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Kerala to launch Aggressive Campaign to counter “smear” campaign that has taken sheen away from Coconut Oil

The smear campaign against coconut oil began about two decades ago with reports that the regular use of it could lead to developing heart disease

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Coconut Tree, Pixabay

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2, 2016: An aggressive campaign based on scientific studies will be launched to counter a smear campaign that has taken the sheen away from coconut oil, a Kerala Minister said on Friday.

State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an agriculture fair being held here that there was a systematic and organised campaign — involving a section of medical professionals also — against edible coconut oil.

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“We are going to immediately organise a sustained campaign with the help of solid scientific studies proving that coconut oil is the best oil for cooking. In the past, a smear campaign against our own coconut oil affected it so much and many thought it was not healthy and stopped using it,” Sunil Kumar said.

He said the campaign will be part of the policy document which will come out soon.

“In countries like Indonesia, coconut oil is being used to prepare salads and even poured into coffee and tea. We have lost so badly and hence various other cooking oils have penetrated into our kitchen,” said Sunil Kumar.

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The smear campaign against coconut oil began about two decades ago with reports that the regular use of it could lead to developing heart disease.

“The Americans who wanted to promote their soybean oil were behind this campaign along with some medical professionals here and today virgin coconut oil is the most sought after oil in the US,” the Minister added.

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Meanwhile, with the production and productivity of coconut in Kerala declining, newer varieties of coconuts have been developed and will be sold in large numbers across the state, he said.

“We will promote coconut clusters in villages where land will be pooled and the most modern scientific methods of farming will be introduced. There will be a number of agro-processing food parks which will be set up with the sole aim of producing value-added agriculture products from coconut, jackfruit, bananas and other products,” the Minister said. (IANS)

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Start Checking Your Cholestrol Level from Mid-20s to Avoid Heart Disease: Study

Cholesterol is a fatty substance - a lipid - found in some foods and also produced in our liver

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Heart
Researchers analysed the data obtained from almost four lakh persons in 19 countries and found a strong link between bad-cholesterol levels and risk of Heart disease from early adulthood over the next 40 years or more. Pixabay

A study has said that people should get their cholesterol levels checked from their mid-20s as the readings can be used to calculate lifetime risks of Heart disease and stroke.

The study, published in “The Lancet”, is the most comprehensive yet to look at the long-term health risks of having too much “bad” cholesterol for decades, the BBC reported.

Researchers maintain that earlier the people take action to reduce cholesterol through diet changes and medication, the better.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance – a lipid – found in some foods and also produced in our liver. It is needed to make hormones like oestrogen and testosterone, Vitamin D and other compounds.

While High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is “good” as it keeps the body healthy, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is “bad” as it can clog arteries.

Researchers analysed the data obtained from almost four lakh persons in 19 countries and found a strong link between bad-cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular disease from early adulthood over the next 40 years or more.

They were able to estimate the probability of a heart attack or stroke for people aged 35 and over, according to their gender, bad-cholesterol level, age and risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, height and weight, and blood pressure.

The BBC quoted the report’s co-author Stefan Blankenberg of the University Heart Center in Hamburg: “The risk scores currently used in the clinic to decide whether a person should have lipid-lowering treatment only assess the risk of cardiovascular disease over 10 years and so may underestimate lifetime risk, particularly in young people.”

Heart
A study has said that people should get their cholesterol levels checked from their mid-20s as the readings can be used to calculate lifetime risks of Heart disease and stroke. Pixabay

Blankenberg told BBC: “I strongly recommend that young people know their cholesterol levels and make an informed decision about the result – and that could include taking a statin.”

However, he added, there is a danger that people could rely on statins rather than leading a health lifestyle and although they were usually well tolerated, studies had not been done on the potential side-effects of taking them over decades.

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British Heart Foundation medical director Nilesh Samani said: “This large study again emphasises the importance of cholesterol as a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

“It also shows that for some people, taking measures at a much earlier stage to lower cholesterol, for example by taking statins, may have a substantial benefit in reducing their lifelong risk from these diseases.” (IANS)