Posts tagged: coconut oil

Uses And Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Uses And Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Here is a list of some of the astonishing array of benefits of coconut oil, as reported by scientific studies.

Antibacterial And Antifungal Effects: Coconut oil has antibacterial properties. A study has found that coconut oil stopped the growth of Clostridium difficile bacteria in the intestine [1]. Another study has found it effective in fighting yeast that was attributed to lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil [2].

Increase In Metabolism: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) fatty acids that are quickly absorbed. Coconut oil can significantly boost metabolic rate and a study has found that 15-30 grams of (MCTs) increased the number of calories burned on an average of 120 [3].

Protects Skin: Coconut oil can be applied topically on the skin to protect from ultraviolet rays of the sun, which can cause skin cancers. According to one interesting study, coconut oil can block 20% of the sun’s rays! [4] It also avoids potential toxic ingredients common to many sunscreen products, though we cannot of course make a medical recommendation to avoid the use of sunscreen.

Eczema: Coconut oil can improve dermatitis and other skin disorders. In a study that involved children with eczema, 47% of children treated with coconut oil reported improvements [5].

Improves Brain Function: Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are broken down into ketones, which are a “fuel” source for the brain. Several studies have found benefits of coconut oil in brain disorders including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s [6].

Increase Good Cholesterol: Multiple studies have confirmed that coconut oil increases the level of good ‘HDL’ cholesterol and reduces weight [7].

Improves Bone Health: Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, that can protect bone from free radicals damage.

Dental Health: Coconut oil kills bacteria in the mouth and significantly reduces inflammation and plaques in teenagers with gingivitis [8].

Note On Quality Of Coconut Oil: Not all coconut oil is the same! A good quality coconut oil will typically be cold-pressed and organic. However the age of the oil matters, as do factors such as storage conditions. Cool, dark and dry is the mantra. A good coconut oil should smell and taste fresh and ‘coconutty’. Comparing different brands will reveal that some have better taste than others. Of course it’s unlikely that you can open it until purchased, but you can compare brands once purchased and then settle on a good one to become your ‘staple’.

Learn More:

107 Uses Of Coconut Oil: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/107-everyday-uses-for-coconut-oil/

The Truth About Coconut Oil & 10 Facts You Need To Know: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/the-truth-about-coconut-oil-10-facts-you-need-to-know/

Scientific Study Finds Coconut Oil Decreases Obesity: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/scientific-study-finds-coconut-oil-decreases-obesity/

References:

[1] Shilling, M., et al., Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. J Med Food, 2013. 16(12): p. 1079-85. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24328700/

[2] Shino, B., et al., Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida albicans Isolated in Children with Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study. Scientifica (Cairo), 2016. 2016: p. 7061587. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27051559/

[3] Dulloo, A.G., et al., Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr, 1996. 50(3): p. 152-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8654328/

[4] Korać, R.R. and K.M. Khambholja, Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacogn Rev, 2011. 5(10): p. 164-73. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22279374/

[5] Evangelista, M.T., F. Abad-Casintahan, and L. Lopez-Villafuerte, The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol, 2014. 53(1): p. 100-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24320105/

[6] Neal, E.G., et al., A randomized trial of classical and medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diets in the treatment of childhood epilepsy. Epilepsia, 2009. 50(5): p. 1109-17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19054400/

[7] Liau, K.M., et al., An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity. ISRN Pharmacol, 2011. 2011: p. 949686. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22164340/

[8] Peedikayil, F.C., P. Sreenivasan, and A. Narayanan, Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report. Niger Med J, 2015. 56(2): p. 143-7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25838632/

107 Everyday Uses For Coconut Oil

107 Everyday Uses For Coconut OilImage – EverydayRoots.com

We’ve run posts on coconut oil before – but we just discovered this one over at Everyday Roots and had to share because it goes beyond. Not only is it a list of 107 uses for coconut oil, but it gives super explanations and tips for each one.

There’s some genius here and many that I would never have thought of (for example increasing the shelf life of eggs!!) One of my faves however was #50: Cracked Paw Pads. If your dog gets cracked dry paws, a little coconut oil might help. 🙂

Another one that caught my eye was as a rub for arthritis. Everyday Roots wrote that it may have some anti-inflammatory potential (not medical advice) and I found this interesting because I suffer from back pain and one thing that seems to help sometimes is massaging the immediate area with coconut oil. It’s also considered extremely good for the skin.

Coconut oil is amazing stuff – but one thing about coconut oil: There can be a big difference in quality. One of the markers to look for is smell: A good coconut oil should smell fresh and… (surprise surprise)… like coconut. I know, it sounds like stating the obvious – but once you’ve compared a few, you will see what I mean. Lower grade coconut oil has much less of a sweet coconut aroma – and if you get a chance, compare the scent of a freshly opened jar with an older one. As it gets old it can also start to smell more stale and “fatty”. Dr. Bronners (no affiliation) is my current favorite. Look out for extra virgin, cold pressed, organic.

Ok, here’s the link to the full list of 107 Everyday Uses For Coconut Oil: http://everydayroots.com/coconut-oil-uses

Further Reading:

Scientific Study Finds Coconut Oil Decreases Obesity

How To Make Homemade Coconut Butter

How To Make A Coconut Oil Skin Polish

Scientific Study Finds Coconut Oil Decreases Obesity

Scientific Study Finds Coconut Oil Decreases ObesityBackground image – © Marco Mayer – Fotolia.com

Here’s some amazing news for fans of natural foods: Did you know that a 2009 scientific study of 40 women aged 20-40, each with abdominal obesity, found that consuming just 30ml of coconut oil a day led to a significant reduction in waist circumference? [1] (1 Imperial tablespoon = 17.76 ml – so this amount is just under 2 tablespoons per day.)

Now how could it be that eating something can lead to weight loss? The “simple answer” is that coconut oil is high in Medium Chain Fatty Acids, which are easily digestible. It is reported that these fats are highly digestible – and unlike the long chain fatty acids typically found in animal fats, MCFAs are able to be absorbed directly by the liver and converted directly to energy, rather than being stored as fat in the body. This rapid availability in turn stimulates metabolism. [2]

Another interesting fact about coconut oil is that it is considered antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral – which may help the immune system. It is thus also not only considered beneficial to the digestive system, but also a good base to use in any natural deodorant formula as it is bacteria that cause odor problems.

How to eat coconut oil: The best thing to do is to start including it gradually in your diet. One teaspoon per day is suggested to start with. You can add it to all kinds of recipes including cakes, oatmeal, even putting it in coffee! Another simple way to eat it is to put it on toast instead of butter. I would also strongly suggest to only go for organic extra-virgin coconut oil. The quality is worth it.

Coconut also has higher high temperature stability than numerous other oils. It is considered a healthier choice for use as a cooking oil than olive oil for example. Olive oil is great for low temperature use but breaks down at higher temps, creating compounds that are potentially bad for health if used in cooking.

Coconut oil is also amazing for your skin. Just massage a little in, especially to dry skin or after shaving. Ladies, this is a super tip for the most amazingly soft and gorgeous skin.

Further Reading / Source:

Thanks to the awesome Lucy Bee’s Definitive Guide To The Benefits Of Coconut Oil (no affiliation) for the inspiration behind this post.

References:

[1] “Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058 Full study (purchase only – no affiliation): http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11745-009-3306-6

[2] http://www.lucybee.co/news/coconut-oil-definitive-guide/