Talk:Coconut oil

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positive and negative health stuff[edit]

This edit [1] has changed the lead, but I don't see any positive effects mentioned in the body of the article. Dbrodbeck (talk) 01:00, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, maybe the cholesterol stuff. Though the article referenced is not solely about coconut oil. Dbrodbeck (talk) 01:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, all the research I've seen shows coconut oil is good. I'm not aware of any research that shows it's bad. So, although it's true that lots of governments and NGOs recommend broadly against saturated fats, putting that so strongly at the top of the coconut oil article seems misleading and biased. Just having it all down in the health section is at least an improvement. Cup of cocoa (talk) 01:28, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, but we have to summarize current mainstream thinking. I am quite sympathetic to your view, but we have to go by mainstream secondary sources. The one for the cholesterol effects actually does not look only at coconut oil. I hope others chime in. Dbrodbeck (talk) 01:37, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

The only downside I can find, is that although coconut oil is good for you, it *might* not be as good for you as some other healthy oils, like olive oil, as per [2]. Not sure if that's worth mentioning in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cup of cocoa (talkcontribs) 02:03, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps the whole paragraph on saturated fat govts/NGOs should be removed for a reference to Saturated_fat#Association_with_diseases instead. That page already goes in to detailed sourcing on the fact that there's not much of any scientific evidence to support the recommendation to avoid saturated fat, but also notes that various governments and NGOs recommend avoiding it. Just linking over to that seems better. Cup of cocoa (talk) 03:48, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Mainstream medical thought still advises against the use of coconut oil. When that changes, we can change the article, but it should state this unequivocally as long as the medical mainstream is also unequivocal. Yobol (talk) 18:07, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
What? You just made the article even *more* biased. I don't know what you consider mainstream, but there are no studies showing coconut oil is bad. As mentioned above, per the [3] article, the only thing to note is that maybe some other oils are even a little better. Cup of cocoa (talk) 18:16, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
If you would read the article, we have multiple sources from mainstream medical organizations saying it should be avoided. Yobol (talk) 18:18, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes there are mainstream govts and NGOs saying it should be avoided, but the point is that there has never been any study to justify that recommendation. Mentioning their recommendations is fine, but the state of medical research should also be reflected. Cup of cocoa (talk) 18:36, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Produce a WP:MEDRS compliant source, and we can talk. The high quality sources we already have that do meet MEDRS say it should be avoided due to its saturated fat. Yobol (talk) 18:44, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

We need MEDRS sources, Yobol is right on this one. Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:04, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

He just deleted MayoClinic and IUPAC references. The page is more biased than ever towards governments/NGOs and away from the medical research community. I don't see how that could possibly be seen as an improvement. Cup of cocoa (talk) 19:30, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I deleted material that placed undue weight to speculation about lauric acid. Most of the weight should be given to higher level sources such as recommendations by high quality medical bodies. Yobol (talk) 19:32, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

The notation that coconut oil is primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) has been deleted. The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid which is a fatty acid of 12 carbons length. The peer-reviewed scientific literature support the argument that medium chain fatty acids are 6 - 10 carbons long,[1][2], [3], [4] and that lauric acid being considered among the long-chain fatty acids, albeit the shortest of that group. That being the case approximately 19% of the fatty acids of coconut oil would be considered as MCT. A statement could be added to this effect, but the existing "primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides" has been removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blonz (talkcontribs) 03:53, 28 August 2014 (UTC) Blonz (talk) 04:49, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

The first study you removed[4] flatly contradicts you: "coconut oil (containing over 50% medium chain fatty acids)". - SummerPhD (talk) 13:00, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I have cited the scientific resources to support the accepted definition that medium chain triglycerides are composed of fatty acids between 6 and 10 carbons in length. If you examine the composition of coconut oil you will see that this amounts to about 19% of the fatty acids contained. This not only corrects the error, but makes the article consistent with the Fractionation section where it also states "Medium-chain triglycerides, such as caprylic/capric triglyceride . . . " Caprylic acid is 8 carbons long, and capric acid is 10 carbons ling. These two fatty acids comprise 19 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil. My original edits were supported in discussions in the talk section. Blonz (talk) 19:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC) Ed Blonz.
This is synthesis, combining two or more sources to reach a conclusion that none of the sources directly make. The source you removed, directly states that coconut oil contains "over 50% medium chain fatty acids". The sources you are adding do not seem to discuss coconut oil, the subject of this article. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe we can get beyond the SYN concerns and look at the reliability of the sources? --Ronz (talk) 17:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are saying. Those are unrelated issues. If a source is not reliable for the statement it makes, it should not be used (so synthesis is not a concern). If a source is used in synthesis (and/or does not directly discuss the topic), it should not be used (so reliability is not a concern). What are you saying about which sources? - SummerPhD (talk) 03:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm saying that we need to look at the reliability more closely, as it might help us determine what to do with the apparent contradiction. Specifically, the reliability of the Trends in Food Science & Technology paper appears suspect. --Ronz (talk) 16:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Trends in Food Science & Technology appears to be a reliable source, under WP:IRS. If you disagree, I invite you to raise that question at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. The apparent synthesis from the sources you've provided is a separate issue that I'm not sure you've addressed. Do you agree with me that it is inappropriate? - SummerPhD (talk) 19:44, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps they published a poor paper. Perhaps this is yet another of Elsevier's questionable journals. I don't know. I certainly an unimpressed with the language and assumptions of the abstract.
On the other hand, perhaps the distinction between they types of fatty acids isn't so clear cut. There are many possible explanations. I'm saying that we should look closely. --Ronz (talk) 16:24, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand. Whether or not you agree with the source has nothing to do with whether or not it is a reliable source. If a reliable source said that coconut oil was produced by Martians using genetically engineered Muppets, we would report exactly that. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:48, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with what I agree to, so let's not waste time assuming so. It would also help to WP:FOC.
I'm questioning the reliability of both sources, and saying that given that this is science we should figure out what the scientific consensus is on the matter, then give appropriate weight to that scientific consensus. --Ronz (talk) 16:59, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
This is a question of verifiability, one of our core policies. We have one reliable source that says that coconut oil contains "over 50% medium chain fatty acids". This may or may not be true, but it is verifiable. We also have an editor saying that combining material from various sources contradicts this. This may or may not be true, but it is synthesis. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If a source isn't reliable, we don't use it. --Ronz (talk) 16:51, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

After doing a bit of research, I'm not seeing a consensus that lauric acid is long-chain. I don't know what an authoritative reference for the classification of lauric acid might be. Given this, I've reverted the changes. --Ronz (talk) 17:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I am hopeful that you would allow the science to speak here. I carefully cited all issues and the peer-reviewed papers that support the position that from a physiological perspective, the lauric acid in coconut oil is considered to be long chain fatty acid. A search of the scientific literature (and I provided many citations to this effect[5][6], [7], [8]) and the studies that actually study MCTs - not the review piece in Trends in Food Science and Technology - only use the 6 - 10 carbon long fatty acids, mostly caprylic ((8) and capric (10). You cannot hold the Trends piece, which seems more like a promotional piece by Malaysian authors, to the basic medical studies. Please understand that the actual categorization of FAs by chain length has changed significantly over the last 40 years. It was first based on physical characteristics, and the classification was more mathematical and melting-point based. Then when the health impacts began to be studied (and this IS the section where this is being shown), a review of the scientific literature finds that most scholars currently consider MCFAs as 6-C to 10-C. So where does Wikipedia want to reside. There is consideral financial interest by the Coconut oil industry to keep this medium-chain classification going. The science, however points to a different direction. I am making the effort to upgrade the tone and content of this topic. Blonz (talk) 19:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Find a better source. Ideally one that provides a definitive description of the classification scheme including a history that explains the inconsistencies.
I've not found such a source yet. What I am finding suggests that whatever classification scheme exists is rather informal. I'm finding some sources suggesting there are two competing classifications. --Ronz (talk) 19:34, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Not as definitive as I'd like but Mosby's Medical Dictionary says 8-12 [5] --Ronz (talk) 22:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

This article is about coconut oil, not lauric acid. Reliable sources that directly discuss coconut oil belong in Coconut oil. Sources that discuss lauric acid belong in Lauric acid, even if other sources say that coconut oil contains lauric acid. Our policy is quite clear: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." There's an industry pulling strings to suppress the science? They have strong financial interests? An otherwise reliable source is unreliable on this one issue? Reliable sources haven't reported on this yet? I get it. Sorry, it doesn't belong here. What do reliable sources say about coconut oil - SummerPhD (talk) 01:19, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


The fractionation section was reworded to eliminate redundant language. Blonz (talk) 21:11, 28 August 2014 (UTC) ER Blonz

/* In food */ Removed a claim about breast milk[edit]

There was a claim that lauric acid was converted to the monoglyceryl ester, monolaurin, which was "otherwise found only in breast milk." It had a reference to an IUPAC article that contained nothing about breast milk. The statement in the article didn't say anything about whether this was a good thing or a bad thing, and it didn't support the claim, so it's been removed.Roches (talk) 16:38, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Comparison with sunflower oil[edit]

User Seekingbuddha entered this passage today for the table comparisons of different vegetable oils. It's better to sort out differences and find WP:SCIRS sources before entering a final statement into the article. --Zefr (talk) 22:34, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

The following table provides information about the composition of coconut oil and how it compares with other vegetable oils. (Note: The composition of Sunflower oil, given by the following table is different from what is quoted at Sunflower_oil. Hence, all these compositions need review).

Consumption of Coconut oil Impairs the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of HDL Lipoproteins and Endothelial Function[edit]

Consumption of Coconut Oil reduces the anti-inflammatory potential of HDL and impairs arterial endothelial function! In contrast, the anti-inflammatory activity of HDL improves after consumption of polyunsaturated fat from safflower oil.

Subjects consumed 1 of 2 isocaloric meals comprising a slice of carrot cake and a milkshake containing 1 g of fat/kg of body weight. The first meal contained safflower oil (fatty acid composition: 75% polyunsaturated, 13.6% monounsaturated, and 8.8% saturated fat). The second meal contained coconut oil (fatty acid composition: 89.6% saturated fat, 5.8% monounsaturated, and 1.9% polyunsaturated fat). The order of meals ingested was determined by random allocation and was blinded to the investigators. ee1518 (talk) 19:29, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

A primary study is probably not the best thing, we really need secondary reviews. Dbrodbeck (talk) 21:50, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

References used in this Talk[edit]

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