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Cholesterol and Coconut Oil

[ ARTICLES ] 16/MARCH/2017 10.25

Some patients may ask the same question in a consultation such as “What is a good oil for my body? Should I change my cooking oil into corn or olive oil?” When the answer is coconut oil as a good alternative, most of the patients surprised and replied: “Does coconut oil can increase cholesterol? Does it unhealthy? Does coconut oil give negative effects for human body? And Doc, I thought that coconut oil can congeal inside our blood.”


Those questions and statements arose from a recommendation by the department of health in USA that stated a saturated fatty acid (SAFA) should be loosen because it is related with the increasing of cholesterol plasma (within the blood) and higher risk of cardiovascular (causes blood vessel blockage, heart attack and stroke). SAFA is a saturated fatty acid that contained in animal and vegetation fat.  All animals fat contain SAFA with the amount of atom C 18. However, the most SAFA that found in vegetation fat is coconut oil that has 92,7%. Therefore, most people try to avoid coconut oil because of its risk.


SAFA in coconut oil has other characteristics, because 59,7% is SAFA with medium chain which are C8, C10, and C12. This characteristic causes coconut oil even though has a lot of SAFA, can be easily absorbed by human body because it has medium length of the chain. Another effects are human body can be easily change SAFA inside coconut oil into energy and harder to change it into  triglyceride that gaining weight.


Some research about the daily activity of society who consume a lot of coconut oil stated that there are normal cholesterol level in their blood and no one had cardiovascular illness. Tokelau tribes who are living in New Zealand, using coconut in their daily life. Their 63% daily fat intake come from coconut oil and other products. Their cholesterol and triglyceride are normal, and no one has cardiovascular illness. Similar with a research in Ciamis, East Java in 2008 (by the author) stated that the craftsmen population that consume more than 30% of coconut oil in their total fat have normal cholesterol in majority, and 100% low risk of PKV.


Other facts, until the 70s, the majority of Indonesian people who have been use coconut oil for daily life and the health survey at that time showed that the number one of causing death is infection. After the 70s, coconut oil consumption change into palm oil and up until now it becomes the most consumed oil by Indonesian people. After the 80s until now, the number one of causing dead is no longer because of infection, but cardiovascular which initiated by high level of LDL, total cholesterol, and low level of HDL cholesterol.


The risk of cardiovascular can be determined by observing LDL/ HDL cholesterol ratio in human body. The higher ratio of cholesterol, then higher risk of cardiovascular they will get. A research in Ciamis, East Java, has proven that all coconut oil consumption has low LDL/ HDL cholesterol. This research reveals that 100% of population who consume coconut oil have low-risk of PKV.


Based on those data, coconut oil is save to consume and do not have to avoid it because it is not increasing PKV risk.