ALaPPUZHA: A study for BBC2's Trust Me I'm a Doctor series has come up with a surprising revelation: coconut oil can raise HDL or the good cholesterol levels.
"The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists," it says.
"On the other hand, saturated fats - which are particularly bad for you - also tend to raise HDL, "good" cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly."
The scientific community sees coconut oil as the unhealthy fat, very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%), which could increase LDL (low density lipoprotein).
BBC2 series team with the help of Cambridge academics Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 having no history of diabetes or heart disease, and formed three groups for a trial.
Every day for four weeks, each group was asked to eat the same amount of extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter.
When tested the coconut oil not only had supported to stop rise in LDL levels, but also became instrumental in the rising of HDL up to 15 percent
While the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10 percent, which was almost matched by a five percent rise in their HDL levels, those who consumed olive oil showed no significant drop in LDL, and a five percent rise in HDL....