Nutritional Benefits of Coconut Oil

by Rhonda Wylie on May 18, 2012


Coconut Oil
Coconut oil as a dietary supplement can be very beneficial in many ways. Coconut oil  is commonly referred to as one of the  “good fats.” Often, people tend to forget about the good fats when trying to support a balanced diet. Coconut oil contains three important fatty acids – lauric acid, caprillic acid, and capric acid.

Lauric Acid

Coconut oil in its purest form contains about 50% lauric acid. Lauric acid is a saturated fat found in vegetable fats, and, specifically, coconut oil. When broken down in the body, lauric acid is converted to monlaurin, a monoglyceride compound known to destroy fungus, bacteria, and viruses. Often it is used to treat such conditions as ringworm, athlete’s foot, herpes, measles, influenza, hepatitis C and HIV. The only other place lauric acid is found in such high concentrations is in a mother’s breast milk.

Caprillic Acid

Caprillic acid is an eight-carbon, short chain fatty acid. It is known for its natural anti-microbial properties. Because of its natural, safe qualities, it is often used as a disinfectant in hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants; etc. It is totally safe to use on surfaces that come in contact with food. As a health benefit, caprillic acid is considered  most effective when fighting off fungal infections. When sold in a supplement form, it is often touted for its ability to reduce the candida overgrowth in the body. Robert Harrison, a Natural Health Consultant, does a very good job of explaining  what candida is; how to decide if you have an overgrowth; and the havoc the overgrowth can have on your bodies. For more information about candida yeast infections, check out Harrison’s article, “Candida Yeast Infections — What You Need To Know” (http://www.candida-yeast-infection-relief.com/?gclid=COjc88Skh7ACFQOFnQodmw7Rjw).

Capric Acid

Capric Acid, also known as decanoic acid, is a 10-carbon fatty acid found in animal fats, milk, and plant oils. It is often used in the manufacture of perfume, fruit flavorings, and lubricants, to name a few. Proponents of capric acid believe it is beneficial in maintaining proper insulin levels, making it beneficial for pre-diabetics, as well as diabetics.

Like lauric acid and caprillic acid, capric acid also has significant antimicrobial and antiviral qualities. It helps to “combat viruses, bacteria and yeast Candida albicans” (Odebunmi, 2011).

Capric acid  is also known to break down quickly in the body, making it a good source of energy; therefore, possibly contributing to weight loss due to increased calorie burn.

Other Diseases Which Might Improve by Using Coconut Oil

In addition to the illnesses mentioned above, some doctors and authorities on coconut oil swear by the benefits of using coconut oil with hypothyroidism, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, allergies, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, just to mention a few.

Summary
Based on the research I have done thus far, coconut oil has many benefits. Although I have not started yet, I am strongly considering incorporating more coconut oil into my diet. The question is how much and in what form? Are supplements effective? Is extra-virgin coconut oil the best? As you can see, I still have more research to do and questions to answer. I hope you will keep checking back as we explore these questions and more. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them and I will do my best to try to answer them. One thing is definitely apparent – coconut oil isn’t just for cooking, any more.

References:

“Benefits of Coconut Oil as a Supplement” http://www.livestrong.com/article/102493-benefits-coconut-oil-supplement

“Lauric Acid  Overview Information” http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1138-LAURIC%20ACID.aspx?activeIngredientId=1138&activeIngredientName=LAURIC%20ACID

“Learn About the Many Benefits of Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil”
http://www.naturalnews.com/026819_lauric_acid_coconut_oil_infections.html

“Coconut Oil and Heart Disease” http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10132.htm

“Candida Yeast Infections — What You Need To Know” http://www.candida-yeast-infection-relief.com/?gclid=COjc88Skh7ACFQOFnQodmw7Rjw

“Capric Acid from Coconut Oil May Lead to Better, Safer Drug for Diabetes” http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/capric-acid-from-coconut-oil-may-lead-to-better-safer-drug-for-diabetes/

Odebunmi, Olu, 2011.”Benefits of Capric Acid” http://www.livestrong.com/article/475060-benefits-of-capric-acid/

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Written by Rhonda Wylie

Rhonda Wylie

Rhonda is a self-taught entrepreneur, blogger, and aspiring freelance writer, who is always eager to take on new challenges. She is on a self-improvement mission of cleaning out the negative clutter of her own life so she can become a happier, healthier, and more productive individual. Her hope is to inspire each person to eliminate the negative clutter that’s weighing them down, so we can all live our best life EVER!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

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