Coconut Oil is ‘Pure Poison’ says Harvard Professor

It appears that the coconut oil bubble has been burst in full view across the world’s media – at long last.  When any oil is extracted from any plant, it’s no longer a food 1 – it becomes a toxin for the body. This includes supposedly healthy olive oil 2 as well as all the other oils touted as being good for you. And now the media has picked up on a lecture given (in German) by the Harvard Professor, Karin Michels 3 , Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. And she pulled no punches in exposing the truth about coconut oil.

According to a Newsweek article 4 , in her speech entitled “Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors” (available on YouTube in German 5 ) , she said “…regardless of the advice peddled by unqualified and self-appointed online health gurus—consuming coconut oil carries a raft of health risksthe substance poses a greater risk to heart health than lard 6  as it is almost entirely made up of saturated fatty acids. These are believed to block our arteries.

We know that the doctors and experts within the world of WFPB are pretty much all against the use of any added oils 7 8 9 10 11 , instead recommending that we eat the whole food – with the natural and essential oils all happily wrapped up within the plant with the other macro- and micro-nutrients that should be consumed along with the oils.

However, we’ve had such a different story being told by many authorities outside the WFPB world. The media has been full of praise for coconut oil as some sort of wonder food. Therefore, it’s great to see the likes of Professor Michels stating the facts, and then the world’s media 12 13 14 15 16 17 getting hold of the story and letting the public know about it. And Professor Michels is only the latest of an increasing number of experts who are starting to publicly question the health benefits of coconut oil. Last year, the American Heart Association updated 18  its science advisory, urging the public to avoid consuming coconut oil if possible.

If you ‘re still holding on to the thought that it’s a good thing to cook with coconut oil, you might be interested in watching the following video 19 by our good friend Dr Greger:

Final thoughts

Eating coconuts, in moderation, does not appear to be a problem 20 since you’re eating the whole food with the fibre attached. But extracting the oil turns it into something that Dr Fuhrman calls a Frankenfood 21 – and while Frankenstein is a human body, but not as we know it, a Frankenfood is a human food, but not as our body knows it!

Of course, next week the newspapers will be publishing articles on the wonderful benefits of coconut oil. And so the confusion continues…


  1. Is Oil Really Healthy? Podcast []
  2. Olive Oil Injures Endothelial Cells []
  3. Karin Michels []
  5. Video: Kokosöl und andere Ernährungsirrtümer – Prof. Michels | Uniklinik Freiburg []
  6. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2014 Nov;35(11):1411-20. doi: 10.1038/aps.2014.82. Epub 2014 Sep 29. Dietary high-fat lard intake induces thyroid dysfunction and abnormal morphology in rats. Shao SS, Zhao YF, Song YF, Xu C, Yang JM, Xuan SM, Yan HL, Yu CX, Zhao M, Xu J, Zhao JJ. []
  7. Dr Klaper and oil []
  8. Dr Greger on oils: Dr. Michael Gregor, What Oils ARE Healthy for Us? []
  9. Dr Barnard on oil: IS OLIVE OIL GOOD FOR YOU? w Dr Neal Barnard Lead With Love Rx []
  10. Dr McDougall on oil. []
  11. Dr Ornish on oil: Coconut Oil: Why You Should Question the Hype []
  12. Telegraph:Now coconut oil is ‘poison’ – so what fat should we be using in our cooking? []
  14. Mirror: Coconut oil is ‘one of the worst foods you can eat’, Harvard professor warns []
  15. Times of India: Eating coconut oil a bad idea? []
  16. CBS News: Why a Harvard professor is calling coconut oil “pure poison” []
  17. Global News:  Coconut oil is ‘pure poison,’ says Harvard professor []
  18. AHA: Advisory: Replacing saturated fat with healthier fat could lower cardiovascular risks []
  19. What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs? Michael Greger M.D. FACLM August 21st, 2017 Volume 37 []
  20. Coconuts []
  21. Dr Fuhrman: Frankenfoods []