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Pancreatic cysts, Coconut oil for kidneys

Created date

November 22nd, 2011

Q.I was recently diagnosed with a cyst on my pancreas. Does that mean I could get cancer?

A.Pancreatic cysts are sac-like pockets of fluid on or within your pancreas, and although some can be precancerous or cancerous, most aren t. The most common type of pancreatic cyst is noncancerous and called a pseudocyst. These may develop for no discernible reason or after a bout with pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas itself. Risk factors include alcohol use and gallstones. It s not known what causes pancreatic cancer, but having recurring pancreatitis is associated with a higher risk.

Q. Is it true that coconut oil can be good for your kidneys?

A.There is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that coconut oil is good for kidney health. The rumors might be based on some studies that have been done on rats, in which coconut oil appeared to have a protective effect against some types of kidney damage. This has not been proven in humans. The best thing you can do for your kidneys is to control high blood pressure and diabetes. One way to do this is to follow a diet low in fat, especially saturated fat. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and eating too much of it can lead to higher cholesterol levels, which can worsen both high blood pressure and diabetes and ultimately lead to chronic kidney disease.

Myla Carpenter, M.D.

Senior Medical Director,

Catonsville, Md.

Dr. Carpenter received her bachelor s degree in biology from Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., and her medical degree from the University of California s Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, Calif. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., and is board certified in internal medicine. Carpenter joined Charlestown in July 1998.