- Coconut Oil Health Benefits
- Anti-Infective Properties
- Digestion and Metabolism
- Boosts the Immune System
- Heart Health
- Organ Support
- Balances Body Weight
- Creates Healthy Skin and Hair
- Specific Coconut Oil Benefits
- Hair Care
- Skin Care
- Coconut Oil For Acne
- Heart Diseases
- Weight Loss
- Healing and Infections
- Other Benefits
- What Makes Coconut Oil So Beneficial?
Main article: Coconut Oil
Coconut contains many health benefits and is a nutritious source of meat, milk juice and oil. For generations it has been effectively used to feed, fuel and cure a large percentage of the world's population, especially in the Asian and Pacific countries.
Nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber, vitamins and nutritional content, it is the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.
Coconut oil differs from other oils
because it's rich in medium chain fatty acids that are utilized
readily by the body for energy.
Most dietary fats and oils you eat, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or are sourced from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain triglycerides. Almost 100% of all the fats we eat are LCT.
Now here's the point about coconut oil. It's mostly an MCT fat. Medium-chain triglycerides are exceptionally easy to digest and absorb. They are easily digested and are used by the body as a quick source of energy. But at the same time these fats give your stomach a feeling of fullness allowing you to eat less.
Most MCT products are made from coconut oil. Since they are added to infant formulas and health recovery products and athletic products more research is being done on their beneficial effects of late.
The following are just some of the health benefits of coconut oil:
Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throatinfections, urinary tract infections, gumdiseaseand cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
Improves digestion andabsorptionof other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
Reducessymptomsassociated with pancreatitis.
Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
Improves calcium andmagnesiumabsorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
Helps protect against osteoporosis.
Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
Improvesdigestionand bowel function. (Clients tell me that taken 20 minutes before a meal, it relieves symptoms of heartburn and GERD.)
Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
Supports and aids immune system function.
Supports tissue healing and repair.
Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
Functions as a protectiveantioxidant
Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote prematureagingand degenerative disease.
Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
Is hearthealthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk ofheartdisease.
Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
Dissolves kidney stones.
Helps prevent liver disease.
Supports thyroid function.
Reduces epileptic seizures.
Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
Is lower in calories than all other fats.
Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward ofinfection.
Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
Supports the natural chemicalbalanceof the skin.
Softensskinand helps relieve dryness and flaking.
Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Helps control dandruff.
I've also heard many anecdotal stories
of coconut being used externally and internally for pets. Dogs and
cats with debilitating skin rashes can be cured within days by
applying coconut oil to their skin. If they lick it off, they get
more benefits, not side effects as they would with cortisone
What kind and how much coconut oil can you take to treat and prevent Alzheimer's and many other health conditions and treat hundreds of symptoms? The dosage used in most Alzheimer's studies is about 5 TBSP per day of extra virgin coconut oil. However 1-3 TBSP is recommended for minor ailments and for maintenance.
How do you use coconut oil? You can substitute it in most recipes calling for oil; put it in your smoothie or protein powder drink; or take it straight from the spoon.
Coconut oil has been in use as hair oil for ages and it has shown remarkable results. Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.
Certain components in it keep the hair strong, vitalized, nourished and protected from effects of ageing. Let us see those components and their effects on hair.
Lauric Acid: One of the most responsible reasons behind hair fall and hair loss is microbial action on the scalp and hair roots. So, to protect hair against them, what we need is an antimicrobial agent. Lauric Acid present in Coconut Oil is one of them. It is basically a triglyceride which yields a monoglyceride called Monolaurin when acted upon by a species of bacteria which breaks the glycerol bonds. This monolaurin has excellent antimicrobial properties.
Capric Acid: This is yet another triglyceride present in Coconut oil, which, like Lauric Acid, yields another monoglyceride called Monocaprin due to bacterial action, having antimicrobial properties similar to that of monolaurin.
Vitamin-E: This vitamin keeps your hair and skin healthy, besides keeping your organic system functioning smoothly, as is done by all vitamins. It keeps scalp and skin healthy and hair rejuvenated.
Moisture Retaining Capacity: Coconut Oil has high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not broken down easily nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape thus keeping hair moistened and soft. This prevents breakage of hair. Coconut Oil is a far better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available in the market.
Anti-Dandruff: The various fatty acids present in Coconut Oil serve as very good anti dandruff agents and are way better than any anti dandruff shampoo. A regular application can help you get rid of dandruffs for ever.
If you ever visit coastal parts of India, like West Bengal, Kerala, Coastal Tamil Nadu etc, you will be surprised to see lots and lots of old men and women, in their 70s and 80s, still having thick jet black hair. Thanks to the coastal climate, the rice and fish meal and of course, to the pure coconut oil they use on hair.
Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.
Certain components in it keep the skin healthy, moistened, vitalized, nourished and protected from effects of ageing. Let us see those components and their effects on skin.
Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these are Medium Chain Fatty Acids or Triglycerides. When applied on skin, they keep the skin smooth to touch and also retain the moisture content of the skin, as they check escaping of the moisture through the pores on skin. When ingested, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy.
Capric Acid/Caprylic Acid/Lauric Acid: These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and anti microbial properties. When applied on skin, it protects skin from microbial infections. This microbial action can be experienced even if coconut oil is taken internally, as they boost up the immunity when converted to monocaprins and monolaurins. Coconut oil, for skin, does the same thing what mother's milk does for the body.
Vitamin-E: The contributions of vitamin-E towards skin are well known. It is essential for a healthy skin growth, and repair, keeping skin smooth and protection against cracking and above all, it prevents ageing and wrinkling of skin, as it has good antioxidant properties.
Proteins: Like coconut, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally.
Stability: Due to its high stability, coconut oil does not go rancid for long. This property can be very beneficial when it is applied on skin externally, since the longer it does not become rancid, the longer any infection due rancidity are avoided (a rancid oil is certainly not a good thing to apply on skin, isn't it?).
So, what do you conclude from that? I don't think that your opinion is any different from mine. Coconut Oil certainly has an edge over other oils, when it comes to skin.
Coconut Oil is every effective in the treatment of Acne. Its oil is the source of two of the most powerful anti microbial agents found in any food substances. These are Capric Acid and Lauric Acid. They are the same acids that are found in mother's milk and keep the baby protected from infections. When these are applied on skin, some microbes (good ones) present on skin convert these acids into Monocaprin and Monolaurin respectively, thereby replacing the protective acid layer on the skin. So, no microbial infection and no Acne! Not only external application, but internal consumption of coconut oil will give you the same protection, this time internally.
Further, coconut oil is a rich source of Vitamin-E. This keeps your skin healthy and ensures proper functioning of sebum glands and clears blockage, thereby treating the very root cause of Acne. Finally, Coconut Oil is soothing on skin and highly penetrating. So, when applied on skin, it is absorbed readily and cuts down inflammation due to Acne to a great extent. It also helps heal any sort of wound on skin due to aggravated cases of Acne. And above all, Coconut Oil improves the rate of metabolism. This also indirectly affects proper secretion and balance of hormones and thus curbs out chances of Acne.
Choice of Coconut Oil: To use coconut oil in Acne, you need the very best one. Do not go for the unrefined, crude one, since it may be unhygienic and may contain dust particles. Go for the refined instead. The best choice will be Virgin Coconut Oil for this purpose. It is the all-good and no-bad coconut oil.
Finally: Results may vary from person to person, depending upon the skin type, age, profession, life style, eating habits, hygiene, sanitation etc. It should also be remembered that coconut oil is not a cure for Acne. It just aids healing in Acne. But indeed, it is far better than most of those creams and lotions available in market those claim to cure Acne. So, you can give a safe and cheap try by using coconut oil in Acne.
There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Coconut oil is also very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.
Fatigue: The saturated fats present in coconut oil, being great source of energy, effectively cure fatigue and energy malnutrition.
Oxidation/Ageing: The antioxidizing properties of coconut oil come from its saturated fats like Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Caproic Acid and Myristic Acid. They counter adverse effects of ageing, macular degeneration, whitening of hair, sagging of skin etc.
Candida: The anti microbial properties of coconut oil have been found effective against Candida.
Vermifuge: Coconut oil can be used against intestinal round worms, tape worms etc.
Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as these substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.
Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
Pancreatitis: Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.
Stress Relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.
Dental Care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.
HIV and Cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients.
Other Properties: Coconut Oil is found to help absorption of fat soluble vitamins, glucose etc. in the body, aids proper secretion of insulin, improves circulation and fight tumors, colitis, ulcers in stomach and food pipe, renal infections, reduce inflammations due to rashes or contact with foreign substances. It is also very effective in curing and relieving bruises and small cuts.
Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.
Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?
The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.
The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.
MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.
There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.