So maybe coconut oil isn't so great after-all?


Zoe Hinchliffe

Coconut oil

Coconut oil

A leading heart health expert has backed oily fish or fish supplements as vital while dismissing claims about the health benefits of coconut and krill oil.

Associate Professor David Colquhoun, a cardiologist at the University of Queensland School of Medicine along with Wesley and Greenslopes Private Hospitals, said the value of fish oil and its health benefits have recently been questioned.

“My research review confirms oily fish or fish supplements are important for heart health and should be a regular part of our weekly diet,” Associate Professor Colquhoun said.

According to the Heart Foundation, healthy adults should consume two to three serves of oily fish a week and if not, should take fish oil supplements.


Associate Professor Colquhoun’s findings retract the superiority often associated with krill oil.

“Krill oil is a good source of omega-3s however it is no better for you than fish oil and is usually more expensive,” he said.

He encouraged buyers to take little notice of organic, sustainable or eco-friendly krill oil.

“The current harvesting of krill is less than one per cent of what is in the ocean, so it is all wild and sustainable”.

He then ceased all claims regarding the benefits of coconut oil.

“There have also been bizarre claims that coconut oil lowers cholesterol, cures Alzheimer’s disease and even prevents heart disease, however the research does not support this.

Associate Professor Colquhoun said coconut oil is full of unhealthy saturated fat which raises bad cholesterol levels, clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease.
"With over 90 per cent saturated fat I would definitely be keeping coconut oil off the menu."

According to a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the professor’s findings support studies following a specific methodological process occurring in reports published between January 1970 and December 1998.

The subjects of the selected studies were required to be 17 years or older, have a thoroughly controlled food intake and constant Cholesterol intake.

Those who had disturbances of lipid metabolism or diabetes were not included in the selection of studies.

Associate Professor Colquhoun presented his findings at the Heart Foundation Conference held in Adelaide from May 16- 18.