About how long does it take for coconut oil supplements to have a metabolic effect once you start taking and using it in cooking?
asked bypaleohacks (78467)
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on February 18, 2010
at 01:34 AM
Coconut Oil: Diet Miracle or Fad? Immune Boosting Foods Slideshow
Some people promote coconut oil as a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet, even though it has higher levels of saturated fat. WebMD Feature Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario Is it possible to add fat to your diet and lose weight? Yes, if it's the right fat, says naturopath Bruce Fife, ND, author of Eat Fat Look Thin. He recommends adding coconut oil and substituting it for polyunsaturated oils to suppress appetite, boost metabolism, and bring about weight loss. "Lots of people have reported that when they add coconut oil to their diet, it was enough to promote weight loss," says Fife. "Some people don't notice a drop in weight, which often means they're simply eating too much. Calories are important." His own experience with coconut oil produced a gradual weight loss over six months of about 20 pounds, which he'd been unable to lose previously through diet and exercise. He advises using about three tablespoons of natural coconut oil, either virgin or processed, daily. His patients use it in place of polyunsaturated fats for stir-frying and salad dressings, add it to other foods, or take it straight. The fat is also present in canned coconut milk (not the liquid inside the coconut), which can be substituted for milk in many recipes, and fresh coconut fruit, which can be eaten as a snack or grated over fruits and salads. How Does Coconut Oil Promote Weight Loss? "I think the real key to coconut oil and weight loss is the fact that it decreases your appetite while you're eating the meal and afterwards," says Fife. "Studies show that when these fats are added, people are satisfied sooner and eat less, and at the next meal they don't make up for it by eating more." Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) while most other fats, such as vegetable oils and animal fat, are long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). "The length of the molecule determines how the fat is metabolized," says Fife. MCTs are rapidly broken down, and the body burns them much like carbohydrates for energy. LCTs, however, are deposited in fat cells. "With MCTs, you're eating fat calories, but you're eating fewer effective calories because metabolism rises, and you end up burning the calories, not storing them as fat. You can eat much more coconut oil than other fats before your body will convert it into fat." Fife says that the types of oils present in coconut oil stimulate metabolism. "It promotes thermogenesis [burning of calories to produce heat], and some people with low thyroid function tell me they feel warm and their body temperature rises one or two degrees after eating coconut oil." People with low thyroid function have a low metabolism and can have a decreased ability to lose weight........
,,,,,,,,,,The limited number of studies on oils similar to that found in coconut (in the form of palm kernel oil, coconut oil, linoleate, and other oils) and weight loss show conflicting results. Two researchers at McGill University in Quebec, Marie-Pierre St.-Onge and Peter J. H. Jones, published a review of the literature in the March 2002 issue of the Journal of Nutrition. Animal trials show that substituting MCTs for LCTs over long periods could produce weight loss. From these preliminary studies they concluded that these types of oils produced an increase in energy expenditure and resulted in a decrease in food intake, suggesting the potential for weight control. and...He says MCTs have a small and indirect influence on thyroid function, affecting metabolism because they're an efficient fuel. He adds there's some suggestion that MCTs boost the levels of thyroid hormones, which are essential to metabolism, in people with low levels of those hormones. He also advises against taking coconut oil on an empty stomach as it may produce bloating and gas. Even though three tablespoons of coconut oil represents 360 calories, Rothfeld says those calories needn't concern dieters because they're quickly converted to energy. "Calories aren't all alike," he says, giving an example of two groups in a study who were fed just once a day, one group in the morning and one at night. "They consumed the same 1,200-calorie meals, but the morning group lost weight."*
PS So maybe as a person with hypothyroidism it will affect me more than others?
on February 14, 2010
at 10:06 AM
Any coconut that you eat will be metabolised more quickly and more thoroughly as soon as you eat it. Don't think of it as though coconut increases some seperate thing called your 'metabolism' which causes you to burn through more calories... the point is that the coconut that you eat will be metabolised better.
e.g. "approximately 90% of the MCT [saturated fat from coconut] is converted to carbon dioxide with in 24 h compared with 45% for LCT [saturated fat from animals]."
Edit: Following the comments and answers below, it doesn't seem that MCT actually increases metabolism in general, it's simply metabolised faster itself. http://www.jlr.org/cgi/reprint/37/4/708
"Some overzealous proponents of MCT claim that the rapid endogenous oxidation of dietary MCFA triggers enhancing effects on LCFA catabolism,... MCT would have to concomitantly stimulate lipolysis in adipose tissue and oxidation of the released fatty acids. The first step looks unlikely as it is catalyzed by the hormone-sensitive lipase whose activity is strongly inhibited by insulin (198), known to be set in motion by MCT-intake. The second step is only modestly operative in the adipose tissue and mainly confined to the liver. In vitro studies showed that... [LCFA] demonstrate reduced oxidation rates in the presence of MCFA (199). This observation has been confirmed by in vivo studies in suckling rats (130)."
Quite an irritating article in itself, very lipophobic, but I'll assume it's broadly right about this. As to how this can be the case if MCT "increases thermogenesis,"... more MCT is burnt to produce heat, so more heat is produced generally; but that doesn't mean the body is necessarily burning through more energy from all sources. If I shout very loudly, then the total room is full of more loud shouting, but that doesn't mean that who aren't shouting are significantly louder. It's not impossible that it happens for some other reason though, so I'm open to being contradicted.
on April 04, 2011
at 12:16 AM
If you are looking for some good science-y background, I rather like http://www.nutritionreview.org/library/mcts.php
Coconut oil does make it easier for ketones to start circulating in the body, and once you are regularly circulating ketones, the cellular mechanics of each cell express the works needed to use more ketones.
I always thought that about a month of regular coconut oil use would just make it easier to drop carbs (esp. grain carbs) from the diet because you are already partially adapted to running on less glucose.