UQ cardiologist confirms coconut oil is not the good oil for heart health



Published: Monday, 27 May 2013

Research from The University of Queensland has reconfirmed oily fish or fish supplements are vital for heart health and debunked popular myths about coconut oil.

Associate Professor David Colquhoun, a cardiologist from UQ School of Medicine and Wesley and Greenslopes Private Hospitals, said the value of fish oil and its health benefits have 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 about 500 milligrams of omega-3 oil from marine sources per day to lower their risk of coronary heart disease.

This can be achieved by eating two to three serves of oily fish a week or by taking fish oil supplements.

Associate Professor Colquhoun also debunked popular myths about krill oil and coconut 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.

"Don't take too much notice of krill oil labeled 'organic', 'sustainable' or 'eco-friendly' - the current harvesting of krill is less than 1 per cent of what is in the ocean, so it is all wild and sustainable.

"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.

"In fact, 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."

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

Media: Brian Mallon, Communication Officer School of Medicine, 0403621109, 07 3365 5254 b.mallon@uq.edu.au