Coconut oil was once considered a bad saturated fat. The bad reputation was due to vegetable oil industry lobbying against coconut oil. Plus, saturated fat in coconut oil is high in good polyphenol compounds which can change or negate any bad reaction to these fats.
The thought was that the saturated fat in coconut oil increased chronic heart disease. Actually, new studies have shown that virgin coconut oil actually may reduce your LDL cholesterol and can increase your HDL (good) cholesterol ratio.
This can be very dependent on how you eat .If you eat well, no sugars or carbs but high fiber foods then saturated fat in coconut oil could be beneficial. Meaning you do not eat the standard American diet. Cholesterol ratios are a complex substance with different particle sizes still not fully understood.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid and myristic acid; these are long and medium chain fatty acids (LCFA andMCFAs or MCT).
Controversial studies and touting’s of what coconut oil can do for us are all over the news.
Some earlier studies by Dr. Marie Pierre St Onge, professor of Nutritional medicine at Cornell University, in 2000 and 2009; looked at impacts of long chain and medium chain fatty acids in coconut oils.
It was concluded that MCTs helped with weight management and satiety. Recently many diets have added MCTs powder and oil to their diet programs. These programs have worked for many clients.
But LCFAs can be detrimental in frequent or large amounts.
Pros for coconut oil have taken these interesting studies and expanded their marketing to include many benefits of coconut oils. I recommend using coconut oil in small amounts, just not by the spoonful’s!
Others, against coconut oil, say it is still a saturated fat; it is not healthy and should be avoided. Truthfully, there should be more studies done to find scientific proof of claims. Many of these claims we discuss here have few evidence based studies.
You can cook, bake or stir fry with coconut oil.
This oil is very beneficial and healing for the skin.
In case you have not heard this, your skin is like your second lung, it absorbs everything you put on it. That means whether it is good or bad, chemicals, additives or great essential oils.
So, using good products like coconut oil, on your skin is very beneficial. It can be used both as a carrier oil with an essential oil or plain virgin coconut oil directly on your skin.
Fractionated coconut oil has removed the long chain fatty acids and concentrates the medium chain fatty acids. This leaves lighter oil that is higher in anti-oxidants and more stable.
Suggestions for Using Coconut Oil:
- Coconut oil aids in dry skin, helps to moisturize.
- Helps with hair care, as a conditioner, for dandruff, dry split ends, to give hair a shiny look and even hair growth.
- Fights against fungal growth as in nails, yeast infections or any Candida problems due to caprilic acid.
- Great for teeth and mouth care, helps fight dental cavities, decreases plaque buildup, decreases gum disease.
- Use as a carrier oil with your essential oils, helps absorb the oil into your skin.
- Helps with premature aging by fighting wrinkles and sagging skin; just massage into areas that need repair.
- Controls Skin infections like dermatitis, acne, psoriasis or eczema.
- Coconut oil helps absorb calcium important for teeth and bones; can decrease osteoporosis.
- MCFA’s are helpful in many body systems: digestive, immune, metabolic, kidney and brain.
- Coconut fatty acids are now promoted to help with weight loss, building muscle, helps with energy and endurance. Many of the new diets recommend use of MCFA’s.
Recipe for Coconut oil lotion:
Homemade skin lotion:
½ cup almond or jojoba oil
¼ cup of coconut oil
¼ cup of beeswax
2 TBS. shea butter (optional)
Essential oil (EO) of your choice about 6 drops (rose, lavender)
Heat all oils together, except EO, in a double boiler. Use low to medium heat.
Stir as they melt together. Take it off the heat and add the essential oil.
Pour into jar or tin. Will keep shelf stable, but recommend use within 6 months. You only need a small amount to massage into skin since it is oiler than a lotion.
There have been only rare cases of allergies to coconut oil. In some occasional cases there is some digestive upset.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist, is a Natural Health Consultant helping individuals start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness. Cindy is a speaker, writer and entrepreneur of several businesses.