Effect of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) on Cardiometabolic Parameters in Patients with Dyslipidemia: A Randomized, Add-on Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial

J Am Nutr Assoc. 2023 Sep 14:1-8. doi: 10.1080/27697061.2023.2256816. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Statin monotherapy for dyslipidemia is limited by adverse effects and limited effectiveness in certain subgroups like metabolic syndrome. Add-on therapy with an agent with a known safety profile may improve clinical outcomes, and virgin coconut oil (VCO) may be the candidate agent for improving the cardiometabolic profile. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of add-on VCO with atorvastatin in dyslipidemia in adults.

Methods: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial was conducted on 150 patients with dyslipidemia who were randomized into control and test groups. The control group received atorvastatin monotherapy, whereas the test group received add-on VCO with atorvastatin for 8 weeks. At baseline, demographic, clinical, and biochemical parameters were assessed and repeated after 8 weeks of therapy. The main outcome measures were lipid profile, cardiovascular risk indices, 10-year cardiovascular risk, body fat compositions, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS).

Results: The increase in HDL in the test group was significantly greater than in the control group (MD: 2.76; 95%CI: 2.43-3.08; p < 0.001). The changes in the atherogenic index (p = 0.003), coronary risk index (p < 0.001), cardiovascular risk index (p = 0.001), and TBARS (p < 0.001) were significantly greater in the test group. The decrease in LDL, total cholesterol and lipoprotein(a), were significantly higher in the control group. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the changes in triglyceride, VLDL, and 10-year cardiovascular risk.

Conclusions: Add-on VCO (1000 mg/day) with atorvastatin (10 mg/day) can achieve a better clinical outcome in patients with dyslipidemia by increasing HDL and improving oxidative stress cardiovascular risk indices.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia; atherogenic index; atorvastatin; virgin coconut oil.