How is Coconut Oil Good For You

Opinions are divided regarding the health benefits of coconut oil, some good, some bad, some purely due to commercial interests.  For those who ask how is coconut oil good for you, read on to understand the potential benefits of this oil.

Coconut oil is normally associated with skin care, hair conditioning, and cooking, but exciting new research indicates that it has strong potential as a cancer killer; more about that further down.

Mother’s Milk

The first food that we all consume is breast milk and it is well documented that breastmilk contains all of the essential nutrients, antibodies and other factors important for growth and development of the baby.  Along with proteins, carbohydrates (lactose), minerals, vitamins, and trace elements, breast milk contains essential fatty acids and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.  One of those fatty acids is ‘lauric acid‘, which accounts on an average for 6.5% composition of breast milk.

What’s so special about lauric acid?  The body converts lauric acid to monolaurin which in turn fights against bacteria and viruses, thus protecting the infant from numerous infectious diseases.  Monolaurin, has antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiprotozoan properties.  It destroys bacteria, viruses, and fungus at the molecular level by attacking their lipid membranes and destroying the molecule.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

There are some 1500 studies pointing to the emergence of coconut oil as being a beneficial food having a positive impact on the body.

Analysis of the constituents of organic virgin coconut oil, show that it consists of about 50%  lauric acid, along with capric acid and caprylic acid; similar constituents to those of breast milk but in greater quantities.

In the past, coconut oil has had a bad reputation as parties with vested interests have highlighted its high content of saturated fats but more and more studies are beginning to show that this oil actually contains ‘good’ saturated fats which enhance nutrition and provide other benefits for the body.  The fats in coconut oil are medium chain fatty acids which are easier to digest and not readily stored as fat; from the digestive tract, they go straight to the liver to be used as a source of energy or, they are released into the blood stream as ketones.  Ketones are an important energy source for the brain and have been shown aid children with delayed development issues and reduce epileptic seizures.

Contrary to popular belief, these particular fatty acids help to increase levels of HDL, (‘good’ cholesterol) while converting LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) into a less harmful form thereby potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.  HDL helps to protect children from infections and toxins.  By the way, LDL and HDL are not cholesterol, they are actually proteins called lipotreins that carry cholesterol, the difference is in the way they metabolise but that’s another story.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties have already been mentioned above, but the bottom line is that coconut oil can help boost the immune system and can help prevent indigestion by killing off harmful bacteria and germs in the gut.

The list goes on, but I really want to get to the potential benefits of coconut oil in combatting cancer.

Coconut Oil and Cancer

A few years back there was a lot of hype and exaggeration about a group of scientists in Adelaide University that had conducted lab trials on colon cancer cells from a rat’s small intestinal cell and found that more after just two days, 90% of the cancer cells had been eradicated.  The internet was abuzz with reports stating that ‘coconut oil cures cancer‘; YouTube videos proclaimed that ‘even the doctors were shocked‘.  But actually all that was evident from the research was that pure lauric acid had been applied directly to the cells in strict lab conditions and had killed off the colon cancer cells via apoptosis.

To state that coconut oil cures cancer is a misnomer.  This does not mean that the research does not have any significance, nor does it mean that coconut oil does not have any benefit in the war against cancer.  The research is a step forward in what one would expect to be number of continuous steps to further develop the research and to further understand the mechanism, perhaps by applying the tests to a live rat or even a human being.

However, there is some good news, lab research at Maharishi International University in Iowa, found that coconut oil, along with a number of other vegetable oils, inhibited the growth of human colon cancer cells.  Normal cells were left unaffected which would suggest that there is a possibility that with further development these oils could potentially be used as a means of targeted therapy rather than conventional chemotherapy which attacks all cells in the body.
For women currently undergoing chemotherapy, research here in Malaysia found that women. suffering from Stage III and Stage IV breast cancer responded positively to virgin coconut oil.  The researchers concluded that:
VCO consumption during chemotherapy helped improve the functional status and global QOL of breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.

I believe it’s only a matter of time until the scientists are in a position to categorically state that coconut oil has the essential properties to provide a treatment and possible cure for cancer.

Personally, I take at least 2-3 spoons of virgin coconut oil daily, plus in Malaysia, it is commonly used in cooking.

Where to Buy Coconut Oil

In Malaysia, it’s very easy to get good, fresh coconut milk and coconut oil; in some cases people make there own at home.

Those who are not blessed with being able to tap nature’s resources so readily, you can usually find coconut oil in Asian stores or whole-food shops.  But beware, not all coconut oils are equal and in the commercial world that we live, many of the refined coconut oils have actually had the health giving components, namely lauric acid, removed during the processing.

To get the true health benefits, it’s always best to go for the organic coconut oil which has been cold-pressed.  It should have a distinct coconut fragrance and be liquid at room temperature, say 72degF/23degC.

There are thousands of Coconut Oils at Amazon but I would recommend the products by Viva Naturals.  Based on customer feedback, these products provide the best value for money, customer support is excellent, and they have a number of size options.

Go ahead, give it a try, I’m sure you will feel better for it.

As always, have a good one and stay healthy.  Don’t forget to to place any comments or questions below or drop me an email.



2 thoughts on “How is Coconut Oil Good For You”

  1. Thank you for this very informative article.

    I am a big fan of coconut oil and always include it in my pre workout shakes as it is an instant form of energy.

    I did not know however that it may have beneficial properties in the fight against cancer which I fing pleasing to discover.

    One thing I have learnt form your post is what to what out for in a good coconut oil and that a good quality oil should be liquid at room temperature, i now know that I should be shopping around more to get a good oil.

    many thanks


    1. Hi Darren, I’m glad you found the article useful. It is still early days for scientific based research to support coconut oil as a cancer therapy, but early indications appear to be positive. You rightly noted that it is important to get a good quality coconut oil, many of the commercial products available in the average supermarket are heavily processed and it is unclear as to how much of the beneficial properties have been affected or removed by that process. Of course, you could always purchase one of the products that I have recommended 🙂

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