Natural coconut oil, as opposed to the hydrogenated version often found in processed foods, consists almost entirely of saturated fat, about 92%. You may not like to hear 92% saturated fat, but according to Bruce Fife, and author of “the Coconut Oil Miracle”, when taken as a supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to:
- Promote weight loss
- Help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases
- Prevent premature aging of the skin
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve digestion
Why? What is the key?
Please note that All fats are not equal.
What’s really important is the structure. The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains.
Coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs.
Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
Dr. Mercola explains the difference between MCFAs and LCFAs below.
「By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.
There are several reasons to explain why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil:
- LCFAs are difficult for the body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
- LCFAs put more strain on the pancreas, the liver and the entire digestive system.
- LCFAs are predominantly stored in the body as fat. (That’s why most people buy into the myth that fats are automatically “fattening”.)
- LCFAs can be deposited within arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
On the other hand, however, the MCFAs in coconut oil are more health-promoting, because:
- MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
- MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.」
Fife says that coconut oil also contains caprylic acid (8%) which kills fungus (for example, athlete’s foot fungus) and yeast (candida, as well as vaginal yeast). One or more of coconut oil’s medium chain fats also kill a wide variety of intestinal parasites. Because of its composition and high MFCA content, coconut oil is effective for treating and preventing heart disease, as well as AIDs, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, osteoporous, gallbladder disease, diabetes, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, prostate enlargement, and cancer.
Moreover, Coconut oil is uniquely effective at protecting your health, primarily because of its high concentration (48-50%) of lauric acid. Lauric acid is a very important triglyceride (3-part fat) that breaks down into monolaurin, which kills bacteria and viruses. Besides coconut oil, the only other good source of lauric acid is mother’s milk. Lauric acid is critical for infants because it’s the only protection they have until their immune systems develop. When you think about it, that fact speaks volumes about the power of lauric acid — it keeps babies healthy even in the absence of the immune system! That’s why coconut oil is a critical ingredient in healthy milk formulas.
So, what is the best way to consume? Fife recommends 3 ½ tablespoons (50grams) of coconut oil a day to equal the proportion of MCFAs a nursing baby receives. The same amount of MCFAs can be obtained from 10 ounces of coconut milk, 7 ounces of raw coconut (about half a whole coconut), or 2 ¾ cups dried, shredded coconuts. The easiest way would be changing your regular oil to coconut oil. Also please note that you need to buy “Virgin” coconut oil which is less intense refining – lower temperatures and no chemicals.