Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.
Coconut oil is a heart-healthy food that can help keep your body running smoothly and efficiently in a number of ways. The oil contains a combination of fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which contain antioxidant properties and help in the absorption of other minerals.
- Lower Cholesterol: This superfood is loaded with saturated fats that actually raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. Coconut oil contains an unusual blend of short and MCFAs, specifically lauric, capric, and myristic acids that are linked to special health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol.
- Weight Loss Aid: The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil can speed up energy usage compared to other fats.
- Moisturizes Skin: Coconut oil can be used as a skin moisturizer because of its vitamin E content and its positive antioxidant action in the body. This helps stop the damage to the tissues in the body since oxidation is a major source of skin aging. Its anti-microbial properties can also be useful with things like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and staph infections. A 2004 study published in the journal Dermatitis found coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of people with dry skin.
- Better Brain Function: The MCTs in coconut oil provides a “secondary fuel source” aside from glucose that the brain and nervous system can function on. High sugar can contribute to neurological problems, including Alzheimer’s, which has been theorized as a “type 3 diabetes,” according to Rinehart. In Alzheimer’s, the brain effectively blocks glucose uptake, so it is fuel-deprived, which can lead to general neuro-degeneration.
- Kills Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi: Coconut oil has Lauric acid, which is believed to have anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. This makes it helpful with various types of infections. A 2000 study published in the Journal of Bacteriology found lauric acid and monolaurin can kill pathogens like the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Alton added coconut oil helps in the absorption of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Coconut oil is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin. It is also LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in food amounts. But coconut oil contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels. So people should avoid eating coconut oil in excess. Coconut oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine short-term. Taking coconut oil in doses of 10 mL two or three times daily for up to 12 weeks seems to be safe.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coconut oil as medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Children: Coconut oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin for about one month. There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coconut oil by mouth as a medicine.
High cholesterol: Coconut oil contains a type of fat that can increase cholesterol levels. Regularly eating meals containing coconut oil can increase levels of “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This might be a problem for people who already have high cholesterol.
Unknown, please consult your pharmacist.
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Source: “Coconut Secrets for Optimal Health”, web article, www.coconutsecret.com/coconuthealthsecrets2.html