“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8
Coconut oil has become very popular. What makes this oil so recommended? Are there really any health benefits to using coconut oil?
Researchers looked at people from the Pacific Islands. They were in good health and had good teeth. From all the islands, coconut was the common link. The people from the Tokelau islands were studied. 60% of their energy source was from coconut. They had coconut in some form for every meal. Their diet was also low in dietary cholesterol and sucrose. Researchers found no evidence of heart disease in the population.
The Islands and India have used the coconut as medicine and food for generations.
When island people abandoned their traditional foods for western diets, their health deteriorated. That isn’t terribly surprising.
So what’s special about coconut oil?
About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is 90% saturated fat. Now that sounds bad, but it is a medium chain fatty acid (better), not a long chain fatty acid (worse) like meat and other foods. Medium chain fatty acids do not affect cholesterol like long chain fatty acids do and they protect against heart disease. Instead of being stored in the body like long chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids are broken down immediately for use in the body.
Coconut oil has a small amount vitamin E, iron, and phytosterols.
Coconut oil contains:
- Lauric acid – 48%, the body converts lauric acid into monolaurin. Lauric acid assists in dealing with viruses and diseases.
- Caprylic acid – 8%, rich in anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
- Capric acid – 7% , reacts with enzymes which convert it into an anti-microbial agent called monocaprin.
Each of these are important, complementary. It is better to have them all together than only one in a supplement.
Palm oil comes from husk around the seed, it only contains a small amount of medium chain fatty acids.
Palm kernel oil comes from the seed (pit). It is less healthy. It has more saturated fat, can’t be obtained organically and requires solvents for it to be extracted. Better to avoid this oil
Fractionated palm oil is not a great choice either. Most of the healthy parts of the oil are lost in the processing.
Health benefit of coconut oil
Coconut oil does not cause heart disease. Studies show no link between coconut oil consumption and heart disease. In fact, studies show coconut oil helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also helps regulate arythmia. However, don’t take coconut oil if you are on blood thinners, because it has blood thinning properties. Discuss it with your doctor first.
Heart disease patients have more tooth decay and higher rates of gum disease. Oil pulling reduces plaque and plaque induced gingivitis. Islanders never brushed or flossed, but had good teeth.
Coconut oil has been shown to improve quality of life in some breast cancer patients, and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. It also contains a substance that slows the progression of cells in certain types of cancer, including colon.
It may be beneficial for diabetics because it helps regulate blood sugar spikes, keeping blood sugar in balance.
Gallbladder removals benefit from coconut oil. These patients have malabsorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Weight loss and metabolism– taking coconut oil increases metabolism by 5% (roughly 100 calories per day) studies also show that it helped reduce belly fat in obese men.
Helps with digestion by assisting dealing with bacteria, fungi and parasites that can cause indigestion
It is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-protozoal food.
The oil on your skin naturally has medium chain fatty acids on it. This is a natural antibacterial on your skin.
Coconut oil works as an anti-fungal agent against Candida.
Bacteria/viruses are encased in fatty lipid coating. These coatings are easily killed by medium chain fatty acids by disrupting or destroying the protective lipid membrane. Once destroyed, it makes the virus vulnerable to further destruction. This is works differently than antibiotics. This makes it possible to fight the following:
Anti-viral – Viruses: measles, herpes simplex, Epstein Barr, flu, leukemia, pneumonia, hep c, mono, SARS
Anti-bacterial – Bacteria: listeria, H. pylori, staph, streptococcus, ulcers, earaches, sinusitis, dental cavities, urinary tract infection, toxic shock, fungi (ringworm, candida, thrush), sore throat.
But…..The common cold doesn’t have lipid coating. So while it can’t fight the common cold it can fight complications from it.
A spray of coconut oil and anise was proven more effective (82%) against head lice than permethrin lotion (42%), in a clinical trial. Lice are developing a resistance to permethrin.
Coconut oil may help with the absorption and retaining of calcium which would benefit the bones.
Taking it with meals improves vitamin and mineral absorption.
Lauric acid is found in mother’s milk.
How to use
All oils should be stored in refrigerator (olive, avocado, canola, etc) so they don’t get rancid. Coconut oil should be stored room temperature, because it is more stable. If stored in refrigerator it will get rock hard, so room temperature is preferred. It will last up to two years.
The stability of the oil also enables you to use it at higher temperatures.
Use only expeller pressed or cold pressed oils, also unrefined.
Start with 1T, work up to 3T/day. Starting with the full amount may bother your stomach. Work up to it slowly. Put in warm liquids like coffee, warm juice, melt in other foods like oatmeal, even put on toast. Take it by the teaspoon, use as butter, use to bake, stir fry, fry eggs, etc. You can use it anywhere to replace butter, lard, shortening, other oils, etc.
Lowers blood pressure (4 T /day)
Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees. It is still good if it melts and gets solid again.
Ways to get the benefits in other forms
- 10oz coconut milk (the type in the can)
- 7 oz raw coconut (1/2 nut)
- 2 3/4c shredded coconut
When you are sick use 4-8 T per day until better.
If you insist on the supplement, use Monolaurin when sick 1800-3600 mg (6-12 300 mg caps) for 4-5 days. When you are feeling better then take 2-4 caps until free of symptoms.
Coconut is a tree nut. Most people who are allergic to coconut are allergic to the protein, which is found in the meat of the coconut, not the oil. It is possible that you may be able to have coconut oil without having an allergic reaction. Check with your doctor/allergist.
Have your tried using coconut oil for your health?