The Great Coconut Oil Scare

A few of you have asked about the latest journalistic scare campaign regarding coconut oil. It stemmed from a recent Presidential Advisory report issued by the American Heart Association (AHA).

There have already been several good responses to it, and I’ve posted those links below. The basic gist is:

1) This is not based on any new science. It’s actually based on the old saturated fat-cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis that is no longer viable, and not supported by the latest research on the pathogenesis of heart disease (my hunch is that the AHA sensed the changing tide, and rather than re-evaluate their position based on the latest evidence, instead decided to double down on their old position).

2) The current pharmaceutical strategies for lowering heart disease risk, particularly when it comes to cholesterol, are grounded in the saturated fat-heart disease hypothesis, and in particular the role of LDL cholesterol.

Given the tight relationship between the AHA and big pharma, their continued support of ideas that leads to more drug sales is not too surprising. I don’t expect this to change any time soon (this connection may also explain why other health organizations around the world, ones without these ties, have declared the hypothesis untenable).

Remember that we live in a time where the primary objective of most articles from mass media outlets is to get you to click on the headline. So not the place to get reliable information about health.

Here are some links to some good responses to the issue:

  1. Is Coconut Oil Deadly? 
  2. Let’s Create Dietary Policy Based on the Flimsiest Science
  3. From Gary Taubes