European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1627–1637 | Cite as

Effects of coconut oil consumption on energy metabolism, cardiometabolic risk markers, and appetitive responses in women with excess body fat

  • Flávia Xavier Valente
  • Flávia Galvão Cândido
  • Lílian Lelis Lopes
  • Desirrê Morais Dias
  • Samantha Dalbosco Lins Carvalho
  • Patrícia Feliciano Pereira
  • Josefina BressanEmail author
Original Contribution



Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is a medium-chain fatty acid source with popularly attributed benefits on obesity management. However, its role on obesity requires elucidation due to its saturated nature. In the study herein, we investigated acute effects of VCO consumption on energy metabolism, cardiometabolic risk markers, and appetitive responses in women with excess body fat.


Fifteen adult women with excess body fat (37.43 ± 0.83%) participated in this randomized, crossover, controlled study. Two isocaloric mixed breakfasts containing 25 mL of VCO or control (extra-virgin olive oil-C) were evaluated. Resting energy expenditure (REE), fat oxidation rate (FOR), diet induced thermogenesis (DIT) and appetitive subjective responses were assessed at fasting and postprandial periods (up to 240 min). Cardiometabolic risk markers were assessed at fasting and up to 180 min postprandially.


VCO did not affect REE, FOR, and DIT compared to C. In addition, VCO did not cause deleterious change in triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-c, LDL-c, triglycerides/HDL-c ratio, uric acid, glucose and Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance Index (HOMA-IR) (P time×treatment > 0.05). However, VCO suppressed less hunger (P time×treatment = 0.003), total satiety (P iAUC = 0.021) and total fullness (P iAUC = 0.035) responses than C.


VCO consumption did not acutely change energy metabolism and cardiometabolic risk markers when added to a mixed breakfast but promoted less appetitive responses.


Coconut oil Energy metabolism Fat oxidation Cardiometabolic risk markers Appetite 



We thank Dr. Orgânico, company affiliated to the FidBō group, for kindly donate virgin coconut oil for this research. We also thank Bioclin® for providing biochemical assays kits and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais—FAPEMIG, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq for financial support. These companies had no role in manuscript design, analysis, or writing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Universidade Federal de Viçosa (protocol number: 541,836/2014), conducted in accordance with 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments and registered at All participants gave written consent after receiving verbal and written information.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2017_1448_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Suppl. Figure 1 CONSORT diagram showing participants flow through each stage of the trial. CONSORT: Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (DOC 35 kb)
394_2017_1448_MOESM2_ESM.docx (110 kb)
Suppl. Figure 2 Mean ± SEM values of carbohydrate oxidation (A) and fat oxidation (B) rates in response to extra-virgin olive oil (control) or virgin coconut oil (test) intake (n = 15). For the sake of clarity, error bars are only given for the maximum and minimum values at each time point. P time×treatment values were obtained from RM-ANOVA in mixed model setting with time as within-subject factor and meal as between-subject factor. (DOCX 110 kb)
394_2017_1448_MOESM3_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Suppl. Figure 3 Mean ± SEM changes from baseline of self-reported desire to eat specific food types (a, b, c, and d) responses obtained from visual analog scales (VAS) in response to extra-virgin olive oil (control) or virgin coconut oil (test) intake (n = 15). iAUC: incremental area under the curve. For the sake of clarity, error bars are only given for the maximum and minimum values at each time point. P time×treatment values were obtained from RM-ANOVA in mixed model setting with time as within-subject factor and meal as between-subject factor. There were no significant changes in iAUC values (Paired t test, P > 0.05). (DOCX 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flávia Xavier Valente
    • 1
  • Flávia Galvão Cândido
    • 1
  • Lílian Lelis Lopes
    • 1
  • Desirrê Morais Dias
    • 1
  • Samantha Dalbosco Lins Carvalho
    • 1
  • Patrícia Feliciano Pereira
    • 1
  • Josefina Bressan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Nutrição e SaúdeUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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