It has been hailed as superfood, demonized as a saturated fat, extolling a product of integral beauty and reviled for its caloric content.
When it comes to coconut oil, the world can not make up its mind.
With more saturated fat than butter and butter, experts have long debated whether consuming the oil really could do more harm than good.
Now, a study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has discovered that coconut oil could actually lower the risk of heart disease and stroke when consumed every day for only four weeks.
As part of the BBC2 series of Trust Me I'm Docto r, Professor Kay-Tee Khaw and Professor Nita Forouhi Recruited 94 volunteers between 50 and 75 years old, none of whom had a history of heart disease or diabetes.
The participants were divided into three groups and each was asked to consume 50 grams (approximately three tablespoons) of coconut oil. , extra virgin olive oil or Every day, for four weeks, the scientists showed interest in seeing how the regular consumption of these fats would affect the cholesterol levels of the volunteers, and the results were surprising.
While butter consumers saw an average increase of 10 percent in their LDL cholesterol levels, widely known as the "bad cholesterol", those who consumed olive oil experienced a slight reduction in LDL levels and an increase in five percent in HDL cholesterol levels, which is often referred to as "good cholesterol". "Because it has protective properties."
Meanwhile, those who ate coconut oil experienced the greatest increase in HDL levels with an average of 15%, which leads researchers to believe that the supposed superfood could be a little super, since it can decrease the chances of developing heart disease or stroke.
While the results are promising, Khaw was quick to emphasize that the study was only short-term and that changing one's dietary habits base d in his conclusions would be "irresponsible."
"I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just health effects," said the former BBC.