Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and Daily Uses

Coconut oil (copra oil) may provide several health benefits.

A rare mix of fatty acids in coconut oil can have many effects on your body, such as weight loss, heart health, and brain function.

Coconut oil is a source of functional components such as lauric acid.

Lauric acid has valuable properties.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil and its daily use.

health benefits of coconut oil
A jar containing coconut oil, fresh coconut, and coconut shell.

1. Burns Body Fat

Coconut oil contains a type of fat called MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which are saturated fats with a 6–12 carbon chain length.

Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) have 13 to 21 carbons. Thus, the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil affect the body differently and have direct effects on energy and heat production (1, 2).

People believe it increases metabolism and may burn body fat. In reality, coconut oil doesn’t have a direct effect on body weight.

MCTs enter the mitochondria to produce heat and energy during a workout. So you will burn more calories by performing a strong workout.

2. May Prevent Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a growing concern worldwide. The cause of this condition is not clear. However, it is a bona fide medical condition.

The symptoms of this disease are headaches, weak memories, mental confusion, a slight fever, recurring infections, dizziness, rashes, allergies, anxiety attacks, and depression (3, 4).

If you feel exhausted or like being lazy at work with no justification or medical condition, then you might be a victim of CSF!

However, there is no concrete evidence that coconut oil can help with CFS.

Coconut oil has energy boosting and antimicrobial effects that can stabilize the immune system and treat chronic fatigue syndrome (1, 2, 5).

Taking virgin coconut oil in the morning on an empty stomach may reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

3. May Prevent Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease, also known as type 3 diabetes, is a common neurodegenerative disease and one of the leading causes of dementia (6).

Alzheimer’s disease causes cognitive decline due to the accumulation of plaques between neurons.

So, the neurons don’t properly metabolize glucose. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil, particularly the production of ketones in the liver, can provide brain enhancing benefits (7, 8).

4. Boosts Immunity

Coconut oil contains functional components such as LAs (lauric acids) and CAs (capric acids).

A study was published and discussed in order to evaluate the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits of these functional components in coconut oil (9).

Coconut oil metabolites have antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial mechanistic action helps in activating the anti-inflammatory nature of the immune response in the human body (9).

This can help kick-start the immune system and protect the body from viruses and bacteria.

5. May Protect the Liver

There are various liver diseases that cause hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances can lead to viral and chronic liver dysfunction. Most viral and chronic liver diseases are:

1. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral virus.
2. Autoimmune disease (chronic hepatitis) destroys the liver cells.
3. Fatty liver disease (hepatosteatosis) is caused by alcohol abuse and drinking too many mixed drinks.

In an animal study in 2017, they gave rats with fatty liver disease either a high-glucose diet with or without coconut oil (10).

After four weeks, those who consumed coconut oil had better liver function compared to those who did not.

This suggests certain components of coconut oil can provide liver health benefits. Before using coconut oil for liver health, make sure you speak with your doctor.

6. May Reduce Hunger

Some elements of MCTs may help decrease hunger.

The ketones can decrease a person’s appetite. It may relate the appetite-suppressing effects to how your body metabolizes fat (11).

In one study, six healthy males ate different doses of MCTs and LCTs. Those who ate MCTs consumed fewer calories per day (12).

Another study of 14 healthy males found that people who consumed MCTs at breakfast consumed fewer calories at lunch (13).

These were small-scale studies conducted in a short timeframe.

Although coconut oil is one of the greatest natural sources of MCTs, there is no evidence that it suppresses hunger more than other oils.

According to one study, coconut oil is less satisfying than MCT oil (14).

7. May Prevent Viruses

More than half of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid. The highest natural source of lauric acid is coconut oil (15).

When your body digests lauric acid, it produces a molecule known as monolaurin.

Monolaurin can eliminate dangerous organisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi (5).

Test-tube studies, for example, show that these compounds aid in the killing of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which causes staph infections, and the yeast Candida albicans, which is a major cause of yeast infections in people (16, 17).

8. May Reduce Seizures

The ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs and high in fat, is currently being studied by researchers to treat a variety of conditions.

This diet is a well-known therapeutic application in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in youngsters (18).

This diet reduces the frequency of seizures in children with epilepsy, even those who have failed to respond to many types of medicine.

Reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat intake results in significantly higher blood ketones.

Because MCTs in coconut oil travel to the liver and are converted into ketones, healthcare practitioners may recommend a ketogenic diet with MCTs and a reasonable carbohydrate intake to cause ketosis and help treat epilepsy (19, 20).

9. Prevents Bad Breath

Tooth cavities cause discomfort and difficulty eating.

The cause of this condition is the acid made by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans.

Tooth cavities have various colors, such as black, brown, or yellow.

Coconut oil may have the same benefits as some mouthwashes (21).

Coconut oil removes bacteria from the mouth that can cause tooth decay and bad breath.

Pulling coconut oil can prevent both tooth decay and bad breath.

10. Prevents Prostate Enlargement

Some people say that most men will suffer from prostate problems in their lifetime.

BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is one of the most common prostate health problems in men (22).

The “male hormone,” testosterone, converts to a greater effective androgen referred to as DHT (dihydrotestosterone) through an enzyme referred to as 5-alpha-reductase (5 AR).

According to a 2007 animal study, coconut oil reduced the increase of both PW and BW ratios, markers of testosterone-induced PH, in rats (23).

Consult your doctor before using coconut oil to treat prostate problems.

Coconut oil has energy-boosting and antimicrobial effects that can stabilize the immune system. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can provide brain-enhancing benefits. The ketones in coconut oil, known as MCT, may also decrease hunger. MCT is one of the greatest natural sources of medium-chain fatty acids. The ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs and high in fat, is being studied by researchers to treat a variety of conditions. Pulling coconut oil may have the same benefits as some mouthwashes for removing bacteria from the mouth that can cause tooth decay and bad breath. Coconut oil has been shown to boost both good and bad cholesterol levels more than other plant-based oils like olive or canola. In reality, the saturated fat in coconut oil is known to raise bad cholesterol levels, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Proponents believe that some saturated fats in coconut oil (called medium-chain triglycerides) are less harmful and may actually raise levels of good HDL cholesterol. Medium-chain triglycerides account for only a small portion of the fatty acids in coconut oil.

Coconut oil common uses

coconut oil uses
virgin coconut oil with a wooden spoon.

Here are some daily uses for coconut oil.

Benefits of coconut oil on skin

To use coconut oil on dry skin, you may like to mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with your regular moisturizer and massage your body with it.

Use coconut oil regularly until the skin’s dryness disappears.

You can use coconut oil for dry scalp and dandruff.

Rub a small amount of high-quality virgin coconut oil on your skull and hair until they are damp before bedtime.

Wash your hair in the morning with shampoo.

Repeat this until the dandruff disappears.

To get rid of dry and chapped lips, place a small amount of virgin coconut oil on your lips.

Repeat until the crack disappears.

Burns, bee stings, and cuts

Coconut oil is a perfect sunburn remedy.

Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the affected area of the body.

It will reduce inflammation in seconds!

For other minor burns, apply a thin layer of coconut oil over the burn area.

This will reduce the burning sensation within minutes!

Unless you are allergic to bee stings or are experiencing symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, you can treat most bee stings with coconut oil at home.

Apply coconut oil to the sting area.

This will reduce the pain and swelling instantly, in minutes!

If you think you have a deep cut, we recommend seeking medical help.

For minor cuts, apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the cut area and put on the bandage.

The wound will heal quickly!

Coconut oil benefits for male

Men with sensitive skin can rub a small amount of coconut oil on their face before shaving for 2 minutes.

Then apply your shaving cream/foam and shave! This will help with a smooth shave.

Pros and cons of cooking with coconut oil

Coconut oil’s claimed health advantages have aroused discussion in the medical community.

Coconut oil has traditionally been advised to be consumed in moderation due to its high content of saturated fats, which have been linked to heart disease.

Yet, new evidence suggests that not all saturated fats are created equal; while some are still connected to an elevated risk of heart disease, others may potentially be beneficial to health.

Health Pros

Saturated fats are categorized into several types, and not all of them have the same biochemical action in the body.

Previous studies that categorized all sources of saturated fat as unhealthy is being challenged.

Coconut oil is strong in lauric acid, a form of saturated fatty acid that, while raising cholesterol levels, mostly raises HDL, the beneficial type of cholesterol that you want to be high.

Another measure of healthfulness is the chain length of saturated fats.

Coconut oil includes medium-chain triglycerides, which your body uses directly for energy.

Health Cons

Because all oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon, coconut oil is calorically dense.

Oils are one of the items to consider restricting in your diet if you are attempting to lose weight.

Your body requires fats for healthy health, but receiving them from whole foods like whole coconut instead of extracted oils provides fiber and other elements that the oil lacks.

Coconut is high in calories and should be consumed in moderation.

Avoid partly hydrogenated coconut oils, which are unnatural and have been linked to an elevated risk of a variety of chronic diseases.

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