J Med Assoc Thai 2021; 104 (2):199-206

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Acute Effect of Coconut Oil on Peak Forearm Blood Flow in Healthy Men: A Randomized Crossover Trial
Naothaworn K , Kulaputana O Mail, Anomasiri W

Background: A high-fat meal can induce vascular dysfunction. Despite containing a high amount of saturated fats, coconut oil is claimed to have cardiovascular health benefits. However, the information regarding the acute effect of coconut oil on vascular function in humans is unknown.

Objective: To determine the effects of coconut oil ingestion experiment (Coco) on peak forearm blood flow (FBFpeak) and plasma biomarkers in healthy subjects.

Materials and Methods: Seventeen healthy young men completed two separate experimental visits, Coco and control experiment (Con) in random order. The outcomes were FBFpeak measured by venous occlusion plethysmography and biomarkers as plasma triglycerides, free fatty acids, and malondialdehyde. The outcomes were collected at baseline (12 hour fasting), 2-hour and 4-hour after Coco (45 mL) in the Coco visit and at the same timeline in the control visit. Statistical analyses were performed to compare the data between the two experimental groups and within the group.

Results: FBFpeak at 4-hour was significantly increased from the baseline (24.2±4.7 versus 21.7±3.8 mL/100 mL tissue.minute, p=0.009). Plasma triglycerides at 2-hour (75±25 mg/dL, p=0.03) and 4-hour (72±22 mg/dL, p=0.039) were significantly increased from the baseline (65±20 mg/dL). Coco significantly increased plasma free fatty acids at 2-hour (125.1±60.3 μEq/L, p=0.042) and at 4-hour (166.9±35.3 μEq/L, p<0.001) compared to the baseline (87.2±34.0 μEq/L). There were no significant changes in vascular resistance and plasma malondialdehyde.

Conclusion: Coconut oil augmented vascular function in healthy young men by increasing FBFpeak despite the accompanying postprandial elevations of plasma triglycerides and free fatty acids.

Keywords: Virgin coconut oil, Peak forearm blood flow, Vascular function, Saturated fatty acid, Medium chain triglyceride

DOI: doi.org/10.35755/jmedassocthai.2021.02.11377

Received 16 April 2020 | Revised 7 October 2020 | Accepted 7 October 2020

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