September 2, 2014

Coconut Oil Is Superior for Nutrient Absorption

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Picture of dehusking coconuts in traditional method of coconut oil extraction

Traditional coconut oils are still made by hand.

 

By Dr. Mercola

You’re probably aware that in order to absorb all of the extremely healthy fat-soluble nutrients in your food, compounds like lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E, for instance, you’ve got to eat them with some fat.So perhaps you always add olive oil to your salads or eat your veggies with butter to absorb all of those valuable nutrients.

This is a smart health move, but did you know that not all oils are created equal when it comes to nutrient absorption? Some work better than others and can actually enhance the amount of nutrients your body receives from the food you eat.

Coconut Oil is Superior in Enhancing Nutrient Absorption

A new animal study compared the effects of feeding coconut oil (a saturated fat) versus safflower oil (a polyunsaturated fat) on the absorption of carotenoids from tomatoes. Coconut oil enhanced tissue uptake of tomato carotenoids to a greater degree than safflower oil, a benefit the researchers suggested may be due to coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs):1

“These results may have been due to the large proportion of medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, which might have caused a shift in cholesterol flux to favor extrahepatic carotenoid tissue deposition.”

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs). There are several reasons why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil.

Why Choose an Oil Like Coconut Oil?

In addition to its ability to potentially allow you to absorb more antioxidants and other nutrients from your food, MCFAs are smaller than LCFAs, which means they permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body. Further:

  • MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
  • MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.

 

There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed LCFAs stored body fat, while rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.2 Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue compared to those eating a high-LCFA diet, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake. Researchers concluded:3

“Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.”

Coconut oil earns even more “points” because it’s rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens immunity. Caprylic acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, is another antimicrobial component. Plus, using coconut oil as your primary cooking oil is important because it is the only one that is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. When choosing a coconut oil, make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients. On the other hand, in the case of LCFA-rich vegetable oils:

  • LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
  • LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, your liver and your entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
  • LCFAs, when oxidized, can both injure and deposit within arteries, contributing to both blood vessel inflammation and plaque build-up.

Polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their multiple double carbon bonds. If you’ve been shunning coconut oil because it’s a saturated fat, you needn’t worry. Saturated fats are actually essential and quite good for you.

Read the full article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/20/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats.aspx


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Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

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Once again, research into the health benefits of coconut oil is mainly being done outside of the U.S., primarily in coconut-producing countries. Here in the U.S., only pharmaceutical drugs can make health claims, by law. The FDA regulates all health claims, and only allows pharmaceutical companies that have gone through the lengthy and costly drug approval process to make such claims. No company in the U.S. would spend that kind of money on research for a product found in nature that cannot be patented.

A study just published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease looked at Malaysian women suffering from breast cancer. The study discovered that stage 3 and 4 breast cancer women who supplemented their diet with virgin coconut oil during breast cancer treatment improved fatigue, dyspnea, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group. Virgin coconut oil consumption during chemotherapy also helped improve the functional status and global Quality Of Life of these breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

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Cold drinks are a popular summer staple that coffeehouses and restaurants make a killing off of every year with their ridiculous prices. However, there is little need to buy them. Making most of these drinks at home is easy, not to mention with far more healthy potential when you control what goes into them.

Adding coconut oil to your blended cold drinks is one way to get your daily dose of coconut oil without it being bothersome or boring. Not only that, but the addition of coconut oil will also give your endurance and energy a boost, keeping you going throughout the day or acting as a quick pick me up along with some natural fruit as the day drags on.

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

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With the saturated fat myth slowly dying out, coconut oil has quickly risen to be a popular and ideal cooking oil. Coconut oil has a bounty of health benefits and is easily customizable. This versatile nature makes it ideal for many different styles of cooking and dishes.

However, not everyone is a fan of the flavor. Here are some tips on making coconut oil tasteless in cooking.

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

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WebMD is the world’s most visited “health” website. They derive their advertising from the pharmaceutical industry, so they have a pro-Pharma slant, as one can expect. It is not typically the place you would go to find information regarding alternative treatments to FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs. If you are contemplating using prescription drugs, it is a great place to get information about the medical industry’s products. If however you are looking for information on products that are not approved as drugs by the FDA, their information will be highly biased.

Due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil and its healing properties, WebMD now has a listing for coconut oil. It is listed in their vitamin and supplement section, since it is not approved as a drug, and since they generally do not provide any health information about foods.

They give the standard pro-Pharma view of coconut oil, which is that, in their view, there are no approved claims for coconut oil. They also warn people that coconut oil could raise cholesterol levels and could be harmful, even while acknowledging that research actually shows the opposite, since coconut oil traditionally lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol (a positive thing.) They also warn that if people eat too much coconut oil, since it is fat, that it could lead to weight gain.

Interestingly, WebMD allows users to comment on these entries, presumably in a format where patients can comment on their own experiences with the vast array of drugs listed on their website. Read what users said about the “miraculous” properties of coconut oil in relation to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, weight control, memory, mood swings, energy, dry skin, dental health, stopping seizures and more.

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

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Fitness junkies, take note: you need coconut oil. Coconut oil straight up, in your protein-rich meals, protein shakes, snacks, pre-workout, post-workout fuel – whatever you choose. Coconut oil can be adapted into your style of eating and seriously enhance the results of the style of fitness you’re into, be it body building, toning, endurance, or general weight and muscle management.

So why add coconut oil into your fitness routine? Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, but take off body fat. Coconut oil has a lot of these MCTs. Eat it.

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