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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Today, one of the most popular foods in health food stores is organic coconut oil . Previously, this oil was undeservedly scolded because it consists of saturated fats. However, consumers should understand that saturated fats of coconut oil are different from fats found in animal products. In particular, their molecules are shorter and healthier for the body.

Coconut oil contains the so-called short- and medium-chain triglycerides, and saturated fats in animal products represent long-chain triglycerides. Due to the shorter structure, short- and medium-chain triglycerides are processed differently by the body and are mainly sent to the liver for burning and energy production. These triglycerides can be compared with an ignition tool that helps to ignite a metabolic fire. The reason for this comparison is that these fats have been shown to actually promote weight loss by increasing calorie burning (thermogenesis). In addition, some studies suggest that these fats also lower cholesterol. Coconut oil has many benefits, but let's focus on three key areas: antimicrobial effects,

Natural antimicrobial agent

 About 50% of the coconut oil fatty acids are lauric acid, a medium chain (12 carbon) saturated fat. The only natural source high in this healthy fat is breast milk. In the body, lauric acid is converted into a very useful compound called monolaurin . Another fat found in coconut oil is capric acid, which is converted into monocaprin in the body. These compounds have significant antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties and destroy a wide range of pathogens. Obviously, this very beneficial property of breast milk is also inherent in coconut oil.

Many viruses, bacteria and protozoa (parasites) are surrounded by protective membranes consisting of lipids (fats). Current studies show that monolaurin and monocarpine kill these pathogens by dissolving the lipids of their oily membrane. In fact, they destroy the body's protective shield and provide easy destruction of pathogens by the immune system. Other recent studies show that monolaurin also kills bacteria by affecting signal transduction and thus denying bacteria the ability to interact with the cells they are trying to infect. In addition, lauric acid has been shown to interfere with the assembly and maturation of the virus.

As it was found out, the antiviral properties of medium chain fatty acids found in abundance in coconut are so powerful that the possibility of their use for the treatment of AIDS patients is currently being studied. Recent studies in the Philippines have shown that coconut oil does reduce the viral load in AIDS patients. In these studies, AIDS patients consumed 20–25 grams of lauric acid per day. About 12 grams of lauric acid is contained in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of coconut milk concentrate, ½ cup canned whole coconut milk, or ½ cup dried coconut pulp.

Studies have shown that monolaurin destroys lipid-coated viruses such as cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus 1, HIV, Hemophilus influenzae, measles, vesicular stomatitis virus and visna virus. Among the pathogenic bacteria inactivating monolaurin include Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria monocytogenes), Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus aureus), Streptococcus agalactiae (Streptococcus agalactiae), Staphylococcus epidermidis (Staphylococcus epidermidis)  groups A, F and G, the gram-positive Streptococcus (Streptococcus)  Groups B and Helicobacter pylori (Helicobacter pylori). Monolaurin not only makes these bacteria inactive, but also has an additional advantage over antibiotics - it seems that bacteria are not able to develop resistance to natural coconut-based antimicrobials.

Lauric acid and its monolaurin derivative also kill or deactivate many different mold fungi, yeast and protozoa, including several types of ringworm, Candida albicans (white candida) and Giardia lamblia (intestinal giardia) . In one study, research researchers obtained clinical samples of Candida infection from 52 patients. The results showed that all Candida species are 100% susceptible to coconut oil, the effect of which is comparable to the effect of the antifungal drug fluconazole.

Promoting Weight Loss

Coconut oil contributes to weight loss. In one study that used coconut oil as part of a high-fat diet, researchers found that eating coconut oil actually reduced white fat stores. In another study, genetically obese mice were fed a diet high in safflower or coconut oil and their fat cell count was measured. It was found that mice treated with coconut oil produced significantly less fat cells than mice treated with safflower oil.

Medium chain coconut fats are easily absorbed and are mainly used as an energy source, and their burning actually increases the metabolic rate throughout the body. The result is a more active burning of calories if the number of calories consumed does not exceed the body's needs. In such a situation, there is also a stimulation of burning long chain fatty acids found in other fats.

In one study, the thermogenic effect (fat burning effect) of a high-calorie diet containing 40 percent fat as medium chain fatty acids was compared with the effect of a diet containing 40 percent fat as long chain fatty acids. The thermogenic effect of a medium chain fat diet was almost two times stronger than that of a long chain fat diet (120 calories compared to 66 calories). This allowed researchers to conclude that the excess energy provided by medium chain fats is not stored as fat, but burned. In a subsequent study, mid-chain fats, which were given to subjects for six days, increased diet-induced thermogenesis by 50%.

In another study, obese men consumed 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of cold-pressed coconut oil per day for four weeks. At the same time, their waist circumference decreased by 2.86 cm. As it was proved, women also react to the properties of coconut oil, causing weight loss. In a randomized, double-blind, clinical study in women aged 20–40 years who consumed 30 ml of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks, also adhered to a balanced low-calorie diet and performed walking exercises for 50 minutes per day, the waist circumference decreased by 1 , 4 cm, and a body mass index (BMI) of 0.5 kg / m2. In women who adhered to the same regimen, but took 30 ml of soybean oil daily instead of coconut oil, there was no significant decrease in waist or BMI.

Increased brain energy production

In a very popular "letter of happiness", which was sent by e-mail, it was argued that coconut oil can cure Alzheimer's disease. It also touted a YouTube video from Maria Newport, MD, and author of Alzheimer's Disease: What If a Cure Exists - A History of Ketones. The video and book tell a story about how coconut oil helped her husband cope with the symptoms of Alzheimer's. In fact, his condition improved dramatically.

Dr. Newport decided to try coconut oil because it is a rich source of medium chain saturated fats, known as caprylic acid. The experimental drug with caprylic acid Ketasyn was used in a pilot study in patients with Alzheimer's disease. It was found that he improved memory in 47% of test subjects. However, to date, no further studies on this issue have been conducted.

The proposed mechanism used the beneficial property of coconut oilin the field of increasing energy production in brain cells. The source of primary brain energy is glucose (blood sugar). Alzheimer's disease is a defect in glucose utilization that most often occurs due to insulin resistance (note: Alzheimer's disease is often referred to as “brain diabetes”). Brain storage fuel is a compound called ketone bodies. If there are very few carbohydrates in the diet, the liver breaks down fat into ketone bodies such as acetone, acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Clinical studies have shown that elevated levels of ketone bodies can improve the memory and cognitive abilities of some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. So it’s quite possible

Here are some easy ways to use coconut oil.

Here are some easy ways to use coconut oil.. For example, you can prepare a delicious spread or dipping sauce from it. It can also replace oil in any recipe in a 1: 1 ratio and in any baking recipe. Coconut oil can be used for stewing and frying, but it has a lower smoke formation temperature compared to sources of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, macadamia nut oil, avocado oil and rapeseed oil. The temperature of smoke formation is the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke when heated. Unrefined coconut oil begins to smoke at about 350 ° F, and smoke-tied olive oil and avocado oil typically have a smoke formation temperature that is well above 400 ° F. The most important thing when using coconut oil in cooking is to avoid high temperatures.