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


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.

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Body mass index


Basal metabolic rate


Cardiovascular disease


Long chain fatty acids


Medium chain fatty acid


Saturated fatty acid


Total cholesterol


Total energy value


Unsaturated fatty acid


Ultra-sensitive C reactive protein


Waist circumference


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Correspondence to Haroldo S. Ferreira.

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Assunção, M.L., Ferreira, H.S., dos Santos, A.F. et al. Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity. Lipids 44, 593–601 (2009).

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  • Medium chain fatty acids
  • Lauric acid
  • Dyslipidemia