Ask S.C.

Need help with using coconut oil? Ask me anything about virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil or MCT oil. You're also welcome to help others by sharing your experience. But before you post, read these...

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1,073 chats on “Ask S.C.

    • Hi Shannon, I believe all brands of dietary coconut oil should have a pH 5 for edibility. And suitability for oil pulling to begin with.

      But when you do oil pulling, the fat-digesting enzymes in your saliva will unleash fatty acids from the triglyceride bonding, rendering the increased acidity level of coconut oil in your mouth. The longer you oil-pull, the more saliva you'll secrete, and the more fatty acids will be freed.

      Which is why some people feel scratchy in the throat when they inadvertently swallow some liquid (coconut oil + saliva). We should spit it all out after oil pulling and rinse our mouth properly not just to get rid of dead bacteria and their toxic discharge, but also to prevent hurting our throat.

      • Hi,
        Thanks for the reply! I was reading the other day about a brand that is supposed to be alkaline. Extracted by using no heat. I think the name is Skinny.

        • Hi Shannon, there's no such thing as alkaline coconut oil.

          Look. All dietary oils are made up of triglycerides, whereby each composes of a glycerol and 3 fatty acids.

          If these triglycerides stay as they are, then the oil would have zero free fatty acids. As such, this coconut oil would at best be as neutral as water, which has a pH 7. Any value above 7 is alkaline.

          To back up a little bit... free fatty acids are fatty acids that have broken away from the triglyceride bond. And their "free" presence is what causes the pH scale to fall below 7 and causes the product to become acidic.

          But no matter how good a manufacturer extracts the oil from coconut, there's bound to have some fatty acids "escaped" from the triglyceride bonding. This means that there would be some free fatty acids lingering in the oil, causing the pH to fall to 6 or (mostly) 5, which are acceptable for consumption without having to dilute with water.

          Even if they go to the extent to remove any free fatty acids that are present in their product, the pH of the oil will not rise above neutral.

          In other words, a pure coconut oil can never be alkaline unless they add alkalizing substances to the oil.

          It's like naming virgin coconut oil "extra-virgin coconut oil" by some companies, which actually is just a marketing gimmick since there's no such thing as "extra-virgin coconut oil".

    • No, Shannon. I only test what I use. I don't use Spectrum.

      However, I believe all coconut oil manufacturers have set to make sure that coconut oil does not deflect below pH 5. So, I guess that your Spectrum coconut oil should stay at somewhere between pH 5 and pH 6.

  1. Hi sir.. My baby is 56 days old.. It's been 15 days since she passed stools last time.. She is exclusively breast fed.. can I give her coconut oil..

    • Hi Chethana, she's been constipated for 15 days already, so it's best to bring her to a pediatrician now.

      At this point, I wouldn't suggest to feed her coconut oil directly. However, you can take coconut oil so that your breast milk will produce more MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) for her. She'd be taking coconut oil through you. And I think this is much safer and better for a 1 month+ old baby.

  2. I started using coconut oil after I shower along with those suction cups that supposedly help with cellulite. After a couple months, people kept asking me how much weight I'd lost. I never checked. But, obviously it is absorbed through the skin. I didn't intentionally change my diet, but may have been eating less.

  3. Soon, you are providing an amazing amount of valuable information and helping a lot of people. I started consuming coconut oil about eight years ago because of neurological problems that western medicine was not helping. For decades I have always had subtle tremors in my head and hands, but I started taking coconut oil in the hope addressing uncontrollable tremors in my legs. A rare disease called Orthostatic Tremors (OT) which only occur when you are standing still or walking too slowly. While the the unrefined virgin coconut oil did not touch the tremors, it did make a significant difference in the subtle tremors in my hands and head. It also minimized another symptom that comes along with the OT which can best be described as a sense of extreme heaviness and stiffness in the legs - they would at times feel like they were made of wood. So all that is to the good of using unrefined virgin coconut oil.

    What I would like to ask you concerns so more recent symptoms that don’t seem to fit anywhere. So I’m wondering if it could be related to the longterm use of coconut oil.

    The first is that I wake up in the night and the bedding beneath me is very sweaty as is the skin up and down my back. There’s no perspiration anywhere else on my body.

    The second thing is even stranger and embarrassing. The skin inside my elbows and on the palms of my hands is very sticky. I can get out of the shower after scrubbing myself with a face cloth and as soon as I’m dry the stickiness starts building. I can wash my hands repeatedly and again as soon as they are dry, the stickiness returns.

    For years, I’ve eaten big salads for lunch with homemade dressing consisting of apple cider vinegar and a combination oils (olive, hemp and MCT). I avoid processed foods, cow dairy and sugar.

    • Hi Ed, how much coconut oil are you taking per day? And how do you take it? Straight off the jar or mixing with your food?

      Coconut oil can generate thermic effect upon consumption. It produces heat mainly via its MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).

      When heat is produced, your body will instinctively cool it by sweating. And the perspiration is more apparent on the upper body since a certain portion of MCFAs burn at liver. If you're lying on your back, sweat cannot escape through evaporation and so they gather as a "pool" right under your back. When I take a lot of coconut oil at night it happens to me too.

      As for the stickiness on your hands, it could be the purging of some chemicals or toxins you're ingesting via food (especially meat) or medication.

      Now, coconut oil does not actually trigger many "side effects" directly.

      What it does mainly is to invigorate cells. When cells become more active than ever, they gain the power to expel toxins or chemicals (through skin) that might have been buried deep beneath.

      As for why it chooses to manifest on the inside of your elbows or on the palms of your hands I simply have no clue. Our systems vary due to what we eat, the way we eat and the way we live and of course, the health conditions we're in.

      • Soon, thank you for helping me. As for how much oil I’m consuming: every other morning I will eat hot oat meal to which I will add 2 or 3 tablespoons of unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil. For lunch most days I will have a large salad usually consisting of spinach greens, tomatoes and homemade salad dressing. Basically the dressing is 1/3 unrefined apple cider vinegar, 1/3 extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 MCT oil. I would estimate that I use on average about 2 tablespoons of each of these three ingredients each day. Would that amount of oil cause the sweating during the night? I’ve been eating the same diet for close to 10 years but it’s only been the past three years that I have been sweating profusely during the night. I realize that oils have a much higher caloric content compared to most foods, but I don’t have a weight problem in the usual sense. If anything, keeping my weight up is the challenge.

        As for the stickiness being caused by detoxification, back in 2013 I got checked for heavy metals using urinalysis with a chelating agent. The results said that I was very high in lead, mercury, aluminum and extremely high in gadolinium. It’s probably time for me to be retested.

        Any additional thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

        • Hi Ed, no wonder you sweat at night. About 60% of virgin coconut oil are MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). And you're having 2 or 3 tablespoons per day. You're taking in 2 tablespoons of MCT oil too. MCTs release MCFAs. The thermic effect from MCFAs can last up to 12 hours or longer. Of course, the first few hours post consumption generate the most heat.

          As for why it only started to happen in the past 3 years, let me relate an example to help understand your case.

          My friend was down with flu. I told him to take coconut oil since coconut oil can kill flu. He took 3 tablespoons per day until the flu was gone. But thereafter he continued with 3 tablespoons per day for flu prevention and he had diarrhea.

          He asked me why he didn't get the diarrhea effect during his flu when he was taking the same amount. I told him that's because coconut oil was fighting flu. So, very little were left behind to stimulate bowel movement. Once the flu was gone, the MCFAs in coconut oil went into full force to move his bowels.

          Having said that, I suspect that first 7 years coconut oil was trying to deal with some of your underlying health issues. And after 7 long years your body was cleansed of the bad stuff and so the thermic effect of coconut oil returned and you sweat profusely since then. Just my two cents. It could be something else.

          Do you also take coconut oil during dinner? If yes, you might want to consider cutting down to 1 teaspoon for dinner since I think you've had enough intake of MCTs for the day.

          Why were you so high in metals? Were you constantly exposed to polluted environment or heavy-metal drinking water or you loved eating fish?

          • Thank you, Soon. Your reasoning makes sense. I will stop adding MCT oil to my salad dressing. Would replacing the MCT oil with hemp oil help? Do you have any information on MCFA content of hemp and olive oils relative to MCT oil?

            As for my dinners, no oils of any kind.

            As for my heavy metals, I grew up in an old tenement with plenty of lead paint. I was also allowed to play with mercury. No gloves or mask. As a young adult I got a lot of silver-mercury amalgams. To add to it all, every meal that I ate until I moved out on my own was cooked in a bare aluminum pan. There were so many things that we didn’t know were so seriously dangerous.

            • Hi Ed, now I understand why you're loaded with metals. I suppose you're much better now. I feel glad for you.

              Both hemp seed oil and olive oil do not contain MCFA. They carry LCFAs (long-chain fatty acids) only.

              Replacing with either hemp seed oil or olive oil is good since they both provide quite a good amount of omega-3. But make sure you eat them raw like pouring over salad or adding to smoothie or juice. Don't ever heat them. They're very high in unsaturated fats, which oxidize easily and can destroy the nutrients that come along.

              Hemp seed oil contains about 80% polyunsaturated fats and olive oil 70% monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fat oxidizes faster than monounsaturated fat.

              • Nice article SC and great follow ups, just wanted to comment on this:
                "Don't ever heat them. They're very high in unsaturated fats, which oxidize easily"

                The problem is even cold-pressed unsaturated fat, may very well oxidize inside us. And another problem is, even when on keto, the body will prefer saturated fat over unsaturated for energy production, SFats are way more efficient. Very easy to test what I am saying.

                So not only its hard to displace unsaturated ones, but also oxidize way faster because of our living conditions (37c degrees core temp is enough to oxidize fast these unstable fats). And forget cooking oils of course any type.

                My view is to avoid unsaturated fats altogether it maybe useful for fish; cold-blooded and can be greatly utilized there, but for humans I don't think so, even if you live near the arctic zone.

                Strict keto diets (zero carbs) may avoid problems though, as unsaturated fat maybe recycled, because fat would be very difficult to be stored inside cells without carbs, so either you burn it or you lose it, but still I don't see the benefit for humans. Then all high saturated fat foods and many typical foods contain all fat types anyways. You don't need unsaturated oils.

                For other diet types where fat is stored due to carbs utilization and excess intake, unsaturated fats can cause havoc and vitamin E is critical to counter somewhat the damage caused. Fat cells have a half-life of many years and in the meantime you accumulate rancid stuff which age you. Antioxidants may also help, but why causing the damage in the first place.

                As of the omega-3 "benefits" depends how you read articles. You know, you may call something that is immunosuppressive which grounds your immune, as "anti-inflammatory". That's not the real picture but often shows in mass media.