Much maligned for years as a saturated fat, we’ll bring you truth regarding the incredible health properties of coconut oil.
A new study out of Japan and published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows how switching the dietary oil of chow fed to mice from soybean oil to coconut oil reduced skin inflammation. The skin healing properties of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil, applied topically to the skin have been known for a long time. Even though coconut oil is sold as a dietary oil, people applying it topically are seeing tremendous results for their skin conditions such as acne, eczema, keratosis polaris, psoriasis, rosacea, and fungal infections. We have suspected for years that the reason people in tropical climates who eat their traditional diets which are high in the saturated fats of coconut oil had such beautiful skin, even though they are exposed to the sun to a greater degree than westerners, is because of the high amounts of coconut oil in their diet, which does not oxidize and cause free radical damage as polyunsaturated fats do. Skin cancer, for example, is almost unheard of in tropical climates like the Philippines, but common in western nations, even in colder climates with far less exposure to the sun. Researchers in Japan apparently wanted to test this theory of dietary coconut oil reducing allergic skin inflammation in the laboratory: "Coconut oil is used as a dietary oil worldwide, and its healthy effects are recognized by the fact that coconut oil is easy to digest, helps in weight management, increases healthy cholesterol and provides instant energy. Although topical application of coconut oil is known to reduce skin infection and inflammation, whether dietary coconut oil has any role in decreasing skin inflammation is unknown. In this study, we showed the impact of dietary coconut oil in allergic skin inflammation by using a mouse model of contact hypersensitivity (CHS)."
Many who have used coconut oil for their skin and hair rave about its positive effects. Many testimonials to the powerful healing properties of virgin coconut oil for skin conditions have been published here at CoconutOil.com over the years. People have testified to virgin coconut oil healing fungal skin infections, acne, eczema, keratosis polaris, psoriasis, rosacea, and more. But exactly how virgin coconut oil is so beneficial for applying on one's skin has rarely, if ever, been thoroughly analyzed on a chemical and cellular level. That’s no longer the case, as a new study has recently determined what goes on biochemically within the skin’s cellular and genetic composition when using virgin coconut oil on one’s skin. This report, In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil, was published by the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in January, 2019.
A recent study published late 2018 confirms an earlier Health Impact News article that macular degeneration, a disease mainstream medicine considers irreversible, can be prevented, attenuated, and even reversed naturally. The natural ingredient this study tested was coconut oil. This study was conducted by Nigeria’s University of Ilorin’s Department of Physiology. The final report, titled "Coconut oil protects against light-induced retina degeneration in male Wistar rats" was published by the journal Pathophysiology.
In parts of Asia, both peanut oil and coconut oil are often used for cooking. A recent study in India compared cooking with peanut oil to cooking with coconut oil to determine the relative health benefits for weight management, heart disease, and diabetes. The researchers used nine healthy male volunteers with normal body mass index or BMI levels to undergo eight weeks of consuming a normally balanced diet cooked with coconut oil, followed by a six-week "washout" period, then another eight weeks of the same diet cooked with peanut oil. The study report is called Coconut oil consumption improves fat-free mass, plasma HDL-cholesterol and insulin sensitivity in healthy men with normal BMI compared to peanut oil. The researchers concluded: "… compared to peanut oil, the consumption of coconut oil in a balanced diet resulted in increased fat-free mass, plasma HDL-C, elicited favourable changes on insulin sensitivity and CVD risk-associated parameters in healthy men with normal BMI."
A very recent review on nutritional approaches toward preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was conducted in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Canterbury University. The results were submitted to the journal Nutrition. It’s title: "The ketogenic diet as a potential treatment and prevention strategy for Alzheimer's disease." After analyzing 33 studies researching AD and other neurological disorders handled with a ketogenic diet and supplementing coconut oil, the University of Canterbury review analysis concluded: "In this review, we hypothesize that the ketogenic diet could be an effective treatment and prevention for Alzheimer's disease, but both ketone production and carbohydrate restriction may be needed to achieve this."
Most of us are not used to considering dietary fat as a high source of energy for all-out exercise, athletic activity, and physical labor. Energy from fat has usually been associated with stored fat within the body as a reserve for when carbohydrate energy runs out. Now a 2018 Russian study using cross-country skiers as human subjects determined medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), normally contained in only a few saturated fats, supplied immediate energy during high demand athletic endeavors. These fatty acids don’t get stored as fat, but provide sustained energy. This truth can benefit all of us, not just athletes.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes disability and can lead to death. It is considered progressive and incurable. It is often referred to as Lou Gehrig disease, named after the Yankee baseball star of decades ago whose career was cut short by ALS. ALS begins with minor muscular control issues then progresses until one is completely disabled, even unable to consume food or breathe. It can be a slow, miserable death for many who are stricken. ALS diagnoses have been increasing, and the pharmaceutical industry has no cures. A recent animal study looked into the potential of coconut oil for preventing or reducing ALS symptoms. The results of the study were positive, and revealed that the coconut oil supplementation together with the regular diet delayed disease symptoms, enhanced motor performance, and prolonged survival in mouse models. The baby-boomer era generations are aging in large numbers, and those aging are most prone to neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. Virgin coconut oil is safe and carries even more nutritional benefits in addition to neurological protections.
Researchers in Brazil recently completed an animal study to determine if virgin coconut oil (VCO) could replace pharmaceutical drugs for reducing obesity and its attendant co-morbid inflammatory and diabetic conditions. The researchers refuted the misguided conventional thinking of saturated fats causing obesity. They wanted to investigate the saturated fat coconut oil as a functional food to replace pharmaceutical drugs currently used for obesity that cause adverse side effects. The Brazilian researchers also expressed concern with the abundant schemes and dietary efforts at reducing calories that are impractical and difficult to maintain, not to mention often unhealthy. Using refined carbohydrates and processed vegetable oils to avoid saturated fat is the lifestyle of the unhealthy, as the standard American diet (SAD) has proven. The researchers used refined carbohydrates to create adiposity in their experimental mice. Refined carbohydrates such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and flours used in processed foods are pervasive in our culture and have been recognized by many scientists open to the truth as the real culprits behind obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Use of Coconut Oil as Enema Saves Woman’s Colon from being Surgically Removed due to Colitis After Drugs Failed
A new case study out of Germany just published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology documents the remarkable recovery of a woman who was recommended to have part of her colon removed, including her anus, due to a severe case of Crohn's disease and complicated by diversion colitis. She refused to have a proctectomy (to surgically remove a portion of her colon along with her anus) as recommended by her doctors, and requested a natural approach instead. Therefore, her doctors started daily local administration of three and half ounces of prewarmed coconut oil as a rectal enema. The patient saw immediate results within one week, and after 12 weeks, she was free of pain and returned to work.
As Alzheimer’s Drugs Continue to Fail, Researchers Search for Reasons Why Coconut Oil Cures Alzheimer’s
A group of New York City’s Mt. Sinai Medical School researchers set out to analyze why and how coconut oil affects Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients favorably. They acknowledged some efficacy from coconut oil, and they wanted to know more. Since most drug trials to develop an Alzheimer's drug have failed miserably, the motivation to study coconut oil in order to understand how it positively affects AD was probably motivated by a desire to patent a new drug that could work similar to coconut oil, a natural food that cannot be patented. Their research was based on earlier animal studies of virgin coconut oil’s effect on mouse models of coconut oil as well as other in vitro (lab culture) studies. The researchers also acknowledged the existence of many anecdotal testimonies of AD (Alzheimer’s disease) patients. The Mt. Sinai report was published in the journal Science Direct, Brain Research with the title: Coconut oil decreases expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and secretion of amyloid peptides through inhibition of ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (ARF1).