Raw virgin coconut oil (Philippines)

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Raw virgin coconut oil (Philippines)

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People love this oil. It is probably the most popular raw virgin coconut oil in the world. It is from the world’s oldest producer. Quality wise our Thai and Vietnam oils are in a different league but this is the jar of coconut oil where you open it up and get overtaken by a bit of tropical bliss.

If you love the smell of Coconut Ice this is the oil for you. We showcase our oils at local Auckland markets and this is the oil that generally brings a big smile to people’s faces when they take the smell test.

But apart from this particular oil opening up a window to coconut heaven why would you choose raw virgin coconut oil?

Eating foods rich in saturated fats is essential if we want to live long, strong and healthy lives. People who live in tropical climates and consume a diet rich in coconut oil are healthier, have less coronary disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune disease than unsaturated fat eaters.

There is no one reason why virgin coconut oil is such an exceptionally health promoting food but it's hard not to single out Lauric Acid. It is antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and antiprotozoal.

Some of the benefits that you can expect to achieve by switching to coconut oil include:

  • A more favourable HDL and LDL cholesterol ratio when you start cutting out the polyunsaturated oils in your diet
  • Studies have found that the consumption of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) can boost your metabolism by almost 50% with the effect lasting for up to 24 hours
  • Consumption of virgin coconut oil can be part of the pathway to turning yourself into a fat burner rather than a sugar burner. Coconut oil is a direct source of energy (glucose) and at the same time helps to maintain blood sugar and insulin levels
  • Blood sugar swings can be reduced and controlled by including coconut oil before or during a meal
  • Raw coconut oil is ruthlessly effective against Candida. The symptoms of Candida? Fatigue, poor concentration, recurring infections related to yeast, sinus. The list goes on
  • A reduction in the craving for sugar and carbohydrates by killing off the yeast in your gut that feed and flourish off sugar
  • Weight loss. Whether it is because your thyroid becomes activated, yeast infections are brought under control or you simply start to experience the feeling of fullness that regular eaters of coconut oil experience, weight loss is a common story of people who transition from a low fat/polyunsaturated diet to the introduction of coconut oil

It’s a great oil. It’s produced through a very traditional cold pressing technology. I doubt the formula has changed for hundreds of years. You sometimes get a bit of residual fibre and protein that you don’t get with our Thailand and Vietnamese oils but nutrition wise it is still a quality choice.

It’s a quality oil and we offer it with a full money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

As a dietary ingredient raw virgin coconut oil is unparalleled in its ability to supply such a large range of functional food elements. The broad spectrum of nutritional elements provides the powerhouse that underpins coconut oils amazing health giving qualities.

Medium chain fatty acids

Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)
There are countless pieces of research documenting coconut oil as a highly nutritious food and weight loss facilitator and one of the main reasons is coconut oils fatty acid profile. The MFCAs in coconut oil prevent it being stored as surplus body fat.

Aside from weight loss there is a lengthy list of health promoting qualities associated with the consumption of MCFAs, they:

  • Are important antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiprotozoal agents that can make up the building blocks of your healthy immune system. They make a significant contribution to a healthy gut flora but also support the maintenance of other healthy gut bacteria
  • Are nature's richest source of Lauric acid, a potent germ fighter
  • Move oxygen through the bloodstream to the cells and into them
  • Provide the free-electrons that the immune system uses to destroy invaders
  • Aid cell development and maintain functioning
  • Are necessary for strong organs and tissues (cell walls are constructed of MCFAs)
  • Keep skin healthy
  • Prevent premature ageing, and
  • Stimulate the functioning of the thyroid gland

MCFAs also make their way to the skin, sinus and other parts of the body which is also an important part of the process of defending against microbial infection.

Lauric acid

Lauric Acid Benefits
The original uses of lauric acid where in cosmetics and soaps. The recognition of the value of lauric acid in the diet came later.

Lauric acid is unique in its antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal capacity. It generally accounts for about 50% of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil. It is converted in the body to monolaurin which is the antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the body to destroy lipid coated viruses such as herpes, influenza, HIV and a range of pathogenic bacteria that includes Listeria strains, Helicobactor strains, It also works on protozoa like Giardia.

The range of Lauric acid benefits include:

  • Consumption of fats rich in Lauric acid results in more favour serum lipid profile (cholesterol) and disease free heart
  • It has a rather unique ability to be able to interact with both water and fat, allowing water to dissolve fat. For this reason it is included in shampoo for its grease removal qualities
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Has the ability to dissolve kidney stones
  • Promotes the absorption of minerals and calcium which strengthens bones and teeth
  • Aid the management of inflammatory disease by increasing production of the anti-inflammatory compound interleukin-10 

Inflammation
Interleukins are chemicals produced by white blood cells to modulate inflammation and the immune system. They are not stored in the body but are secreted by cells when something like sickness or immune threat appears. There are dozens of different types, with different functions.

Lauric acid has a role in modulating the body's interleukin response, it:

  • Works to increase production of the anti-inflammatory Interleukin-10
  • Has a role in limiting the over expression of Interleukin-6. The uncontrolled production of Interleukin-6 is associated with the development of many autoimmune diseases, and
  • Assists with the regulation of Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) which has a role of inducing necrosis (death) in tumour cells but has a significant role in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis when TNF over-expresses and refuses to turn off even when the threat has been rendered safe

Capric acid

Monocaprin
Approximately 7% of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil are Capric acid. Just as Lauric acid turns into monolaurin in the human body, Capric acid turns into monocaprin and which has similar antiviral ability.

Monocaprin and monolaurin work in a preventative as well as restorative manner. They tend to keep the unwanted bacteria in check so that if your body is under threat from a virus, it can concentrate on killing the virus. Monocaprin works to ensure the body's immune system is not sidetracked to deal with a multitude of other minor problems and can concentrate on winning the main battle.

Caprylic acid

Chronic Yeast Infection Response
A key benefit of Caprylic acid is that it is extremely effective against recurring or chronic yeast infections, particularly those caused by candida albicans. it also works on skin yeast infections like ringworm and vaginitis.

It is also effective on various forms of bacterial infections and works by dissolving the cell walls of the bacteria and making them semi-permeable. As the cell chain is quite short it can easily penetrate the wall membranes of the bacteria cells and destroy them.

It is also soluble in fat which helps to fight those bacteria which are covered with lipd (fat) coatings like the Streptococcus bacteria which cause throat infection. It is also effective against:

  • Salmonella
  • E.coli and food poisoning, and
  • Inflammatory conditions that lead to diseases like Chron's disease

Caprylic acid is highly permeable which contributes to the ability of coconut oil to penetrate readily into the skin.

Appetite Suppressant
There are also a number of pieces of research that showed Caprylic acid leads to decreased appetite. A Swiss study concluded that 'Caprylic acid acts in the liver to produce a signal that inhibits feeding'.

Monoglycerides

Lipid (fat) Structure
The property that determines the antiviral and antibacterial function of a lipid is its structure, i.e. monoglyceride, diglyceride or triglyceride. The monoglycerides are active, diglycerides and triglycerides are inactive.

Monolaurin is a monoglyceride that kills lipid coated virus both through an enveloping process and interference with virus structure and maturation. Monocaprin and monocaprylin are also extremely powerful antimacrobial agents.

Monolaurin is the most frequently used antimicrobial supplement in food manufacturing, given it is the most potent monoglyceride against bacillus and staphyloccus infections.

It is widely used in cosmetics. Colgate-Palmolive have been using monolaurin in shampoo since 1935.

Tocootrienols

Vitamin E
Whilst most people know Vitamin E simply as Vitamin E, it is in fact composed of two distinct families of molecules that serve unique purposes. The two types of Vitamin E are tocopherols and tocotrienols.

If you buy a Vitamin E supplement you will be buying a tocopherol that will be some sort of mixture of alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopherols.

Modern research indicates that to receive the full antioxidant benefits of Vitamin E, you need to be consuming both tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Tocotrienols are about 50 times more potent in their antioxidant power than tocopherols. Tocotrienols also distribute themselves more evenly in the fatty layers of cell membranes.

Tocotrienols are effective in preventing and treating serious degenerative diseases, like:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke induced damage
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis, and
  • Cardiovascular disease

As a dietary ingredient raw virgin coconut oil is unparalleled in its ability to supply such a large range of functional food elements. The broad spectrum of nutritional elements provides the powerhouse that underpins coconut oils amazing health giving qualities.

Ageing

Supports Ageing
There are numerous pieces of research and anecdotal evidence to show that coconut oil helps support normal, healthy ageing. There are a number of components to the assistance coconut oil provides with healthy ageing, including:

  • The range of benefits that coconut oil provides to the blood inhibits free radical damage and cancer formation particularly through the maintenance of white blood cell count and function
  • Supporting cardiovascular health
  • Actively guarding against and expelling disease causing virus, bacteria and fungus from the system which supports a stress-free immune system

Fat Absorption
As we age the body does not function as well as it did in earlier years. The pancreas does not make as many digestive enzymes and the enzymes do not absorb nutrients as well and the whole process of digestion and elimination moves at a lower rate of efficiency.

This tends to lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This group of problems can be alleviated by the addition of coconut oil to the diet. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) do not require any support from the pancreas and unlike other fats are absorbed directly from the intestines into the portal vein and to the liver for energy production.

Bone, joint & inflammation

Disease and Sickness Pathway
There 
is an emerging body of evidence that inflammation is the major contributing factor in the onset and development of disease.

The rate of use of anti-inflammatory drugs has increased exponentially in the last ten years, but while anti-inflammatory medication help with the symptoms they do not treat the cause and they interrupt the natural healing process.

Coconut oil works to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic imflammation by moderating the body's anti-inflammatory response.

Inflammation is an immune response to an infection, injury or irritation. Inflammation is part of the body's natural defence system against disease and injury. When our immune response is out of synch it can lead to chronic inflammation.

The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in raw coconut oil helps protect against a prostaglandin over-response. As well as inhibiting the response the MCFAs work on the source of inflammation.

Cancer risk & prevention

Cancer Promotion
The type of fat you consume has a big impact on your cancer risk. Multiple laboratory tests have shown that that diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids promote cancerous tumours. Meaning the presence of the oil helps to speed up the production of existing cancer cells.

The experiments have shown omega 6 is the fatty acid involved and oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil and corn oil are effective cancer promoters.

Raw coconut oil has XX omega 6 which is in the range generally considered desirable. Plus it delivers the omega 6 to the body in concert with the protective factors of its saturated fatty acids.

Melanoma
People with melanoma have been found to have high concentrations of polyunsaturated oils in their skin. Polyunsaturated oils are oxidised readily in ultraviolet radiation from the sun and form harmful free radicals. These free radicals damage the cell's DNA and can lead to the formation of cancer cells.

The saturated fats in raw coconut oil are stable in ultraviolet light. They do not oxidise or promote the formation of free radicals.

Breast Cancer
A study in Sweden (1998) looked at over 60,000 women between the ages of forty and seventy five and mapped the relationship of breast cancer to types of fat.

The study showed a positive correlation between breast cancer and polyunsaturated fat and an inverse association in the women who consumed monounsaturated fat. The results for saturated fat were neutral.

Cardiovascular

Heart Health
There are decades of research confirming that the addition of coconut oil to the diet has been shown to be beneficial in combating and reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease.

Studies of populations that traditionally use coconut oil in their diet show that the use of coconut oil does not lead to high serum cholesterol nor to high coronary heart disease mortality or morbidity. In fact the reverse is true.

There are numerous studies that show the addition of coconut oil to the diet results in an increase in the HDL cholesterol level. Conversely the consumption of polyunsaturated oils leads to the lowering of this beneficial lipoprotein.

Prior et al. (1981) studied a number of Pacific Island populations with high levels of coconut oil consumption and concluded that there was no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect on those populations. The study further showed that when these populations migrated to New Zealand and decreased their consumption of coconut oil, their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol increased and their HDL cholesterol decreased.

Protective Factors
There is no evidence that indicates that good quality saturated fat from raw coconut oil is detrimental to heart health, but rather it acts as a protective factor. There are a number of factors that work towards protecting heart health:

  • Raw coconut oil regulates blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and these actions form part of the coconut oil heart health protection framework
  • Lowers elevated total serum cholesterol levels but also increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Lowers VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein 'bad') cholesterol
  • Unlike polyunsaturated oils coconut oil prevents oxidisation of cholesterol which is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis (thickening artery walls)
  • Stimulates the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenalone
  • Increases the production of Interleukin 10
  • Lowers Interleukin 1 (beta) levels
  • Lowers Interleukin 6 levels
  • Lowers Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF) levels
  • Lowers elevated serum triglyceride levels
  • Lowers Lipoprotein (a) levels which is the most accurate indicator of coronary heart disease risk, and
  • The antimicrobial effect of coconut oil potentially plays a role in heart disease prevention by eliminating bacterial or viral lesions on the artery walls

Ischemic Heart Disease
Ischemic heart disease is characterised by the build-up of plaque in the arterial walls causing blockages and reduced blood flowing to the heart.

A 1978 study of Sri Lanka, where coconut oil is the predominant oil showed a death rate from ischemic heart disease of 1 per 100,000. The rate in countries with low coconut oil consumption ranges from 18 to 87 per 100,000.

Mitochondria
Unsaturated fatty acids are directly toxic to mitochondria (a cell sub-set that generates most of its power). Stored unsaturated fats appear to pose a particular threat to health. During stress local tissue fats (including in the heart) are released and this is particularly a risk with unsaturated fats.

A certain portion of saturated fat is essential for mitochondria stability. The body can normally generate the amount required from carbohydrate or protein. However, with the amount of unsaturated many people commonly consume, that normal generation abiity is severely compromised. The result is cardiac necrosis.

Cognitive & mental functioning

Feeding the Brain
Taking into account one of the most important factors that leads to cognitive degeneration as we age, the daily consumption of raw virgin coconut oil is akin to having an insurance policy.

The brain is not able to use the energy that is derived from fatty acids. Thus when carbohydrate levels are low, as they might be between meals, or during a period of fasting, the brain produces its own alternative supply of energy called ketones. Ketones are produced from fats stored in the liver in response to low glucose levels.

Unfortunately as we age the body can lose its ability to make ketones and this is significant in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Coconut oil is the most significant alternative source of ketones. A portion of the medium-chain fatty acids (MSFAs) in coconut oil break down into ketones which means regardless of whether there is a supply of carbohydrates in the body, coconut oil will provide a continuous supply of ketones. It provides us with a back-stop to ensure that the brain always has an uninterrupted supply of energy.

It is important to note that the starving of the brain and consequent degeneration that leads to Alzheimer's is taking place for years prior to there being any visible signs of damage which provides raw coconut oil with incredible preventative potential.

Daily health & wellbeing

Functional Food
Coconut oil is classified as a functional food. It contains medium-chain fatty acids (MSFAs) that provide both the nutrients for energy making and the raw material that produces antimicrobial and antibacterial fatty acids and monoglycerides that provide the wide range of functional benefits that can be attributed to coconut oil and other coconut products. 

Coconut oil in the diet works to normalise the lipid (essential fat, oils, waxes) that are a basic building block of the human body. Our cell membranes are 50% saturated fat and the saturated fat is what gives them shape and holds them together.

MCFAs
This type of saturated fat does not need to be emulsified by bile salts but is absorbed directly from the small intestine to the liver, where it is converted into quick energy.

MCFAs have antimicrobial, antitumor and immune-system-supporting properties, especially 12-carbon Lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid principally only found in virgin coconut oil in any significant quantity. Lauric acid is highly protective with antifungal and antitumor properties.

Dental health

Oil Pulling
One of my favourite uses of coconut oil is Oil Pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine which simply consists of putting a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and sucking and pushing it through your teeth for 20 minutes and then spitting it out.

There are a number of reasons why Oil Pulling is an effective remedy for a range of periodontal diesease and conditions. The human mouth contains a large number of bacteria; at any one time about 500 different types of bacteria exist in your mouth. It is this bacteria that is responsible for forming the plaque film over your teeth.

Plaque has been identified as the forerunner of many health problems. Plaque can set up a sequence of events

  • The mineral salts in saliva combine to form hard deposits on the teeth that cannot be removed by brushing, generally known as tartar or calculus
  • Plaque builds up at the gum line, and the gap between gums and teeth provides safe space for bacteria to hide and proliferate
  • The toxins produced by the bacteria irritate your gums and cause them to become inflamed and bleed, ultimately leading to gingivitis
  • The inflammation causes the gums to separate from the teeth and the little holes and spaces that are formed become infected
  • Ultimately the connectivity between gums, teeth and jawbone is eaten away, and
  • Ultimately the degredation becomes so marked that bacteria are given more and more access to the teeth and teeth start falling out

As to why Oil Pulling is effective for dental health? If you would like some in-depth information you can read Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife but some of the basics include:

  • If you Oil Pull with raw coconut oil you are using an oil that is highly antibacterial. Raw coconut oil has been proven effective against a large number of the bacteria that inhabits the human mouth
  • Effective Oil Pulling lasts for 15 to 20 minutes which provides time for the oil to pass forward and back through the teeth hundreds of times and keeps the bacterial fighting oil in your mouth for a considerable period of time. General teeth cleaning rarely lasts more than 3 minutes and mouth washing generally is over in 10 seconds
  • Oil Pulling tends to work on the whole mouth and the tiny cavities, the emphasis is not the teeth. Generally when you brush your teeth you are concentrating on your teeth and missing one of the most important things which is the general colony of harmful bacteria in your mouth, and
  • Pulling oil through your teeth creates significant pressure. Because you have to keep your mouth tightly shut the mouth becomes a closed system and the pressure (PSI) that can be exerted is considerable. Enough to penetrate deeply into all the holes and crevices

The scientific evidence is a bit thin on the ground because it is not a subject that people are drawn to study but the anecdotal body of evidence behind it is huge.

Detox

Oil Pulling
Oil Pulling has been cited as an effective 'detox' of harmful bacteria from the body and responsible for a wide range of health improvements. The conditions that are generally associated with benefiting from Oil Pulling include:

  • Arthritis and joint problems
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Menopause
  • Chronic Infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes, and
  • A whole range more

There are numerous people who will attest to the benefits of Oil Pulling on oral health (I am one of them) but how does that lead to a cure for arthritis?

The answer seems to lie in the fact that the bacteria in your mouth and the cause of many diseases and health conditions. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, cured arthritis through pulling teeth and Dr Western Price (previous Head of the American Dental Association) documents hundreds of cases in his journals of pulling teeth and curing arthritis and fibromyalgia.

The connection is generally considered to be:

  • Periodontis or general gum and tooth degradation and decay creates holes and fissures that allow access to bacteria but tend to be difficult to reach with conventional teeth brushing
  • These pockets provide a safe breeding ground for bacteria that would normally be attacked by the body's protective mechanisms and allows them to breed exponentially
  • From the mouth they can then easily migrate through to the rest of your body, simply through the action of swallowing saliva that contains the bacteria
  • Bacteria also produce toxic substances called exotoxins and endotoxins
  • Exotoxins are excreted by living bacteria or released on their death. They work at disrupting normal cell metabolism and work very effectively as they do not need to pass through your intestinal tract but can pass through the mouth capillaries directly into the bloodstream
  • Endotoxins are found in the outer structural layer of bacteria and present significant threat to the immune system through triggering the release of pro-inflammatory substances that have the potential to create 'endotoxic shock', and
  • Bacteria invading the body are likely to seek out the safest havens, which generally equates to areas with the least amount of blood, namely the joints

Whilst at first hearing it sounds absurd that Oil Pulling can cure or moderate a large range of diseases and conditions it becomes a more plausible possibility when you consider the effctiveness in destroying harmful mouth bacteria.

Diabetes & blood

Type 2 Diabetes
A study in animals in 2009 showed that the addition of coconut oil to the diet protects against the condition known as 'insulin resistance' (a cells decreasing ability to respond correctly to the presence of insulin). The study also showed that the addition of coconut oil did not lead to the accumulation of body fat compared to the use of other types of fat.

One of the study's authors Dr Nigel Turner (Australia) said 'the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are interesting to us because they behave differently to the fats normally found in our diet.

Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are able to enter a cell's mitochondria (the energy burning parts of the cell) directly, and they can be converted to energy directly. MCFAs are very effective at increasing the oxidative capacity of muscles which leads to better insulin regulation and decreased fat storage. Two of the significant markers for the onset of diabetes.

Blood Cholesterol
The addition of coconut oil to the diet has a positive impact on the all important HDL and LDL cholesterol balance. Raw coconut oil has the effect of increasing the HDL (good) cholesterol and developing a favourable HDL/LDL balance.

The most accurate indicator of health or risk is the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol. A significant number of studies have shown the positive benefits of coconut oil on the base HDL marker.

Platelet Stickiness
Platelet stickiness (part of a blood cell primarily involved in blood clotting) is a significant heart risk indicator that can be brought on for a number of reasons, including non-diet reasons like stress.

The common polyunsaturated cooking oils also encourage blood platelet stickiness. The actions responsible for this are generally tied up in the length of the fatty acid chain. The long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) in polyunsaturated oils tend to:

  • Be difficult for the body to break down as they need to be packaged in lipoproteins (acting as carrier proteins) so that they can be digested
  • Be deposited in the arteries as lipids
  • Store as fat and have the tendency to be released into the bloodstream during times of stress and non-optimal health, and
  • Put strain on the digestive system, particularly the liver and the pancreas

The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil work very differently:

  • MFCAs are smaller and do not support blood platelet stickiness
  • Permeate cell membranes easily and do not require the presence of any special enzymes to be used as energy
  • They are digested, rather than stored and put less strain on the digestive system generally, 
  • Stimulate the body's metabolism which also has significant influence on blood and heart health

Gut health

Monolaurin and Gut Health
The monolaurin in coconut oil derived from Lauric acid does not have an impact on the healthy gut flora essential for good health but rather only acts on other potentially pathogenic micro-organisms . There is a wide range of potentially pathogenic bacteria killed or inactivated by monolaurin.

A number of fungi, yeast and protozoa have been shown to be killed by lauric acid and monolaurin. Including ringworm, Candida and Giardia.

Gallbladder
People with gallbladder problems, or those people with difficultly digesting fats frequently benefit from the consumption of coconut oil since it does not require the presence of pancreatic enzymes or bile for it to be broken down for use by the body. This is a significant difference to the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Digestive Disorders
For people with Chron's disease, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers or other digestive disorders coconut oil can play a role in soothing inflammation and healing injury in the digestive tract. Coconut oil also assists with the ability to absorb food which is severely hampered with digestive disorders and can lead to nutritional deficiency.

Coconut oils antimicrobial properties also affect intestinal health by killing invading microorganisms that have the potential to cause chronic inflammation.

An American doctor Dr Cohen (head of the Naylor Dana Institute for Disease Prevention New York) noted the ease with which the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil are digested and absorbed and started feeding coconut cookies to patients in the clinic as a means of providing high energy lipid (fat) to patients with disorders of lipid digestion (pancreatitis), lipid absorption (Chron's disease) and lipid transport (chylomicron deficiency).

Unlike other fatty acids the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are absorbed directly from the intestine and sent straight to the liver where they are burned as fuel and can help liver function in many ways. One study showed that coconut oil can help to prevent alcohol-induced liver damaged by inhibiting the formation of free radicals (Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2002). Additional research has suggested that coconut oil may also help to rejuvenate damaged liver tissue.

Liver Protection
The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) support liver functioning by being transported to the liver and burned as energy. A study from the American College of Nutrition 2002 reported that coconut oil can help prevent alcohol induced liver damage through the inhibition of free radicals.

There is also research showing that coconut oil can have a rejuvenating effect.

Immune & respiratory

Virus Protection
The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil have powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties. They are able to treat bacteria, fungi and viruses. They are able to treat and provide protection from quite virulent viruses like herpes simplex.

Candida
Lauric Acid and Capric Acid are both effective in treating the internal yeast problem candidasis.

Lipid Coated Viruses
Monolaurin which is synthesised in the body from Lauric Acid is effective in inactivating and destroying lipid-coated viruses. The range of lipid-coated viruses it is effective against includes:

  • Influenza
  • Pneumonia
  • Rubeola (measles)
  • Hepatitis
  • SARS
  • Vesicular Stomatis Virus (VSV)
  • Herpes Simplex Virus, and
  • HIV

Coconut oil is one of the few effective virus treatments. Antibiotics are not effective. Coconut oil has a treatment and preventative benefit.

Clinical trials have been conducted in the Phiiippines on the effectiveness of monolaurin against viral infection and the results generally showed a 50% reduction or greater in viral load. The study also indicated that the monolaurin in coconut oil was more effective than a monolaurin supplement.

I personally have not had a viral infection since 2008. On the rare occasions where I feel like I might be developing some sort of flu I increase my intake of coconut oil to about 3 or 4 tablespoons for a day or two and inevitably wake up fine the next morning.

Monocaprin
Monocaprin from Capric acid has been shown to be effective against sexually transmitted viruses HSV-2 and HSV-1 and also against the virus gonorrhoea.

When applied to infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus.

Maternal & infant health

Infant Immune System
The immune system of babies is only starting to reach full capacity at the age of six months and as any parent can tell you that the first five years can be a constant stream of colds and viral infections.

Adding raw coconut oil to the diet (both through mother and child) of a young infant will add abundant quantities of coconut oil's monolaurin and monocaprin and provide significant antimocrobial protection in those early years both through ingestion in the form of mother's breast milk and also through the introduction of coconut oil into the children's diet.

I am aware of a number of mother's of pre-school age children who attend day care have started adding coconut oil to their child's diet and the number of flu, runny nose and cold symptoms have dropped dramatically.

Most young children enjoy the taste of a good quality raw virgin coconut oil and will see a spoonful of coconut oil as a treat. A spoonful morning and night provides significant antiviral protection, particularly when children are attending pre-school.

Lauric Acid
Just like breast milk, coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid. A study published in the 1998 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that lactating women who consumed coconut oil and other coconut products on a regular basis had significantly higher levels of lauric acid in their breast milk.

Pregnant women who wish to increase the levels of lauric acid in their breast milk should consume coconut oil and other coconut products. Studies have shown that the level of lauric acid in breastmilk can be significantly increased by consuming coconut oil on a daily basis. The study cited increases of up to three times.

Infant Digestion
The gut friendly way in which medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are metabolised by the human body can assist in easing the range of stomach and digestive tract problems that often frequently upset infants. The antimicrobial properties of the MCFAs will combat many of the bacteria and parasites that often contribute to infant digestive problems.

It will also help with mineral, calcium and vitamin absorption.

Cradle Cap
Coconut oil is a highly effective remedy to cradle cap and other infant skin disorders. The antimicorbial properties and the deep penetration are extremely effective in clearing up these skin disorders.

Raw coconut oil works well on nappy rash.

As coconut oil is generally non-allergenic there is little change of babies having an allergic reaction.

Baby Massage
If you practice baby massage the best oil to use is raw virgin coconut oil. It is ideal for massage given the non-oily feel and the fact it easily penetrates the skin. A particular advantage for the baby will be the absorption of lauric acid through the skin.

A study in America showed that premature babies massaged daily with raw coconut oil gained weight faster than the group with the same diet but no coconut oil massage.

Skin, hair & eyes

Anti-ageing
There is a considerable body of evidence that supports the belief that the free-radical absorption capability of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil support the health and elasticity of the skin. Populations that use coconut oil both in their cooking and for daily skin care rarely age prematurely, despite living a life, in many cases, that people living in more affluent countries might consider challenging.

Coconut oil, in effect, is the classic chemical-free moisturiser. It softens and serves to guard against wrinkles and sagging skin.

Skin Infections
Coconut oil, due to its antifungal and antibacterial qualities is effect against a number of common and virulent skin infections including eczema and psoriasis.

UV Protection
Virgin coconut oil is also an effective protector from UV rays. There have been a number of studies done and coconut oil has been cited as having a natural SPF factor of 7. Coconut oil has traditionally been the base for all sun tanning lotions and virgin coconut oil works to promote tanning.

It is also the best after-sun treatment which would be bound up in its anti-oxidative and free radical fightling ability.

Infection Management
When applied to infections, coconut oil forms a chemical layer over the infection that protects the infected part of the body from external irritants, fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Bruising
Coconut oil is the most effective remedy for bruising. Bruises heal in about half the time they would normally because of the ability of coconut oil to penetrate the skin and repair the damaged tissue.

Makeup Remover
Virgin coconut oil is a natural and simple way to remover your makeup without the need to use petroleum or other chemical based products.

All that is required is to warm a little oil in your hands and work them over your eyes and eyelashes and it removes mascara and eyeliner totally. Remove the makeup with a tissue or swab.

Weight management

Rate of Metabolism
The sublimely named G W Crile (George Washington) is a surgeon who died in 1943 and is credited with the first direct human blood transfusion. He studied the people of Yucatan, Mexico who have a staple coconut diet and found that their rate of metabolism was 25% higher than people in the USA.

This is despite that the human body is adapted to slow the metabolic rate in warm climates. He made a range of observations but particularly around the health and lean physique. The increased rate of metabolism is one of the noticeable effects of a diet rich in raw coconut oil.

Thyroid Functioning
Many of the plants we eat today, especially the grass derivatives had developed toxins as a way of making themselves unpalatable to grazing animals. Some of those toxins are mammal specific and block digestive enzymes in the stomach from breaking down food to form amino acids. Consuming the oils of these seeds (safflower, canola) has the same enzyme blocking function.

Consuming coconut oil on the other hand has the effect of stimulating the metabolic processes; both because it is directly stimulatory and also because it weakens the effects of the unsaturated oils.

Restoring the functioning of the thyroid can provide significant benefit in the management of weight.

The benefits of raw virgin coconut oil in your diet are widespread and as well as providing an elixor for everyday health it has ability to treat and protect from a large range of serious and debilitating diseases and conditions.

Cholesterol

HDL/LDL Ratio
Research shows that replacing other cooking oils with virgin coconut oil generally creates a more favourable HDL/LDL blood cholesterol ratio.

Not only do you improve your cholesterol health you also guard against blood platelet stickiness and the heart risks that brings.

Boost your metabolism

Activate the Thyroid
A number of studies have looked at the effects of coconut oil and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) on metabolism and the results have been consistently similar. MCFAs increase the metabolic rate by up to 50% and the effect can last for up to 24 hours.

A significant number of people have metabolism issues brought on by diet, stress, illness and the modern sedentary lifestyle that frequently respond immediately and positively to the addition of raw coconut oil to the diet.

As well as activating your thyroid the MCFAs in raw coconut oil also boost your immune system and guard against the immune suppressing dangers of polyunsaturated oils.

Blood sugar

Become a Fat Burner
The body can supply you with energy one of two ways; by burning fat or burning sugar. Regular coconut oil consumption can turn you into a fat burner that takes away all the negatives associated with elevated and changing blood sugar and insulin levels.

The addition of coconut oil before or during a meal has the effect of lowering the glycemic impact of the food you are eating which works to prevent the blood sugar highs and lows associated with low fat diets.

Ketones

Ketones
Glucose is the primary source of energy for all the cells in our body. That glucose comes from the breakdown of the carbohydrate we eat. If there is a lack of glucose, the body releases fatty acids from our fat cells as an alternative source of fuel.

Unfortunately the brain cannot utilise energy from the breakdown of fatty acids. When glucose is not available it uses an alternative source called Ketones. Ketones are produced in the liver to feed the brain. The production only kicks in when carbohydrate consumption is very low.

There is an alternate source of ketones and that comes from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are converted in the body to ketones even where carbohydrate is available in ample quantities.

Coconut oil provides a very effective mechanism for ensuring a constant supply of brain food, particularly if a Kitogenic Diet is required.

Tocotrienols

Antioxidant Powerhouse
Tocotrienols are the most potent type of Vitamin E and are effective in preventing a range of significant degenerative diseases and conditions.

Many foods and oils are rich in tycopherols (the first form of vitamin E discovered) but few contain significant levels of tocotrienols. Most of the popular oils like olive, soybean, safflower, sunflower, corn and peanut contain none.

Tocotrienols are most abundant in palm oil, followed by coconut oil.

One study showed tocotrienols increased the lifespan of laboratory rats by 20 percent.

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