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What Are The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the health benefits of coconut oil?  There was a survey done in the New York Times in July 2016. In that survey 72% of people believed that coconut oil was healthy. But only 37% that are nutritionists believed it was healthy. So, let’s tackle the facts on coconut oil. Coconut oil has over 80% saturated fat and research has linked saturated fats with higher cholesterol levels and a higher risk for heart disease.

There was a research study that showed that medium chain triglycerides which is a component of coconut oil can help boost levels of good cholesterol levels. The people in this study took 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice daily for 8 weeks.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil? Photo Credit: iStock- White Bear Studio  

Some Studies On Coconut Oil

Another study that was done in 2004 found the opposite. The research shown that it increased bad cholesterol in 17 healthy young men.  Then there was a 2016 study that found no clear evidence that coconut oil has any positive or negative effects to your cholesterol levels.

In a rodent study virgin coconut oil showed it reduced stress that resulting from exercise and a chronic cold. Researchers also believed that coconut virgin oil can be useful in treating different types of depression.

Some people use coconut oil for their hair to improve the shine and protect it from hair damage. One research study suggested that people with similar hair types found no difference in hair condition between those who had coconut oil and those who didn’t.

Coconut oil has been shown to improve the health of your skin. There was a study that showed that applying coconut extraction to human skin can improve its protective barrier functions and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Here are the nutrition effects of 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil:

  • 121 calories
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 13.5 grams of fat of which 11.2 gram is saturated
  • 0 mg of cholesterol

Coconut oil has Vitamin E, and it contains 100% fat which most of it is saturated fat.  It is high in MCT’s- (Medium Chain Triglycerides). But one of the benefits of this is that it is harder for the body to convert it into stored fat.  And easier to burn off than long chain triglycerides.

“Coconut oil has over 80% saturated fat and research has linked saturated fats with higher cholesterol levels and a higher risk for heart disease.”- Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is coconut oil adds variety and flavor to food, but it has a high saturated fat content. And because of that one must consume coconut oil with moderation. If you consume a high amount of saturated fat, it can increase the risk of high cholesterol levels and heart disease.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement  products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals. You can go to https://ethicalinc.com/product/appetite-suppressant/

References

  1. St-Onge MP, Bosarge A, Goree LL, Darnell B. Medium chain triglyceride oil consumption as part of a weight loss diet does not lead to an adverse metabolic profile when compared to olive oil. J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):547-52. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719737. PMID: 18845704; PMCID: PMC2874191.
  2. Sankararaman S, Sferra TJ. Are We Going Nuts on Coconut Oil? Curr Nutr Rep. 2018 Sep;7(3):107-115. doi: 10.1007/s13668-018-0230-5. PMID: 29974400.
  3. Wallace TC. Health Effects of Coconut Oil-A Narrative Review of Current Evidence. J Am Coll Nutr. 2019 Feb;38(2):97-107. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2018.1497562. Epub 2018 Nov 5. PMID: 30395784.
  4. Naseem M, Khiyani MF, Nauman H, Zafar MS, Shah AH, Khalil HS. Oil pulling and importance of traditional medicine in oral health maintenance. Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2017 Sep-Oct;11(4):65-70. PMID: 29085271; PMCID: PMC5654187.
  5. Kinsella R, Maher T, Clegg ME. Coconut oil has less satiating properties than medium chain triglyceride oil. Physiol Behav. 2017 Oct 1;179:422-426. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.07.007. Epub 2017 Jul 6. PMID: 28689741.
  6. Kamalaldin NA, Sulaiman SA, Yusop MR, Yahaya B. Does Inhalation of Virgin Coconut Oil Accelerate Reversal of Airway Remodelling in an Allergic Model of Asthma? Int J Inflam. 2017;2017:8741851. doi: 10.1155/2017/8741851. Epub 2017 Jun 4. PMID: 28660089; PMCID: PMC5474257.
  7. Kim S, Jang JE, Kim J, Lee YI, Lee DW, Song SY, Lee JH. Enhanced barrier functions and anti-inflammatory effect of cultured coconut extract on human skin. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Aug;106(Pt A):367-375. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.05.060. Epub 2017 May 28. PMID: 28564614.
  8. Nayak BS, Ann CY, Azhar AB, Ling ECS, Yen WH, Aithal PA. A Study on Scalp Hair Health and Hair Care Practices among Malaysian Medical Students. Int J Trichology. 2017 Apr-Jun;9(2):58-62. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_76_16. PMID: 28839388; PMCID: PMC5551307.
  9. Yeap SK, Beh BK, Ali NM, Yusof HM, Ho WY, Koh SP, Alitheen NB, Long K. Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo. Exp Ther Med. 2015 Jan;9(1):39-42. doi: 10.3892/etm.2014.2045. Epub 2014 Nov 3. PMID: 25452773; PMCID: PMC4247320.
  10. Khaw KT, Sharp SJ, Finikarides L, Afzal I, Lentjes M, Luben R, Forouhi NG. Randomised trial of coconut oil, olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women. BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 6;8(3):e020167. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020167. PMID: 29511019; PMCID: PMC5855206.
  11. Eyres L, Eyres MF, Chisholm A, Brown RC. Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Nutr Rev. 2016 Apr;74(4):267-80. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw002. Epub 2016 Mar 5. PMID: 26946252; PMCID: PMC4892314.
  12. Chinwong S, Chinwong D, Mangklabruks A. Daily Consumption of Virgin Coconut Oil Increases High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:7251562. doi: 10.1155/2017/7251562. Epub 2017 Dec 14. PMID: 29387131; PMCID: PMC5745680.
  13. New York Times-  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/05/upshot/is-sushi-healthy-what-about-granola-where-americans-and-nutritionists-disagree.html?_r=0

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