No doubt about it.  The amazing Coconut fruit and its awesomely wondrous oil by-product are here to stay.  As you may have noticed, coconut oil has experienced an explosive increase in sales in the past several years.  Around two years ago, I personally noticed the product in a local Costco warehouse store shelf, and when I saw that, I had a feeling that they were onto something huge – and my hunch was correct.  Since that discovery, coconut oil can now be found at most local grocery retailers, as well as at the traditional specialty health food retailers.

But when I first came across this new product, I was a bit baffled as to the uses and benefits of this otherwise unfamiliar product – at least here in the United States.  In the online blogosphere, articles like this one began to proliferate on the superfood benefits of this amazing natural resource, predominantly originating in the tropical regions of the world, such as the Philippines and southeast Asia.

Previously unheard of, coconut oil is now becoming a staple cooking oil in many kitchens, replacing traditional vegetable oils.  Food manufacturers are using coconut oil in favor of other oils in packaged products.  The fact is that coconut oil is a heart-healthy food that can help keep your body running smoothly and efficiently in a number of ways.  This uniquely natural oil contains a combination of fatty acids; specifically medium-chain (triglycerides) fatty acids (MCFAs), which contain antioxidant properties and help in the absorption of other minerals.  The beauty is that MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy – rather than being stored as fat.

Possible health benefits associated with the consumption of coconut oil are included below, with details of the study research carried out.

» 6 Ways Coconut Oil can benefit your health

  1. Lowers Cholesterol » Coconut Oil is loaded with saturated fats that actually raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease. Coconut Oil contains an unusual blend of short and medium-chain triglycerides (fatty acids) – specifically lauric, capric, and myristic acids – which are linked to unique health benefits, such as reducing serum cholesterol.
  2. Promotes Weight Loss » The medium-chain triglycerides (fatty acids) in Coconut Oil can speed up energy usage compared to other fats.  The MCTs in Coconut Oil digest as fast as sugar in the body, as they are absorbed by the liver and then distributer via the portal vein into the body.  A 2011 study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information Pharmacology found a reduction in waist circumference of 1.1 inches after four weeks of 1 ounce of coconut oil per day.  The participants did not exercise or go under a restrictive diet. Rather they lost a substantial amount of abdominal fat by adding coconut oil to their diet.
  3. Moisturizes Skin » Coconut Oil can be used as a skin moisturizer because of its vitamin E content and its positive antioxidant action in the body.  This helps stop the damage to the tissues in the body since oxidation is a major source of skin aging.  Its anti-microbial properties can also be useful with things like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and staph infections.  A 2004 study published in the journal Dermatitis found Coconut Oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of people with dry skin.
  4. Improves Brain Function » The MCTs in Coconut Oil provides a “secondary fuel source”, aside from glucose, that the brain and nervous system can function on.  The consumption of MCTs has led to an improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s, according to a 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
  5. Kills Bacteria, Viruses, And Fungi » Coconut Oil has lauric acid, which is believed to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties.  This makes it helpful with various types of infections.  A 2000 study published in the Journal of Bacteriology found lauric acid and monolaurin can kill pathogens like the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
  6. Prevents and Treatment of Candida » Coconut has been shown to prevent and even cure candida.  It provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally.  Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off.  Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effects of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms or Herxheimer Reactions (the name given to the symptoms accompanying body’s rejection of toxins generated during elimination of these fungi).

» References