Dietary Fats and Oxidative Stress: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Coronary Artery Disease Subjects Consuming Coconut Oil/Sunflower Oil


Coconut oil has been used by the people of Kerala as a cooking medium for several decades. Due to its alleged hypercholesterolemic activity, general population in recent times is shifting to cooking oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, the most popular being sunflower oil. The effect of long-term consumption of sunflower oil on oxidative stress in humans is not well investigated. We studied oxidative stress among coronary artery disease (CAD) patients who were consuming coconut oil or sunflower oil as a part of their routine diet. Men, aged 35–70 years, with established CAD, who presented to the hospital for routine cardiac evaluations, were enrolled in this observational study. Group 1 and 2 consisted of 73 and 80 subjects consuming coconut oil and sunflower oil respectively for over a period of 2 years. Lipid profile and parameters for oxidative stress were evaluated among them. Conventional lipid parameters did not differ significantly between the two groups. Mean vitamin C concentration was significantly reduced for subjects on sunflower oil compared to those consuming coconut oil (P = 0.044). Malondialdehyde was higher for sunflower oil consumers compared to coconut oil consumers (P < 0.0001). Other parameters such as oxidized LDL, GSH, GPx and SOD were not found to be significantly different between the two groups. The results of the present study show that coconut oil did not induce hypercholesterolemia compared to sunflower oil. On the other hand, sunflower oil group had elevated oxidative stress compared to coconut oil group.

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The study was funded by Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (Grant Number: SRSLS/051/CSTE/2005) to Dr. Prakash Kamath. The authors wish to acknowledge the help of Ms. Smitha Mathews in guidance in statistical analysis of data.

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Correspondence to Sabitha Palazhy.

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Palazhy, S., Kamath, P. & Vasudevan, D.M. Dietary Fats and Oxidative Stress: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Coronary Artery Disease Subjects Consuming Coconut Oil/Sunflower Oil. Ind J Clin Biochem 33, 69–74 (2018).

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  • Dietary oils
  • Routine consumption
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Lipid profile