Positive Health News Report No 14 Summer Issue, 1997
MARY ENIG, Ph.D. ON
CHOLESTEROL, HIV, AND COCONUT OIL
By Mark Konlee
MARY ENIG Ph.D. ON THE EFFECTS OF
COCONUT OIL ON SERUM CHOLESTEROL LEVELS AND HDLs
Dr. Mary Enig MS (Nutritional Sciences), Ph.D. did original research
that showed a positive link between vegetable oil and cancer and a
negative correlation for animal fat. She originated comprehensive
analysis of trans fatty acid components of over 200 foods. Trans
fatty acids are formed when vegetable oils are hydrogenated or
heated to high temperatures. With high temperatures, trans fatty
acids are fats that are twisted, which alter their natural "cis"
shape. She studied how the trans fatty acids from foods affected the
liver's mixed function oxidase enzyme system that metabolizes drugs
and environmental pollutants in the body. An important finding of
this latter study was that laboratory animals fed experimental diets
containing trans fatty acids have altered activity of this enzyme
system. These results were partly responsible for the review of the
"Health Aspects of Dietary Trans Fatty Acids" held by the Federation
of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Life Sciences
Research Office, at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.
Mary Enig has had 17 articles published in scientific journals since
1976. In 1986, she was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the
"State Advisory Council on Nutrition." She was contributing editor
to "Clinical Nutrition" magazine and consulting editor for the
"Journal of the American College of Nutrition." She has given over
50 seminars and lectures on since 1979 on foods and nutrition
In an article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept., 1995,
Dr. Enig stated that "Ancel Keys is largely responsible for starting
the anti-saturated fat agenda in the United States." She quoted Keys
as saying that "All fats raise serum cholesterol; saturated fats
raise and polyunsaturated fats lower serum cholesterol; Hydrogenated
fats are the problem; Animal fats are the problem." Enig stated: "As
can be seen, his findings were inconsistent."
Enig also stated: "The problems for coconut oil started four decades
ago when researchers fed animals hydrogenated coconut oil that was
purposely altered to make it completely devoid of any essential
fatty acids...The animals fed the hydrogenated coconut oil (as the
only fat source) naturally became essential fatty acid deficient;
their serum cholesterol increased. Diets that cause an essential
fatty acid deficiency always produce an increase in serum
cholesterol levels as well as in increase in the atherosclerotic
indices. The same effect has also been seen when other ...highly
hydrogenated oils such as cottonseed, soybean or corn oils have been
fed; so it is clearly a function of the hydrogenated products,
either because the oil is essential fatty acid (EFA) deficient or
because of trans fatty acids."
What about studies where animals were fed unprocessed coconut oil?
Enig wrote: "Hostmark et al (1980) compared the effects of diets
containing 10% coconut oil and 10% sunflower oil on lipoprotein
distribution in male Wistar rats. Coconut oil feeding produced
significantly lower levels (p=0.05) of pre-beta lipoproteins (VLDL)
and significantly higher (p=<0.01) alpha-lipoproteins (HDL) relative
to sunflower feeding." (Editor's note: HDLs are considered the good
cholesterol as they prevent deposits of LDL cholesterol on artery
walls.) She also cited a study by Awad (1981) on Wistar rats fed a
diet of either 14% (natural) coconut oil or 14% safflower oil. She
stated:"Total tissue cholesterol accumulation for animals on the
safflower diet was six times greater than for animals fed the
[unhydrogenated] coconut oil..A conclusion that can be drawn from
some of the animal research is that feeding hydrogenated coconut oil
devoid of essential fatty acids(EFA)...potentiates the formation of
atherosclerosis markers. It is of note that animals fed regular
coconut oil have less cholesterol deposited in their livers and
other parts of their bodies." Enig also referred to epidemiological
studies done by Kaunitz and Dayrit (1992) on coconut eating
societies who found that "available population studies show that
dietary coconut oil does not lead to high serum cholesterol nor to
high coronary heart disease.." It is noteworthy that hydrogenated
coconut oil was not consumed by these coconut eating societies; they
only consumed natural coconut oil.
Kaunitz and Dayrit noted in 1989 that Mendis et al reported when Sri
Lankan males were changed from their normal diet of natural coconut
oil to corn oil, their LDL cholesterol declined 23.8% which is good
news, but their HDL cholesterol declined 41.4% which is bad news.
This created a more unfavorable LDL/HDL ratio meaning that on the
corn oil diet there would be more cholesterol depositing on the
artery walls than on the coconut oil diet. In plain English, a diet
using liquid corn oil will lead to cholesterol deposits faster than
a diet using natural coconut oil. Natural coconut oil, by increasing
the good HDL cholesterol, may help prevent atherosclerosis and heart
disease. Enig cited several other studies in her article that showed
that natural coconut oil (not hydrogenated coconut oil) had health
benefits markers indicating that coconut oil was more beneficial in
preventing heart disease than most vegetable oils. Enig also cited
the research of Tholstrup et al (1994) on natural (NOT hydrogenated)
palm kernel oil which is high in lauric acid and also contains
myristic acid. Tholstrup found that with palm kernel oil, "HDL
cholesterol levels increased significantly from baseline values."
Enig reported in her article that the effects of coconut oil on
persons with low cholesterol levels was the opposite of persons with
high cholesterol levels. Of persons with low total cholesterol
counts, she wrote that "there may be a rising of serum cholesterol,
LDL cholesterol and especially HDL cholesterol." In persons with
high cholesterol levels, "there is lowering of total cholesterol and
LDL cholesterol." The studies she cited showed that in both groups
the LDL/HDL ratio moved in a favorable direction. In persons with
AIDS or immune-compromised from other causes, the conclusions of
this research are profound. It means everything the public has been
told about vegetable oils on television for the past 15 years has
been half truths and leading the public to the wrong conclusions.
The public has been led to believe that tropicals will clog your
arteries and cause heart disease. In fact, the opposite is true;
natural tropical oils will help prevent hardening of the arteries
while most liquid vegetable oils will increase hardening of the
arteries! In a phone call to Mary Enig in April, 1997, she told me
that the worst oil to use for any purpose is Canola oil. When used
in cooking, it produces the very high levels of trans fatty acids.
MARY ENIG Ph.D. ON NATURAL COCONUT OIL
FOR AIDS and OTHER VIRAL INFECTIONS
On July 19, 1995, Enig was quoted in an article published in The
HINDU, India's National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is
converted by the body into "Monolaurin" a fatty acid with anti-viral
properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff
reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig's presentation at a press
conference in Kochi and wrote the following:
"There was an instance in the US in which an infant tested HIV
positive had become HIV negative. That it was fed with an infant
formula with a high coconut oil content gains significance in this
context and at present an effort was on to find out how the "viral
load" of an HIV infected baby came down when fed a diet that helped
in the generation of Monolaurin in the body."
The reporter commented on Enig's observations that "Monolaurin
helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes,
vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research
undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a
certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances. "
In another article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept.,
1995, Dr. Enig stated:
"Recognition of the antimicrobial activity of the monoglyceride of
lauric acid (Monolaurin) has been reported since 1966. The seminal
work can be credited to Jon Kabara. This early research was directed
at the virucidal effects because of possible problems related to
food preservation. Some of the early work by Hierholzer and Kabara
(1982) that showed virucidal effects of Monolaurin on enveloped RNA
and DNA viruses was done in conjunction with the Center for Disease
Control of the US Public Health Service with selected prototypes or
recognized strains of enveloped viruses. The envelope of these
viruses is a lipid membrane."
Enig stated in her article that Monolaurin, of which the precursor
is lauric acid, disrupted the lipid membranes of envelope viruses
and also inactivated bacteria, yeast and fungi. She wrote:"Of the
saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity
than either caprylic acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14). The action
attributed to Monolaurin is that of solubilizing the lipids ..in the
envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus
envelope." In India, coconut oil is fed to calves to treat
Cryptosporidium as reported by Lark Lands Ph.D. in her upcoming book
"Positively Well" (1).
While HHV-6A was not mentioned by Enig, HHV-6A is an enveloped virus
and would be expected to disintegrate in the presence of lauric acid
and/or Monolaurin. Some of the pathogens reported by Enig to be
inactivated by Monolaurin include HIV, measles, vercular stomatitis
virus (VSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), visna, cytomegalovirus
(CMV), Influenza virus, Pneumonovirus, Syncytial virus and Rubeola.
Some bacteria inactivated by Monolaurin include listeria,
Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Groups A, B, F and
G streptococci, Gram-positive organisms; and gram-negative
organisms, if treated with chelator.
Enig reported that only one infant formula "Impact" contains lauric
acid while the more widely promoted formulas like "Ensure" do not
contain lauric acid and often contain some hydrogenated fats (trans
fatty acids). A modified ester of lauric acid, Monolaurin (available
in capsules), is sold in health food stores and is manufactured by
Ecological Formulas, Concord, CA.
ENIG ON A THERAPEUTIC DOSE
Based on her calculations on the amount of lauric acid found in
human Mother's milk, Dr. Enig suggests a rich lauric acid diet would
contain about 24 grams of lauric acid daily for the average adult.
This amount could be found in about 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil
or 10 ounces of "Pure Coconut Milk." Coconut Milk is made in Sri
Lanka and imported into the United States. It can be found in health
food stores and in local grocery stores in the International Foods
section or in specialty grocery stores that sell products imported
from Thailand, the Philippines or East India. About 7 ounces of raw
coconut daily would contain 24 grams of lauric acid. 24 grams of
lauric acid is the therapeutic daily dose for adults suggested by
Mary Enig based on her research of the lauric acid content of
mother's milk. (1)
1. Positively Well, by Lark Lands Ph.D. Her new book discusses
lauric acid and suggests many treatment options for persons with
AIDS or CFIDS and may be ordered by calling 905-672-7470 or
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON THE ANTI-VIRAL
EFFECTS OF LAURIC ACID
Mary Enig cites 24 references in her 7 page article on "Lauric Acid
for HIV-infected Individuals," a few of which are as follows:
1. Issacs, C.E. et al. Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human
bodily fluids by purified lipids. Annals of the New York Academy of
2. Kabara, J.J. Antimicrobial agents derived from fatty acids.
Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 1984;61:397-403.
3. Hierholzer, J.C. and Kabara J.J. In vitro effects on Monolaurin
compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety
4. Wang, L.L. and Johnson, E.A. Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes
by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Appli Environ Microbiol 1992;
5. Issacs, C.E. et al. Membrane-disruptive effect of human milk:
inactivation of enveloped viruses. Journal of Infectious Diseases
6. Anti-viral effects of monolaruin. JAQA 1987;2:4-6 7. Issacs C.E.
et al. Antiviral and antibacterial lipids in human milk and infant
formula feeds. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1990;65:861-864.
COPYRIGHT*, June, 1997 Keep Hope Alive PO
Box 27041 West Allis, WI 53227 262-548-4344 *Permission to reprint
this newsletter granted for non-commercial (not for resale)
This website is for informational purposes only, and is educational
in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Nothing stated on this website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure
or prevent any disease.
"Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on
earth."-Bruce Fife, N.D.
"Coconut oil is the healthiest oil
you can use."-Joseph Mercola, D.O.
Coconut oil is the world's only
natural low-calorie fat.
Why has coconut oil had a bad
reputation in the past? It's not what you might think. The reason has
nothing to do with science or with health.