Coconut oil, medium chain fatty acids and monoglycerides have been garnering accolade in organic and health-food circles over the last few years; originally recognised as a dangerous oil, high in saturated fats and indicated in heart-disease – coconut oil is undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis.
The crux of this metamorphosis revolves around two main conceptions: a dated study showing the detrimental effects of coconut oil – this study used hydrogenated coconut oil which produces a high yield of trans-fats now known to enter cellular membranes, inhibit utilization of essential fatty acids and impede cell functionality. Trans-fats also cause a rise in blood cholesterol. And two that medium chain fatty acids are metabolised by the human body in an identical way to long chain fatty acids. Being medium chain, these acids are readily absorbed directly through the portal vein to the liver, metabolised and used as a first priority fuel source of a similar metabolic potency as ketones.
Coconut oil has been purported to possess a wide array of health benefits. These range from ameliorating heart conditions, acting thermogenically to facilitate weight loss, to coconut oil’s scientifically documented in vitro/in vivo anti microbial and anti viral activity. Of these grandiose benedictions, most can be explained by the presence of lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which is converted to monolaurin in the human body. I will be adding lauric acid and monolaurin studies to the studies section of this blog shortly.
•Excellent moisturizer with potential anti-aging properties (I use it myself)
•in vivo anti microbial, anti viral, anti fungal properties
•Thermogenic/weight loss potential.
•Can be used topically to speed wound healing (see pubmed)
•Can be used topically to treat a number of fungal and bacterial infections
•Supplies the brain with a powerful energy source
•May improve certain heart conditions
•Excellent hair conditioner
•Healthy oil for cooking and baking
In general coconut oil is a well tolerated health food whose previous misgivings are fast retreating under an assault of new clinical studies which positively discern between long chain and medium chain fatty acids. I have heard it claimed that large quantities of coconut oil may contribute to fatty deposits in the human liver and I implore anyone intending to take it to further research the subject before doing so.
No official therapeutic dosage currently exists and the speculative dose regimes of vitamin companies to alternative health practitioners varies widely. Puritan’s pride website recommends 4g of coconut oil daily, however a large number of individuals and practitioners recommend a table spoon (14g) or more a day. Logic will nearly always dictate a small initial dose, with incremental dose increases as familiarity develops.
I have been taking coconut for approximately 12 months. I cannot state that it has contributed to any noticeable weight loss as I exercise daily and control my diet accordingly. I have previously suffered from frequent UTI (rare in males) and coconut oil has categorically eliminated these repeated infections and much improved my quality of life as a result. Last but not least, used a moisturiser, coconut oil leaves my skin soft and smooth and decreases the frequency of spot development.