Much maligned for years as a saturated fat, we’ll bring you truth regarding the incredible health properties of coconut oil.
There are several testimonials by people using virgin coconut oil (VCO) for improving scalp conditions, hair, and skin issues. But it’s doubtful that a certified dermatologist would recommend that for most skin issues. It’s more likely that an external skin condition known as atopic dermatitis (AD), which causes excess dryness, inflammation, and pruritus (itching) will be prescribed a cortecosteroid cream to apply topically. The University of Central Florida Medical School offered a paper published early in 2017 titled “Coconut oil: The future of atopic dermatitis treatment?” Overall, VCO appears to be an emerging treatment for AD due to its safety and ability to both combat the suggested pathogenesis of AD and provide clinical improvement. More extensive trials that comprehensively examine the positive and negative effects of treating AD with VCO are indicated.
There are many empirical episodes of improving memory and slowing or reversing dementia with coconut oil that are dismissed as “anecdotal.” Fortunately there are increasing scientific studies that corroborate the many remarkable testimonies of recovering from dementia to perhaps convince naysayers of coconut oil’s health and healing properties. The in-vivo (animal) study “Enhanced memory in Wistar rats by virgin coconut oil is associated with increased antioxidative, cholinergic activities and reduced oxidative stress” was published in January of 2017. The research paper stated as part of its findings: "The promising outcomes of this study strongly imply the possible use of VCO, not only as neuroprotective agents for those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, but also as brain food." A Canadian study published this year around the same time titled “Coconut oil protects cortical neurons from amyloid beta toxicity by enhancing signaling of cell survival pathways” observed that coconut oil and its medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) protect against amyloid beta (Aβ) induced neurotoxicity in primary rat cortical neurons.
A study published in January 2017 in Nigeria shows the hepatoprotective effect of virgin coconut oil when used with MTX cancer chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs are known for damaging the liver. Unlike the U.S., where government dietary advice is still against saturated fats and coconut oil, many of the coconut-producing countries are learning that their traditional diets high in saturated fats, and specifically coconut oil, are actually healthy. There is a wide body of research now looking at the health benefits of coconut oil, specifically virgin coconut oil, which is less refined than machine-made commercial coconut oils. The current study from Nigeria acknowledges that the "emerging health benefit of virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been associated with its potent natural antioxidants." So they designed a study using rats to see if virgin coconut oil and its antioxidant properties could protect the liver against oxidative stress caused by chemotherapy cancer drugs. They saw a definite improvement in liver function from the group that consumed virgin coconut oil.
There have been numerous studies on lauric acid for various health supporting factors. Did you know that virgin coconut oil is 50 percent or more lauric acid? So whatever healthy attributes lauric acid contains so does coconut oil, and more. And more will be explained later in this article. For now we’ll focus on coconut oil’s major component, lauric acid, and a recent animal study with dramatic results discovered for reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) and oxidative stress.
A recent study on a new anti-inflammatory antioxidant natural remedy, with the main ingredient being coconut oil, shows positive signs of being the go-to remedy for those who want relief from rheumatoid arthritis without the side effects of pharmaceuticals that are not so effective.
Dr. Malcom Kendrick is a Scottish doctor and author of the book The Great Cholesterol Con. Recently he wrote a blog post on saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. He commented on how the science actually proves the opposite conclusion from what is commonly believed about saturated fats: To be honest, I have studied saturated fat consumption many, many… many, many, times. The one thing that has always stood out, most starkly, is the complete lack of any real evidence to support the idea that it causes cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, evidence contradicting it arrives on an almost daily basis.
The term "ketogenic" is derived from attaching the suffix "-genic" to the word "ketone." Ketones are produced in the liver from fat. As ketones are produced more, a state of ketosis is created. Ketosis allows fat to be converted into energy instead of storing it as fat. Ketosis even promotes reducing existing excess body fat by converting it into energy. One of the most efficient saturated fats for ketosis is virgin coconut oil. Instead of long chain triglycerides that most other healthy fats contain, coconut oil is comprised of medium chain triglycerides, which are most easily converted into ketones. So consuming healthy fats, not trans-fat substitutes, and cutting back considerably on processed or refined carbohydrates is proving to increase health and reduce obesity and all the problems associated with it, including diabetes and heart disease.
War on Saturated Fats Has Harmed People in Poor Countries Who Shunned Traditional Fats Like Coconut Oil
One of the most pervasive dangerous food myths has been the lipid hypothesis or theory of heart disease. It proclaims that eating foods containing saturated fats are the root cause of obesity and heart disease. It has prevailed for over a half-century and is only now beginning to deteriorate. The most obvious harm done by the false propaganda against saturated fats in traditional foods are with regions that relied heavily on saturated fats for centuries, especially edible tropical oils such as coconut oil prior to the lipid hypothesis or theory's dogma that permeated and replaced their traditional diets. A recent paper, “Coconut oil and palm oil's role in nutrition, health and national development: A review,” was published in the September 2016 Ghana Medical Journal (GMJ).
Study: Coconut Oil Helps Hypertension – Science Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Keep Increasing
A peer reviewed study published in 2016 was titled “Renoprotective effect of virgin coconut oil in heated palm oil diet-induced hypertensive rats.” The Malaysian researchers were aware of how reheated oils used over and over in deep fat fryers create hypertension (high blood pressure) and other markers for cardiovascular disease. But their focus this time was renal, or kidney health. So they used five times heated palm oil (5HPO) to induce high blood pressure in rats bred for animal study research, Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats were divided into four groups fed slightly different diets, half with 5HPO and the other half with virgin coconut oil (VCO). Systolic blood pressure was measured before and after the 16 week study. The rats fed VCO had significantly less oxidative stress markers in their kidneys than the 5HPO fed rats, leading the researchers to conclude “ … virgin coconut oil has a potential to reduce the development of hypertension and renal injury induced by dietary heated oil, possibly via its antioxidant protective effects on the kidneys.”
In 2016, a study was published in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience looking at the effects of ketones as brain fuel and their use in treating Alzheimer's disease. The title of the study is: Can Ketones Help Rescue Brain Fuel Supply in Later Life? Implications for Cognitive Health during Aging and the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. In recent years, the effects of a ketogenic diet has been studied in relation to dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, as Alzheimer's disease is increasingly being seen as a "Type 3" form of diabetes. However, since a diet cannot be patented, mainstream medicine has instead focused on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines to combat diseases like Alzheimer's, as such drugs are seen as a financial windfall for pharmaceutical companies, with so many Americans in the "Baby Boomer" age group entering into their senior years. This new study from Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience shows great promise in utilizing a dietary approach in preventing and fighting Alzheimer's disease. We have previously documented many stories of family members and caregivers seeing huge improvements in Alzheimer's disease simply by adding coconut oil to the diet, and coconut oil naturally provides a form of ketone energy to the brain.