Coconut oil, once limited to specialist Asian food stores, is now widely available in health food stores, online and supermarkets. Its popularity is due to an increasing number of media reports concerning its health benefits.
While some of the health claims are based on anecdotal evidence, many are grounded in science. Indeed, coconut oil has several properties that set it apart from other vegetable oils.
Before we begin to examine these, its important to address the reasons that coconut oil was formally considered unhealthy.
Saturated Fat The Heart Disease Myth
Coconut oil is made up of several different types of fatty acids:
• Lauric 48%
• Myristic 16%
• Palmitic 9.5%
• Decanoic 8%
• Caprylic 7%
• Oleic 6.5%
• Other 5%
All of these are saturated fats with the exception of oleic acid, making coconut oil around a 90% saturated fat. (For comparison, butter is 57% saturated fat and lard is 32% saturated fat.) For the last four decades, health authorities have advised the public to avoid saturated fats due to an unproven theory linking it to high cholesterol, heart disease and weight gain.
Ironically, as a result of the campaign demonizing saturated fats, the processed food industry and many individuals switched from natural saturated fats like butter to industrially produced trans fats now known to raise levels of LDL bad cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.
Current research is earnestly questioning the link between saturated fat and heart disease. An assessment published in the journal Nutrition uncovered several flaws in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committees 2010 Report. The authors point out that the committees conclusions about saturated fat are based on an incomplete body of relevant science and science which is inaccurately represented or summarized.
Several very large meta-analyses have failed to find a link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. A 2015 systematic review published in the BMJ analyzed data from 50 studies examining links between dietary saturated fat and/or trans fats and various health outcomes. Researchers concluded that saturated fats are not associated with all causes of mortality, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke or type 2 diabetes. In contrast, trans fats are associated with all causes of mortality, coronary heart disease and deaths from coronary heart disease.
A Different Type of Saturated Fat
The predominant form of fat in the standard Western diet is long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). These are absorbed into the blood stream and transported into cells to be metabolized or stored as body fat.
Coconut oil is primarily made up of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs (also known as medium-chain fatty acids). Because MCTs have fewer carbon bonds than LCTs, they are processed differently. MCTs are transported directly to the liver where they are rapidly metabolized for energy.
Coconut oil contains two of the three MCTs found in food: lauric acid and caprylic acid. It is the best dietary source of MCTs, with about eight grams per tablespoon.
Research has shown that replacing dietary LCT with MCT causes a rise in energy expenditure and a lower body fat mass index. Evidence suggests that MCTs also help to reduce inflammation and protects the liver from toxins.
7 Science-Backed Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. Cuts Abdominal Fat
Abdominal obesity, characterized by an apple-shaped figure or a beer belly, is a better predictor of an increased risk for disease than overall BMI.
The National Institutes of Healths obesity guidelines state that women with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference greater than 40 inches are at high risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil seems to particularly target abdominal fat.
In a randomized clinical trial, 40 abdominally obese women were put on a 12-week diet and exercise regime. One group received daily supplements containing soy bean oil and the other received coconut oil supplements. Both groups lost weight, but only the coconut oil group showed a significant reduction in waist circumference. The coconut oil group also had increased levels of HDL good cholesterol. In the soy bean oil group, LDL bad cholesterol increased and HDL diminished.
A 6-month clinical trial examined the effects of coconut oil on 116 male and female patients with coronary artery disease. All of the participants were put on a cholesterol lowering diet. After a 3-month run-in period, one group of patients were given 13 ml of extra virgin coconut oil daily and the other continued with the diet as usual. The diet reduced body weight for both groups, however, the addition of coconut oil led to a significant reduction in waist circumference and a significant increase in HDL.
2. Raises Your HDL Good Cholesterol Levels
natural health benefits coconut oil raises hdl good cholesterol lowers ldl
High density lipoprotein (HDL) is a protein that wraps around cholesterol in the cells and transports it to the liver for recycling. It helps maintain the inner walls of arteries by removing fat deposits that can lead to atherosclerosis.
High levels of HDL are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Coconut oil contains myristic acid which has been shown to raise levels of HDL, along with other fatty acids which have no effect on cholesterol.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12 healthy men were served two diets which were identical except for the type of fat included. One diet contained 40% of calories from palmitic acid (the main component of palm oil) and one contained 40% of calories from myristic acid. After 3 weeks on one diet, the men took a 5-week break and then spent 3 weeks on the other diet. Blood tests showed that both diets had a similar effect on LDL and total cholesterol. However, the myristic acid diet raised HDL by 8% and lowered the ratio of LDL to HDL.
Another study conducted in the Philippines, where coconut oil is commonly used in cooking, examined its effects on cholesterol. A cohort of 1,839 women aged 3569 filled in two 24-hour dietary questionnaires on consecutive days. Researches categorized their intake of coconut oil as low, medium or high. Blood tests showed that coconut oil did not elevate total cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
In pre-menopausal women, moderate or high coconut oil intake was associated with significantly higher HDL compared to women with low coconut oil intake.
3. Promotes Healthy Skin
Coconut oil has several properties that can help improve your complexion. It is an emollient which increases skin hydration, making it an effective moisturizer for dry skin. It also acts as a natural sunscreen. The antibiotic properties of coconut oil can help to treat acne, speed skin healing and prevent infection.
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin. Over-exposure to UV light is a major cause of wrinkles and premature skin aging. Spectrophotometer testing indicates that coconut oil blocks out about 20% of UV rays.
One study evaluated the UV absorption ability of 16 herbal oils in terms of sun protection factor (SPF) values. Olive oil came out on top with an SPF value of 7.5, but coconut oil was a close second with an SPF value of 7.1.
A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology investigated the therapeutic potential of lauric acid for treating acne. Acne outbreaks are commonly triggered by an overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. Antibiotics such as benzoyl peroxide are widely prescribed for acne patients. Laboratory tests showed that lauric acid prevented the growth of P. acnes at concentrations 15 times lower than benzoyl peroxide and was not toxic to human sebaceous glands. In a follow-up study, researchers injected mouse ears with P. acnes. Application of lauric acid effectively decreased the number of acne-causing bacteria and reduced inflammation in the ear.
Another rodent study evaluated the effects of coconut oil on wound healing. Researchers found that rats whose wounds were treated with virgin coconut oil healed much faster than a control group whose wounds were untreated. Analysis of skin wounds showed that the coconut oil reduced markers of inflammation, increased antioxidant enzyme activities and encouraged collagen production.
Method: To moisturize your skin and protect it from the sun, wash your face, pat dry and apply coconut oil with your fingers. Wait for a minute or two to allow your skin to absorb the oil, then use a cotton ball to remove any shiny excess.
To treat acne, insect bites, and minor wounds or burns, dab a little coconut oil directly over the inflamed skin.
read more: 63 Healthy Food and Herbs Beauty Benefits of Peppermint
4. Treats Dermatitis
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Atopic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that causes it to become dry, red, swollen and cracked. It affects approximately 10% of children under ten and 2% of adults.
People with atopic dermatitis are especially vulnerable to skin infections caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Coconut oil coats and penetrates the skin to moisturize it. The MCTs and antioxidants in the oil helps to reduce inflammation, while the lauric acid has antibacterial properties.
A randomized controlled trial examined the effects of topical virgin coconut oil on 117 pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis. The children, aged 113, were divided into two groups. Half received bottles of virgin coconut oil and half received bottles of mineral oil. Parents were instructed to apply the oil to their childs skin twice a day for 8-weeks. In the coconut oil group, 47% of patients achieved moderate improvement in dermatitis symptoms and 46% showed an excellent response. In the mineral oil group, 34% showed moderate improvement and only 19% achieved an excellent response. Coconut oil was also significantly better than mineral oil at improving skin hydration and preventing water loss through the skin.
A trial published in the journal Dermatitis compared the effects of virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil on dermatitis symptoms and Staphylococcus aureus infections. Adult atopic dermatitis patients were randomized to apply either virgin coconut oil or virgin olive oil twice daily to two non-infected sites on their skin. After 4-weeks, 5% of the coconut oil group tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus compared to 50% for the olive oil group. The coconut oil group also showed a greater improvement in dermatitis symptoms.
5. Improves Oral Health
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When coconut oil is used as a mouthwash, the lauric acid reacts with the alkalis in the saliva to form a soap-like substance which coats the teeth and reduces plaque adhesion.
Lauric acid also has antimicrobial properties. It can help to control oral bacteria including Streptococcus mutans, the most common cause of tooth decay.
In a study published in the Archives of Oral Biology, researchers compared the antibacterial effects of coconut oil to chlorhexidine, the active ingredient in antiseptic mouthwash. A total of 50 girls aged 8-12 were randomly assigned to use coconut oil or a chlorhexidine rinse after brushing their teeth in the morning. Under adult supervision, they were given 5-10 ml of the assigned solution and asked to swish it all throughout their mouths and to move it between their teeth. After 30 days, their plaque and saliva were tested for Streptococcus mutans. Coconut oil was just as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash in reducing oral bacteria.
A pilot study assessed the effects of coconut oil on plaque and gum disease. Researchers recruited 60 participants aged 16-18 with plaque-related gingivitis. The subjects were instructed to perform oil pulling with coconut oil every morning in addition to their usual oral hygiene routine. Participants underwent dental examinations at the start of the study and also after 7, 15 and 30 days. After one week of coconut oil pulling, there was a significant decrease in indices of plaque and gingivitis. After a month, the average gingivitis score decreased by 56% and the average plaque score decreased by 68%.
Method: Perform oil pulling as soon as you wake up, before brushing your teeth or eating. Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth. Swish it around your entire oral cavity and push it between your teeth. After 15-20 minutes when your whole mouth is coated with oil, spit the remainder into the trash. (Do not spit it into your sink since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and could block your drain.)
6. Reduces Inflammation
natural health benefits coconut oil reduces inflammation arthritis pain swelling redness joints
Inflammation plays a role in a wide range of disorders including allergies, asthma, arthritis, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular disease.
The standard Western diet, high in omega-6 grains and oils, promotes inflammation throughout the body. Coconut oil is low in omega-6 and the MCTs and antioxidants it contains have been shown to reduce inflammation.
In a laboratory study, researchers extracted polyphenols from virgin coconut oil and injected them into rats with induced arthritis. The solution reduced swelling along with a range of inflammation indicators. It also inhibited the expression of inflammatory genes. The researchers compared the effects of the coconut polyphenols to those of Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug often prescribed for arthritis. The coconut oil solution was found to be more effective at reducing inflammation.
In a small study, 11 women were assigned to one of three diets. All had the same nutrient composition except for the fat and carbohydrate content and type of fatty acids. The women were assigned to either a low-fat diet with coconut oil, a high-fat diet with coconut oil or a high fat diet containing a commercial margarine. The participants followed each diet for 3 weeks, ate normally for a week and then switched to another experimental diet. Blood tests showed the lowest levels of inflammation markers when women consumed the high fat coconut oil diet. The coconut oil diet was also associated with lower levels of an antigen linked to heart disease.
7. Protects Your Liver
Rodent studies suggest that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil may work synergistically with the MCTs to protect the liver from toxins. In one study, mice who were fed coconut oil after being exposed to a toxic drug used in chemotherapy, showed an increase in beneficial liver enzymes and a decrease in inflammatory liver markers.
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, rats were divided into 8 treatment groups. Four groups were fed either a diet containing polyunsaturated corn oil or diets containing 10, 20 or 30% of calories from MCT oil. The other four received the same diets with alcohol substituting for carbohydrates. After 70 days, markers of liver disease were assessed. As the amount of MCT saturated fat in the diet increased, all measures of alcohol-induced liver pathology, including fatty liver disease, were progressively reduced. There was an almost complete elimination of liver disease in the rats who consumed a diet with 30% MCT saturated fat.
In another rodent study, researchers investigated the protective effects of coconut oil against liver damage caused by an overdose of paracetamol (the active ingredient in painkillers such as Tylenol). The rats were pretreated with oral administration of a saline solution or different volumes of virgin coconut oil before being fed a toxic dose of the analgesic. Rats who received the largest dose of coconut oil showed a significant reduction in liver damage compared to the control group. The researchers theorize that the liver-protective effect of coconut oil is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
And more 18 Healthy Herbs Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Your Skin, Hair And Body in below . you can use this tips which we quote from www.organicfacts.net for more your reference Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil. Coconut oil has several health benefits, the most important ones being its usefulness in hair care and skin care.
8. Hair Care
Do you know the reason for long and shining hair of women in tropical coastal regions? Yes, it is coconut oil. Women in tropical coastal regions of the world use this oil for their hair almost daily. This thick butter-like oil helps in healthy growth of hair and makes your hair shiny. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which if unchecked can lead to various unhealthy qualities in your hair. This is the reason why it is used as hair care oil, and in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Now you must be thinking how to use coconut oil for your hair? Just apply it topically on your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask.
Worried about damaged hair? Again coconut oil is the solution. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that it provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.
By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is dandruff free, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs (yes, some people do get lice in their hair).
9. Skin Care
Did you know that coconut oil works great for skin? Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of this oil. Therefore, it has been safely used for thousands of years for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. Yes, you read it right – thousands of years! Coconut oil usage may be termed as a recent fad, but it has been there since ages.
It also helps in treating various skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. For this exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care. What more? It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. The credit to this benefit goes to its well-known antioxidant properties.
10. Weight Loss
Coconut oil is useful for weight loss too. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that it helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest as compared to other edible oils and helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby, burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight. Several people focus on exercises to lose weight, from using indoor machines like leg press machines to outdoor exercises like running and playing sports. While this is a good approach to lose weight, including products like coconut oil enhances your weight loss efforts.
11. Improves Immunity
Coconut oil is also good for improving your immunity. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
12. coconutoilinfographicBoosts Digestion
Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system, and thus, prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats present in it have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
13. Dental Care
Calcium is an important component of our teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in developing strong teeth. It also stops tooth decay. Recent research suggests that coconut oil is beneficial in reducing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.
14. Prevents Candida
Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. Coconut 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. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans.
Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effect 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). But in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil, and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.
15. Speeds Up Healing
When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.
16. Keeping Organs Healthy
The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids in coconut oil helps in preventing liver diseases. This is because those substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing the workload of the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat. It also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones. Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in keeping pancreas healthy by treating pancreatitis.
17. Helps in AIDS & Cancer Treatment
It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing the viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown an indication of this effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients.
18. Boosts Heart Health
This is a controversial topic. There is enough research to prove that coconut oil is not good for the heart due to the presence of saturated fats. While there is also research that shows that coconut oil is good for the heart. Lauric acid present in coconut oil helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. A study suggests that intake of coconut oil may help in maintaining healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women. So, finally, is coconut oil good or bad for the heart? Well, if you are using coconut oil for edible purposes, check your cholesterol levels regularly. If you find them increasing, it is better to stop the intake. In any case, do consult a professional medical practitioner before you start consuming coconut oil. Never play with your (and someone else’s) heart!
According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea. Finally, coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.
Coconut oil is strongly recommended for a number of other benefits that are explained below. Using coconut oil has been shown to mildly help the following:
Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing, and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying it to the head, followed by a gentle massage, helps eliminate mental fatigue. According to research virgin coconut oil gives relief from stress and has antioxidant properties.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also promotes the effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby, preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the development of bones. Thus, it is very useful for women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.
Boosts Energy: Coconut oil is often used by athletes, bodybuilders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that it contains fewer calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy, and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. It helps boost energy and endurance, and generally, enhances the performance of athletes.
Coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease: The research conducted by Dr. Newport states that the oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this, there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge of coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. In fact, traditionally it wasn’t believed to boost the functioning of the brain in any form. The NIH has sponsored a study to check this claim.
Use as Carrier Oil
Carrier oils are those oils, which easily penetrate or absorb into the skin, facilitating seepage or absorption of other oils (such as essential oils) and herbal extracts through the skin when mixed into it. It is easily absorbed through the skin’s pores and thus is used as a carrier oil. Furthermore, being one of the most stable oils, it doesn’t go rancid, nor does it let the other oils, herbal extracts, or medicines spoil inside of it. It does not alter the properties of the oils and herbs mixed within it. It also protects the herbs and oils from microbial or fungal interactions. Coconut oil is expensive in several countries; however, in tropical countries, its cost is low enough to make it affordable as a carrier oil.
Composition Of Coconut Oil
More than 90% of coconut oil consists of saturated fats (Don’t panic! It’s not as bad as it sounds, read until the end of this and your opinion may change), along with traces of a few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil is no different from this.
Saturated fatty acids: Most of them are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body’s systems.
-Lauric acid: It is the chief contributor, representing more than 40% of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin. Lauric acid is helpful in dealing with viruses and diseases.
-Capric acid: It reacts with certain enzymes secreted by other bacteria, which subsequently converts it into a powerful antimicrobial agent, monocaprin.
-Caprylic acid, caproic acid, and myristic acid: They are rich in antimicrobial and antifungal properties
Unsaturated fatty acids: Polyunsaturated fatty acids- linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acids- oleic acid
Poly-phenols: Coconut contains gallic acid, which is also known as phenolic acid. These polyphenols are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of coconut oil. Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these polyphenols.
Derivatives of fatty acid: Betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters.
Derivatives of fatty alcohols: Fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulfate, and fatty alcohol ether sulfate
Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals such as iron.
How To Use And Store Coconut Oil?
Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degrees Celsius or 76-78 Fahrenheit. Therefore, it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperature rises considerably. It is often in this form, and obviously, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.
If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or soaking it in warm water. You can also take some oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (don’t use a microwave). Then, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you don’t need to completely switch to coconut oil because then you will lose other benefits of more traditional oils and dairy products.
In colder countries, coconut oil comes in good, broad containers. However, if you get it in a pack (tetra-pack or plastic pouch), after opening the pack, be sure to keep the oil in containers with a tight lid and broad mouth. This will help you scoop it out with a spoon if it solidifies. Keeping it sealed or lidded is necessary because there are other admirers of coconut oil too (ants, cockroaches, other insects and rodents just love it!).
Natural Health Benefits Coconut Oil Soaps Cleaning Copra Rbd.
If you buy a product simply labeled coconut oil, it was most likely made from copra. Copra is a dried coconut product used for oil extraction and cattle feed. It is also processed into soaps and cleaning products.
Copra oil is referred to in the industry as RBD (refined, bleached and deodorized). These processes do not necessarily involve any toxic chemicals. Bleaching refers to filtering the oil through clay to remove impurities. Heat or steam is used to deodorize the oil.
Coconut oils labeled expeller-pressed have been extracted mechanically, whereas oils without these words on the label have probably been extracted with chemical solvents.
The RDB process results in a bland-tasting coconut oil with very little odor. It also depletes some of the antioxidants. However, RBD oil retains its healthy MCTs and its full profile of fatty acids.
• Refined Coconut Oil
• Pure Coconut Oil Soap, Unscented
• Virgin Coconut Oil
• natural health benefits coconut oil raw organic pure virgin
The definition of virgin or extra virgin coconut oil varies by brand. There is no certification body that guarantees that coconut oil can only be labeled virgin if it meets specific criteria. That said, the term virgin generally indicates an oil is made from fresh coconut.
Most brands of virgin coconut oil are mass-produced. Fresh coconut is dried and put through a hydraulic press. The extracted liquid is then passed through a high-speed centrifuge to separate the oil from the milk.
Virgin coconut oil labeled wet milled skips the drying process and uses liquid pressed from chunks of fresh coconut meat.
Some virgin coconut oils are marked as raw, meaning that no heat was used in processing the oil. Although raw coconut oil is marketed as a healthier option, the evidence actually points in the opposite direction.
A 2013 study published in Food Science and Biotechnology found that antioxidant activity in hot extracted virgin coconut oil was 80-87% compared to 65-70% for cold extracted virgin coconut oil and 35-45% for RBD coconut oil. The same study found that HDL cholesterol increased by approximately 21% in rats who were fed hot extracted virgin coconut oil for 30 days, but did not significantly increase in rats fed raw or RDB coconut oil.
If youre using coconut oil for its health benefits, virgin coconut oil is probably worth paying more for. However, dont let the hype convince you that raw virgin coconut oil is even better. When purchasing coconut oil, always read the label and do research online to find out how it was processed.
Keep in mind that, while the cheap coconut oil available at supermarkets may have been made using chemical solvents, the same is true for any commercial vegetable oil not labeled cold pressed or virgin.
Youll still get the beneficial effects of a low omega-6 oil with high levels of MCTs if you substitute cheap coconut oil for corn oil, soybean oil or sunflower oil.
If you want to experiment with the benefits of coconut oil, keep a jar in your kitchen for culinary uses and another jar in your bathroom for skin care and oral health.
Because coconut oil is saturated, it can withstand high cooking temperatures. Use it instead of vegetable oils for frying, roasting and saut¨¦ing. Substitute coconut oil for butter or shortening in baking and pastry-making.
If you use a commercial moisturizer, try using coconut oil on your skin instead. If you use an antiseptic mouthwash, try oil pulling and see if it makes a difference.