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Coconut Oil Health Benefits, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2020

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Coconut oil benefits in skin care, hair care, weight loss, treating yeast infections, improving digestion and increasing immunity against a host of infections and diseases.It improves body odor, improve cardiovascular health and hinder growth of cancer cells in the body.

Coconut oil also help relieve dry mouth and scratchy throat and improve oral health. It also aids to ward off neurodegenerative disorders and enhances memory power.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil that is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Coconut oil is composed of 99% fat, comprises mainly of saturated fats (82%). The sweet-smelling tropical staple is made by pressing the fat from the white “meat” inside the giant nut and then used for various purposes.

Nutritional Value of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in various constituents that are beneficial for health. Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid present in coconut oil help in curing and treating several problems and health issues.

MCFAs present in coconut oil are easier to digest,not readily stored as fat, have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. They are smaller in size, thus allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy. These MCFAs are processed by the liver, allowing immediately conversion to energy instead of being stored as fat.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

100 g
Total Fat

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil benefits to hair but also it offers numerous benefits. Let's check out how coconut oil can be helpful in health. You can apply coconut oil on your skin to protect against harmful UV rays, various skincare products include coconut oil as an important ingredient.

Get easily relieved from skin rashes, irritation and eczema, and redness issues. Coconut oil is used in cooking for hundreds of years, this oil not only increases your metabolism, fatty acid present in oil quickly absorbed by the body and helps in weight loss management.

You can buy this amazing coconut oil from your local stores easily from different brands. MCTs element present in coconut oil good for the memory cell. Mentioned below are the best health benefits of using Coconut Oil.

Coconut Oil Good for Alzheimer's Disease

Ketones supply energy to the brain and provides the necessary to cure alzheimer's disease. Ketones present in the coconut oil are thus useful to treat mental diseases.

Coconut Oil Helps In Losing Weight

Coconut oil is beneficial for weight loss too. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in shedding off excessive weight.Coconut oil aids to reduce abdominal obesity in women.It helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system and increases body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas.It burns more energy and helps obese and overweight people lose weight.

Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

Lauric acid present in coconut oil helps in effectively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil is rich in natural saturated fats which not only increases the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in our body, but also helps to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.

By increasing the amount of the HDL in the body, coconut oil helps to promote heart health and lower the risk of related heart diseases. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.

Coconut Oil Treats Urinary Tract Infections

Coconut oil is an effective natural antibiotic that helps treating and curing the urinary tract infections.The MCFAs in coconut oil work as a natural antibiotic by penetrating, dissolving and disrupting the lipid coating on the cellular wall of harmful bacteria and killing them.

Coconut Oil Benefits for Skin & Colon Cancer

Coconut oil, on digestion, produces ketones that helps in preventing cancer. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose-dependent. Without adequate energy to fuel their mutated growth rates, cancer cells are unable to replicate and thus, protects the body from the harmful effects.

Also, the MCFAs digest the lipid walls of bacteria.They also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Coconut Oil Benefits for Immune System

Coconut oil is very beneficial for improving the immunity.It strengthens the immune system as it contains high proportion of antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

The lauric acid (monolaurin), present in coconut oil, which is known to reduce candida, fights bacteria and creates a hostile environment for viruses

Add Coconut Oil to Improves Memory and Brain Function

Let check out benefits of coconut oil for gut health. Coconut oil good for digestive problems. Regular use of coconut oil in our diet efficiently improves our memory. This is because of the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which make up over half of the essential fatty acid content of coconut oil. MCTs provide easily-accessible energy to the brain and fuel brain cells more effectively.

Boosts Digestion

User of coconut oil is beneficial as it also improves digestion. It helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium and magnesium and prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The antimicrobial properties present in coconut oil antimicrobial properties.

Gallbladder Stones and Pancreatitis

Coconut oil prevent gall bladder and other related problems. It does not cause stress on pancreas and thus protects the body from its adverse effects.

Coconut Oil Prevents Candida Growth & Yeast Infection

Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is caused by prolific and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans and thus, soothe the person.

Uses of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil finds its way into the human life very easily with the effective usage for hair and skin. It helps to grow healthier skin, hair and nails. Besides these, it also promotes healthy hormone production, reduces frequency of seizures,treats & heals arthritis and prevents insulin resistance.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Coconut Oil

There are also potential negative side effects of using coconut oil. They include diarrhea, acne breakout, cause intestinal distress and allergies. It may also cause severe heart problems if used for prolonged durations.

Cultivation of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted by two methods, wet process and dry process. The regular coconut oil is extracted by cold compression or cold milling of Copra.The moisture content in this case is around six percent.This is processed using fermentation, churning (centrifugal separation), refrigeration, and the action of enzymes. The oil is separated from the water or moisture.

In some cases, this fresh coconut oil is boiled to obtain the oil by evaporating the water or moisture.However,for virgin coconut oil, the raw materials and the process of extraction do not allow any involvement of heat. In some cases, virgin coconut oil is also extracted directly by cold compression of fresh dried coconut meat. This is also called Micro-expelling.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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