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An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity

  • Universiti of Science Malaysia

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Introduction. This is an open-label pilot study on four weeks of virgin coconut oil (VCO) to investigate its efficacy in weight reduction and its safety of use in 20 obese but healthy Malay volunteers. Methodology. Efficacy was assessed by measuring weight and associated anthropometric parameters and lipid profile one week before and one week after VCO intake. Safety was assessed by comparing organ function tests one week before and one week after intake of VCO. Paired t-test was used to analyse any differences in all the measurable variables. Results. Only waist circumference (WC) was significantly reduced with a mean reduction of 2.86 cm or 0.97% from initial measurement (P = .02). WC reduction was only seen in males (P < .05). There was no change in the lipid profile. There was a small reduction in creatinine and alanine transferase levels. Conclusion. VCO is efficacious for WC reduction especially in males and it is safe for use in humans.
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International Scholarly Research Network
ISRN Pharmacology
Volume 2011, Article ID 949686, 7pages
Research Article
An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of
Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity
Kai Ming Liau,1Ye o n g Ye h L e e , 2Chee Keong Chen,3and Aida Hanum G. Rasool4
1Healthy Lifestyle Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang 11800, Malaysia
2Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan 16150, Malaysia
3Department of Sport Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan 16150, Malaysia
4Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan 16150, Malaysia
Correspondence should be addressed to Yeong Yeh Lee,
Received 11 December 2010; Accepted 19 January 2011
Copyright © 2011 Kai Ming Liau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Introduction. This is an open-label pilot study on four weeks of virgin coconut oil (VCO) to investigate its ecacy in weight
reduction and its safety of use in 20 obese but healthy Malay volunteers. Methodolog y.Ecacy was assessed by measuring weight
and associated anthropometric parameters and lipid profile one week before and one week after VCO intake. Safety was assessed by
comparing organ function tests one week before and one week after intake of VCO. Paired t-test was used to analyse any dierences
in all the measurable variables. Results. Only waist circumference (WC) was significantly reduced with a mean reduction of 2.86 cm
or 0.97% from initial measurement (P=.02). WC reduction was only seen in males (P<.05). There was no change in the lipid
profile. There was a small reduction in creatinine and alanine transferase levels. Conclusion. VCO is ecacious for WC reduction
especially in males and it is safe for use in humans.
1. Introduction
Developing countries including many Asian countries catch
up rapidly in the prevalence of obesity with higher health
risks at a lower body mass index (BMI). The latest
report from Malaysian Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD)
surveillance in 2007 demonstrated that among the adult
males, 30.9% were overweight and 13.9% were obese,
whereas among adult females, 32.4% were overweight and
18.8% were obese (the results were based on BMI 25 kg/m2
for overweight and BMI 30 kg/m2for obese) [1]. The
modernization of society with reduced levels of physical
activity and increased dietary intake of carbohydrate and
highly saturated fat accounted for the rapid growth in
obesity epidemic. The fat accumulating in the abdomen,
known as visceral adiposity was associated with increased
cardiovascular risk, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia [2,
3]. Waist circumference (WC), BMI, and waist-hip ratio
(WHR) are useful surrogate anthropometric markers for
general and visceral adiposity [46].
Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) is commonly used in Malaysia
and other neighbouring countries including Thailand and
Philippines as a food source and its oils are used as
complementary medicine. The oil extracted from fresh
coconut meat (virgin coconut oil) contains more medium
chain fatty acids (MCFAs) (70–85%) (Tab le 1 )compared
to other coconut oils [7]. MCFAs are easily oxidized lipids
and are not stored in adipose tissue unlike long chain
fatty acids (LCFAs). Thus, coconut oil containing mainly
MCFAs with little or no LCFAs may provide an ideal food
source for weight reduction [8,9]. Furthermore, epidemi-
ologic studies coming from the African and South Pacific
populations whose diets contain coconuts have revealed
no association between coconut oil ingestion and obesity
or dyslipidemia [10,11]. Therefore, we conducted this
open label pilot study to determine the ecacy of VCO
on weight reduction, anthropometric parameters, and lipid
profile in obese healthy volunteers and to assess for its
safety by evaluating changes in biochemistry and organ
2ISRN Pharmacology
Tab l e 1: Fatty acid profiles of virgin coconut oil.
Fatty acid profile Concentration (%)
C6 Caproic 2.215
C8 Caprylic 12.984
C10 Capric 6.806
C11 Undecanoic 0.028
C12 Lauric 47.280
C13 Tridecanoic 0.030
C14 Myristic 15.803
C15 Pentadecanoic 0.006
C16 Palmitic 6.688
C16 : 1 Heptadecanoic 0.011
C17 Stearic 0.011
C18 Oleic 1.481
C18 : 1n9c Elaidic 5.073
C18 : 1n9t Linoleic 0.231
C18 : 2n6c Linolelaidic 1.168
C18 : 2n6t γ-Linolenic 0.045
C18 : 3n6g α-Linolenic 0.007
C18 : 3n3a Arachidic 0.013
C20 Cis-11-Eicosenoic 0.039
C20 : 1n9 Behenic 0.039
C22 Cis-13,16-Docisadienoic 0.006
C24 Lignoceric 0.020
Source: Food Quality Research Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
(UKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Subjects. Free living volunteers above the age of 20 years
within the university compound (Universiti Sains Malaysia
or USM) were screened for their weight, height, body mass
index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC). Overweight
subjects were defined as BMI 23 kg/m2,andobesesubjects
were defined as BMI 25 kg/m2. Abdominal obesity was
present when the waist circumference was 90 cm for men
and 80 cm for women. The criteria for overweight, obese,
and abdominal obesity were adapted from the Asia-Pacific
report on obesity in 2000 [12]. Subjects were included
in this study if they were between the ages of 20 to 60
years old and have BMI more than 23kg/m2.Exclusion
criteria include presence of any medical or surgical illnesses,
pregnant women, those who drink any alcohol containing
beverages in any amount and previous history of intolerance
to coconut oil. The study was approved by the Human Ethics
Committee of USM.
We have screened 65 subjects over a period of 6 months
in 2008. Finally 20 subjects who agreed and satisfied all
inclusion and exclusion criteria participated in the study after
informed consent. The following parameters were evaluated
at “week one of study” defined as one week prior to VCO
intake and again on “week six of study” defined as one week
after completion of 4 weeks of VCO intake.
2.2. Anthropometric Evaluation. The body composition of
each subject including body weight, body fat percentage, fat
mass (FM), and fat-free mass (FFM) was measured with
subjects in light clothing using Tanita body composition
analyzer (Model TBF-410, Tanita Corporation). This ana-
lyzer has a maximum capacity of 200 kg and a precision of
0.1 kg. All the subjects were instructed to fast overnight and
to consume 250 mL of plain water half an hour before the
actual measurement to ensure adequate hydration.
Heights were measured with the subjects in bare-foot
using an extendable measuring rod (Seca, Model 220/221)
with a maximum measuring length of 200-cm and a
precision of 0.1 cm. WC was measured at the mid point
between the last rib and the anterior superior iliac spine
with subjects standing upright using the same nonextendable
measuring tape. Hip circumference (cm) was measured at
the level of greater trochanter of the femur. WHR was
calculated by dividing the waist circumference (cm) by the
hip circumference (cm) and the result presented as a ratio.
The BMI was calculated by dividing the body mass (kg) by
the square of height (m).
2.3. Dietary Evaluation. Before the study was commenced,
a 24-hour dietary recall was applied to all subjects. Food
frequency questionnaire and images depicting dierent
quantities of food were used to assist participants in assessing
the amount of food consumed. The participants were
instructed to continue with the same pattern of diet intake
for the next 5 weeks. Participants were also advised to drink
adequate amount of water throughout the study period.
2.4. Physical Activity Evaluation. Each participant was
required to report their usual physical activities (past 1
month) before the commencement of the study. The partic-
ipants were instructed to continue with the same amount of
physical activity each day for the next five weeks.
2.5. Lipid Profiles. In each subject, venous blood was taken
in the morning following a 12-hour overnight fast. Triglyc-
eride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein
(HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) were determined
in triplicate for each sample using a blood chemistry analyzer
(Model WS-ROCHE912).
2.6. Safety Evaluation. Volunteers were requested for addi-
tional venous blood samples to assess for electrolytes, glucose
level, renal function, and liver function. Tests for electrolytes
included sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphate, and uric
acid levels. Tests for renal function included urea and
creatinine levels. Tests for liver function included levels for
albumin, total bilirubin, aspartate transferase (AST), alanine
transferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
Of all the 20 participating subjects, only 16 subjects
had complete blood results (including electrolytes, glucose
level, renal function, and liver function tests) to assess for
safety after usage of VCO. Two subjects refused further blood
taking on week six of study, and the other two subjects had
incomplete blood results on week six of study, and were thus
excluded from analysis.
ISRN Pharmacology 3
Tab l e 2: Comparison of anthropometric measurements and lipid profile values for the 20 obese volunteers at week one and week six of
Parameters Week one mean
Week six mean
Mean dierence
95% Confidence
interval Pvalue
Weight (kg) 82.77 (21.44) 82.53 (21.78) 0.23 (1.08) 0.27, 0.73 .35
Body mass index (kg/m2) 32.51 (5.65) 32.40 (5.69) 0.10 (0.68) 0.22, 0.42 .51
Waist circumference (cm) 102.64 (12.56) 99.78 (12.56) 2.87 (4.95) 0.55, 5.18 .02
Waist-Hip Ratio 0.92 (0.05) 0.91 (0.07) 0.02 (0.05) 0.01, 0.04 .13
Body fat percentage (%) 39.91 (7.16) 39.31 (6.51) 0.60 (2.87) 0.74, 1.94 .36
Fat mass (kg) 33.33 (12.64) 32.78 (12.01) 0.54 (2.72) 0.73, 1.82 .38
Fat-free mass (kg) 49.20 (12.26) 49.77 (12.28) 0.58 (2.75) 1.86, 0.71 .36
Triglyceride (mmol/L) 1.36 (0.61) 1.22 (0.41) 0.14 (0.56) 0.12, 0.40 .28
Total Cholesterol (mmol/L) 5.46 (0.85) 5.35 (0.68) 0.11 (0.74) 0.24, 0.45 .53
LDL (mmol/L) 3.33 (0.88) 3.25 (0.83) 0.08 (0.91) 0.35, 0.51 .70
HDL (mmol/L) 1.52 (0.41) 1.55 (0.41) 0.03 (0.51) 0.27, 0.21 .79
Pvalue is significant when P<.05, SD =standard deviation.
2.7. Virgin Coconut Oil. The subjects were prescribed with
VCO 1 week after initial evaluation and continued over
the next four weeks. The VCO was sourced from a local
agricultural product company and was produced using
freeze-thawed method with no preservatives or additives
added. The oil was certified suitable for consumption by the
Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute
(MS ISO 9001:2000 and MS ISO/IEC 17025 certified). The
composition profile of VCO was determined by an indepen-
dent and accredited laboratory (Food Quality Research Unit,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) and is presented in Ta b le 1 .
The prescribed dosage was 30 mL per day taken in three
divided doses, half an hour before each meal. Calculated
based on the amount of lauric acid found in human mother’s
milk, the suggested daily intake of 24 g of lauric acid in
an average adult is equivalent to 30 mL per day of VCO
[13]. In addition, our early experience with earlier volunteers
suggested that 30 mL per day was a more tolerable dose
compared to higher doses without any side eects.
2.8. Data and Statistical Analysis. Mean and standard devia-
tions were calculated for all numerical measurements taken
at week one and week six of study. Paired t-test analysis was
then used to test for any dierences in all measured variables
at week one and week six of study with the significance
level set at 95% confidence interval (CI) and P<.05.
To assess for possible dierences between gender, measured
variables at week one and week six of study for females and
males were analysed separately and their mean dierences
were calculated and compared. All statistical analyses were
performed using SPSS version 18.0 (SPSS Inc, IL, Chicago).
3. Results
The volunteers were relatively young with a mean age of
40.5±8.87 years (age range between 24 to 51 years). All
subjects enrolled were of Malay ethnic origin. 20 subjects
completed the study, out of which 13 were females and 7 were
males. All enrolled volunteers were obese by definition (BMI
25 kg/m2) with 13 subjects having BMI above 30 kg/m2.
Of these 13 subjects, 7 were males. All enrolled males had
waist circumference above 90cm and all enrolled females had
a waist circumference of 77 cm.
The results for all measured variables to assess for ecacy
at week one and week six of study are presented in Tab le 2 .
Paired t-test analysis showed that only waist circumference
was significantly reduced after one month of VCO with a
mean reduction of 2.87 ±4.95 cm or 0.97% from initial
measurement (P=.02). All other variables showed a
nonsignificant reduction in their mean values except for FFM
and HDL which showed a nonsignificant increase. The waist
circumference reduction was only significantly seen in males
with a mean reduction of 2.61 ±2.17 cm (P=.02; 95% CI
0.61–4.62) but not in females (P=.10) even though the
reduction was larger (mean 3.00 ±6.03 cm) in females. A
subgroup analysis comparing seven males and seven females
with BMI >30 showed that the WC reduction was seen
with males but not females (mean 2.61 cm versus 1.14 cm;
P=.019). When comparing seven females with BMI
30 versus six females with BMI <30, more reduction in
WC was seen in the subgroup BMI <30 (mean reduction
4.80 ±6.10 cm versus 1.14 ±6.20 cm) but the reduction was
not statistically significant (P=.153). The weight reduction
(mean 0.54 ±1.38 Kg) and BMI reduction (mean 0.24 ±
0.55 kg/m2) were nonsignificantly higher in males when
compared to females. In addition, there were nonsignificant
increases in total cholesterol (mean 0.08 ±0.61 mmol/L),
LDL (mean 0.12 ±0.37 mmol/L), and HDL (mean 0.13 ±
0.37 mmol/L) which were not seen in the females. FFM,
however, showed a nonsignificant increase in females (mean
0.93 ±3.24 kg) but not in the males.
4ISRN Pharmacology
The results for all measured variables to assess for
safety after VCO consumption are presented in Tab l e 4.
The electrolytes and glucose levels did not have significant
changes before and after VCO consumption. The creatinine
but not urea level showed a significant reduction after VCO
consumption (mean 6.00 ±5.19 mmol/L; P<.001). Liver
function tests did not have significant changes except for ALT
level (mean 3.06±4.40 mmol/L; P=.01) which reduced after
VCO consumption.
4. Discussion
Coconut oil belongs to a group of vegetable oils that has
an abundance of lauric acid. A study has shown that
consumption of solid fat rich in lauric acid resulted in a more
favourable serum lipid profile in healthy men and women
than with solid fat containing trans-fatty acids [14]. An
emerging medicinal product of importance from coconut is
virgin coconut oil (VCO) which is cheap, easily available, and
widely used as over-the-counter complementary medicine
in the tropics and many foreign markets [15,16]. Of all
dierent types of coconut oils, VCO contains the highest
proportion of medium chain fatty acids, with MCFA content
being as high as 85.1% in VCO (Tab le 1 ). Hence this oil
naturally contains a mixture of MCFA and LCFA in a ratio
of 3 : 1. MCFAs are rapidly absorbed in the intestines even
without catalyzation by the pancreatic lipase enzyme. LCFAs,
on the other hand, required pancreatic lipase for absorption.
They are carried by the lymph to the systemic circulation in
chylomicrons and eventually reach the liver where they either
undergo beta oxidation, biosynthesis to cholesterol, or are
repackaged as triglycerides. MCFAs are carried by the portal
vein to the liver where they are rapidly oxidized to energy.
Unlike LCFAs, MCFAs do not enter the cholesterol cycle and
they are not deposited in fat depots [7].
This open label pilot study attempted to find out the
ecacy of VCO on reduction of weight and anthropometric
markers of obesity in participants after 4 weeks of 30 mL
in three divided doses daily VCO consumption. All the
participants in this study were instructed to continue their
normal daily diet and physical activities to minimize possible
weight reduction and change in blood lipid profile which
could be attributed to reduced calorie intake or increased
energy consumption. Only WC was significantly reduced
after four weeks of VCO consumption with a mean reduction
of 2.87±4.95 cm or 0.97% reduction from baseline measure-
ment. There was a nonsignificant decrease in FM and body
fat percentage with a nonsignificant increase in FFM. This
indicated that VCO consumption reduced body fat especially
abdominal fat since WC was significantly decreased. The
eects on triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL were
almost negligible indicating that VCO did not aect lipid
profiles despite being an oil-based food source.
When the dierences were analyzed according to gender,
WC was significantly reduced in males but not in females.
This dierence was still seen only in men when analyzed
in subgroups of males and females with BMI 30. The
significant reduction in WC may be attributed to the
nonsignificant reduction in weight and BMI among the
males. This finding was important since for a given WC, the
visceral adiposity was higher in males of Asian ethnic [5,17].
The significant reduction of WC is considered modest given
the short duration of this study. Furthermore, all males in
the cohort are larger (BMI 30 kg/m2) and therefore are
more resistant to weight loss. Few studies exist in males on
the optimal weight or BMI or WC reduction for a given
weight loss intervention. The “Gutbuster” programme in
Australia uses waist circumference as a target to encourage
weight management in men, with a target of 1% waist
reduction a week [18]. Colman et al.found that a loss of 9 kg
weight reduced waist circumference by 7 cm in men [19]. A
nonsignificant increase in total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL
were also observed but the overall increase was too small. The
eects of VCO on lipid profiles may need a longer time to be
observed. An increase in HDL level but a reduction in total
cholesterol and LDL levels after consumption of coconut oil
was reported in experimental animals [20]. Furthermore,
the increase in LDL may be due to a dierent form of
lipoprotein not associated with increase in cardiovascular
risk since there were animal studies which demonstrated that
the increase in LDL level after VCO was not associated with
aortic atherosclerosis [21].
In contrast, females exhibited dierent anthropometric
profiles and lipid profiles after VCO consumption when
compared to their male counterparts. Even though the
reduction in WC was larger compared to males it was not
statistically significant. When comparing females with BMI
30 and BMI <30, the reduction in WC was greater
in females with BMI <30 but it was not statistically
significant. The larger reduction in WC was not associated
with a decrease in BMI or weight but was associated with a
nonsignificant increase in FFM and a nonsignificant decrease
in FM and body fat percentage. The data appeared to
indicate that females in general lose more of their body fat
with VCO and females with a lower BMI may lose more
abdominal fat. This was not reflected on their BMI or WHR
in contrast with their male counterparts. This supports the
evidence that dierent indices are applicable to dierent
gender and ethnic groups [6,22]. However, the insignificant
reduction in WC can also be explained by the relatively
high-standard deviation suggesting that there was a high
variability of WC reduction among females who took VCO
(Tab l e 3). In addition, the total cholesterol and LDL appeared
to decrease in females who consume VCO with triglycerides
and HDL almost unchanged. A study using coconut oil in
obese women demonstrated a reduction of abdominal fat
with unchanged lipid profiles providing support for similar
findings in the current study [9]. This also reflected that
females benefited from VCO in a manner dierent from
males [23,24].
This pilot study also attempted to assess the safety
aspects of using VCO especially biochemical changes and
organ functions including the renal and liver functions.
Results have shown that all measured variables did not
demonstrate any increase from baseline but interestingly two
biochemical markers were shown to reduce after being given
VCO. These markers were creatinine and ALT levels. Animal
studies did not have any similar findings as in humans but
ISRN Pharmacology 5
Tab l e 3: Comparison of mean dierences in anthropometric measurements and lipid profile values in 7 males and 13 females after VCO
Parameters Male (n=7) Female (n=13)
Mean dierence
95% Confidence
interval Pvalue Mean dierence
95% Confidence
interval Pvalue
Weight (kg) 0.54 (1.38) 0.73, 1.82 .34 0.06 (0.89) 0.48, 0.60 .81
Body mass index (kg/m2) 0.24 (0.55) 0.27, 0.74 .29 0.03 (0.75) 0.42, 0.48 .89
Waist circumference (cm) 2.61 (2.17) 0.61, 4.62 .023.00 (6.03) 0.64, 6.64 .10
Waist-Hip Ratio 0.02 (0.03) 0.01, 0.05 .14 0.02 (0.06) 0.02, 0.05 .32
Body fat percentage (%) 0.17 (1.50) 1.22, 1.56 .77 0.83 (3.42) 1.24, 2.90 .40
Fat mass (kg) 0.07 (1.47) 1.28, 1.43 .90 0.80 (3.23) 1.15, 2.75 .39
Fat-free mass (kg) 0.09 (1.49) 1.29, 1.46 .88 0.93 (3.24) 2.89, 1.02 .32
Triglyceride (mmol/L) 0.38 (0.79) 0.35, 1.11 .25 0.01 (0.36) 0.21, 0.23 .91
Total Cholesterol (mmol/L) 0.08 (0.61) 0.65, 0.49 .74 0.21 (0.81) 0.28, 0.69 .37
LDL (mmol/L) 0.12 (0.37) 0.47, 0.22 .27 0.19 (1.10) 0.47, 0.85 .55
HDL (mmol/L) 0.13 (0.37) 0.39, 0.13 .41 0.02 (0.60) 0.34, 0.38 .90
Pvalue is significant when P<.05, SD =standard deviation.
Tab l e 4: Levels for electrolytes, glucose, renal function tests, and liver function tests to assess for safety in 16 volunteers at week one and
week six of study.
Parameters Week one mean
Week six mean
Mean dierence
95% Confidence
interval Pvalue
Sodium (mmol/L) 138.75 140.25 1.50 (4.62) 3.96, 0.96 .21
Potassium (mmol/L) 4.19 4.32 0.12 (0.40) 0.34, 0.09 .23
Calcium (mmol/L) 2.34 2.31 0.03 (0.17) 0.06, 0.12 .53
Phosphate (mmol/L) 1.24 1.18 0.06 (0.21) 0.05, 0.17 .27
Uric acid (mmol/L) 276.56 257.12 19.44 (37.75) 0.68, 39.55 .06
Glucose (mmol/L) 4.58 4.40 0.18 (0.56) 0.12, 0.48 .21
Urea (mmol/L) 4.39 4.38 0.01 (1.08) 0.56, 0.59 .96
Creatinine (μmol/L) 88.62 82.62 6.00 (5.19) 3.23, 8.76 <.001
Albumin (g/dL) 44.62 44.50 0.12 (2.09) 0.99, 1.24 .80
Total bilirubin (μmol/L) 7.87 8.25 0.37 (3.50) 2.24, 1.49 .67
AST (U/L) 21.06 19.31 1.75 (3.59) 0.16, 3.66 .07
ALT (U/L) 26.56 23.50 3.06 (4.40) 0.72, 5.41 .01
ALP (U/L) 70.19 71.19 1.00 (6.33) 4.37, 2.37 .54
Pvalue is significant when P<.05, SD =standard deviation.
this may have been because of the dierences in the type
of coconut oil and doses used [25]. This finding in the
humans however cannot be explained and merits further
There were some limitations to this study. Firstly, there
was no long-term followup on the weight, anthropometric,
and lipid profile in the subjects. The full eects of VCO
may not be realized without a longer duration of followup.
Even though no serious side eects were reported from
the volunteers after one month of VCO consumption, a
long-term followup will be able to determine the safety of
using VCO for long periods. Secondly, the duration of VCO
consumption was probably too short as this is a pilot study. A
longer period of VCO consumption may reveal more clinical
dierences not shown in a short-term study. In addition, a
longer period of study can assess the tolerability of subjects
toward coconut oil. It appeared that one month of VCO
was well tolerated by all the subjects in this study. Thirdly,
the number of subjects was too small contributing to the
many nonsignificance results seen. Finally, the open-label
results. Therefore, a properly designed randomized placebo-
controlled trial should be performed to further confirm the
beneficial eects of VCO.
6ISRN Pharmacology
In conclusion, VCO is a cheap oil source containing high
concentration of MCFAs which in the current study had
shown beneficial eectinWCreductionespeciallyinmales
without any deleterious eect to the lipid profile. VCO is also
safe to use for the period of study without any deleterious
eects on biochemical and organ functions.
Conflict of Interests
All authors did not report any conflict of interests.
The authors thank Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for
funding this research through an incentive grant. The
authors also thank the local company who supplied them the
virgin coconut oil for the purpose of this study.
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... Asam lemak jenuh berantai menengah atau sedang (MCT) merupakan yang tertinggi, lebih dari 69% (Supriatna & Mala, 2019). VCO merupakan minyak yang komposisinya sebanyak 70% adalah asam lemak rantai sedang atau MCT (Liau, Lee, Chen, & Rasool, 2011). Asam lemak rantai menengah adalah asam lemak penyusun utama dalam VCO untuk sekitar 50% dari total asam lemak (Hasanah & Warnasih, 2019). ...
... Di dalam VCO terkandung Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) dan komponen antioksidan. VCO merupakan minyak yang komposisinya sebanyak 70% adalah asam lemak rantai sedang atau MCT (Liau et al., 2011). ...
... Jucker et al. (2017) found a high level of lauric acid (68%) when BSFL was fed with fruit waste. Lauric acid is associated with many health benefits, such as prevention of cardiovascular disease (Liau et al., 2011;Dayrit, 2015;Ma & Lee, 2016), anti-viral properties (Bartolotta et al., 2001), prevention of cancer (Lappano et al., 2017), reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease (Chatterjee et al., 2020) and reducing obesity (Liau et al., 2011). ...
... Jucker et al. (2017) found a high level of lauric acid (68%) when BSFL was fed with fruit waste. Lauric acid is associated with many health benefits, such as prevention of cardiovascular disease (Liau et al., 2011;Dayrit, 2015;Ma & Lee, 2016), anti-viral properties (Bartolotta et al., 2001), prevention of cancer (Lappano et al., 2017), reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease (Chatterjee et al., 2020) and reducing obesity (Liau et al., 2011). ...
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Meeting the increasing consumer demand for affordable, sustainable and nutritious food is a great challenge. The rapidly growing population will have unprecedented demand for meat and meat‐based products. The livestock sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a major user of land and water resources. Excessive animal farming adversely affects the environment, accelerating climate change. This review article emphasises on edible insects as an alternative and sustainable food source. Edible insects can transform a wide variety of organic products, including agricultural and food wastes, into high‐quality proteins with essential amino acids. Edible insect oil contains healthy fatty acids such as lauric acid, oleic acid and omega‐3 and 6 commonly found in coconut oil, olive oil and fish oil with health benefits. Substitution of edible insects in some food products with low nutritional value can increase protein content up to 100%. Farming edible insects can be an effective solution to food waste management which is a global problem.
... Moreover, consuming MCT might decrease food intake and enhance satiety as well (19). Also giving virgin coconut oil (VCO) for 4 weeks in a pilot study showed that the waist circumference of the studied subjects was significantly reduced by 2.86 cm from their initial measurement but didn't cause any difference in the lipid profile concluding that consuming VCO is safe for use in humans (20). ...
... Moreover, consuming MCT might enhance satiety and decrease food intake (19). An open-label pilot study for four weeks giving virgin coconut oil (VCO) showed that waist circumference was significantly reduced by 2.86 cm from initial measurement with no change in the lipid profile and it is safe for use in humans (20). ...
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Aim of the study: The study aimed to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation with virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the anthropometric measurements and dietary intake of children with autism spectrum disorder. Subjects & Methods: Quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test study including 61 child of age group less than 18 years from both sexes. Results: Dietary supplementation with VCO caused a significant change in weight, height, as well as energy, macronutrients and some micronutrients. Conclusion: VCO supplementation was very effective in decreasing the energy and all studied nutrients after the intervention except for fat, vitamin B2, copper (among girls), phosphorus (among boys) and vitamin C there was an increase. Both weight and height increased significantly as those children are in a growing phase while body mass index did not change. It is suggested that virgin coconut oil supplementation for children with autism spectrum disorder might decrease their energy consumption from food as well as improving the dietary intake of certain macronutrients and micronutrients that were investigated.
... Glycerol monolaurate BCR B cell receptor BLNK B cell linker protein Interleukin-4 IL- 6 Interleukin-6 TNFα Tumor necrosis factor-alpha Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, effective against fungi, enveloped viruses, gram positive bacteria, and select gram negative bacteria [1][2][3][4][5][6] . GML is a naturally occurring monoglyceride that is produced from triglycerides found in high concentrations in breastmilk and palm tree-oils such as coconut oil 7,8 . GML is used commercially in personal hygiene products and food items as a preservative. ...
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Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a naturally occurring antimicrobial agent used commercially in numerous products and food items. GML is also used as a homeopathic agent and is being clinically tested to treat several human diseases. In addition to its anti-microbial function, GML suppresses immune cell proliferation and inhibits primary human T cell activation. GML suppresses T cell activation by altering membrane dynamics and disrupting the formation of protein clusters necessary for intracellular signaling. The ability of GML to disrupt cellular membranes suggests it may alter other cell types. To explore this possibility, we tested how GML affects human B cells. We found that GML inhibits BCR-induced cytokine production, phosphorylation of signaling proteins, and protein clustering, while also changing cellular membrane dynamics and dysregulating cytoskeleton rearrangement. Although similar, there are also differences between how B cells and T cells respond to GML. These differences suggest that unique intrinsic features of a cell may result in differential responses to GML treatment. Overall, this study expands our understanding of how GML impacts the adaptive immune response and contributes to a broader knowledge of immune modulating monoglycerides.
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Nowadays, we are bombarded on every step with numerous superfoods by salespeople, the media, magazines and social media, which attach them almost magical-like qualities for the human health. In Slovenia, one of such foods is currently also coconut oil, which is regarded by many as a superfood, while its regular consumption is associated with the prevention against numerous modern chronic diseases. Coconut oil is also associated with weight loss and an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effect. The market offers various food preparations from coconut as a natural plant food, such as coconut flour, beverages, but�ter and virgin or refined oil. Numerous athletes, recreationists and enthusiasts of a healthy and active lifestyle use coconut oil as a part of a healthy diet. Due to non-transparent contradictory information on whether coconut oil is a healthy, “magical” or unhealthy food, the authors will present a relative scientific overview on studies of the influence of consuming coconut oil on the human health, especially in relation to cardiovascular health and the loss of excess weight. By doing so, we wish to increase the readers’ ability to make an informed choice about their eating behavior.
Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut and it may be classified as mainstream oil. The 2 main Categories of coconut oil are copra oil and virgin coconut oil which have similar carboxylic acid profiles; however, the latter contains higher amounts of some nutrients (e.g., vitamin E) and dietary bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols). In recent years we have seen increasing popularity for copra oil products due to the perceived health effects of certain medium-chain fatty acids; however, dodecanoic acid (C12:0), the first carboxylic acid found in copra oil, has been suggested to behave as both a medium- and long-chain carboxylic acid from a metabolic standpoint. In this comprehensive review, the authors have summarized the present peer-reviewed literature and mechanisms surrounding the health effects of copra oil products
Objective: This review was conducted with the objective to review most commonly used edible oils and fats in India, determine their effect on lipid profile and anthropometric parameters and study their association with the development of NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted using a combination of search terms by two independent researchers using PubMed from 2010 to January 2019. Studies including adult population evaluating the effect of different vegetable oils and fats via both observational and experimental designs were included. Reviews of studies in similar area were also included. The searches were managed in Mendeley, and duplicate entries were removed. Titles and abstracts of retrieved articles were screened by two reviewers. A tailored data abstraction tool was used to record characteristics of included studies, such as location, outcomes assessed, findings and demographics, by the study authors. For quantitative studies, we recorded further data on the parameters compared and outcomes measured. Results: A total of 34 articles were reviewed. Vanaspati and ghee were the most commonly used fats/oils in the northern states of India whereas, a preference for groundnut oil has been noted in southern and western states. Coconut oil in all its forms including virgin and extra virgin was found to have an overall beneficial effect on anthropometric parameters with decrease in BMI, waist circumference, neck circumference and an increase in lean muscle mass. Coconut oil has been linked improved lipid profile. Similar effects have also been seen with the usage of sunflower oil ghee. Intake of >1.25 kg/month ghee along with <0.5 L/month mustard oil has been reported to cause decrease in total cholesterol. Coconut oil has also been shown to have a protective effect on cardiovascular health as reported by 15 studies. Consumption of olive oil credited to its anti-inflammatory effects has been associated with decreased risk for diabetes. Conclusions: With the emerging middle class and shifting demand towards packaged-food options, it is important that the impact of edible oils on health are understood well. Edible oils are only one important part of our diet. As public health nutrition professionals, it is also important to emphasise on choosing overall healthier diets.
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During the last 100 years official dietary guidelines have recommended an increased consumption of fats derived from seeds while decreasing the consumption of traditional fats, especially saturated fats. These recommendations are being challenged by recent studies. Furthermore, the increased use of refining processes in fat production had deleterious health effects. Today, the number of high-quality studies on fatty acids is large enough to make useful recommendations on clinical application and everyday practice. Saturated fats have many beneficial functions and palmitic acid appears to be problematic only when it is synthesized due to excess fructose consumption. Trans fatty acids were shown to be harmful when they are manmade but beneficial when of natural origin. Conjugated linoleic acid has many benefits but the isomer mix that is available in supplement form differs from its natural origin and may better be avoided. The ω3 fatty acid linolenic acid has rather limited use as an anti-inflammatory agent – a fact that is frequently overlooked. On the other hand, the targeted use of long chain ω3 fatty acids based on blood analysis has great potential to supplement or even be an alternative to various pharmacological therapies. At the same time ω6 fatty acids like linoleic acid and arachidonic acid have important physiological functions and should not be avoided but their consumption needs to be balanced with long chain ω3 fatty acids. The quality and quantity of these fats together with appropriate antioxidative protection are critical for their positive health effects.
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Glycerol monolaurate (GML), a naturally occurring monoglyceride, is widely used commercially for its antimicrobial properties. Interestingly, several studies have shown that GML not only has antimicrobial properties but is also an anti-inflammatory agent. GML inhibits peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation and inhibits T cell receptor (TCR)-induced signaling events. In this study, we perform an extensive structure activity relationship analysis to investigate the structural components of GML necessary for its suppression of human T cell activation. Human T cells were treated with analogs of GML, differing in acyl chain length, head group, linkage of acyl chain, and number of laurate groups. Treated cells were then tested for changes in membrane dynamics, LAT clustering, calcium signaling, and cytokine production. We found that an acyl chain with 12–14 carbons, a polar head group, an ester linkage, and a single laurate group at any position are all necessary for GML to inhibit protein clustering, calcium signaling, and cytokine production. Removing the glycerol head group or replacing the ester linkage with a nitrogen prevented derivative-mediated inhibition of protein cluster formation and calcium signaling, while still inhibiting TCR-induced cytokine production. These findings expand our current understanding of the mechanisms of action of GML and the of GML needed to function as a novel immunosuppressant.
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Objective: Data on the effect of coconut oil administration on various hematological and metabolic parameters in humans or animals are scanty. Hence we attempted to investigate the effect of oral administration of graded doses of this edible oil on various hematological and metabolic parameters in female adult rats. Material and methods: Adult female Sprague Dawley rats were given daily oral doses of 1 mL, 2 mL and 4 mL coconut oil. A control group of rats received tap water. Oral feeding was done continuously for a period of 30 days and at the end of the study period the animals were lightly anesthetized and sacrificed to collect blood samples for analysis. Hematological parameters such as red blood cell count, white blood cell count, hemoglobin, platelets, lymphocytes and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were analyzed by a Hematology Analyzer. Metabolic parameters such as cholesterol, triglycerides, urea, uric acid, creatinine and protein were analyzed with the respective analytical kits. The activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase was assessed by a specific analytical kit. Results: Administration of coconut oil appeared to increase leukocytes and hemoglobin in rats treated with 2 mL and 4 mL/day, but the difference was not statistically significant. However, the platelet concentration was significantly lower (p<0.05) and that of lymphocytes significantly higher (p<0.05) in rats receiving 2 mL/day of coconut oil compared to control group rats. Oil feeding did not alter the protein, uric acid and creatinine content significantly. However, the cholesterol, urea and triglyceride concentrations of the various groups showed varying differences. The activity of superoxide dismutase in blood of control rats and those receiving 1 mL, 2 mL and 4 mL per day of coconut oil averaged 1.41, 1.88, 2.12 and 1.92 U/mL, respectively. Enzyme values in all 3 groups of treated rats were significantly higher (Student's t-test; p<0.05) than in controls. Conclusion: We conclude that oral feeding of coconut oil even in massive doses does not cause any significant undesirable alterations in hematological and metabolic parameters in female adult rats. The relatively lower cholesterol level in treated rats, coupled with a higher leukocyte count and higher antioxidant enzyme activity, could be viewed as potentially beneficial for the health of the user population in humans.
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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.
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Two populations of Polynesians living on atolls near the equator provide an opportunity to investigate the relative effects of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol in determining serum cholesterol levels. The habitual diets of the toll dwellers from both Pukapuka and Tokelau are high in saturated fat but low in dietary cholesterol and sucrose. Coconut is the chief source of energy for both groups. Tokelauans obtain a much higher percentage of energy from coconut than the Pukapukans, 63% compared with 34%, so their intake of saturated fat is higher. The serum cholesterol levels are 35 to 40 mg higher in Tokelauans than in Pukapukans. These major differences in serum cholesterol levels are considered to be due to the higher saturated fat intake of the Tokelauans. Analysis of a variety of food samples, and human fat biopsies show a high lauric (12:0) and myristic (14:0) content. Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.
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Recently, independent factors representing different features of insulin resistance syndrome (Syndrome X) have been identified by factor analysis in middle-aged and elderly adult populations. In this study, factor analysis was applied to the clustering characteristics of Syndrome X in a biracial (Black-White) community-based population of 4,522 children (ages 5-11 years), adolescents (ages 12-17 years), and young adults (ages 18-38 years) from the Bogalusa Heart Study who were screened during 1988-1996. Ponderal index (weight (kg)/height (m)3), levels of insulin, glucose, triglycerides, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure were used as measures of components of Syndrome X. No evidence was found to support a one-factor hypothesis for this syndrome, but factor analysis yielded two uncorrelated factors (factor 1: insulin/lipids/glucose/ponderal index; factor 2: insulin/blood pressure). These two factors explained 54.6% of the total variance in the entire sample. The factor loading patterns were very similar in all race and age groups, based on high values of coefficients of congruence (0.89-1.0). These results suggest that Syndrome X is characterized by the linking of a metabolic entity (hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and obesity) to a hemodynamic factor (hypertension) through shared correlation with hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance, and that the clustering features are independent of sex and age in both Black and White populations.
Background: The accumulation of fat in visceral and posterior subcutaneous adipose tissue compartments is highly correlated with the metabolic abnormalities that contribute to increased risk of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Aim: To determine which of waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and body mass index (BMI) was the best predictor of intraperitoneal and posterior subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue mass in men. Methods: We studied 59 free-living men with a wide range of BMI. WC, WHR and BMI were determined using standard methods. Intraperitoneal, retroperitoneal, anterior subcutaneous and posterior subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue masses (IPATM, RPATM, ASAATM and PSAATM, respectively) were quantified using magnetic resonance imaging. Results: In univariate regression analysis, WC, WHR and BMI were all significantly and positively correlated (all p 0.05); there was no significant difference between BMI and WHR in predicting IPATM and RPATM ( p >0.05), but BMI was a stronger predictor of ASAATM ( p = 0.036) and PSAATM ( p < 0.001) than WHR. Discussion: In men WC is the anthropometric index that most uniformly predicts the distribution of adipose tissue among several fat compartments in the abdominal region, there apparently being little value in measuring WHR or BMI.
Aging is associated with an increased accumulation of abdominal fat, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. We tested the hypothesis that diet-induced weight loss would reduce the abdominal distribution of fat and improve glucose tolerance and insulin action in a group of obese middle-aged and older men with normal or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were performed at baseline and after 9 months of diet-induced weight loss in 35 men (mean age, 60 +/- 8 years). Fifteen men of comparable age and degree of obesity who did not participate in the weight loss intervention served as controls. Subjects lost 9.0 +/- 2.0 kg (mean +/- SD) body weight (P < .001), resulting in a 19% reduction in percent body fat (30.0 +/- 4.0% to 24.0% +/- 4.0%, P < .001), an 8% reduction in waist circumference (104.0 +/- 7.0 to 96.0 +/- 7.0 cm, P < .001), and a 2% reduction in waist to hip ratio [WHR] (0.97 +/- 0.06 to 0.95 +/- 0.06, P < .01). Weight loss improved glucose tolerance: nine men with IGT at baseline reverted to normal glucose tolerance following the intervention. Glucose area during the OGTT was significantly reduced after weight loss (-22.0%, P < .001), while it increased in control subjects (+32%, P < .004). In multiple regression analysis, the improvement in glucose area following weight loss in these 35 men was attributed to the reduction in waist circumference (P < .01) and baseline glucose area (P < .05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Rabbits fed a commercial chow diet containing 0.5% cholesterol and 14% coconut oil developed more severe hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis than rabbits fed the same diet containing olive oil in place of coconut oil. Average plasma cholesterol was twice as high in the coconut oil/cholesterol-fed rabbits than in olive oil/cholesterol-fed rabbits. Final plasma triglycerides, although highly variable, were approx. 20-fold higher than basal plasma triglyceride in coconut oil/cholesterol-fed rabbits; plasma triglyceride in olive oil/cholesterol-fed rabbits remained unchanged throughout the study period. In coconut oil/cholesterol-fed rabbits, a direct relationship between plasma triglyceride and aortic cholesterol was not found. Plasma cholesterol and aortic cholesterol were also not correlated at a statistically significant level (r = 0.26, P greater than 0.25). However, when both plasma cholesterol and triglyceride were simultaneously introduced as predictors of aortic cholesterol, the correlation between these plasma lipids and aortic cholesterol became highly significant (r = 0.64, P less than 0.02). Aortic cholesterol increased in proportion to plasma cholesterol concentrations but appeared to be inversely related to plasma triglyceride levels.
In 70 healthy obese subjects (37 men and 33 premenopausal women; aged 27-51 yr; body mass index, 28-38 kg/m2), associations between the initial amount of visceral fat and sex hormone levels were studied as well as between changes that occurred in response to a 4.2 mJ/day deficit diet for 13 weeks. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify the visceral fat depot. In women, an abundance of visceral fat was significantly associated with diminished levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and free 17 beta-estradiol/free testosterone (T) ratio and to elevated levels of free T after adjustment for age and total fat mass. In men, no significant relationships could be found between visceral fat accumulation and any of the sex hormones. Mean total fat loss was 11.3 +/- 3.3 (+/- SD) kg. In women, loss of visceral fat was significantly related to rises in the sex hormone-binding globulin level and the free 17 beta-estradiol/free T ratio independent of total fat loss, whereas in men, only the association between visceral fat loss and increased estrone level reached statistical significance. In conclusion, in obese premenopausal women, visceral fat predominance seems to be related to a relatively increased androgenicity. In obese men, sex steroid levels appear not to depend on the amount of visceral fat. In obese women, but not in obese men, visceral fat loss seems to be accompanied by a relative reduction in androgenicity.
To examine the long term (1-2 year), as well as immediate effectiveness of a "waist loss' programme for men. Two preliminary studies are reported; one following a small group of 42 men over two years after a 6 week "GutBuster' course, the second following men for 1 year after having completed the initial 6 week programme (n = 83), or the initial course plus an additional six fortnightly "advanced' course (n = 37). Waist, hip and weight measures were reported for the 2 year group; waist and hip only in study 2. Dietary fat, exercise and alcohol intake were also recorded in study 2 through the use of questionnaires. The goal for the initial course was a 1% waist loss per week. All groups achieved an average waist loss > 1%/week during the initial programme. Waist sizes reported in study 1 were significantly less after 2 years (t = 8.28, p < 0.001) averaging a 6% loss in the group. This equated with an average weight loss of 5.5 kg. A repeated measures ANOVA also showed a significant main effect (F = 85.35; p < 0.0001) for waist losses and an interaction effect (F = 16.53; p < 0.0001) between initial and advanced groups after 1 year in study 2. Average waist losses were 4% and 10% respectively. There were also significant changes in dietary fat intake, exercise and alcohol consumption. Reductions in waist size in men appear to be more feasible than weight losses in women. "Waist loss' may also be a more valid measure of fat loss in men that body mass measures.
The summary will be limited to the areas that should be intensively investigated. The first is: determination of fatty acid profiles using modern methods on a world wide basis. We have no more than five or six papers in which my criterion was applied, one from Canada and the remainder from Europe with some data from Africa. Obviously, milk cannot be used as the gold standard on this meager data base. The second area is analysis of TG structure. These analyses are difficult, but structure is one of the factors controlling digestion. Data on the effects of maternal diet on structure would be useful. The third area is the role of primary or derived milk lipids as microbicidal agents. The fourth area is examination of globule parameters, i.e. number, size, volume, surface, and how they are affected by diet. There are many others which may interest the reader.