Coconut Oil Unjustly Attacked

The mainstream medical monopoly continues waging a war of lies on saturated fats, supported by the majority of corporate media parroting the establishment line as to what is and is not healthy for us. Apparently, we should simply believe the “experts” and never ask qui bono . . . who benefits? 

By James Spounias

A recent American Heart Association (AHA) “presidential advisory,” posing as science, blasted coconut oil as part of a larger attack on saturated fats. The advisory was published in the association’s journal, Circulation, in June.

The topic of coconut oil’s benefits was sparked in the 1990s by Tom Valentine, host of “Radio Free America,” in interviews with Dr. Mary Enig, who explained how coconut oil was maligned.

Dr. Enig, a founding board member and later vice president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, brought to light the dangers of man-made trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils), a blight on American health that is still abundant and “legal” in America’s food supply.

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Valentine was never credited for his daring reporting, likely because Liberty Lobby, Radio Free America’s sponsor, was blacklisted as a source of news long before the issue of so-called fake news became part of the national conversation.

The AHA admitted in its recent advisory that there are no studies directly indicting coconut oil: “Clinical trials that compared direct effects on CVD (cardiovascular disease) of coconut oil and other dietary oils have not been reported.”

So, why the fuss?

The AHA cherry-picked four studies to support the wrong-headed conclusion that saturated fats increase cholesterol levels, which in turn increase cardiovascular disease. The selected studies are problematic.

For instance, the study with the largest number of participants (skewing results) was not a randomized control trial, and it involved hospital patients who were being treated with antipsychotic medications, which were later found to increase heart disease.

Studies that support the idea that saturated fats are not implicated in heart disease or may be beneficial for heart health and cancer prevention were excluded.

Many factors impair cardiovascular health, such as hydrogenated fats, fluoridated water, and many prescription drugs, particularly by causing inflammation.

The hydrogenation issue is the elephant in the room, so to speak. As Dr. Enig wrote in 2009, many of the studies used to blame coconut oil for cardiovascular ill-health were done using hydrogenated coconut oil.

Dr. Enig wrote on “WestonPrice.org” that “saturated fats do not clog arteries, whether they are the short- and medium-chain type in coconut oil or the longer-chain fatty acids in beef, cream, and cheese.”

Even The New York Times on March 1, 2011 confirmed what Dr. Enig wrote by quoting Thomas Brenna, professor of science at Cornell University: “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 explained, “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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Yes, you read that correctly: Even The New York Times wrote that hydrogenated oils were used to raise cholesterol levels. The tepid conclusion, “isn’t so bad for you after all,” doesn’t go nearly far enough, though. Coconut oil’s benefits include its powerful antibacterial and anti-microbial properties, as well as the fact it is used by the body for a solid source of “energy” rather than storage.

Dr. Enig pointed out that flawed coconut oil studies didn’t involve only the cholesterol/heart disease fallacy, but included the area of cognitive function as well. Dr. Enig wrote, “It is important to explain why so many animal studies get negative results for coconut oil. The coconut oil used in laboratory studies is usually fully hydrogenated coconut oil. The process of full hydrogenation gets rid of all the unsaturated fatty acids in coconut oil.

“Researchers began using fully hydrogenated coconut oil to study the effects of essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency. They used coconut oil because it is the only fat that can be fully hydrogenated and still be soft enough for rats to eat. The poor results obtained in these studies, such as mental impairment, are due to EFA deficiency and not the fault of the saturated fats in coconut oil. It is extremely deceitful for commentators to blame coconut oil in studies such as these, as they often do.”

Coconuts and coconut oil have been used for thousands of years in native diets without any indication that coconut oil contributes to heart (or other) disease. In fact, population studies have shown less cardiovascular insult in those who consumed coconut and other tropical oils.

In the 20th century, polyunsaturated vegetable oils became an industry favorite, and science was “bought” to attack saturated fats to favor certain vegetable oil interests.

AHA scientists are not stupid people, but rather part of an organized movement to keep people misinformed enough to not deeply question our food supply and pharmaceutical interventions. There’s pushback, though. Truth will win out.

James Spounias is the president of Carotec Inc., originally founded by renowned radio show host and alternative health expert Tom Valentine.