Coconut oil (copra oil) is promoted as superfood for its variety of 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 functions. It plays an essential part in various diets because it is a source of functional components. The major component of coconut oil is Lauric acid. Lauric acid has valuable properties.
1. Burns Body Fat
Coconut oil contains a type of fat called MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which are saturated fat with 6–12 carbon chain length. The long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) come with 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 inside the body , .
People believe it increases metabolism and may burn body fat. In reality, coconut oil doesn’t have a direct effect on body weight. When you consume MCTs, it can enter the mitochondria to produce heat and energy during a workout. So, you will burn more calories by performing a strong workout.
Coconut oil contains a type of fat called MCTs, which are saturated fat with 6–12 carbon chain length. Coconut oil doesn’t have a direct effect on body weight.
2. May Prevents Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a growing concern worldwide, but its cause remains complicated and they name it with the bona fide medical condition. The symptoms of this disease are headache, weak memory, mental confusion, slight fever, recurring infection, dizziness, rashes, allergies, anxiety attacks, and depression , .
If you feel exhausted or 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 CFS. Coconut oil has energy boosting and antimicrobial effects, which can stabilize the immune system and treat chronic fatigue syndrome , , .
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a growing concern around the world, but the cause is still unknown. This condition causes headaches, poor memory, mental instability, a mild fever, persistent infection, dizziness, rashes, and allergies. Coconut oil and CFS are linked because coconut oil can provide energy to prevent fatigue.
3. May Prevent Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s also known as type 3 diabetes is a common neurodegenerative disease, and it is one of the leading cause of dementia . The manifestations of this disease are a cognitive decline, short-term memory loss because of neurotic plaques built up 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 , .
Alzheimer’s disease, also referred to as type 3 diabetes, is a common neurodegenerative disease. Coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids may have brain-boosting effects. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of coconut oil as a mental health treatment.
4. Boosts Immunity
The oil of coconut contains functional components such as LAs (lauric acids) and CAs (capric acids). Study published and discussed in order to evaluate the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits of these functional components in coconut oil . 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 . This can help kick off the immune system to protect the body from viruses and bacteria.
Lauric and capric acids are two functional components found in coconut oil. Many studies have been conducted to determine the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of these functional components, and may boost immunity.
5. May Protect the Liver
There are various liver diseases cause hormonal imbalances and lead to viral and chronic liver dysfunction. Most viral and chronic liver diseases are:
1. Hepatitis is an inflammation in the liver caused by a viral virus.
2. Autoimmune (chronic hepatitis) demolishes the liver cells.
3. Fatty liver disease (hepatosteatosis) caused by alcohol abuse and drinking too much sugary drinks.
Animal study in 2017 , they gave rats with fatty liver disease either a high-glucose diet with or without coconut oil. 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.
Animals with liver disease consumed coconut oil had improved liver function after four weeks. This means that some components of coconut oil can be beneficial to liver health.
6. May Reduce Hunger
Some element 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 metabolises fat . In one study , six healthy males ate different doses of MCTs and LCTs. Those who ate MCTs consumed fewer calories per day.
Another study of 14 healthy males found that people who consumed MCTs on breakfast consumed fewer calories at lunch . These were small-scale studies conducted in a short timeframe. Although coconut oil is one of the greatest natural source 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 .
MCTs may aid in the reduction of hunger, since ketones can reduce a person’s appetite. This could be because of the way your body metabolises fat. Although coconut oil is a natural source of MCTs.
7. May Prevent Viruses and Bacteria
Half of the fatty acid in coconut oil can produce lauric acid . When your body digest lauric acid, it produces a molecule known as monolaurin. Monolaurin can eliminate dangerous organisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi .
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.
Lauric acid in coconut oil produces monolaurin in the body, which can kill hazardous organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
8. May Reduce Seizures
The ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs and high in fats, 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 . This diet reduces the frequency of seizures in children with epilepsy, even in those who have failed to respond to many types of medicines.
Reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing fat intake results in significantly higher blood ketones levels. Because MCTs in coconut oil travel to the liver and converted into ketones. Healthcare practitioners may recommend a keto diet with MCTs and a reasonable carb intake to cause ketosis and help treat epilepsy , .
The ketogenic diet is a well-known strategy in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy. The diet reduces the frequency of seizures in children with epilepsy, even in those who have not responded to a variety of medications.
9. Prevents Bad Breath
Dental cavities are a common condition in which the teeth break and lead to pain and difficulty in eating. The cause of this condition is because of the acid made by bacteria streptococcus mutans. Tooth cavities have various colors such as black, brown or yellow. Coconut oil may have the same benefits as some mouthwashes . It can remove the bacteria from the mouth, which can cause tooth decay and bad breath. Pulling coconut oil can prevent both tooth decay and bad breath.
Coconut oil can have the same benefits as certain mouthwashes. It may remove bacteria from the mouth, which can cause tooth decay and bad breath.
10. Prevents Prostate Enlargement
Some people say that most men will suffer from a prostate problem in life. One of the common prostate problems is BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia) preferred as a prostate enlargement in men. The “male hormone” testosterone converts to a greater effective androgen referred to as DHT (dihydrotestosterone) through an enzyme referred to as 5- alpha-reductase (5ar) .
According to a 2007 animal study , coconut oil reduced the increase of both PW and BW ratio, markers of testosterone-induced PH in rats. We strongly recommend that you speak with your doctor before consuming coconut oil for prostate problems.
BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia), also known as prostate enlargement, is a common prostate problem. In rats, coconut oil decreases the rise in both the PW and BW ratios, which are indicators of testosterone-induced PH.
More Common Uses for Coconut Oil
Besides its health benefits, coconut oil has many other daily uses. Here are some daily uses for coconut oil.
Dry skull, dry skin, and chapped lips
You can use coconut oil for dry skull and dandruff. Rub a small amount of high-quality virgin coconut oil on your skull and hair until it is damp before bedtime. Wash your hair in the morning with your hair shampoo. Repeat this until dandruff disappears. Read more about coconut milk for hair loss.
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. If you want to reap the benefits, use coconut oil regularly until the skin dryness disappears.
To get rid of dry and chapped lips, Place a slight amount of virgin coconut oil on your lips at night. Repeat until the chap disappears.
Burns, bee stings, and cuts
Coconut oil is a perfect sunburn remedy. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the body affected area. It will reduce inflammation instantly 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 bees 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 bee 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 the bandage. The wound will heal quickly! Read more about 10 reasons you should use coconut oil on your tattoo.
Bonus for men
Men with sensitive skin can rub a small amount of coconut oil on their face shaving area for 2 minutes. Then apply your shaving cream/foam and shave! This will help with a smooth shave.
There are over 16 coconut products available, however, coconut milk very trendy these days. Because it is high in both calories and nutrients. Ketogenic diet lovers are familiar with it. You can extract coconut milk from the flesh of coconut, which is the fruit of the coconut tree. The extract has a dense texture and a very rich surface. This milk is part of the South East Asian cuisine. It is also popular in many countries, such as India, various regions of South America, and the Caribbean.
We should not confuse coconut milk with coconut water inside green coconuts. However, the coconut flesh is combined with water to produce coconut milk, which is around half of the water. Read more about health benefits of coconut milk and other uses.
Low-carb diet lovers and people with gluten intolerance are familiar with coconut flour. Coconut flour can have a range of benefits in relation to its extraordinary nutritional profile. Coconut flour comprises medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and plant-based iron. It is also rich in fibre. MCTs in coconut oil are fat associated with a variety of health benefits, such as weight loss, bacteria, and virus protection. It may also enhance brain and heart health functions. Read more about coconut flour benefits, nutrition, and uses.
- Mumme K, Stonehouse W. Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Feb;115(2):249-263. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.10.022. PMID: 25636220.
- Dulloo AG, Fathi M, Mensi N, Girardier L. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8. PMID: 8654328.
- Kabara JJ, Swieczkowski DM, Conley AJ, Truant JP. Fatty acids and derivatives as antimicrobial agents. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1972 Jul;2(1):23-8. doi: 10.1128/AAC.2.1.23. PMID: 4670656; PMCID: PMC444260.
- Cunnane SC, Courchesne-Loyer A, St-Pierre V, Vandenberghe C, Pierotti T, Fortier M, Croteau E, Castellano CA. Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Mar;1367(1):12-20. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12999. Epub 2016 Jan 14. PMID: 26766547.
- Reger MA, Henderson ST, Hale C, Cholerton B, Baker LD, Watson GS, Hyde K, Chapman D, Craft S. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. doi: 10.1016/S0197-4580(03)00087-3. PMID: 15123336.
- Joshi S, Kaushik V, Gode V, Mhaskar S. Coconut Oil and Immunity: What do we really know about it so far? J Assoc Physicians India. 2020 Jul;68(7):67-72. PMID: 32602684.
- Narayanankutty A, Palliyil DM, Kuruvilla K, Raghavamenon AC. Virgin coconut oil reverses hepatic steatosis by restoring redox homeostasis and lipid metabolism in male Wistar rats. J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Mar;98(5):1757-1764. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8650. Epub 2017 Oct 12. PMID: 28862329.
- Stubbs BJ, Cox PJ, Evans RD, Cyranka M, Clarke K, de Wet H. A Ketone Ester Drink Lowers Human Ghrelin and Appetite. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Feb;26(2):269-273. doi: 10.1002/oby.22051. Epub 2017 Nov 6. PMID: 29105987; PMCID: PMC5813183.
- Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):435-44. PMID: 8696422.
- Van Wymelbeke V, Himaya A, Louis-Sylvestre J, Fantino M. Influence of medium-chain and long-chain triacylglycerols on the control of food intake in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Aug;68(2):226-34. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/68.2.226. PMID: 9701177.
- Kinsella R, Maher T, Clegg ME. Coconut oil has less satiating properties than medium chain triglyceride oil. Physiol Behav. 2017 Oct 1;179:422-426. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.07.007. Epub 2017 Jul 6. PMID: 28689741.
- McCarty MF, DiNicolantonio JJ. Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart. 2016 Jul 27;3(2):e000467. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2016-000467. PMID: 27547436; PMCID: PMC4975867.
- Ruzin A, Novick RP. Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus. J Bacteriol. 2000 May;182(9):2668-71. doi: 10.1128/JB.182.9.2668-2671.2000. PMID: 10762277; PMCID: PMC111339.
- Ogbolu DO, Oni AA, Daini OA, Oloko AP. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):384-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.1209. PMID: 17651080.
- Martin K, Jackson CF, Levy RG, Cooper PN. Ketogenic diet and other dietary treatments for epilepsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Feb 9;2:CD001903. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001903.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Nov 07;11:CD001903. PMID: 26859528.
- Chomtho K, Suteerojntrakool O, Chomtho S. Effectiveness of Medium Chain Triglyceride Ketogenic Diet in Thai Children with Intractable Epilepsy. J Med Assoc Thai. 2016 Feb;99(2):159-65. PMID: 27249895.
- Liu YM, Wang HS. Medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diet, an effective treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy and a comparison with other ketogenic diets. Biomed J. 2013 Jan-Feb;36(1):9-15. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.107154. PMID: 23515148.
- Gbinigie O, Onakpoya I, Spencer E, McCall MacBain M, Heneghan C. Effect of oil pulling in promoting oro dental hygiene: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2016 Jun;26:47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.02.011. Epub 2016 Feb 20. PMID: 27261981.
- de Lourdes Arruzazabala M, Molina V, Más R, Carbajal D, Marrero D, González V, Rodríguez E. Effects of coconut oil on testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in Sprague-Dawley rats. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;59(7):995-9. doi: 10.1211/jpp.59.7.0012. PMID: 17637195.