Coconut oil is composed mainly of the saturated fatty acid, lauric acid (12 carbon atoms), but also of other long-chain saturated fatty acids, myristic (14 carbon atoms) and palmitic acids (16 carbon atoms)
The journal “ Circulation’ the journal of American Heart Association had a few articles in this matter during the last few years.
Circulation , March 2020:Coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids that increase the level of LDL and HDL , no effect on TG.
That coconut oil contributes to cardiovascular disease would appear noncontroversial because its saturated fat content increases plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol Concentration. ( Mensink RP. Effects of Saturated Fatty Acids on Serum Lipids and Lipoproteins: A Systematic Review and Regression Analysis. Geneva: World Health Organization; )
January 2020 there was a report of a meta analysis of 16 clinical trials “The Effect of Coconut Oil Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors”
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials
Advertisements give the impression that purportedly beneficial constituents other than saturated fat compensate for its adverse effects on LDL cholesterol. Yet,controlled trials in humans are not available that support beneficial actions of the components of coconut oil on cardiovascular disease risk factors or mechanisms. It showed that coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol significantly, in lesser degree increases HDL and has no effect on body fat or glucose metabolism or Triglyceride level.
The effect of HDL cholesterol on CVD is controversial.
It is unknown which, if any, foods or nutrients that raise HDL cholesterol do so in a way that reduces atherosclerosis and coronary events. Thus, effects on cardiovascular disease of foods or nutrients cannot be judged from changes in HDL cholesterol.
There is no randomized clinical trial that determined the effect of coconut oil on cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, or stroke. Such a trial is unlikely to be attempted because of the high cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, large numbers of participants, and many years of treatment with coconut oil and an appropriate control fat. The inevitable rise in LDL cholesterol sustained over years in those assigned to coconut oil will create an ethical concern of harm, and may stop the trial before a definitive result is obtained. This situation is relevant to much of nutrition research. This limitation can be countered with evidence from the effects of foods on established cardiovascular risk factors, such as LDL cholesterol, and on incident cardiovascular events in large prospective, observational cohorts. Bottom line: Coconut oil is a good choice to moisturize your skin but not a good choice for consumption as a food or cooking oil. The best cooking oils are : Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.