Paleo Diet: Is There A Negative To Coconut Oil?

ut” width=”224″ height=”168″ />

Coconuts! Image courtesy of

Everywhere you look, there are people shouting the praises of Coconut oil. It’s pretty much a Paleo Diet staple, and is known to be very healthy. Coconut oil is processed directly into ketone bodies, which means that it isn’t processed in the same way as other fats. Because of this, it is very useful as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a great oil to cook with, because it is mostly saturated fat, so it has a very high smoke point, and it’s very resistant to oxidization, unlike vegetable oils etc. So is there a negative to coconut oil?

According to Evelyn on her Carbsane Blog, there could be. In a post dated May 1st 2012, and titled “Does Coconut Oil Stimulate Appetite?“, Coconut oil could cause a problem for some:

“A comment I read on PaleoHacks led me to this article on Livestrong: Does Coconut Oil increase your appetite? It cites the following study: Ingested Medium-Chain Fatty Acids Are Directly Utilized for the Acyl Modification of Ghrelin.



Ghrelin, an acylated brain and gut peptide, is primarily produced by endocrine cells of the gastric mucosa for secretion into the circulation. The major active form of ghrelin is a 28-amino-acid peptide containing an n-octanoyl modification at serine that is essential for activity. Studies have identified multiple physiological functions for ghrelin, including GH release, appetite stimulation, and metabolic fuel preference. Until now, there has not been any report detailing the mechanism of ghrelin acyl modification. Here we report that ingestion of either medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triacylglycerols (MCTs) increased the stomach concentrations of acylated ghrelin without changing the total (acyl- and des-acyl-) ghrelin amounts.


After ingestion of either MCFAs or MCTs, the carbon chain lengths of the acyl groups attached to nascent ghrelin molecules corresponded to that of the ingested MCFAs or MCTs. Ghrelin peptides modified with n-butyryl or n-palmitoyl groups, however, could not be detected after ingestion of the corresponding short-chain or long-chain fatty acids, respectively. Moreover, n-heptanoyl ghrelin, an unnatural form of ghrelin, could be detected in the stomach of mice after ingestion of either n-heptanoic acid or glyceryl triheptanoate. These findings indicate that ingested medium-chain fatty acids are directly used for the acylation of ghrelin.

So, while the MCT’s in CO don’t stimulate more ghrelin production, they do bind ghrelin and convert it to the active form that stimulates appetite. Short chain fatty acids like butyrate and long chain fatty acids like palmitic acid do not do this. The Livestrong article goes on to mention how CO can aid in weight loss, but I’ve not found peer review evidence of impact on metabolic rate, but I have seen one study where replacement of LCT’s with MCT’s has aided slightly in this regard.


I was wondering why this might be and then I was reminded that the only other food I can think of high in MCT’s is human breast milk. Perhaps the MCT’s activating ghrelin ensured babies would eat enough?


In any case, I just wanted to share this with my readers since CO is all the rage in both the low carb and paleo movements. Perhaps it’s something to consider if you’re not losing or gaining weight on an ad libitum diet that includes lots of CO. Those who take CO as a supplement of sorts (why?) might want to reconsider that unless they are trying to gain weight.”

Interesting stuff! What do you think? Is there a negative to coconut Oil? Is this information going to stop you from eating or using so much Coconut oil?


If you found this “Paleo Diet: Is There A Negative To Coconut Oil?” article useful, please click the ‘LIKE’ button below to share on Facebook. We also invite you to leave comments, and join the Paleo Diet News discussion!

Go to, and download my 30-Day UN-Challenge eBook now……It’s a step-by-step guide to your personal health revolution.

Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For more information please visit:


Did you enjoy this?

If you liked this article, enter your email below and we will send you a brief and focused newsletter every Thursday morning. No fluff, no spam, no advertising. Just the best of the best recipes, articles, and news.

10 Responses to Paleo Diet: Is There A Negative To Coconut Oil?

  1. Paul May 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Too much of anything is to much Barry. You know my preference for a whole / unprocessed food diet, but I think the article simply represents the down side of concentrating any ingredient of any food and taking it in ‘therapeutic’ doses. It may have benefits, but these can’t be entirely isolated from various risks

  2. Marie May 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Dumb! Coconut oil is the best thing for you hands down! If you want REAL info on c.o. hit up the website
    The best accurate information is all on that website. Coconut oil changed me & my family for the better in sooo many ways!

    • Nicholas May 25, 2012 at 3:09 am

      So Marie, you dispute what is written on this page because of a strong belief that you have that may or may not have been conditioned by the effects of coconut oil or something else you’ve changed in your life unrelated to coconut oil. Your information that you have posted is published by someone that stands to gain from explaining all of the wonderful things that coconut oil does. I am not saying that coconut oil may not be everything everyone says it is and more but please do not automatically refute any information that is contrary to your belief (this is of course how saturated fats got labeled as “evil” in the first place.

  3. Evelyn aka CarbSane May 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Hello Barry,

    On occasion since my content was being ripped off by feed-reader sites, I Google phrases from my posts and see what turns up. Recently your site turned up. I check my Blogger stats and happened to look at “now” and saw ONE hit from here. This is not surprising considering that when you C&P an entire post, what’s the point of going to read it on the original website, right?

    If you found this “Paleo Diet: Is There A Negative To Coconut Oil?” article useful, please click the ‘LIKE’ button below to share on Facebook. We also invite you to leave comments, and join the Paleo Diet News discussion! Ummm …. this article WAS NOT YOURS.

    Surely you realize that even with attribution, copying and pasting entire blog posts for discussion, etc. on a website like this one is ILLEGAL. Cease and desist. It is not necessary for you to remove existing content, but I will be monitoring to make sure that no further content from my blog is lifted or I will take legal action.

    Fair use allows for excerpts, and although guidelines on what constitutes an excerpt are sometimes fuzzy (e.g. what percent of content), it is crystal clear that 100% of content is not “fair use”.

    I do find it interesting that you lift content from my “ranting spouting and complaining” prior to my “deciding to bring something helpful” , yet cannot bring yourself to include my blog in the sites worth visiting in the right sidebar. WOW.

    I don’t take stolen content lightly and this site is more than just a random feed rip-off. You are trying to drum up traffic and business here using my content. STOP IT. This behavior is disgusting. And I will blog about this and include this comment because it is unacceptable to me that any website would even consider this sort of behavior in the first place.

    • Lila Solnick May 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Evelyn,

      This is entirely my responsibility, not Barry’s. Paleo Diet News is my site. Barry writes for this site.
      The premise of this site is what’s called curation. This means that no more than 40% of an article on another site can be quoted. This also includes full attribution and links in the article back to the original post. I had not been monitoring what was taken from your site and others, as I should have. I am deeply sorry for this misunderstanding. I will make certain this does not happen again. The links to sites worth visiting are periodically updated and I will gladly add yours to the list if you would like.
      Just so you know, Google has noticed the stolen content as well, as traffic from search engines has dropped considerably over the last several weeks. You may have actually done me a favor in pointing out what’s been going on. I could not pin point what had gone wrong. I know that once “Google love” is withdrawn, it’s difficult to impossible to get back.

      Ripping off content is not something anyone should condone. I certainly do not. If you would like me to remove the posts, I will do so.
      Again, please accept my apologies for this.

      Best Regards
      Lila Solnick

  4. Evelyn aka CarbSane May 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Lila,

    Thank you for your prompt reply. While I now understand this site’s content is your ultimate responsibility, your writers should be aware of the bare minimum of “fair use” practices.

    I appreciate the response, and as I said in my first comment, deleting existing problem posts is not necessary … not having this happen again is. It’s always a compliment — whether in flattering or critical light — to be cited, it’s just not quite so much so when one’s content is lifted word for word in total.

    If you’d like to include me in your blog list, that’s great — I only mentioned this because it seemed odd to me to feature my content in articles but not in the blog list.

    Thanks again for the prompt consideration of my concerns.


    • Lila Solnick May 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      I think Barry’s use of your site for content was a relatively recent development. I will add your site to list over the next couple of days.

  5. Rachel May 4, 2012 at 1:04 am

    I call BS on this!
    I’m not saying the science is wrong, but the conclusion. Coconut oil has been the backbone of my weight loss efforts on three different occasions, including my current efforts (post baby). It helps me eat LESS and LOSE weight. Go find that information about how farmers had to stop feeding pigs coconut based foods because it made them SKINNY! I helps me eat less and burn more.

  6. Kyle Knapp May 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Always something to consider: some foods are not magic for everyone just as some things are not disastrous for everyone. I don’t use coconut oil nearly as much as I used to but I think it has a nice place in many peoples diets. There is certainly no harm in asking if something might not be right for everyone. One of the nice things about Evelyn/Carbsane is that she challenges things. That is also one of my favorite parts of this website and some of Barry’s posts. Nothing wrong with asking questions and probing a bit. There’s no need for anyone to say they have proof or they are right, when all that suffices is to say there is evidence to support or challenge our beliefs. In the end, nothing ever surprises me. I just do the best I can day after day. :)

    Thanks again for posing another thoughtful dilemma.

    • Nicholas May 25, 2012 at 3:16 am

      well put Kyle