Coconut – Diet, Detox & Weight Loss



A PILL that could help fight obesity is under development after Australian research showed it could reduce calorie intake by up to 18 per cent.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found feeding people concentrated amounts of lauric acid reduced their appetite to the point where they consumed 10-18 per cent fewer calories.

The discovery is likely to be seized on by paleo diet fanatics who promote the use of coconut oil which is a controversial saturated fat that has been found to raise good cholesterol.

Lauric acid is a fatty acid found in coconut oil, beef and breast milk and researchers at Adelaide University have found certain strengths of the substance containing 12 carbon atoms affect food consumption.

New discovery … Lauric acid is a fatty acid found in coconut oil, beef and breast milk and researchers at Adelaide University found certain strengths of the substance containing 12 carbon atoms affect food consumption. Picture: Thinkstock

Lead researcher Professor Christine Feinle-Bisset says she’s working with a biotech company to commercialise the discovery and says a pill is “not too far off”.

However, she points out that the take home message of her research is not as simple as just consuming more coconut oil if you want to lose weight.

“We need more research to see whether replacing some of the fat people eat with other sources, for example coconut, is helping people who are overweight or people with glucose intolerance,” she says.

“I don’t think we’re at that point, and the purpose of our research is not to advise people to include coconut oil in their diet,” she says.

The researchers used an extract of coconut oil in concentrated form and Professor Feeinle-Bisset says her studies did not look at what happened when straight coconut oil was given to people.

Is this the answer? … A fatty acid extracted from coconut oil could hold the key to fighting obesity. Picture: Thinkstock

The discovery emerged from government funded research Professor Feinle-Bisset undertook into how small amounts of certain nutrients affected censors in the intestine.

“Some years ago we found particular nutrients in small amounts have a potent effect to suppress nutrient intake,” she told News Corp.

Patients were fed small amounts of lauric acid via a tube from their nose that went straight to their small intestine.

Their energy intake was compared to a control group who were given a salt infusion.

“In the end there was a 10-15 per cent reduction in calories with no side effects,” she said.

In the initial study some patients experienced nausea so the research team experimented with lower doses and found a dose that was tolerated without side effects.

Later studies using a capsule administered orally found it reduced the total energy consumed by test subjects at lunch.

Effects … The capsule containing fatty acid from coconut oil reduced the amount of food people consumed at lunch. Picture: Thinkstock

Health Minster Sussan Ley says the breakthrough was one of the ten ground breaking medical studies funded by the government along with a new technique to train the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells and a new device that can detect and stop epileptic seizures as they happen.

“Importantly, many of these projects are now in clinical trials or in the process of being commercialised. They offer hope not only for better health for Australians, but new jobs and new industries for our country,” she said.

Professor Feinle-Bisset has won a new National Health and Medical Research Council grant and plans to examine how other nutrients including amino acids in high protein diets help suppress appetite.

While high protein diets have been shown to help with weight loss long term there is a risk people can develop kidney problems, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

It may be healthier to give people with a weight problem small amounts of these nutrients direct, Professor Feinle-Bisset said.

More work is needed including long term studies into whether lauric acid and other nutrients that we can currently study helps with weight loss and blood sugar control.





Study Slams Soybean Oil

In other alarming news, eating a diet that includes a lot of soybean oil may lead to a greater risk for obesity and diabetes than consuming one that is high in coconut oil or fructose, according to a study conducted by scientists at the University of California, Riverside. According to the researchers, mice fed a diet high in soybean oil had higher weight gain, larger fat deposits and fattier livers, as well as other symptoms, compared to those fed a diet high in coconut oil. The soybean-oil-diet-fed mice also showed a weight gain nearly 25 percent higher than those on a coconut oil diet and 9 percent higher than those on a fructose-enriched diet.

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