Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a fat consisting of about 90% saturated fat. The oil contains predominantly medium chain triglycerides, with roughly 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Of the saturated fatty acids, coconut oil is primarily 44.6% lauric acid, 16.8% myristic acid and 8.2% palmitic acid, although it contains seven different saturated fatty acids in total. Its only monounsaturated fatty acid is oleic acid while its only polyunsaturated fatty acid is linoleic acid.
Saturated fats are essential to our health, although they are often blamed for clogging arteries and leading to heart disease. However, an examination of the research and science behind saturated fats suggests that the attacks against saturated fats have been primarily political and economical, and not scientific. Saturated fats comprise about 50% of our cell membranes, and some proportion of saturated fats are found in all fats and oils, whether plant based or animal based.
Coconut oil has received bad publicity due to its saturated fat content, but research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and coconut oil is unique in its structural make-up. It is not only the highest source of saturated fats (92%) but included in this is the highest source of saturated medium chain triglycerides (62%) of any naturally occurring vegan food source.
Coconut oil is comprised of what are called medium chain fatty acids, or medium chain triglycerides. These two terms are used interchangeably, and we will refer to them as "MCTs." In nature, coconut oil has the largest concentration of these MCTs outside of human breast milk. Vegetable oils, on the other hand, are made up primarily of long chain fatty acids (LCTs). Around 50% of these MCT’s are made up of lauric acid, the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.
It has been known for a long time in the scientific literature that LCTs tend to produce fat in the body, while MCTs promote what is called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis increases the body's metabolism, producing energy. People in the animal feed business have known this truth for quite some time. If you feed animals vegetable oils, they put on weight and produce more fatty meat. If you feed them coconut oil, they will be very lean.
In addition to the weight-loss advantages of MCTs, other studies have shown that MCTs are powerful agents that can kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses. In a study done at the Institute of Biology of the University of Iceland, MCTs were shown to kill gram-positive cocci. Another study done at the University of Iceland showed that two of the MCTs found in coconut oil, capric acid and lauric acid, killed Candida albicans, a common yeast infection found especially in those who have excessively used antibiotic drugs.
Summary of the Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. It attacks and kills viruses that have a lipid coating, such as herpes, HIV, and the flu. It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, urinary tract infections, and many more bacterial infections. It kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and more.
Coconut oil acts like a carbohydrate in that it is quickly broken down in the liver and used as quick energy, and is not stored like other fats. It supports thyroid function and increases your metabolism.
Coconut oil has a smoking point of 170°C (350°F), making it ideal for cooking with. Most other oils hydrogenate when heated to this temperature.
Coconut oil improves digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It improves the body’s use of blood glucose and improves insulin secretion and absorption. Risk of diabetes decreases with regular use of coconuts and coconut oil.
Coconut oil helps the body heal and repair faster. It aids and supports immune function, protecting us from a variety of cancers.
Coconut oil is a natural antioxidant. It protects the body from free radical damage and prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases.
Coconut oil softens and moisturizes your skin, and prevents wrinkling and age spots, and is an excellent for after sun care, alleviating sunburn symptoms.
The quality of the coconut oil is of paramount importance, and it should be of organic virgin origin.
edit @ 1 Oct 2008 21:12:10 by บ้านรักษ์สุข