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Does coconut oil increase your insulin levels and therefore make it harder to lose weight?

by (871)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created February 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

"Coconut oil is interesting. It has a reputation for assisting weight loss, but if gavaged in to the stomach of a chow fed lab rat it will decrease blood glucose and increase blood insulin levels. You don't want to increase your insulin levels if you want to loose weight. There are other plus and minus sides to coconut oil, but I'd keep life simple and avoid it" ~Petro D.

Whats the deal?

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722 · February 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Ketones causes insulin release, just as BG.

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5904 · February 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM

you're not a rat

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18635 · February 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM

I'm with Rose...his blog is full of some very insightful information and is in my top five for sure.

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24271 · February 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The guy (Peter) DOES know his stuff and could run circles around balor or any of us for that matter. Sorry but not one of your finest moment balor

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11986 · February 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM

And it doesn't behoove you to point out his typos when you've got typos of your ("you're" -- grr) own, and grammatical errors to boot. Normally I don't get pedantic on people here, but you kinda asked for it.

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11986 · February 24, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Peter at Hyperlipid's a very sharp guy who's forgotten more than most people on this forum will ever master. I believe English is not his first language, so I wouldn't be too hard on him for a few typos.

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1614 · February 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I don't know, the guy seems to know what he's talking about, but maybe he's just throwing around acronyms and big words and I'm none the wiser. However, I agree with your other points- and I don't know what he means by "chow fed lab rat," but I know that I'm not one.

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5 Answers

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4124 · February 24, 2012 at 5:26 PM

This isn't an answer to your question, but it fills in the pieces missing from your quote. It is too long to post as a comment after your question.

Peter said in the comments after that post that it was MCT and not coconut oil:

Here is his comment:

I went back and checked the paper and the rats were actually gavaged with MCT, not coconut oil (sorry, the paper was peripheral to what I was thinking about). I agree MCTs are dealt completely differently from most lipids but ultimately, unless there is a major increase in heat generation, the calorie throughput on a given level of activity must be the same. The worry about the insulin spike is that it produces a few hours when HSL is inactive. OK, you'd be burning MCTs, but we could say the same about glucose replacing palmitic acid oxidation after a high carb meal (except I doubt the insulin spike is as big after MCTs as after glucose, but they didn't check this in the paper). Actually, what this suggests is logical, the body wants MCTs out of the way asap (from the way it deals with them). I can see some logic to inhibiting HSL while the MCTs are oxidised. BTW I used this paper for the MCT info.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1245892?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

ETA: Here is a link to the blog post and comments from which the quote in the question is excerpted:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/05/weight-loss-when-its-hard.html

Here is the abstract from the link for the rat study:

Abstract Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) induce ketosis in several mammalian species including man. To clarify the regulation of this metabolic alteration, we fed rats either MCT or long-chain triglyceride (corn oil) and then attempted to correlate ketosis with changes in (i) concentrations of selected metabolites in plasma and (ii) the synthetic and oxidative capacities of the liver. By 1 hour after MCT feeding, plasma levels of total ketone bodies had increased 18-fold, with a maximum value reached 1 hour later. By contrast, total plasma ketones in rats fed corn oil were increased only about 2-fold at 2 hours after feeding and did not exceed this value at later intervals. Hepatic concentrations of ketone bodies also increased after MCT or corn oil feeding. Although plasma concentrations of glucose decreased and insulin increased in rats fed MCT, they were not affected by corn oil feeding. MCT-induced ketosis was depressed by glucose administration. Neither MCT nor corn oil feeding impaired utilization of glucose by the liver. Hepatic lipogenesis was suppressed 50% and 90% by MCT and corn oil feeding, respectively. A marked increase of long-chain fatty acids in plasma was observed in rats fed corn oil but not in rats fed MCT. The pronounced increase of ketones in MCT-fed rats was closely related to an elevation of octanoate. In liver slices of MCT-fed rats, ketogenesis from octanoate was 10-fold higher than from palmitate, and octanoate was oxidized 4 times more rapidly than palmitate. The ketosis of MCT-fed rats was depressed by administration of 4-pentenoic acid, a potent inhibitor of fatty acid oxidation. These results support the concept that ketosis induced by MCT stems from rapid oxidation of medium-chain fatty acids. Hyperinsulinemia, hypoglycemia and depressed lipogenesis resulting from MCT feeding appear to potentiate but not initiate ketosis.

Here is a link to the full text:

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/106/1/58.long

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3742 · February 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

First of all, it's clearly not high quality content if there's obvious typos in it. Second, I don't see why insulin levels would rise. Third, even if they did by itself it's not a problem if you're blood sugar isn't elevated. Last, these are lab rats, not humans, and we don't know from the quote the full details of the experiment to judge it.

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722 · February 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Ketones causes insulin release, just as BG.

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18635 · February 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM

I'm with Rose...his blog is full of some very insightful information and is in my top five for sure.

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24271 · February 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

The guy (Peter) DOES know his stuff and could run circles around balor or any of us for that matter. Sorry but not one of your finest moment balor

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11986 · February 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM

And it doesn't behoove you to point out his typos when you've got typos of your ("you're" -- grr) own, and grammatical errors to boot. Normally I don't get pedantic on people here, but you kinda asked for it.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7
11986 · February 24, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Peter at Hyperlipid's a very sharp guy who's forgotten more than most people on this forum will ever master. I believe English is not his first language, so I wouldn't be too hard on him for a few typos.

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1614 · February 24, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I don't know, the guy seems to know what he's talking about, but maybe he's just throwing around acronyms and big words and I'm none the wiser. However, I agree with your other points- and I don't know what he means by "chow fed lab rat," but I know that I'm not one.

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722 · February 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Coconut oil is an OK healthy oil in my opinion. Don't worry about sugar and insulin when choosing fat source. Science has to my knowledge failed tho show any significant effect of fat source in relation to fat loss. A lot of anecdotal evidence indicates that it's better than other fats, but for me personally it doesn't seem to make a difference either way. It's a tasty and useful fat and apparently healthy as well, so I continue to eat it anyway. Could imagine that the "beneficial" effect of coconut oil is stronger, if combined with a lowish carb kind of diet.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Not at all. I don't get fat easily though. Lately I've been eating more coconut oil than ever (probably something like 12-14tbsp daily), and I'm still lean (not ripped, I never have been ripped in my life).

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145 · February 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I've done coconut oil and cocnut milk and GAINED weight (but if you see my other posts, you'll see my body is a wreck and what doesn't work for me will probably work for others). I read on earthclinic.com (a site where people write in their experiences of what home remedies do and don't work for them) that a LOT of people reported losing weight with coconut oil (look up ailments - weight loss). I also read a medical study that said it made people decrease their waistline.

I know it is getting rid of my stretch marks when I put C.O. on them topically, it's a miracle! Anyway, so it seems as though it helps some people lose weight. I also may be allergic. So maybe you can try it on yourself and see what happens?

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