1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.
However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.
No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are so-called long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.
They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet
Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut.
3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.
The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans.
5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying
This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect.
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.
The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.
Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.
These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.
6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures
The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.
7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.
Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.
Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.
9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) lead to an immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s .
10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity
Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.
Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.
Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks.
Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.
This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.
11. Anything Else?
If you want to enjoy the immense health benefits of coconut oil, then make sure to choose organic, virgin coconut oil… NOT the refined stuff.