Is Coconut Really Good For You?

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If you are health conscious and frequently read health related articles on the internet, then you might have read how coconut may be one of the foods you should consider eating regularly.  I wanted to find out if coconut is really good for us hence looked up studies does on effect of coconut on our health.  Here are some studies and opinions I found from reputed institutes and doctors on consumption of coconut.

Here is one Question and Answer published in Harvard Health Letter at http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/coconut-oil

Is Consumption of Coconut oil good

Is Coconut Really good for youI have started noticing more coconut oil at the grocery store and have heard it is better for you than a lot of other oils.  Is that true?

I’ve also noticed that coconut oil seems to be catching on these days. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, which is a higher percentage than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (also 40%). Too much saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. So it would seem that coconut oil would be bad news for our hearts.

But what’s interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives “good” HDL cholesterol a boost. Fat in the diet, whether it’s saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so.

Saturated fat is divided into various types, based on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule, and about half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is the 12-carbon variety, called lauric acid. That is a higher percentage than in most other oils, and is probably responsible for the unusual HDL effects of coconut oil. But plant-based oils are more than just fats. They contain many antioxidants and other substances, so their overall effects on health can’t be predicted just by the changes in LDL and HDL.

Coconut is a wonderful flavor and there’s no problem using coconut oil occasionally. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so cooks are experimenting with using it instead of butter or vegetable shortening to make pie crust and other baked goods that require a solid source of fat. And if you’re preparing a Thai dish, cooking with coconut oil may be essential.

But, for now, I’d use coconut oil sparingly. Most of the research so far has consisted of short-term studies to examine its effect on cholesterol levels. We don’t really know how coconut oil affects heart disease. And I don’t think coconut oil is as healthful as vegetable oils like olive oil and soybean oil, which are mainly unsaturated fat and therefore both lower LDL and increase HDL. Coconut oil’s special HDL-boosting effect may make it “less bad” than the high saturated fat content would indicate, but it’s still probably not the best choice among the many available oils to reduce the risk of heart disease.

— Walter C. Willett, M.D.
Harvard School of Public Health

Coconut Oil May Have Some Benefits As Per some experts.

Here is one article published in huffington post published in 2014. ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/coconut-oil-healthy_n_5167057.html

coconut oilCoconut oil is everywhere these days — as a butter substitute in vegan baking, a smoothie topper for natural health nuts and even a beauty treatment, for moisturizing skin and hair and improving oral health via oil pulling.

But … wasn’t it just a generation ago that we were decrying coconut oil as the worst of the worst, due to its high levels of heart-harming saturated fat? Did we get it very wrong back then or is the reemergence of the tropical oil nothing but a slick stunt?

According to Tom Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, the answer is some combination of both. Not all coconut oils are created equal. The flakey, fragrant stuff you might find in a superfood smoothie is a very different type of coconut oil than the partially-hydrogenated fat found in junk food in the ‘80s, which was a highly-processed version of the plant oil, containing trans fats and other dangerous, cholesterol-promoting compounds.

“The older refined-deodorized bleached coconut oil causes rapid and very unhealthy looking rises in cholesterol, for sure, no doubt,” Brenna said in an email to HuffPost Healthy Living. “There is no evidence that that is the case for virgin coconut oil, which is available today but was not in the 1970s and ‘80s when people were using RDB coconut oil.”

Virgin coconut oil and even a refined version (most studies have been conducted on refined coconut oil) are now available in grocery stores and health stores and are being touted for their ability to help us lose weight, stave off illness and even prevent Alzheimer’s. Sure, it’s better than its junk food predecessor, but is it quite all that?

“It has properties that are promising, but we need a lot more research before we can say this is the superfood of 2014,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick MS, RD, LD, manager of wellness nutrition services for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

Recently, a study conducted on mouse cells and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease got some attention when it found that treatment with coconut oil helped protect cortical neurons in a lab setting. Can we extrapolate that to a protective brain effect in living humans quite yet? Of course not.

Research Says Coconut Oil may Reduce Obesity in Women

A research published in NCBI mentioned that when coconut oil was consumed by a group of women vs other group which consumed Soyabean oil, noted that women who consumed coconut oil for 12 weeks had high HDL (good cholesterol levels) and reduction in BMI.

Another Research on Coconut and Alzheimer

A latest research published on 23rd January 2017 mentions how coconut oil can prevent and slow down the progression of Alzheimer which is a neurodegenerative disease.  The research showed that coconut oil which contains Lauric acid protects the brain neurons and keeps them healthy.  In case you want to read the research you can read that here.

Coconut Oil May Be Effecting For Stomach Acid and Gas

In an article published in http://coconutresearchcenter.org doctor Sanford mentions that Coconut oil may be helpful in eliminating Helico Pylori Bacteria which causes stomach acid.  Here is excerpt from the artilcle –

COCONUT OIL AND HOW IT KILLS BACTERIA
Coconut oil is an excellent “anti-biotic”. It kills bacteria and fungi on contact! Coconut oil is made of saturated fatty acids of the medium length variety. Its major Saturated Acid is called LAURIC ACID. The Lauric Acid invades the cell wall and destroys it.
Here is an excerpt from a scientific study:

“Studies on lipids in the 1960s by Kabara and colleagues showed medium-chain (C-8 to C-14) FAs and their monoglycerides to have antimicrobial effects against several laboratory organisms.

In the 1990s, more laboratory studies confirmed the antimicrobial activity of these lipids against gram-positive and some gram-negative organisms, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Helicobacter pylori, and Chlamydia trachomatis, as well as Candida albicans yeast and enveloped viruses.

Since 1998, some clinical studies have confirmed these laboratory data, specifically data on monolaurin, the monoglyceride of lauric acid from VCO. A 2% gel preparation of Lauricidin (Skin Sciences Laboratory, Inc, Pasig City, Philippines), which contains 90% pure monolaurin, significantly degermed SA cultured from health workers’ hands after hospital duty.

Another study cultured the skin lesions of 100 pediatric patients. The top isolates were SA, coagulase-negative SA, Streptococcus spp, Enterobacter spp, and Escherichia vulneris. The sensitivity of these organisms to penicillin, oxacillin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, mupirocin, and vancomycin varied significantly, demonstrating low to high susceptibility, across the different isolates (Fisher exact test = 0.000; p < .05). In marked contrast, sensitivity to monolaurin did not significantly differ across the different bacterial isolates (Fisher exact test = 0.110; p > .05), reflecting high antibacterial activity.

There also was a statistically significant and marked difference in resistance rates. SA, coagulase-negative SA, and Streptococcus spp did not exhibit any resistance to monolaurin as opposed to the varying resistance observed with the other antibiotics in this study.”
We can easily see that “MONOLAURIN” or LAURIC ACID, the most common fatty acid in coconut oil is “highly antibacterial” and kills “H. Pylori.”

MY PATIENTS’ EXPERIMENT
I could do no more. My patients are free citizens. They were not about to take a deadly poison. Millions of people in Asia ingest much larger quantities of coconut oil with no ill effects.

Their question: Would coconut oil, which is bactericidal, kill the Helico Pyloric Bacteria in their gut?

In approximately one month, we had the answer. It was a resounding YES!

Upon repeat testing, none of my patients had evidence of H. Pylori. Also, their symptoms of acid regurgitation, stomach pain and burping disappeared.

CONCLUSION
I, am now, of the firm conviction, that in some people, the ingestion of Virgin Coconut Oil, three times daily, can eradicate H. Pylori infections.

I do not know if this natural treatment will work on all people. There simply is not enough evidence, or large trials. I seriously doubt that large trials will be undertaken, since there is no monetary gain involved for companies or governments.

Those individuals suffering from H. Pylori infections may try on their own. There is no evidence that coconut oil is detrimental to the body. Billions of people ingest it daily, and no government had advised that it is dangerous.

For the full article you can reach that at http://coconutresearchcenter.org/medical-research-2/coconut-research/virgin-coconut-oil-and-stomach-acid/

If you want to use coconut for any recipes you can find one article here.

 

 

 

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