By Mary Myers | Published: September 21, 2015 | Last Updated: October 1, 2015 Things We Came to Know About Coconut Oil Interviewer: You mentioned coconut oil earlier, and we talked about the movie theater. Explain a little bit about how we went from it’s in movie theater popcorn and it’s the worst thing we could ever put in our body to it’s probably now one of the most popular health foods out there. We’re talking a very short span of time, 10/15 years, where it’s gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. How did it do that and is there a concern that maybe we look at it again and maybe now it’s bad for … ? 10 years later. Alexander: More of that is coming out especially with the epigenetics. That’s where a lot of times you’ll see splits in the research of it’s beneficial for this group of people, but not beneficial for this other group. That’s something that’s more cutting edge. That’s further down the line. This all came about again through the 1960s when that diet heart disease hypothesis really started to develop. It was based on 3 principles, the first being that saturated fat in general leads to higher total cholesterol and LDLs. That’s proven in research, and it makes sense. Physiologically, cholesterol is a transport molecule. It’s how it carries fat around the bloodstream. The more fat that you eat, your total cholesterol and total LDL will increase. The first assumption is correct based on everything that we know. The second assumption is that total cholesterol, total LDL lead to higher cardiovascular disease risk. That’s also proven. The whole statin industry was based on that premise of high total cholesterol, LDL leads to higher risk of heart disease. There’s a third assumption that was also made with the diet heart hypothesis. The media and researchers alike both made this mistake. They linked … Because total dietary fat intake increased LDL, total cholesterol, and independently total cholesterol LDL was linked to heart disease risk and death, they then assumed that higher levels of fat intake then led to cardiovascular death. That has been not proven in the research. That was a big jump, and there is more context there. There’s more grey area to be figured out. That’s more of what we’ve figured out in the last 10/20 years. The key issue there is HDL. When you eat high levels of saturated fat, yeah, it raises your total cholesterol. It raises your total LDL. It also raises your HDL. That effect on the HDL is actually higher. Certain ratios, like total cholesterol to HDL, which is a good marker, stronger marker for heart disease risk than any one by itself. That actually improves as you’re improving the HDL level to a higher degree. That is one marker. Other markers … There’s a marker called lipoprotein(a), which is a measure of stickiness of your blood and clotting potential. That also lowers with higher saturated fat intake. You could also look at other markers of heart disease like hs-CRP, C-reactive protein, which is a non specific marker of inflammation. It could be infection induced. It could be diet induced, stress induced, where it’s a bigger picture of what’s really oxidizing these LDLs in the first place. The key is that effect on the HDL, which seems to be ignored by the analysis of the research that has been done.