Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural oils found in the world at present. The special feature is that it has antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and weight loss potential effects.
Do you know the benefits of coconut oil supplements?
Although coconut oil is criticized for its high content of saturated fatty acids, the quality of fat is not determined by saturation, but by the type of fatty acids.
For example, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and has a special antibacterial effects. It has been developed into a commercial product: lauric acid monolaurate (Lauricidin), which can fight some bacteria, which is very rare in other oils.
Table of Contents
- What are the characteristics of coconut oil?
- Coconut oil is not a medium-chain fatty acid, why?
- What are the benefits of coconut oil?
- 1. Help lose weight
- 2. Maintain the skin condition of premature infants
- 3. Prevent cardiovascular disease?
- 4. Beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease?
- 5. Beneficial for blood sugar control and diabetes?
- 6. Improve the quality of life during breast cancer treatment
- 7. Reduce the incidence of periodontal disease and tooth decay
- 8. Beneficial osteoporosis
- 9. Good for children with epilepsy
- 10. Antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic
- 11. Reduces skin aging and provides sun protection
- Are there any side effects of coconut oil?
- Where to buy the safest organic cold-pressed coconut oil? (recommend)
What are the characteristics of coconut oil?
Coconut oil is squeezed from the endosperm (that is, the pulp part) in a coconut fruit. Due to the high oil content of coconut (about 33%), coconut has become the main source of vegetable oil in tropical regions.
Due to the short molecular length, the absorption route is different from long-bonded fatty acids (most meats and fats in plants), which can be quickly decomposed in the human body to increase the heat production effect, and it is not easy to convert into neutral fat.
Coconut oil is not a medium-chain fatty acid, why?
Medium-chain fatty acids have 6 to 12 carbon atoms and are characterized by high water solubility, weak electrolytes, and high ionization, so they are more easily absorbed than the common long-chain fatty acids (without enzyme degradation and esterification) and can be quickly converted into energy.
Coconut oil mainly contains 4 different medium-chain fatty acids, namely:
- 47% lauric acid (12 carbon atoms)
- 7% capric acid (Capric acid, carbon number 10)
- 9% Caprylic acid (carbon number 8)
- 1% hexanoic acid (Caproic acid, carbon number 6)
Some studies have shown that lauric acid, which is the most abundant in coconut oil, is classified as medium-chain fatty acids, but it is similar to long-chain fatty acids in structure, absorption, and metabolism. More similar.
Only 20%-30% of lauric acid is directly absorbed by the portal vein in the intestine, and the rest is absorbed and metabolized in the form of chylomicrons (accounting for 70%-75%).
However, medium-chain fatty acids are directly absorbed by the portal vein (accounting for 95%), which shows the difference.
What are the benefits of coconut oil?
1. Help lose weight
Increasing obesity rate is currently one of the most worrying health problems in the world, affecting almost 35% of the population.
It is estimated that by 2030, 3.8 out of every 10 people in the world will be overweight and the other 2 will be obese. The situation in the United States is even more serious. Eighty-five percent of the adult population is overweight, and the medical costs associated with it are hundreds of billions of dollars.
A longitudinal study pointed out (for a period of 6 months, 116 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease), compared with the control group of diet-only control, if additional coconut oil (13 mL per day) is added, it has a better waist reduction and higher height. Good density cholesterol (HDL-C) effect.
Another double-blind controlled study found that (for a period of 12 weeks, the target is 40 women of medium and large size), under the condition of improving calorie intake and matching exercise, whether it is edible coconut oil or soybean oil has a weight loss effect, but the coconut oil group The effect of improving abdominal obesity is more significant, and it will not cause dyslipidemia.
*Conclusion: Based on the currently available research, the weight loss effect of coconut oil is not significant, but it may help to improve abdominal obesity, which needs to be confirmed by more large-scale studies in the future.
2. Maintain the skin condition of premature infants
The skin is a dynamic and complex organ with many important functions, forming a physical barrier between the organism and the environment.
It provides UV protection, prevents the invasion of pathogens, and regulates body temperature, gas exchange, and sensory perception.
In the first few weeks after birth, preterm infants have not yet developed their skin barriers. The damaged skin functions are vulnerable to chemical damage, microbial infections, and skin diseases, and even damage the overall health. Therefore, the maintenance of the skin barrier Essential for survival.
In a non-blind randomized controlled trial (a 21-day, 72 premature infants less than 30 weeks pregnant), one group received routine care and the other group received topical coconut oil smear (5 mL/kg).
It was found that the objects treated with coconut oil had better skin conditions (measured by Neonatal Skin Condition Score, the scoring criteria included: dryness, erythema, chapped skin), and no obvious side effects.
3. Prevent cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of increased mortality and disability in humans and is also one of the largest burdens of the medical system. About 31% of deaths and 10% of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) are related to it each year.
The main risk factors for cardiovascular disease are related to high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, smoking, diabetes, abdominal obesity, excessive alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, increasing age, men, and early-onset family history.
At present, most of the discussions about coconut oil and cardiovascular diseases are related to blood lipids.
A literature discussion (including 8 clinical studies and 13 observational studies) pointed out that although the effect of intake of coconut oil on raising “total cholesterol” and “low-density cholesterol” is lower than that of cream (saturated fat), it is still slightly greater than shun Unsaturated vegetable oil.
Although the traditional tropical island group is rich in coconut-related products, the diet is considered to be beneficial to cardiovascular health, but its dietary differences and life background are very different from modern times, so it cannot be concluded that coconut oil alone can be beneficial to cardiovascular.
*Conclusion: There is no clear evidence that coconut oil intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (not significantly different from other saturated fats), and it is limited by the small sample size and possible bias. It needs to be further verified by more large randomized trials.
4. Beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for about 70% of the total cases, with progressive memory loss and cognitive deterioration as the main symptoms. In addition to aging-related, family genetics, head trauma, female, suffering from heart Vascular diseases are the main risk factors.
Most studies believe that the specific brain area of patients with Alzheimer’s disease is unable to efficiently convert glucose into energy due to insulin resistance, which in turn leads to neurological dysfunction and apoptosis.
The ketones converted by medium-bonded fatty acids can be used as an alternative to supply the brain’s needs.
A controlled experiment (targeted for 20 patients with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment) pointed out that oral medium-bonded fatty acids can not only increase the level of ketone bodies in the blood but also help to improve cognitive status (particularly APOE4 gene negative Objects are more notable).
Another controlled study (21 days, 44 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease) pointed out that oral extra virgin coconut oil (40 ml daily) can help improve the cognitive test score (Lobo cognitive test) and cognitive status, The improvement was more pronounced in women, non-type 2 diabetic patients and those with severe conditions.
*Conclusion: Although medium-bonded fatty acids may help improve the cognitive function of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the use of coconut oil to improve Alzheimer’s disease is still insufficient evidence to be confirmed.
5. Beneficial for blood sugar control and diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot effectively use glucose as energy (due to poor insulin or abnormal secretion), resulting in a long-term increase in blood sugar.
The current statement about coconut oil improving diabetes is that the medium-bonded fatty acids are metabolized into ketones in the liver after ingestion into the body, and converted into energy for use by cells so that the beta cells can be fully rested and then recovered Original function.
However, a randomized cross-over trial pointed out that (for 4 weeks, the subject was 15 women), whether it was palm oil rich in palmitic acid or coconut oil rich in lauric acid, neither could improve the subject’s blood sugar and insulin sensitivity Degree and insulin secretion status.
6. Improve the quality of life during breast cancer treatment
Breast cancer is the most commonly discovered cancer in women worldwide. It is estimated that there are more than 230,000 new cases each year, of which about 5% are under the age of 40.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the main methods for treating breast cancer. They are used to inhibit the metastasis of cancer cells and improve the survival rate. However, they cause many side effects, such as vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, pain, anxiety, etc., which greatly affect the quality of life of patients.
A prospective study (targeting 60 breast cancer patients) pointed out that virgin coconut oil (virgin coconut oil) helps to improve the function and quality of life score during the chemotherapy period.
In addition, other symptoms of the coconut oil intervention group such as fatigue, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite (scoring indicators related to breasts such as body image, sexual function, and future prospects) have improved.
7. Reduce the incidence of periodontal disease and tooth decay
Tooth decay and periodontal disease are two common diseases in the oral cavity, both of which are caused by native bacteria. If left unattended, it often causes pain, tooth loss, and infection. What is more terrible is that periodontal disease may increase by 72% and develop into cardiovascular disease. The risk of disease.
The medium-chain fatty acid in coconut oil: lauric acid has an antibacterial effect and can inhibit harmful bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
A preliminary study on the relationship between coconut oil gargle (Oil pulling) and periodontal disease found that using coconut oil gargle (for 30 days, 60 people) can significantly reduce plaque accumulation by 68% and 56% Gingival Index (gum inflammation index, used to measure the severity of periodontal disease).
Other studies have also found that the use of coconut oil (oil gargle) can effectively reduce the number of the two main harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans, and Lactobacillus, and reduce the plaque and gum inflammation index, and more importantly. The effect is not lost to the sterilization mouthwash component (Chlorhexidine Mouthwash) commonly used in oral care, it is a safe and natural side substitute without side effects.
8. Beneficial osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common disease of the elderly, especially women. When there is bone loss, there are often no signs. When there are symptoms (usual fractures), half of the bone mass is often left, especially 3 to 5 years after menopause. Inside, it is the peak period of bone loss, which will decrease by 2% to 3% on average every year.
Current research has found that increased oxidative stress in the body will cause increased bone erosion, which is also an important reason for the decrease in bone density and the formation of osteoporosis. The supplement of antioxidants is cited as an effective method to delay bone loosening.
Because virgin coconut oil is rich in a variety of plant polyphenols, it can effectively inhibit lipid oxidation after ingestion and increase the concentration of antioxidants (such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase SOD) in animals. The experiment can effectively reduce bone loss and increase bone density Note 4; other studies have also found that coconut oil medium-chain fatty acids can effectively increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
9. Good for children with epilepsy
Epilepsy refers to a series of symptoms (caused by infection, metabolic disorders, brain lesions, drugs, or trauma) caused by abnormal discharge of brain nerve cells. Depending on the location of abnormal discharge, various disorders (including involuntary convulsions) may occur, Falls, loss of consciousness, stop breathing, etc.
Clinically found that through fasting, it can effectively improve the symptoms of epilepsy (the principle behind it is that during fasting, it can promote the liver to convert fat into ketones, which not only provides brain energy, but also has the effect of repairing and promoting brain cell growth), but breaks Not everyone can achieve it, so I started to design a fasting diet, called ketogenic diet (ketogenic diet).
For decades, the ketogenic diet has been used to improve children’s drug-resistant epilepsy, and the effect is remarkable. Because coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), it can be directly converted into ketones in the human body, allowing you to achieve ketogenic goals without diet control.
The most amazing thing about coconut oil is its antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic effects, and these effects are derived from the rich medium-chain fatty acids (including lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and myristic acid). After entering the human body, it can be converted into antibacterial substances to help the body resist harmful microorganisms from foreign invasion.
The best-selling book The Coconut Oil Miracle also mentioned that from general flu to fatal AIDS, the preventive and therapeutic potential of coconut oil is indeed amazing, and the medium-chain fatty acid has also been developed into the anti-disease drug lofexidine, which makes the disease There are more natural and harmless treatment options.
Since ancient times, coconut oil is the best skincare product in addition to being eaten. Because coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, in addition to providing skin moisturizing effects, it can also prevent free radical damage and reduce the occurrence of dry skin and wrinkles.
A small double-blind controlled study found that applying coconut oil and mineral oil to dry skin can improve skin water content and lipid levels on the skin surface. It is important that no adverse reactions occur.
At the same time, other studies have also found that medium-chain fatty acids with antibacterial effects in coconut oil can also treat many dermatitis and skin infections. Note 7 and protect the skin from the ultraviolet rays in the sun. It is a natural sunscreen.
Are there any side effects of coconut oil?
Coconut oil has been certified by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as the safest and natural food, and also passed the most stringent GRAS certification (Generally Recognized as Safe).
To pass this certification, you must go through various tests and have a long-term history of safe use. The ingredients with GRAS certification are already guaranteed by the state in the United States, there will be no side effects, no warnings, and no restrictions on use.
What form should coconut oil use? Is there any difference in refining or cold pressing?
Generally speaking, the less the processing procedures of oils and fats, the lower the possible harm. The most natural way is to extract them from the seeds through low temperature without adding any chemical substances, also known as a cold-pressed method.
Cold pressing has the least processing procedures, so it can also retain natural antioxidants, which can slow down the formation of oxidation and free radicals, and reduce the rate of corruption.
The highest quality coconut oil is made from fresh coconut cold-pressed, without high temperature and chemical treatment, so it retains a clear coconut fragrance (refined coconut oil is colorless and odorless, mostly used for maintenance or cooking).
Where to buy the safest organic cold-pressed coconut oil? (recommend)
In recent years, food safety problems in various countries have exploded, and it is not healthy but black-hearted products that everyone spends on. Therefore, European and American products with relatively strict quality control have become popular products.
And iHerb.com is a large-scale medical cosmetics e-commerce company in the United States. It has a high satisfaction rate of 97% in the evaluation of Google customers. It provides global home delivery so that you can buy it without risking buying fakes through purchasing high-quality health products.