Author: Sarah Waldowski
I was recently gripped by an article which claimed that there have been over 1,500 recent studies indicating coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. In my dietetic training I was always advised to first be skeptical of such highfalutin claims until they have proven themselves quick worthy, as food fraud is a 40 billion dollar industry. However in light of the following list of claims and supportive studies regarding the health benefits it is hard not to admit that coconut oils is looking quite ‘super’ – indeed.
1. Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment: “Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.”
2. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure:
“Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols. [Therefore] By Increasing the HDL’s in the body, it helps promote heart health, and lower the risk of heart disease.”
3. Addresses Urinary Tract Infection and Kidney Infection & Protects the Liver:
“Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFA’s in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Also there is a study showing that coconut oil directly protected the liver from damage.”
4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis:
“In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively than leading medications.”
5. Cancer Prevention and Treatment:
“Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer. One, because of the ketones produced in its digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose dependent. It is believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover. Two, as the MCFA’s digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known as increasing the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing!
6. Immune System Boost (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral):
“Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are causes by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, funguses, viruses and parasites in the body.”
7. Improves Memory and Brain Function:
“In a 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that the MCFA’s found in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects.”
8. Improves Energy and Endurance:
“Coconut oil is easy to digest, but also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality non-processed coconut oil, you can get the most benefit as it’s MCFA’s are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy!”
9. Improves Digestion, Reduces Stomach Ulcers & Ulcerative Colitis:
“Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.
If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.”
10. Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease & Pancreatitis:
“The MCFA’s of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas.”
11. Improves Skin Issues (burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis)
“Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (Caprylic and Lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.”
12. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay:
“Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to it’s high concentration of antibacterial MCFA’s.
13. Prevents Osteoporosis
“amazing coconut oil benefits is that it [appears to] increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research with osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis.”
14. Improves Type II Diabetes
“When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they are considered insulin resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to Type II diabetes.
The MCFA’s in coconut oil helps balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process.
15. Coconut Oil for Weight loss:
“the Obesity Research Journal published a study from Boston University Medical School that gives us a clue why MCFAs have fat burning ability.”
16. Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care:
“If you have dandruff or dry hair coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help improve these conditions. You can make homemade coconut lavender shampoo to improve your hair and use straight coconut oil as an all natural hair conditioner.”
17. Candida and Yeast Infections:
“A study published in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil were an effective natural treatment for candida albicans and yeast infections.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC90807/
18. Coconut Oil for Anti-aging:
“According to research published in the medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress.”
19. Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat:
“MCFAs aren’t just good for burning fat; they are also great for building muscle. The MCFAs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle building products like Muscle Milk™.
20. Coconut Oil for Hormone Balance:
“Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and also may have positives effects on estrogen levels.”
Keep an eye on coconuts ladies and gentelmen; it looks as though they will only continue to further prove themselves as a valuable dietary asses in the days ahead.
(for more details on presented benefit claims please see original article)