Coconut oil increases expression of proinflammatory genes

Researchers tested the acute effects of two meals on various markers of inflammation. One meal was rich in monounsaturated fatty acids from macademia nut oil while the other was rich in medium chain saturated fats from coconut oil. Although there were no significant differences between the effects of the two meals on CRP (which was unchanged) or IL-6 (which increased), the coconut oil-rich meal led to significant changes in the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. The researchers conclude that “Medium-chain SFA seems more proinflammatory than MUFA, judged by the gene expression in muscle and adipose tissue of [subjects].” View the entire paper here.

Inflammation associated with lower IQ and premature death

Swedish researchers report findings from a large study that measured inflammation markers in young adults and followed them for 35 years. Those with signs of low-level inflammation scored lower on intelligence tests and also had an increased risk of premature death, even when they had no other indications of disease. The study also found that low-grade inflammation was more likely in those from low-income backgrounds, suggesting that diet may be a contributing factor.
Read more about this study.