Despite being demonized by the keepers of modern medicine for being “bad for cholesterol”, coconut oil has won the loyalty of countless people who have come forward to document its positive effects. Their personal experiences validate the innumerable benefits of using coconut oil for curing a wide range medical conditions. Slowly but surely, the ‘scientific’ community has begun to acknowledge the beneficial properties of coconut oil even as they throw in a caveat or two, “owing to lack of adequate research”. Nevertheless, coconut oil has come to be recognized as nothing short of a miracle food.
Useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s
Our brain needs insulin to process glucose into energy and this insulin is manufactured by the brain. Since the brain of an Alzheimer patient has lost the capacity to produce insulin, this is where coconut oil makes the difference. Coconut oil is converted into ketones by the liver and other organs thereby providing an alternative energy source for the cells. Thus, brain cells which have lost the ability to process glucose can depend on ketones to do the job for them and help repair brain function.
Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist, naturopathic physician and author of 20 books is also the founder president of the Coconut Research Center in Colorado. His book Stop Alzheimer’s Now has not only won him praise from experts such as Dr. Russell Blaylock, but also a silver medal at the Nautilus Book Awards. According to him, “Coconut ketone therapy has the potential to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, reverse it, and in some cases completely eliminate the disease.” Another significant observation relating to the use of coconut oil for the treatment of Alzheimer’s is made by Dr. Mary Newport in her book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones.” In the book, which is based on her personal experiences, she declares that her husband showed improvement in his dementia owing to the regular use of coconut oil.
Prevents heart disease
Misconception has been rampant that consumption of coconut oil is bad for the heart because coconut oil consists high levels of saturated fats. However, this statement is only partially true. While coconut oil does contain saturated fats, these fats known as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) actually promote heart health and protect against heart disease. Therefore, despite being a predominantly saturated fat, natural, non-hydrogenated coconut oil does not have a negative impact on our cholesterol. In fact, it boosts HDL cholesterol and effectively improves the HDL-LDL ratio – regarded universally as a more accurate indicator of the risk of heart disease. Numerous studies have demonstrated that people who regularly consume coconut oil enjoy incredibly good cardiovascular health.
It must be mentioned here that Sri Lanka where coconut oil is used as the primary fat for cooking, has the lowest incidence of death due to heart disease in the world. Countries with the highest intake of coconut oil record the lowest rates of heart disease. In recent times, as the consumption of coconut oil declined with the rise in polysaturated oils, the incidence of heart disease has been on the rise. India too saw a corresponding rise in heart disease as people replaced coconut oil with polysaturated or “heart friendly” oils. Dr. B.M. Hegde, renowned cardiologist and recipient of India’s prestigious Padma Bhushan award, claims that coconut oil is the best oil for the heart. He further informs that coconut oil has now been classified as a “functional food” defined as – “food that provides health benefits over and above the basic nutrients.”
Treatment for arthritis
Doctors have not completely understood what causes arthritis. So the treatment generally targets at easing the symptoms and the discomfort. Moreover, there is no medication that can stall the progression of arthritis. It is considered an integral part of the aging process and thus one is expected to learn to live with it. However, in recent years, there has been mounting evidence to suggest that certain forms of arthritis are a result of infection. According to Dr. Bruce Fife, researchers have been able to link various bacteria, virus and fungi with different types of arthritis leading doctors to conclude that the condition can be triggered by any type of infection – bacterial, viral or fungal.
Dr. Fife recommends a three-pronged approach to combat arthritis. Firstly, strengthen the immune system to enable it to ward off chronic infection of any sort. To achieve this one should eat a nutritious diet comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs and dairy products. Avoid processed foods and refined sugars in any form. Secondly, consume 2-4 tablespoons of non-hydrogenated coconut oil daily with meals. The medium-chain fatty acids have strong antimicrobial properties and therefore effective against chronic infection. Finally, improve your oral health by practicing oil pulling for 15-20 minutes twice a day using coconut or any other vegetable oil. This is imperative because a majority of arthritis cases involve oral infections.
The Arthritis Foundation website accords special status to coconut oil in comparison with other saturated fats. It verifies that coconut oil is an exception in the saturated fats category because our body processes these fats differently. It further affirms that studies published in 2014 and 2015 suggest that it has anti-inflammatory properties.
After reading the above it would not be difficult to believe why coconut oil is referred to as a wonder drug by all those who have used it themselves or seen people who have been cured by using it. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil (almost 50%) gives it its antimicrobial properties. Incidentally, of the few abundant sources of lauric acid, human breast milk is one. It is the disease fighting qualities of lauric acid that protect new-born babies from microbial infections after birth. The antimicrobial quality of coconut oil means that it can be used effectively to counter any kind of infection – be it fungal, viral or bacterial.
In addition, coconut oil is also considered useful for:
- treating any type of skin problems including eczema
- promoting weight loss
- improving digestion and nutrient absorption
- treating epilepsy
- reducing the chance of developing cancer
- reducing the viral load of HIV patients
- keeping the skin moisturized and blemish free
The list just goes on. One might well ask if there is anything that coconut oil can’t do. Well, there is something we all can do and in fact must do: Have two tablespoons of organic, non-hydrogenated coconut oil everyday with our meals. Stay healthy.