Coconut oil is so healthy that it is not a surprise why so many nutritionists list it among so-called superfoods. One of the main reasons why coconut oil is so good for our health is the presence of fatty acids in it. These compounds have the ability to improve the cognitive functions, support fat loss and provide few other significant positive effects.
The following is a list of ten facts about coconut oil you should know. Each of these points have been proven through scientific studies.
1. Coconut Oil Comes with an One of a Kind Combination and Structure of Fatty Acids with incredibly strong medicinal effects
Not while ago, many nutritionists have advised people to stay away from coconut oil because it is packed with saturated fat. They were right about the part that coconut oil is rich in saturated fat (less than 10% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are unsaturated).
But, the fact is that saturated fats don’t harm the body. In the recent period, there were numerous scientific studies that have confirmed that they don’t lead to clogging of arteries.
In addition, coconut oil doesn’t include ordinary fats like the ones we find in steaks or cheese. On the contrary, fats found in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids unlike long-chain fatty acids found in most foods. These fats are processed in a different way.
When they enter the digestive track they are instantly redirected to the liver where they are immediately turned into a fast source of energy or into ketone bodies. These bodies are known for the positive effects on brain problems like Alzheimer’s disease or epilepsy.
So, coconut oil is packed with medium-chain triglycerides, fats that are processed in a different way and have positive impact on people suffering from various brain issues.
2. Nations where coconut oil is part of the traditional cuisine are very healthy nations
People from the West consider coconut as some kind of exotic food and only people who take special care of their health consume it.
But, in certain countries around the globe, coconut is part of the daily menu for many centuries.
For instance, one of the nations that eat coconut on a daily basis is the Tokelauns. These people live in the South Pacific.
Tokeluans consume more than 60% of the calories from coconuts and they are the nation that practices a diet that contains the largest amount of saturated fat.
It is worth mentioning that Tokeluans are very healthy and heart disease is almost unknown to them. In addition, another healthy nation that consumes coconut and coconut oil regularly is the Kitavans.
So, many nations and groups of people that are known for their exceptional health condition and low number of diseased people take large amounts of coconut and coconut oil.
3. Coconut oil has the ability to accelerate energy use which leads to better burning of fat
According to the World Health Organization obesity and overweight are the biggest health concern today.
There are a huge number of people who believe that calories are the only thing that we should consider when dealing with obesity, but there are also many people who think that it is the source of calories that matters the most.
The fact is that different types of foods result in different effects in our bodies. In other words, not all calories are the same.
For example, the MCTs (medium0chain triglycerides) in coconut oil have the ability to boost energy use (much more than the calories found in long-chain fats).
A scientific study conducted not while ago has confirmed that between 15 and 30 grams of MCTs a day accelerated the use of energy by almost 5% which ultimately means more than 120 calories were burnt a day thanks to these triglycerides.
So, it is crucial to remember that MCTs found in coconut oil can increase the daily use of energy for about 5% which usually leads to weight loss after some period of time.
4. Coconut Oil Contains Lauric Acid that eliminates bacteria, fungi and viruses and repulses infections
About half of the fatty acids found in coconut oil go to the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
Whenever coconut oil is digested with the help of enzymes, it leads to the formation of monoglyceride known as monolaurin.
Monolaurin and lauric acid have the ability to eliminate dangerous pathogens like viruses, fungi and bacteria.
For instance, scientists have confirmed that these compounds can eliminate the well-known Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria and the yeast Candida Albicans which usually leads to yeast infections in people.
So, the fatty acids together with the dissolved compounds found in coconut oil can eliminate dangerous pathogens which ultimately mean that they prevent infections.
5. Coconut Oil Suppresses Appetite in a Natural way
Only a small number of people know that coconut oil can successfully eliminate the feeling of hunger. According to some experts, the reason for this is the activity of fatty acids once they are metabolized. Ketone bodies are known for their ability to reduce appetite.
In a recent scientific study, six healthy men were taking different quantities of long and medium chain triglycerides. It turned out that the men who consumed the highest amount of MCTs are less than 256 calories a day on average.
In addition, another scientific study which involved 14 healthy men has shown that the participants who consumed the highest amount of MCTs during breakfast consumed very lower amount of calories during lunch.
Even though these scientific studies were relatively small, they have confirmed that in case these effects last for a longer period of time, people can witness significant change in their weight after one or two years without making much changes in their diet.
In other words, the fatty acids found in coconut oil are able to suppress appetite which will eventually lead to weight loss.
6. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that are transformed into ketones – a transformation that can prevent seizures
There are many different types of diets, but in the recent period, many people are interested in ketogenic diet as a way to heal many health issues. This diet is packed with high fat and advises people to stay away from carbs as much as possible.
One of the most common reasons why people are interested in this diet is its ability to help children with drug-resistant epilepsy.
The ketogenic diet is based on consumption of small amounts of carbs and large quantities of fat which increases the presence of ketone bodies in the blood stream.
Even though scientists are still not sure why, the fact is that ketogenic diet can significantly lower the rate of seizures in children even if conventional drug treatments don’t work.
Since MCTs found in coconut oil are directly delivered to the liver and some of them are converted to ketone bodies, they are used in patients suffering from epilepsy in order to trigger ketosis.
So, these MCTs from coconut oil can improve the presence of ketone bodies in the blood and reduce the rates of seizures.
7. Coconut Oil can stabilize blood cholesterol levels and reduce the chances of developing heart disease
This oil is packed with saturated fats, which don’t have negative effects on the blood lipid profile although scientists in the past believed that there is a connection.
Saturated fats increase the good (HDL) cholesterol levels and alter the LDL cholesterol levels into a safe subtype.
According to one scientific study in which 40 women participated, coconut oil lowered the LDL and total cholesterol and increased HDL much more than soybean oil.
In addition, there were several studies with lab rats that have shown that coconut oil has the ability to decrease the number of triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol, boost HDL and boost blood coagulation elements and antioxidant capability.
All these positive effects should definitely lead to lower chances of developing heart disease in the long run.
So, scientific studies in humans and lab rats have confirmed that coconut oil has the ability to boost risk factors like LDL, HDL and total cholesterol which ultimately leads to lower chances of developing heart disease.
8. Coconut oil protects the hair from damage, works as a natural sunscreen and protects the skin from dehydration
Coconut oil provides positive effects even when we are not eating it. For instance, people have used coconut oil for cosmetic reasons for many centuries and they have witnessed some very positive results when it comes to their hair and skin.
Scientific studies on people with dry skin have shown that this oil can increase the moisture and kipid content and prevent dehydration.
This oil can also protect our hair from damage and one scientific study has proven the efficiency of coconut oil as a natural sunscreen that can block more than 20% of harmful UV rays produced by the sun.
There is another use of coconut oil which is getting quite popular these days – oil pulling. This mouthwash process can eliminate most of the dangerous bacteria in the oral cavity, boost dental health and eliminate bad breath.
So, instead of eating it, you can also use coconut oil topically. Coconut oil can moisturize the skin, protect the hair from UV rays (natural sunscreen) and provide excellent protection for the teeth and gums.
9. Coconut Oil contains fatty acids that can improve cognitive function in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the number one reason for the occurrence of dementia. Of course, the senior citizens are the most common category of people suffering from this disease.
Studies have shown that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease cannot properly use glucose to produce energy for specific parts of the brain.
On the other hand, ketone bodies can provide energy to the brain and scientists believe that ketones can act as an additional energy source for the cells that are not working properly and ultimately soothe the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
A scientific study conducted 10 years ago has confirmed that taking medium-chain triglycerides results in fast improvement of cognitive functions in people suffering from milder types of Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, few other scientific studies have confirmed these results and this is the reason why studies focused on Alzheimer’s disease are now primarily focused on the effects of medium-chain triglycerides.
Finally, science has confirmed that fatty acids found in coconut oil can boost the levels of ketone bodies in the blood, soothe the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and provide sufficient amount of energy for the brain cells.
10. Coconut oil helps people reduce fat, particularly the harmful fat found in the abdominal cavity
As already mentioned, coconut oil can suppress appetite and boost fat burning. In other words, coconut oil supports weight loss.
This oil is particularly effective when it comes to elimination of abdominal fat which concentrates in the abdominal cavity and surrounding organs and tissues.
It is good to know that this fat is very dangerous and linked to most of the so-called modern diseases.
It is not very difficult to measure the waist circumference and this measure can clearly indicate the quantity of fat located in the abdominal cavity.
A scientific study which involved 40 obese women and where women have taken about one ounce or 30 ml of coconut oil a day has shown that these women have experienced reduction in waist circumference and BMI after 3 months.
On the other hand, a scientific study with 20 men suffering from obesity has confirmed the reduction in waist circumference of about 1.1 inches or 2.9 cm after one month and taking one ounce of coconut oil a day.
Even though some people may not be stunned by the numbers, we should not forget that the participants didn’t have to make any changes in their diet and didn’t have to become physically active. They have lost weight and fat only by taking coconut oil on a daily basis.
11. Is there something else?
In case you want to experience all the benefits of coconut oil, don’t forget to use organic, virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is not that effective.