lipid theory of heart disease has been thoroughly debunked by science.
One the largest analysis of the peer-reviewed literature was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010, and this meta-analysis looked at almost 350,000 studies published on saturated fats, and concluded:
A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. (full study)
Many other studies have come to the same conclusion, including a study published in 2013 in Advances in Nutrition: Dietary Fats and Health: Dietary Recommendations in the Context of Scientific Evidence.
Although early studies showed that saturated fat diets with very low levels of PUFAs increase serum cholesterol, whereas other studies showed high serum cholesterol increased the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), the evidence of dietary saturated fats increasing CAD or causing premature death was weak.
Over the years, data revealed that dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are not associated with CAD and other adverse health effects or at worst are weakly associated in some analyses when other contributing factors may be overlooked.
Several recent analyses indicate that SFAs, particularly in dairy products and coconut oil, can improve health.
In contrast, there have been numerous studies showing coconut oil is heart healthy, especially virgin coconut oil which has a higher content of antioxidants. Here is a sampling of that research:
Study: Coconut Oil Helps Hypertension – Science Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Keep Increasing
Study: Traditional Virgin Coconut Oil High in Antioxidants and Reduces Oxidative Stress in Heart, Kidney, and Liver
Coconut Oil is a Threat to U.S. Commodity Crops and Big Pharma
Coconut oil cannot be produced in the U.S. – it must be imported from tropical countries.
The primary vegetable oils in the U.S. are derived from corn and soybeans, and the U.S. is the world leader in these two crops, as they are heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers to keep prices artificially low. They are also crops that are mostly derived from genetically modified seeds.
The “tropical oils” are the main competition world-wide, and that would include palm oil and coconut oil. They are naturally high in the percentage of saturated fats, whereas the polyunsaturated fats that replaced saturated fats in the American diet have to be chemically altered to make them shelf-stable.
For many years they were hydrogenated, until research showed that the by products of this refining, trans fats, were harmful to human heath and banned in most countries. The FDA eventually issued warnings against trans fats, but they still exist in the U.S.
However, the main reason the lipid theory of heart disease continues in the U.S. is because to admit that this hypothesis is wrong is to admit that a whole class of pharmaceutical drugs is unnecessary, statin drugs that lower one’s cholesterol artificially. Statin drugs are historically the best-selling pharmaceutical drugs all time.
Virgin Coconut Oil: Not All Coconut Oils are the Same
Many have jumped onto the Virgin Coconut Oil bandwagon since I introduced this product to the U.S. market back in 2001. Today, many mass-produced and refined coconut oils are being labeled as “virgin” coconut oils.
One of the more popular myths being propagated regarding unrefined “virgin” coconut oils is that the highest quality coconut oils are “cold-pressed” and never see heat.
However, research has shown that virgin coconut oils processed with some heat actually have higher levels of antioxidants, unlike the refining process of virgin olive oils.
And as this study from Nigeria I referenced above shows, the antioxidants in virgin coconut oil are seen as the key component when it comes to heart health.
I have written a guide to purchasing coconut oil that puts to rest many of these common myths:
About the author: Unlike many people who write about coconut oil by simply reading about it, Brian Shilhavy actually lived in a coconut producing area of the Philippines for several years with his family, observing firsthand the differences between the diet and health of the younger generation and those of his wife’s parents’ generation still consuming a traditional diet. This led to years of studying Philippine nutrition and dietary patterns first hand while living in a rural farming community in the Philippines. Brian is the author of the best-selling book: Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!
Read the Virgin Coconut Oil Book on Your Mobile Device!
Published on February 15, 2018