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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
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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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Eat Vegetarian Diet to Ward Away Heart Disease

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels -- and heart disease risk -- rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said

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Leafy vegetables. Pixabay

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, consuming fish, seafood and a primarily vegetarian diet may help reduce hypertension-related heart disease symptoms, a study suggests.

Intake of fish, seafood and vegetarian food increases levels of a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), known to boost heart health, said researchers from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland.

The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.

“Our study provides new evidence for a potential beneficial effect of a moderate increase in plasma TMAO on pressure-overloaded heart,” the researchers said.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, researchers analysed the effect of TMAO on rats, which have a genetic tendency to develop high blood pressure.

One group of hypertensive rats were given low-dose TMAO supplements in their drinking water, and another group received plain water.

They were given the TMAO therapy for either 12 weeks or 56 weeks and were assessed for heart and kidney damage as well as high blood pressure.

Heart Attack, women
The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.
Pixabay

The results showed that TMAO treatment did not affect the development of high blood pressure in any of the spontaneously hypertensive rats.

However, condition of the animals given the compound was better than expected, even after more than a year of low-dose TMAO treatment.

In addition, four- to five-fold increase in plasma TMAO does not exert negative effects on the circulatory system.

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels — and heart disease risk — rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said.

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“It seems that a fish-rich and vegetarian diet, is associated with a significantly higher plasma TMAO than red meat-and egg-rich diets, considered to increase the cardiovascular risk,” the researchers noted.

“However, further study is needed to assess the effect of TMAO and TMA on the circulatory system.” (IANS)