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The Healthiest Of All Oils
The Healthiest Of All Oils
Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)
Fats are classified as short, medium, or long chain, based on the number of carbon molecules they contain. Nearly two-thirds of the fat in coconut oil consists of medium -chain fatty acids.
Long-chain fatty acids must be emulsified by bile salts in the small intestine before they can be absorbed into the body. Short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids, such as in coconut oil, are absorbed directly through the portal vein to the liver where they are immediately available to the body for quick energy, rather than being stored. Coconut oil is the most readily digested and is lower in calories than all other fats.
Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, and Coconut Cures states, “These fatty acids are different from those commonly found in other food sources and are burned almost immediately for energy production, so they are not converted into body fat or cholesterol, and do not affect blood cholesterol levels.” In fact, studies now show that coconut oil actually increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
Approximately 50 percent of the saturated fatty acids in coconut oil contain the medium-chain lauric acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in humans and animals.
Monolaurin is a monoglyceride used by the body to destroy lipid-coated viruses, fungus, bacteria, and parasites, by disrupting the lipid membranes in the organisms. These organisms not only cause infection but can also produce poisonous byproducts that are toxic and cancerous. This essential benefit to our health is lost if we do not receive a plentiful source of lauric acid in our diet.
Jon Kabara, Ph.D., professor emeritus of chemistry and pharmacology at Michigan State University, has been studying the effects of medium-chain fatty acids on human health for over 50 years, and states, “It is rare in the history of medicine to find substances that have such useful properties and still be without toxicity or even harmful side effects.”
Medium-chain triglycerides are so safe that even a newborn baby can eat them without harm, as they are an essential component of mother’s milk.
Coconut oil also contains another medium chain fatty acid, capric acid, which has a similar function when it is formed into monocaprin in the body. Monocaprin has also been shown to have anti-viral effects against HIV, and is being tested for anti-viral effects against herpes simples, and other sexually transmitted bacteria.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
In the Philippines coconut oil is called “the drugstore in the bottle”
A group of researchers from the University of Minnesota, led by P.M. Schlievert, reported in the March 1992 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that monolaurin inhibited strains of strep and staph bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome.
Monolaurin is effective in destroying various pathogenic bacteria, including listeria moncytogenes (one of the most virulent food borne pathogens with 20 to 30 percent of infections resulting in death), and helicobacter pylori (causes chronic low-level inflammation of the stomach lining and is strongly linked to the development of duodenal/gastric ulcers, and stomach cancer).
Dr. McClearly, a retired pediatric neurologist, who now studies and writes about how diet affects our brains and waistlines states, “Your brain loves the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, because they’re rapidly converted into energy your brain can use. And unlike energy from glucose, which only lasts for twenty minutes, the energy from coconut oil lasts a long time. That keeps you satisfied and prevents insulin spikes and energy dips.”
Studies have shown that coconut oil has anticancer properties particularly in association with skin cancers, colon and breast, and possibly liver cancer as well.
Dr. Bruce Fife’s book, Coconut Cures, sites a study where colon cancer was chemically induced in a group of rats and fed diets containing different types of fat to determine their influence on cancer. Oils tested included corn, safflower, olive, fractionated coconut, and coconut oils. Coconut oil inhibited the development of cancer more than any of the fats tested.
A little coconut oil rubbed into the hair (and easily washed out), leaves it soft and shiny and helps to control dandruff.
There is strong evidence that link low-grade infections, caused by bacteria and viruses, to heart disease. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, not viruses, and tend to, if overused, support the development of antibiotic resistance bacteria harming the friendly bacteria in the gut along with the bad, which ends up destroying proper immune function. Essentially, the body then becomes less efficient at warding off harmful pathogens.
Medium-chain fatty acids, with the ability to destroy both bacteria and viruses, are especially effective against the primary organisms linked to arterial inflammation; H.pylori (more than 50 percent of the world’s population harbor H. pylori), Chlamydia (sexually transmitted), and Cytogegalovirus (with the ability to remain alive, but dormant, in the body for life).
Therefore, including coconut oil in our diet can help to prevent and reduce the risk of heart disease.
According to Dr. Mary Enig, research has shown that coconut oil is needed for good absorption of fat and calcium in infant formulas, both of which are needed by infants for proper growth. She states, “These results clearly show the folly of removing or lowering the coconut oil content in infant formulas”.
Medium-chain triglycerides are an essential component of mother’s milk.
Medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have been shown to prevent the destructive action of free radicals in the liver.
Free radicals are oxygen containing chemicals with an impaired electron, which are highly reactive to DNA, proteins, membranes, and other cell machineries resulting in oxidative damages including DNA mutations, protein dysfunction, and destruction of membrane, and other cell structures. These oxidative damages promote aging, and increase the risk of age related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, immune system declines, brain dysfunction, and cataracts.
Studies have shown that medium-chain fatty acids protect the liver from alcohol-induced free radical injury and tissue death, and even rejuvenate diseased tissue.
Dr. Mary Newport’s husband was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease at 58. Rather than accept the diagnosis that would lead to an inevitable and tragic outcome, she researched and decided to try and get her husband enrolled in clinical trials using experimental drugs. However, her husband did not score high enough on tests to qualify for the trials.
Continuing to research, Dr. Newport came across information on medium-chain fatty triglycerides (MCTs) that were showing promise in the management of a variety of neurological conditions.
Dr. Newport began giving her husband large amounts of coconut oil, and incorporating it into their diets. Amazingly, this oil, which most doctors may tell us to avoid like the plague, has halted, and even reversed some of the symptoms of her husband’s brain dysfuntion.
Monolaurin has shown to be effective in destroying protozoa such as giadia lambilia, a parasite that colonizes and reproduces in the small intestine causing giardiais, diarrheal infection of the small intestine.
Applied topically, coconut oil not only lubricates and softens the skin, but helps to clear up a number of skin problems as well. It supports the natural chemical balance of the skin promoting healthy looking skin, while helping to prevent wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. It also helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection.
Coconut oil makes a wonderful suntan lotion. Not only is it non-toxic, it helps to prevent sunburn and provides protection against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Some of the viruses monolaurin is effective in inactivating include HIV, Influenza, Measles, Herpes simplex, Vesicular stomatitis (rabies), SARS, Epstein-Barr, Leukemia, Hepatitis C, and cytomegalovirus.
Cytogegalovirus is a member of the herpes family, others of which include chickenpox, infections, infectious monocucleosis, fever blisters, and genital herpes. These viruses all share the ability to remain alive, but dormant, in the body for life, and become active for the first time, or reactivate, when the immune system weakens, and the body is no longer able to hold the virus in check.
Including Coconut Oil In The Diet
Coconut oil remains in liquid form in warmer temperatures and is golden in color, and in cooler temperatures it hardens and becomes white.
Coconut oil is very stable and highly resistant to oxidation so it can be used for frying foods, does not need to be refrigerated to prevent rancidity, and has a long shelf life.
Dr. Mary Enig and Dr. Bruce Fife recommend including up to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in our diets daily, either by directly eating it by the tablespoon, cooking with it, or rubbing it into our skin.
Where To Buy Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes from the fresh or dried meat (corpra) of the coconut. Sun, kilns, or smoke can be used to dry coconut meat but most of these methods are unsanitary and the oil needs to be refined, bleached and deodorized. Other methods include the use of chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.
We recommend coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. You can read more about the company on their website, and about how their coconut oil products are processed, compared to other methods. www.tropicaltraditions.com
For More Information on Coconut Oil
The Coconut Research Center offers a host of information about coconut water and coconut oil. www.coconutresearchcenter.org
The Truth About Coconut Oil
Dr. Conrado Dayrit
Dr. Dayrit was a pharmacologist, cardiologist, internist, researcher, historian, and academician. This book is a collection of his 18 years of advocacy on the beneficial actions and uses of coconut oil in health and disease, and backed up by the published findings of American scientists.
Dr. Bruce Fife
Dr. Fife is a certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, and is president of the Coconut Research Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and the scientific community on the nutritional and health benefits of coconut oil.
Dr. Mary Enig
Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol
Dr. Mary G. Enig holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences and is a biochemist of international renown. She is an expert in fats and oils analysis and metabolism, food chemistry and composition, and nutrition and dietetics.
Cooking With Coconut Oil
Tropical Traditions has a recipe blog where many delicious recipes using coconut products are shared.
Cookbooks by Dr. Bruce Fife