Original Article


, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 593-601

First online:

Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity

  • Monica L. AssunçãoAffiliated withFaculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas
  • , Haroldo S. FerreiraAffiliated withFaculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas Email author 
  • , Aldenir F.  dos SantosAffiliated withFaculdade de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Fundação Jayme de Altavila
  • , Cyro R. CabralJrAffiliated withFaculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas
  • , Telma M. M. T. FlorêncioAffiliated withFaculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas

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The effects of dietary supplementation with coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting waist circumferences (WC) >88 cm (abdominal obesity) were investigated. The randomised, double-blind, clinical trial involved 40 women aged 20–40 years. Groups received daily dietary supplements comprising 30 mL of either soy bean oil (group S; n = 20) or coconut oil (group C; n = 20) over a 12-week period, during which all subjects were instructed to follow a balanced hypocaloric diet and to walk for 50 min per day. Data were collected 1 week before (T1) and 1 week after (T2) dietary intervention. Energy intake and amount of carbohydrate ingested by both groups diminished over the trial, whereas the consumption of protein and fibre increased and lipid ingestion remained unchanged. At T1 there were no differences in biochemical or anthropometric characteristics between the groups, whereas at T2 group C presented a higher level of HDL (48.7 ± 2.4 vs. 45.00 ± 5.6; P = 0.01) and a lower LDL:HDL ratio (2.41 ± 0.8 vs. 3.1 ± 0.8; P = 0.04). Reductions in BMI were observed in both groups at T2 (P < 0.05), but only group C exhibited a reduction in WC (P = 0.005). Group S presented an increase (P < 0.05) in total cholesterol, LDL and LDL:HDL ratio, whilst HDL diminished (P = 0.03). Such alterations were not observed in group C. It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.


Medium chain fatty acids Lauric acid Dyslipidemia