It feels like coconut oil can be used for just about anything these days. Whether it’s used as a skin moisturizer, hair salve, or cooking oil, coconut oil seems to stick around.
And even though it’s been recognized as a popular “healthy” oil choice, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the benefits and side effects of consuming it.
Many people in the coconut oil business promote it as a “good” saturated fat. But this is a case where facts have been twisted into fiction.
It can eliminate bacteria
Around half of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid. Lauric acid is particularly great at remove bacteria, viruses, and fungi; so, it’s good in helping human stave off infections when used externally. To get the most potent antibacterial properties, a Journal of Medicinal Food research discover virgin coconut oil — rather than refined — to be the best bet.
On the other hand, when you ingest coconut oil, it respond with enzymes to forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. And guess what? Monolaurin is good for remove harmful pathogens, too! In addition to maintain all types of nastiness at bay, both of these substances have been shown to remove the bacteria, and very dangerous pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans, which is a generic source of yeast infections.
It helps with Your memory disorders
A 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging demonstrated that the MCTs discover in coconut oil improved the memory issues their older subjects were experiencing. All patients felt the advantages of coconut oil in the study, and saw a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking the fatty acid. It’s thought that this is due to MCTs being absorbed more easily in your body. As they can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they can more efficiently fuel brain cells.
This is especially great news for human suffering from cognitive disorders. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create insulin, the ketones from the coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function, the study suggests.
Here are the Bad Things:
All oils are a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, though each oil is commonly known by the name of the fatty acid that is most abundant. The artery-clogging — and therefore most damaging — fatty acid is saturated fat. The fat in coconut oil is 92% saturated fat.
What gets tricky is that there are distinction types of saturated fats. Some are long-chain (they have 12 or more carbon atoms), and some are medium-chain (fewer than 12 carbon atoms). These various saturated fats do not have the same effect on LDL (bad) cholesterol stages in the blood. One long-chain saturated fat, stearic acid, has little impact on LDL cholesterol. Stearic acid is the most generic saturated fat in chocolate, which is why chocolate or cocoa butter raises LDL only about one-quarter as much as butter, even though both are about 60% saturated fat.
But other long-chain saturated fatty acids, like the ones that make up most of the saturated fat in coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils (known as tropical oils), do in fact raise LDL cholesterol considerably. These saturated fats are called myristic, palmitic, and lauric acids. They also create most of the saturated fatty acids in meat, poultry, and dairy fats like butter, milk, and cheese.
Other saturated fats that have little effect on LDL cholesterol levels include medium-chain varieties like caprylic, caproic, and capric acids. A small portion of the saturated fat in coconut oil, about 10%, is made up of these less harmful saturated fatty acids, but virtually all the rest of coconut oil’s saturated fat is made up of the long-chain varieties that send LDL soaring.
And coconut oil is full of these artery-busting long-chain varieties by the sheer fact that there’s such a massive percentage of saturated fat, 92%, packed into coconut oil to begin with.
Ounce for ounce, coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter, beef tallow, or lard. “So coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol as much — or more — than animal fats,” cautions Dr. Kenney at Pritikin.com
So, don’t believe claims on the Internet and elsewhere that coconut oil is (just) good for you. It has the negative effects to. Coconut oil is bad news for your LDL cholesterol, and heart.