Talk:Coconut oil

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References used in this Talk[edit]

Controversial health claims[edit]

Balisong5 has repeatedly added similar renditions of health claims previously discussed here. The material being added this time cites authoritynutrition.com, drawing material selectively from some of the primary studies cited there. The site, authoritynutrition.com, is not a WP:MEDRS source. This leaves the individual studies.

Individual studies are primary sources: Dr. Smith tests a theory and publishes results. Saying Dr. Smith or the study found anything is reporting on a primary source, which is not acceptable in this context. First and foremost, Wikipedia uses primary sources for only the most basic and non-controversial claims (an uncontested birth date or number of employees, for example). For health claims, we will need a reliable secondary source. The gold standard here would be a meta-analysis in a peer-reviewed journal. We might also accept a general statement from a respected magazine or newspaper, in some contexts.

Several of the studies here report no significant difference between intervention and control groups after 14 days. Others lacked control groups, blinding and/or objective outcome measures. A decent meta-analysis would examine these and similar issues. Without such a study, we are left with primary reports arguing against the current consensus advising against regular consumption of coconut oil. - SummerPhDv2.0 15:05, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Okay, I didn't realize that the site I provided as a source didn't qualify. I will then directly cite the studies done on coconut oil because many of those studies were published by ncbi which is peer reviewed and a well respected authority. Balisong5
Balisong5: please read WP:MEDRS. As stated above, "we will need a reliable secondary source. The gold standard here would be a meta-analysis in a peer-reviewed journal." Among the articles listed on Authoritynutrition.com, none qualifies for making the case of health benefits by consuming coconut oil. --Zefr (talk) 16:27, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
That, unfortunately, will not solve the problem. You would still be using primary sources. Yes, one study (uncontrolled, without blinding) found that "oil pulling" with coconut oil reduced oral inflammation. One study found that men who use electric razors are more likely to develop leukemia. One study found that breath mint users are up to 50% more likely to develop lung cancer. Further study found the razor thing was a statistical fluke and breath mint users are more likely to be smokers. Maybe rinsing with plain water for 15 to 20 minutes would be as effective as doing the same with coconut oil. Maybe those told to rinse with coconut oil hated the taste and brushed their teeth more as a result. Perhaps you are missing studies linking coconut oil use to spontaneous human combustion. Who knows? "Primary sources should generally not be used for medical content – as such sources often include unreliable or preliminary information". WP:MEDRS
To bypass at least some of the bad results from individual studies, WP:MEDRS states that "Ideal sources for biomedical information include: review articles (especially systematic reviews) published in reputable medical journals; academic and professional books written by experts in the relevant fields and from respected publishers; and guidelines or position statements from national or international expert bodies." As a result, we are not using individual studies for the cardiovascular and weight gain claims. We are citing expert bodies. (WHO, FDA, etc.) - SummerPhDv2.0 16:34, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Okay, are not the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and The International Journal of Obesity respected sources for gathering data on studies? Surely there is merit on the information put forth by these sources. And secondly why is the "health claims" section unbalanced, tilting much more negatively than on the positive. Balisong5 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Balisong5 (talkcontribs) 16:58, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

The issue is not the reliability of the specific journals. The issue is using primary sources: authors publishing reports on their own individual trials.
The "Health claims" section tilts heavily toward the negative side because the WP:MEDRS sources tilt heavily to the negative side. "The World Health Organization, United States Food and Drug Administration, International College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, British National Health Service, British Nutrition Foundation and Dietitians of Canada advise against regular consumption of coconut oil." Yes, there are primary studies that found something different. Citing them against WHO, FDA, etc. is not "balance", it's a WP:WEIGHT problem. - SummerPhDv2.0 19:55, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Fair enough. I see how that makes sense. Balisong5

I know this was already discussed earlier but I think it would be reasonable for me to add the individual studies cited in authoritynutrition.com touting the benefits of coconut oil provided I explain that these are individual studies and non secondary sources that deviate from the majority consensus. I say this because I only think it's fair that dissenting voices on the subject not be shut out completely. I think it's only right that people are aware that these studies are taking place even if they are not recognized by organizations like WHO or FDA. Balisong5 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Balisong5 (talkcontribs) 21:45, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

We do not seek to be "fair" to minority viewpoints. We seek to "fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." Every major health or dietary organization we have a statement from says to strictly limit consumption of coconut oil. This overwhelming consensus is clearly covered in the article. The tiny minority of anomalous findings has not made it into secondary sources. We do not have the sourcing we would need to include them.- SummerPhDv2.0 01:43, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Off topic, this is not a forum[edit]

Extended content
Health benefits of coconut oil

Regular consumption of coconut oil helps in maintaining healthy levels of serum HDL. It prevents cardiovascular diseases. This is attributed to lauric acid, which forms 44 to 52 % (w/w) of pure coconut oil. Capric acid (Decanoic acid) which constitute about 6 to 10 % of coconut oil is a non competitive AMPA receptor antagonist, responsible for anti-seizure effects. The effect of coconut oil in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease is proven. Coconut oil is so safe that it can be administered even to infants, and the fatty acids are directly converted to ketones by the salivary enzymes. (The infant cannot produce pancreatic juices).Ragavanrs (talk) 16:19, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Ragavanrs, I disagree with you. The current discussion under Health claims is accurate as the state of scientific understanding per WP:MEDSCI. Consuming coconut oil 1) does not prevent cardiovascular disease, 2) is not suitable as an anti-epileptic therapy, 3) is not effective for treating Alzheimer's disease, and 4) is not suitable to be given to infants. You are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to fabricating your own facts. The encyclopedia requires sources based on WP:MEDRS; please review this for the evidence quality needed. --Zefr (talk) 16:37, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

This article talk page is for discussing improvements to the article, not for general discussion of the article's topic. - SummerPhDv2.0 23:38, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

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Ok. --Zefr (talk) 17:10, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Various health authorities' recommendations[edit]

"Due to its high levels of saturated fat, the World Health Organization, United States Food and Drug Administration, International College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, British National Health Service, British Nutrition Foundation and Dietitians of Canada advise against regular consumption of coconut oil."

Recently, Seewithfingers changed this to "...advise against excessive consumption."[1] I have reverted this as a temporary measure.

The various sources seem to advising that use of coconut oil be reduced or avoided: "...restrict your use of...", "...should be kept to a minimum...", "...replace...", "...in moderation only", "...only in small quantities", "...leave these on the shelf!" This, to my reading, is at odds with avoiding "excessive" consumption and avoiding "regular" consumption is fairly weak relative to the sources.

(I am quite aware that there are those who feel coconut oil is a healthy choice, with numerous claimed benefits. However, several of the very sources cited for the above statement directly and emphatically deny this.)

I am proposing that we change the above text to "..and Dietitians of Canada advise that coconut oil consumption should be limited or avoided."

Thoughts? - SummerPhDv2.0 17:25, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Since there are several organizations advising about saturated fat and/or coconut oil consumption, perhaps the first sentence should be reworded to include your revision and just state (retaining all the sources): "Many health organizations advise that coconut oil consumption should be limited or avoided due to its high levels of saturated fat." Further, should we change the section title? I suggest it be more specific to state "Saturated fat consumption". --Zefr (talk) 18:38, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
The subsection is still named "health claims" but no longer appears to contain questionable health claims. Perhaps that "health", or "health issues" may be more appropriate? 76.10.128.192 (talk) 12:11, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Agree. Subtitle revised. --Zefr (talk) 15:57, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! 76.10.128.192 (talk) 00:18, 28 January 2017 (UTC)