There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol. HDL appears to help reduce levels of LDL, and high levels of HDL may help boost cardiovascular health.
Some researchersTrusted Source have argued that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a component in coconut oil, may help boost levels of good cholesterol. Participants took 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice daily for 8 weeks.
However, resultsTrusted Source have varied. One small study in 2004 found the opposite. In research, dietary MCT increased bad cholesterol in 17 healthy young men. The scientists did not study any other indicators of heart health.
A 2016 studyTrusted Source found no clear evidence that coconut oil either benefits or harms cholesterol levels.
However, findingsTrusted Source published in 2018 suggested that extra virgin coconut oil's impact on cholesterol may be similar to that of olive oil. So far, the results remain inconclusive, and more studies are needed.