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I have a question..... What is the thought with regard to coconut oil?
Dr. Oz (here in the states) is a huge fan of it and advises people to use it.

It is a staple on the paleo diet (which I do NOT use)

I have been using coconut oil to cook.... and bake with......

Unfortunately coconut and coconut oil are foods that we should not eat. Even though coconut is a plant food, it is very high in saturated fat.
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... ot-to-Eat/

And from the Diet FAQ's:
There is a lot of controversy about the oils in coconut and their effect on health. While some reputable authorities like Udo Erasmus argue that the short chain fatty acids in coconut may be quite healthy, Swank was very clear in eliminating coconut from the diets of those in his landmark study. We know that most of the fats in coconut are saturated fats. One of the key issues with saturated fats is their melting point. If the melting point of a fat is above body temperature, then that fat will essentially behave in body cell membranes like a solid fat at body temperature, making cell membranes rigid, inflexible and sticky, thereby encouraging degeneration and inflammation. It is worth noting that the melting points of the common fats in coconut are as follows:

Lauric acid (12:0 carbon chain) 44.2C
Myristic acid (14:0 carbon chain) 53.9C
Palmitic acid (16:0 carbon chain) 63.1C.

These fats are solid at body temperature and are likely to significantly worsen MS. We do not recommend them in any quantity.

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
I was going to ask the same question... coconut is a plant food and even though high in sat fats so are nuts and some seeds that we are able to eat... it's quite confusing. And yes there is alot about how good coconut oils are ( i have steered clear of them but it is so hard not to see it written everywhere when looking at 'healthy' sites)
Dx Dec 2008, DENIAL, OMS Jul 2011, Copaxone Nov 2011.
It's good to remember that foods may well have benefits but for us with MS they are a danger and foods with high sat. fat levels fall into this catagory.

The claim can be made for example that nuts are very good in moderation but if you have a nut allergy they can kill you.

For us we can have nuts and it makes sense to have ones with less sat. fat content. Be careful not to have lots of them tho. A few nuts provide more nutrition than coconut oil.

So we have look at health claims through the 'MS' filter
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
I suspect one of the reasons we're never going to get George to budge on coconut oil is because of the sheer quantity of sat fat it contains - 11.8g per tablespoon according to this site as opposed to, say, 1.4g for sunflower oil. It's a shame because of the many reported benefits, but when your credo is to stick below 15 or 20g of sat fat per day, understandable.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/culina ... ttable.htm
Think in terms of strength of evidence. George Jelinek is good at evaluating evidence. He states there is "not a lot" of evidence concerning the purported benefits of coconut oil. This article is interesting:

http://www.gawlerblog.com/2013/04/cocon ... -nuts.html


OMG December 2011 OMS January 2012 OMS Retreat March 2012 Benign MS Sep 2015
Two Very Mild Relapses since diagnosis. Copaxone May 2013 No new lesions on MRI since diagnosis
Swank was also very clear in eliminating coconut from the diets of those in his landmark study. Coconut is specifically mentioned, you can read the study here:
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... he+Lancet/
Thanks Wendy, it's really useful to have Swank's Lancet paper - I hadn't been able to find it before (a testament to my poor search skills I'm sure). Swank rules out coconut oil because of the "preponderence of saturated fatty acids" and, on re-reading 'the book' I see that George's reasoning is the same ("the concentration of saturated fats is simply too high")

Susan, thanks for the article. The reason I was interested is because there is some research evidence that coconut oil can prevent Alzheimers (http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/sugar-and-your-brain-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-disease-actually-type-3-diabetes). I'm not a scientist, so don't know where this sits on the the 'hierarchy of evidence', but hopefully significantly higher than cat pee (to carry on George's analogy)...

I think it's right to kick the tyres on all aspects of the diet and lifestyle, and, having done so, in light of the amount of sat fat in coconut oil and Swank's and George's opinions, I'm in full agreement that coconut oil should be avoided as part of the OMS diet.


I am a scientist so I took a quick look at the link you provided. It's hard to judge the quality of their evidence because the links to the original research are mostly not there - the text contains a lot of what look like citations, but when I try to follow them most don't have an actual author or journal name or article name listed in the bibliography. This makes me less inclined to trust their conclusions as I can't see the evidence that those conclusions are based on.

BTW when you're trying to find a medical or scientific paper, the best site to search on is PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed).

E.g. searching PubMed for "Swank multiple sclerosis" finds this list of results http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/?t ... +sclerosis including Swank's 1990 Lancet paper and several other relevent papers.

Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.co.uk) is handy too. Both of these sites should get you to the research you're hunting more easily than normal Google. Sometimes you won't be able to see the whole paper, but you can usually see the abstract (a short summary of the paper).

Happy hunting!


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