Coconut Oil Health Benefits

There is extensive research and scientific evidence to support the healing properties of Coconut Oil.

The most important short chain molecule in coconut oil is Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is a major constituent of coconut oil and also, interestingly enough of human breast milk. Just as breast milk enhances a newborn’s immune system, so lauric acid derived from coconut oil has the power to enhance the adult immune system. In addition to this coconut oil also:

  • Helps with diseases caused by inflammation such as arthritis
  • Increases metabolism and supports weight loss
  • Helps prevent heart problems including high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Helps protect the liver
  • Have a positive effect on Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increases the production of Monolaurin. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-protozoa (parasites).
  • Fights fungal infections such as Candida albicans
  • Supports healthy skin and hair
  • Studies are now being done to test it effectiveness against serious illness such as AIDS and SARS.
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There is extensive research and scientific evidence to support the healing properties of Coconut Oil.

The most important short chain molecule in coconut oil is Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is a major constituent of coconut oil and also, interestingly enough of human breast milk. Just as breast milk enhances a newborn’s immune system, so lauric acid derived from coconut oil has the power to enhance the adult immune system. In addition to this coconut oil also:

  • Helps with diseases caused by inflammation such as arthritis
  • Increases metabolism and supports weight loss
  • Helps prevent heart problems including high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Helps protect the liver
  • Have a positive effect on Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increases the production of Monolaurin. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-protozoa (parasites).
  • Fights fungal infections such as Candida albicans
  • Supports healthy skin and hair
  • Studies are now being done to test it effectiveness against serious illness such as AIDS and SARS.

Other health benefits of coconut oil includestress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. These acids contribute antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA) The Good Fat

Yes, there is such a thing a good fat and Coconut Oil is full of it. Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat which is made up of mostly of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). The medium chain fatty acids are the good fats and long chain fatty acids are the bad fats. The amount od satuated fats raise concern over the potential negative effect it may have on one’s health. It was recently discovered that coconut oil has a 62% concentration of Medium Chain Fatty acids (MCFAs), this is great news! This makes coconut oil unique as medium chain fatty acids are not present in other saturated fat.

The difference is that both short and medium chain fatty acids are transported directly to the liver and are immediately converted to energy, whereas long chain fatty acids enter the blood stream and may end up being stored as fat. Medium chain fatty acids are easily absorbed by the body as they require less energy and fewer enzymes to proces them.
Virgin coconut oil and human breast milk are the richest source of beneficial medium chain fatty acids.

Heart Disease

In the past there have been reports that Coconut Oil isn’t good for your heart. The justification has been because of the amount of saturated fats in coconut oil. The truth is that coconut oil contains around 50% Lauric Acid. This help prevent heart problems including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The satuated fat in coconut oil is not harmful unlike other vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to an increase in LDL levels. Coconut oil is not deposited in the blood vessels as cholesterol becaue it has a different molecular structure and, as such, it is not absorbed into your body the same way as other “healthy” polyunsaturated vegetable oils and margarines oils are.

“Coconut oil is composed of a group of unique fat molecules known as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Although they are technically classified as saturated fats, this fat can actually protect you from getting a heart attack or suffering a stroke.”

“Although coconut oil is predominately a saturated fat, it does not have a negative effect on cholesterol. Natural, nonhydrogenated coconut oil tends to increase HDL cholesterol and improve the cholesterol profile. HDL is the good cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease. Total blood cholesterol, which includes both HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol, is a very inaccurate indicator of heart disease risk. A much more accurate way to judge heart disease risk is to separate the two types of cholesterol. Therefore, the ratio of the bad to good cholesterol (LDL/HDL) is universally recognized as a far more accurate indicator of heart disease risk. Because of coconut oil’s tendency to increase HDL, the cholesterol ratio improves and thus decreases risk of heart disease.”

“People who traditionally consume large quantities of coconut oil as part of their ordinary diet have a very low incidence of heart disease and have normal blood cholesterol levels. This has been well supported by numerous population studies. The research shows that those people who consume large quantities of coconut oil have remarkably good cardiovascular health.”

Dr Brice Fife ND
For the full story go to http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10132.htm

Weight Loss and Metabolism

There is evidence that supports the idea that by simply substituting polyunsaturated vegetable oils and margarines with coconut oil…and doing nothing else…you can lose weight! The filling effect from coconut oil means that you don’t crave foods, in addition to this coconut oil increases you metabolism and is more easily converted to energy by the body than being stored as fat.

There is a molecular difference in various types of oils. Organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil is a Medium Chail Fatty Acid (MCFA) where as the usual polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as olive, sunflower and safflower oil are made up of Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA). As such organic coconut oil is digested and used by your body in a completely different way.
The basic difference is that long chain fatty acid are digested in the intestine and enter the bloodstream. Once in the blood stream they are either deposited in blood vessels as cholesterol or stored in the body s fat. The smaller, medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are absorbed directly from the stomach and are usually used immediately as a source of energy while walking, working and living your daily life.

It is unfortunate that so many people have been quite wrongly educated that polyunsaturated vegetable oils like olive oil or soya oil are good for your body and less fattening than virgin coconut oil. In fact the opposite is true.

Some studies have demonstrated that by substituting your normal cooking oils for coconut oil, you may lose up to 36 pounds without making any other changes! McGill University researchers have discovered that if you substitute all LCFA oils and fats in your diet like soybean, canola and other common vegetable oils with a MCFA oil such as coconut oil, you can lose up to 36 extra pounds a year. Not a bad result considering you did nothing more than make a simple substitution.

There are only two common source of MCFA cooking oils, coconut and palm oil.
Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil will not slow down your thyroid or metabolism.
Your metabolism is controlled by your thyroid gland. This controls the rate your body uses the food you eat. Medical evidence has shown that oil such as olive, canola, safflower, sunflower actually slow down your thyroid gland which prevents your body from converting your food into energy. The only oil that will not suppress the thyroid is oil such as coconut oil. Coconut oil actually shifts metabolism up a gear.

“In a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition researchers reviewed all the published studies to date on Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) and weight management. These studies demonstrated that diets containing MCT result in an increase in energy, a rise in metabolism, increase burning of calories, decrease in food consumption, lower body fat mass, and reduce body weight. Because of these effects, the authors of this study recommend using oils containing MCT, such as coconut oil, as a means to lose excess body fat, control weight, and even treat obesity.

One of the reasons why coconut oil is effective in reducing body fat and lowering weight is because it contains fewer calories than any other fat. For this reason, it has gained the distinction of being the world’s only natural, low-calorie fat. When you use coconut oil in your food preparation, you can eat the same types of foods as you normally do yet consume fewer calories.

The fact that coconut oil contains fewer calories, however, is not the main reason it has gained a reputation as a low-calorie fat. Its advantage in weight management is due primarily to its affect on metabolism. Medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil are smaller than other fats and, therefore, digest very quickly, so quickly in fact, that the body uses them as an immediate source of fuel rather than pack them away in storage inside our fat cells. MCT are used to produce energy much like carbohydrates and, therefore, they do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats. For this reason, they do not supply fat to fat cells or contribute to weight gain.

One study evaluated the body weight and fat storage for three different diets-a low-fat diet, a high-fat diet containing Long Chain Triglycerides (LCT) and a high-fat diet containing MCT. Calorie content in the diets were elevated to induce weight gain. The testing period lasted for 44 days. At the end of that time, the low-fat diet group had stored an average of 0.47 grams of fat per day, and the LCT group 0.48 grams/day, while the MCT group deposited only 0.19 grams of fat per day. The MCT group had a 60% reduction in the amount of body fat stored as compared to the other diets.”

Dr Bruce Fife ND.

For Dr Bruce Fife’s full report go to http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10065.htm

Type 2 Diabetes

A new study in animals demonstrates that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against ‘insulin resistance’ (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) in muscle and fat. The diet also avoids the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content. Together these findings are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

The study is also interesting because it helps explain human studies showing that people who incorporate medium chain ‘fatty acids’, such as those found in coconut oil, into their diets can lose body fat.

Dr Nigel Turner and Associate Professor Jiming Ye, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets. Their findings are now published online in the international journal Diabetes.

“The medium chain fatty acids, like those found in coconut oil, are interesting to us because they behave very differently to the fats normally found in our diets,” said study leader Nigel Turner.

“Unlike the long chain fatty acids contained in animal fats, medium chain fatty acids are small enough to enter mitochondria – the cells’ energy burning powerhouses – directly, where they can then be converted to energy.”

“Unfortunately the downside to eating medium chain fatty acids is that they can lead to fat build up in the liver, an important fact to be taken into consideration by anyone considering using them as a weight loss therapy.”

Fat storage is determined by the balance between how much fat is taken in by cells and how much of this fat is burned for energy. When people eat a high fat diet, their bodies attempt to compensate by increasing their capacity to oxidise fat. The medium chain fatty acid (coconut oil) diet was more effective at increasing the oxidative capacity of muscle than the long chain fatty acid (lard) diet leading to less fat storage in muscle and better insulin action.

According to Turner, the lard-based diet used in this research is similar to the diet eaten by people in the Western world. “Its fatty acid composition is about 40% saturated fats, 40% monounsaturated fats and 20% polyunsaturated fats, of which the vast proportion is omega-6, rather than omega-3,” he said.

“Obese humans usually eat 40-50% of their calories as fat. Our mice were fed 45% of their calories as fat.”

“No high fat diet is good, and the normal dietary combination of long chain fats leads to an overload that our bodies can’t cope with. Therefore high consumption of common dietary fats is contributing directly towards the global escalation of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.”

“If someone is trying to prevent weight gain, we can see they may benefit from substituting oils containing medium chain fatty acids for other oils in their diet, as long as consideration is given to the potential problem of excess fat in the liver. Other natural dietary alternatives, such as fish oil, might be helpful because the fatty acids in fish oil are thought to exert a lot of their beneficial effects through improving fat oxidation in the liver.”

Source
Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
“How Coconut Oil Could Help Reduce The Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 8 Sep. 2009. Web.
24 Sep. 2011. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/163249.php>