Oil – Rich in Beneficial Medium-Chain Fats
from "Taste for Life" magazine
thought it was an ingredient in suntan lotion, or worse, a food
too dangerous to swallow. After all, coconut oil is a saturated
fat, “guaranteed” to raise cholesterol and increase
the risk of heart disease. That belief (now known to be mistaken)
led to the replacement of coconut oil with polyunsaturated vegetable
oils, often hydrogenated into equally dangerous fats, in America’s
is, these hydrogenated oils (or trans fats) caused health problems
that coconut oil never did, so now coconut oil is making a comeback.
“It doesn’t cause heart disease,” says Bruce
Fife, CN, ND, author of Coconut Cures and other popular titles.
“It actually helps prevent atherosclerosis, improves cholesterol
balance, reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, helps prevent
persistent low-grade infections often associated with heart disease,
including bacterial infections of the mouth and gums, and protects
against free-radical injury,” he explains.
to its advocates, coconut oil does far more than that. It may help
weight and feel more energetic since it contains fewer calories
than other fats
- lower the
risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions
- improve digestion and nutrient absorption
- protect against arthritis
- relieve symptoms of digestive disorders like colitis, Crohn’s
disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers
prevent and treat yeast and funal infections, including thrush
- feed the brain, keeping the mind, as well as the body, youthful
- prevent osteoporosis
- balance the body’s metabolism, promoting normal thyroid
function and helping to prevent or control diabetes
- rejuvenate the skin, protecting against skin cancer, age spots,
acne, and other blemishes.
In addition, coconut oil contains powerful antibacterial,
antiviral, and antifungal agents. HIV/AIDS researchers consider
coconut oil a promising therapy because it kills the human immunodeficiency
virus. Applied topically, coconut oil helps disinfect cuts and
promote wound healing. It conditions the hair, may reduce wrinkles,
and helps to clear up psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, precancerous
lesions, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, ringworm, and other
Most of these benefits come from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
in coconut oil, also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Because these fats are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate
source of fuel and energy, they’re less likely to be converted
into body fat or cholesterol the way other fats are. This may explain
how coconut oil can enhance athletic performance and aid in weight
energy boost you get from coconut oil is not like the kick you
get from caffeine,” says Dr. Fife. “It gently elevates
the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality,
protects you from illness, and speeds healing.”
oil’s fatty acids may also help block the conversion of
testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which contributes to benign
prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In this respect, coconut oil resembles
saw palmetto, a popular herbal treatment for BPH.
All unsweetened organic coconut products offer health benefits,
including fresh and dried coconut, coconut milk, coconut cream,
coconut flour, and coconut water. All of these products are beginning
to appear in natural food stores.
Grown in tropical
parts of the world, coconut oil is often made from dried coconut
meat, which is called copra. For culinary use, however, look for
organic coconut oils that are pressed using traditional methods
or mechanically produced from fresh coconut meat.
is solid white at temperatures below 75 degrees F and becomes
a clear liquid at temperatures above 76 degrees F. to melt solidified
oil, place its container in warm water. Coconut oil is very stable
and keeps for months without refrigeration.
usage, according to Mary G. Enig, PhD, and other experts, is about
3-1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day for adults. This is the
same amount found in 7 ounces of fresh coconut meat (about half
a coconut), 2-3/4 cups dried and shredded coconut, or 10 ounces
(2-1/4 cups) coconut milk.
to vary your fruit intake, and substitute coconut oil for saturated
and trans fats in your diet. It may be wise to start with small
quantities, such as 1 teaspoon per day, and increase your intake
gradually: Too much too soon may result in diarrhea or flu-like
symptoms including fatigue, headache, or nausea in some individuals.
because the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil kill disease-causing
bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites,” explains Dr. Fife.
“It takes time for the body to rid itself of dead organisms
and other byproducts of detoxification. Once you’re used
to coconut oil, you can consume 2-4 tablespoons per day, preferably
in divided doses, with no adverse effects.”
“The Coconut Miracle” By Bruce Fife
“Coconut oil: You want a Food Loaded with Real Health Benefits?
You want Coconut Oil” by ray Peat, PhD
“Endogenous Fat Oxidation during Medium-Chain versus Long-Chain
Triglyceride Feeding in Healhty women” by A. A. Papamandjaris
“Health and Nutritional Benefits from Coconut Oil: An Important
Funtional Food for the 21st Century” by Mary G. Enig PhD
“How a PR Campaign Led to Unhealthy Diets” by Beatrice
“The End of the Line for Trans Fats,” UC Berkeley Wellness