Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined medically as macrovesicular steatosis, or abnormal retention of lipids (fats) sufficient and large enough to distort or replace the nuclei of liver cells among those who consume less than 20 grams (.7 ounces) of alcohol per day. NAFLD, unknown prior to 1980, has become our largest liver health issue nationally and throughout most industrialized nations. Fatty liver disease affects metabolism and usually manifests as obesity and insulin resistance, which are direct co-factors for type 2 diabetes. It can also progress to inflammation of the liver, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), leading to cirrhosis. Ironically, a saturated fat (virgin coconut oil) may prove to be the safest and most effective treatment for NAFLD according to a study published recently (September 2017) in the Journal of the Science and Agriculture of Food. The study, “Virgin coconut oil reverses hepatic steatosis by restoring redox homeostasis and lipid metabolism in male Wistar rats,” noted in its background statement that more nutraceutical offerings are being sought for reversing fatty liver disease. The researchers also noted that earlier studies had demonstrated virgin coconut oil could help prevent NAFLD. This new study intended to see if virgin coconut oil could also reverse existing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Another peer-reviewed study was published this month (August 2017) showing dietary virgin coconut oil has beneficial heart-health effects regarding lipid profile, renal status, hepatic antioxidant defense system, and cardiovascular risks. The study was conducted by researchers in Nigeria in the Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, at Federal University. The title of the study is: Dietary Supplementation with Virgin Coconut Oil Improves Lipid Profile and Hepatic Antioxidant Status and Has Potential Benefits on Cardiovascular Risk Indices in Normal Rats. This new study and many other previous studies clearly contradict the propaganda espoused by Big Pharma and the U.S. Government dietary advice, which has been waging a war against saturated fats since the 1970s and the McGovern Report that promoted the false hypothesis that saturated fats led to an increase in lipid cholesterol levels and an increased risk for heart disease. This theory, the lipid theory of heart disease, has been shown to be false repeatedly by the published medical literature, yet it still remains the official USDA dietary advice.
The health ramifications of virgin coconut oil keep surfacing from international studies without much coverage from mainstream media health or food sections. Fortunately, Health Impact News and their CoconutOil.com website is the leading authority today on the health benefits of coconut oil, keeping you up-to-date on all the published research about coconut oil you will never read in the mainstream corporate media. There has been a lot of text and talk about the wonders of coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids and how they benefit the brain by producing ketones for brain cells’ functional nutrition. Ketones can even reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry and their support of the mainstream media would like to keep that information from being known. There are even folks losing weight with high-fat ketogenic dieting, which includes the saturated fat coconut oil and other whole unadulterated healthy fats, to debunk the unscientific dogma of saturated fats as responsible for obesity. Many studies have demonstrated coconut oil’s antifungal and antibacterial capabilities as well. Now we have coconut oil demonstrating powerful antioxidant potential, even powerful enough for reducing the biological stress of chemotherapy. Here are two new studies that point this out.
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.
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.”
A recent study from India published in the Journal of Food Science Technology showed positive results in improving glucose metabolism in high fructose diets in rats. Coconut oil is a common dietary oil in South India, so the researchers wanted to compare the common refined copra-based coconut oil found in the market place with the less-refined "virgin" coconut oil which has become more readily available in recent years. The results were very promising. The researchers found that glucose metabolism only increased 17% in a high-fructose diet as compared to 46% for those rates fed a standard coconut oil diet. This research confirms what we have observed over the years since we brought Virgin Coconut Oil into the U.S. market: many who switch to Virgin Coconut Oil see their blood sugar levels normalize. Here are some testimonials.
Tropical Traditions has finished testing all of their coconut oils and coconut products for the presence of the herbicide glyphosate. They now have a system in place to test each batch of coconut oil or coconut products exported from the Philippines for the presence of glyphosate. The Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil also carries the "Traditionally Produced" label, since this coconut oil is not mass produced by machine. It is a traditionally produced coconut oil made by hand in small batches, much the same way people in the Philippines have produced it for thousands of years. Tropical Traditions was the first company to import virgin coconut oil from the Philippines in 2002, and it remains one of the only premium coconut oils in the United States that is still produced using traditional methods, rather than being mass-produced by machine.
A study out of Malaysia shows that virgin coconut oil may function better than commercial "artificial tears" products in rewetting dry eyes. The title of the study is A Pilot Study: The Efficacy of Virgin Coconut Oil as Ocular Rewetting Agent on Rabbit Eyes and was published in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, February, 2015.