Can coconut oil cause diarrhea?

Man having diarrhea after eating coconut oil

"Hey, our coconut oil can cause diarrhea, so beware!" Are you expecting to see some warning like that on the label when you bring home a jar of coconut oil? Too bad! No company would dare to scare their potential buyers away. You probably have to learn the hard way that coconut oil can trigger diarrhea.

But that only occurs when you take it straight by the spoonful (say, 2 tablespoons) and to make it even worse, on an empty stomach.

You're not alone. It happens most of the time to coconut oil newbies. No, not food poisoning, don't worry. You won't die from diarrhea that's caused by ingesting too much coconut oil. You still have a long life to live.

1. So, what should you do after getting diarrhea from eating coconut oil?

Stop your intake of coconut oil and other food immediately. In essence, fast.

Fasting helps to avoid further stimulation of your bowels. And wait for the diarrhea effect to taper off. If you feel hungry after a couple of runs, take some bites and see how it goes.

The diarrhea effect should mitigate in a few hours. But it may take up to 12 hours or longer to completely wear off, depending on how severe your bowels have loosened.

In the meantime, drink some salt water (sip by sip to avoid stimulating your bowels) to replenish the loss of sodium and fluid in your body in the process of frequent bowel movements. This ensures you won't get struck by hyponatremia (i.e. water poisoning).

Thereafter, do not consume coconut oil for the next few days until you're sure you've fully recovered from the coconut oil-triggered diarrhea.

2. How to start off with coconut oil to avoid diarrhea?

If you want to get back on coconut oil for its amazing health benefits, don't make the same mistake again as a beginner. You've learned your lesson, right? So, how much to start with?

One teaspoon. And even with just a teaspoon, never take it on an empty stomach. You just never know how your body will react even on a teaspoon of coconut oil although this rarely causes diarrhea.

So, always take coconut oil internally with food. You can of course, cook your food with it.

Foods (especially the fiber-rich ones) help to slow the digestion of coconut oil. It is primarily the 50–64% medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil that loosen bowels and trigger diarrhea. More appropriately, diarrhea-like symptoms.

Real diarrhea from food poisoning may cause your life. But the diarrhea you get from eating too much coconut oil provides an opportunity for a good body detox, actually.

Didn't you just feel better after having an accidental cleansing of your entire bowels?

If no food stays in your stomach and coconut oil is the only thing inside there to get dissolved and broken down, the medium-chain fatty acids can easily prompt your intestinal muscles to contract.

And if you take quite a lot of coconut oil, the sudden increase of gut motility can cause stomach cramp.

That's not all, glycerols that are freed from the medium-chain triglyceride structure upon digestion will gather fluid in your stools. This will cause your stools to become softer and very watery. And if you can't make it to the bathroom in time, better get yourself a diaper.

That's how coconut oil causes diarrhea.

You know what, you can actually leverage this bad side effect of eating coconut oil by using it to ease your chronic constipation, if you do have it. It's powerful.

Other dietary oils may not loosen your bowels so fast because most of them compose of long-chain triglycerides. Long-chain fats take longer to break down and their long-chain fatty acids do not permeate cells to stimulate bowels as swift as medium-chain fatty acids do.

So, start off with just one teaspoon of coconut oil and add it to food.

For example, let's say you're having a healthy oatmeal for breakfast. Pour a teaspoon of coconut oil over and stir well. Next, your lunch? Same thing, add to your food.

What about dinner? Better not take coconut oil in the evening in case its cumulative effect triggers diarrhea after the meal. You'll be too busy dashing to the bathroom instead of sleeping well at night. This can affect your work the following morning. If it causes diarrhea during the daytime, you still have sufficient time to let the effect subside and enjoy a good night's sleep.

If taking a teaspoon of coconut oil (with food) in the morning doesn't cause diarrhea, that doesn't mean it won't trigger diarrhea when you take another teaspoon during lunch. The effect from coconut oil can overlap and pile up as a result, hence causing a cumulative effect.

I would recommend a max of 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of coconut oil that spread over a day for a brand spanking newbie. Keep it that way for at least a week before you increase to 4 or more teaspoons.

However much coconut oil per day you're consuming, split it 50/50. For example, 1 ½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon) at breakfast and 1 ½ teaspoons (½ tablespoon) at lunch. That totals up to 3 teaspoons per day.

But if you think 3 teaspoons of coconut oil per day are causing you to feel nauseous and lose appetite, this means your body has yet to get used to coconut oil. Reduce it to 2 teaspoons or even one per day then.

The nauseating feeling could also stem from the release of toxins when large number of harmful microbes (like Candida yeast) die in your gut after the medium-chain fatty acids, particularly lauric, caprylic and capric acids in coconut oil kill them all. Removal of toxins may induce certain degree of discomfort.

Anyway, such discomfort will gradually fade off as your body adapts better to coconut oil.

3. Which coconut oil gives you a stronger diarrhea effect?

As both virgin and RBD coconut oils have similar nutritional profile, they trigger diarrhea in a very similar manner as stated above. I mean, if you consume too much of them.

As for MCT oil (the edible form of fractionated coconut oil), you might get a more intense effect out of drinking it alone. This is because MCT oil contains purely medium-chain triglycerides, which can actively power up your bowel movement at a relatively lower amount.

But you can allay its diarrhea-like symptoms by consuming with food, same as when you ingest virgin or RBD coconut oil.

To wrap it up

If you're getting started with consuming coconut oil for its massive health benefits, always keep in mind that you should never try to take too much in one sitting, especially on an empty stomach.

You'll get the diarrhea-like side effects appear faster and more severe when taking coconut oil alone than when you include the oil in your meals.

Same holds true when you stop your coconut oil intake for some time and you're trying to resume its consumption.

For instance, you used to consume 3 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for a year and you're good with that all along. Then you stop it completely for some reasons. And after a month you're thinking of getting back on it. Don't fall back on to the usual 3 tablespoons or you might trigger diarrhea.

Begin with a teaspoon as stated above. And gradually build up your intake once again to condition your body for coconut oil's effect.

Of course, if you're good with taking coconut oil alone without food and on an empty stomach, by all means. Most people can't withstand that, to be honest.

Last but not least, I suggest a max of 3–4 tablespoons daily for adults and 1–2 tablespoons daily for children. But you should only do that when your body is ready to take that amount.

Discover next » How to use coconut oil as laxative to relieve constipation

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120 chats on “Can coconut oil cause diarrhea?

  1. I love coconut and will eat raw anytime I make coconut sweet rice with ginger spices I drain the coconut oil and boil it with all these ingredients. I use the coconut water and coconut milk if I have it at hand if not I just use the coconut from the blender and squeeze it out with a spoon or u can use a cloth to squeez the juice out. I don't measure the ingredients sorry I'm just use to making it .

  2. Dont make the mistake i did. 3 tabelspoons when your body isn't adapted to it yet will cause horrific stomach pain and diarrhea. Also on another note, dont make the second mistake i also made in buying the unrefined virgin coconut oil in the plastic container. Avoid plastic contaminant and buy glass.

  3. Soon ChaI Thank you for a lovely written article. It answered all the questions I had. We are trying to do a juice fast adding CO to a banana smothie at the end of the day before bed.....what a mistake. Now I realise why. Could I ask why my 7 year old after having 2 tablespoons of CO in that smoothie on an empty stomach has no adverse reaction but the rest of us do?
    Thank you again Soon
    Warm Regards Antzoo

    • Hi Anthea, banana is filled with fiber + coconut oil + juice and there you have it!

      To answer your question, first of all, is your 7-year-old having flu or any other kind of conditions? I ask that because for example if a person catches flu and takes 2 Tbsps of coconut oil straight on empty stomach, it may not cause any diarrhea-like symptom because most of the antimicrobials would be too "busy" fighting the virus and leaving only a petty or even zero amount for loosening bowels.

      But if your kid is healthy, my guess is that because he or she is in the development stage, so his or her body requires loads of energy to build cells, bones and tissues etc, which is why you don't see him or her getting the runs, or maybe he or she does have little effect but it just appears normal to you guys. You might want to check on his or her stool to see if it's watery. That's the sign.

      Furthermore, a developing child is usually very active and so they require lots of energy to fuel their physical besides their metabolic activities. When most of the MCFAs in coconut oil are burned off as energy to power up a body, same as the flu scenario, very little is left to cause "diarrhea". But of course, I still encourage people to take coconut oil with food and not taking 2 Tbsps in one sitting. Spreading out the intake helps to keep your body in balance.

  4. Ps: Soon I read somewhere that the diarrhea effect as a new user was the Lauric acid doing its job of detoxing the first that true?

    And second how long do I use CO before I see a improvement in my Thyroid?

    Thank you again

    • Not just lauric acid, but caprylic and capric acids as well because they all belong to medium-chain fatty acids, which convert to energy fast. Also, not only new user, veteran user like me is still detoxifying every day, but just that the feeling is not as intense as a new user since I'm already used to it.

      I suppose you mean low thyroid, right? Well, it depends on how serious your low thyroid is. I can't give you a specific time frame. My suggestion is, don't use coconut oil simply for your low thyroid problem. Learn to eat it as food and add it to your every meal. You should also work on improving your lifestyle. You'll likely see an improvement in your thyroid over time.

      Of course, continue with your thyroid medication at the same time (if you're having it) and monitor your condition to see if your body has returned to its normal temperature and whether you have more energy than before, then decrease your medication gradually (of course, with the advice from your specialist).

      You might want to get Dr. Bruce Fife's Eat Fat, Look Thin book where he explains how to incorporate coconut oil into your diet and improve the most common forms of hypothyroidism.

  5. EVCO needs to come with a warning clearly printed on it for diarrhea side effects. Trust, if you ingest slightly too much, you're going to pray for death to come relieve you. I'm on day 2 of accidentally overdosing on this, and I've yet to get a decent nights sleep. I literally had to wear diapers, due to the anal leakage that is occuring without my control. I've placed a pillow and blanket fort in my bathroom at this point. As sweet as this oil smells going down, coming out smells like dead baby skunks. I've never had pure white liquid expell from my rear end before. For God's sake I can't even go to work for fear of pooping, or rather, watering from my butthole in my pants this foul smelling substance of death. Imodium overdose won't even touch this problem. My stomach sounds like the 3:10 from Yuma at all times and I've yet to be able to eat food.

    • Hi, Lindsay, I do agree with your suggestion to some extent. Maybe they should give a gentle warning on the label that coconut oil helps to improve bowel movement instead of saying it causes diarrhea. Coconut oil actually helps to stop real diarrhea effected by food poisoning since it is antimicrobial.

      But if there's no diarrhea-triggering microbes in your gut, then coconut oil will help to step up your gut motility and loosen your bowels. Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope you can quickly get back to your normal life.

    • I feel your pain as I'm afraid I'm going through the same. This is a nightmare, I didn't even take that much honestly. I'm already worried about sleeping tonight and work tomorrow. It would almost be comical, if it wasn't causing me severe physical pain. Lesson learned.

      • Missy has brought up a good point which I think I should take this opportunity to tell you guys.

        If you're taking coconut oil internally as a beginner, try it out in the morning first. If it gives you the runs, you still have ample time for it to effect the diarrhea and allow it to wear off. You'll probably suffer just a few hours unless you really consume a whole lot like 3 or 4 tablespoons in the morning.

        That way you don't have to worry about sleeping at night and whether you can work the following morning. Always go slow with anything you're unsure of and progressively increase its amount.

    • Hi Deb, pulling with coconut oil shouldn't cause diarrhea unless you swallow the entire mixture instead of spitting it out after oil-pulling.

      If you're worried about the diarrhea effect, you can try to oil-pull with just a teaspoon of coconut oil and see how it goes. Then, increase to 2 teaspoons in your next round and so on. I usually oil-pull with one tablespoon but no bowel-loosening effect.

  6. I'm wondering what you can do once you are experiencing digestive issues as a result of eating too much coconut oil at one time. Should you eat something else or not eat? What will make the nausea go away?

    • Hi Mary, it's best to let your digestive system rest at this juncture. If you try to eat something to curb nausea, you'll burden your digestive system and the symptom may aggravate. Of course, your can still drink water to quench your thirst, but take it sip by sip until the feeling of nausea completely goes away and your stomach starts to rumble for food. And when start taking food, take it in small portion first just to make sure you don't overwork your system once again.

  7. Wish I would have found this article a lot sooner. Let's just say I'm still in the bathroom, going on 30 minutes and it won't stop. I took 2 tablespoons in the morning, my best first time, in warm water with a squeeze of lemon. Six hours later it brings down the hammer. Got worried so that's why I'm here. I guess there's the brighter side, it's cleaning my bowels. I may give it a day or two before I start again, this time with half a tablespoon in the morning as the article suggests. If it goes well I'll do the evening half. Thank you, Soon Chai. This is rather embarrassing but thank you nonetheless.

    • Hi Matt, no... not embarrassing at all. Moving bowels is what we all have to do every day or we're done for when the toxins from the waste get back into our system. It's good to share your thought so that we all can learn from your experience and take coconut oil without having to suffer from its "diarrhea side effect".

      You're right about starting coconut oil in a couple of days. Let your body recover from the diarrhea first. If you're worried, you can also start it back with just a teaspoon instead of half a tablespoon in the morning, then if everything goes well you shall add another teaspoon to your lunch. That way you would have 2 teaspoons for the day. 😉

  8. Thanks for the article and also to the commenters. I would always have trouble while increasing my coconut oil consumption. When I would search the Internet, it seemed like I was the only one. Sounds like I need to go much slower.

  9. Thank you so much for this article! I was putting coconut oil in my morning smoothies for a few months with no ill effects (together with coconut milk, banana, blueberries, lemon juice and poppy seeds). Then I bought a different brand of coconut oil (Louana), which I didn't realize was refined. I gradually developed diarrhea, fatigue and itchy skin, but didn't know what was causing it. I went away for a weekend, didn't have my morning smoothies, and the symptoms subsided. I came home, resumed the smoothies, and symptoms returned. Because I have itchy skin along with the diarrhea, I'm wondering if I've developed a sensitivity to salicylic acid, which I understand is found in coconut oil. I've stopped the smoothies for now.

    • Hi Sharon, coconut may contain salicylate (derivative of salicylic acid), but as far as I know, coconut oil does not contain this. If it does, why didn't you develop the reactions before you changed the brand?

      It could be the plastic chemical leaching into the oil (since Louana coconut oil is packed in plastic container) that causes you to develop those symptoms. Buy back the brand you use previously or get a virgin coconut oil that is packed in glass jar instead.

  10. I need advice, I recently traveled to Aruba, and had a local guy talk me into eating part of a raw coconut, it was not rip yet but he said it was safe. I watched him cut it open, but after that I have had diarrhea, this is going onto day 5 with diarrhea. Could it be from the coconut I ate? How long can this go on for?

    • Hi Derick, have you been eating raw coconut every day?

      The "diarrhea" by taking raw coconut or coconut oil should last for just a few hours post intake. If you eat few times a day and lots of it each time, of course, the symptoms will continue.

      Otherwise, you could be suffering from food poisoning since I don't know how hygienic that local guy was and the tool he used to cut open the coconut. And when he cut open the coconut, were there many flies hovering over (and some even landed on) the fruit?

      Also, their drinking water – you have to consider that as well because some countries may have their local (somewhat contaminated) water which foreigners find difficult to adapt to and get the runs as a result. What else were you eating there? Think about it carefully and you should be able to identify the causes of your diarrhea.

  11. When I have had coconut oil in cooking i.e. curries etc. I find it gives me diarrehea, so I avoid it,afraid what might happen. Use it for my hair and skin. I would like to know where I should keep it, now I know to purchase the virgin oil in glass jars.Thankyou.

    • Hi Donna, if you put in too much coconut oil, yes it'll loosen your bowels. In curries, if you have already added coconut cream, adding coconut oil will increase your chances of getting diarrhea-like symptoms.

      Coconut oil is super good for your health. Don't let its diarrhea-triggering effect put you off. Try adding coconut oil slowly, like start with one teaspoon first this time around. Then next cooking you'll add one more teaspoon and so on until you find the amount you're most comfortable with. Please go to How to Store Coconut Oil to learn about storing coconut oil. If you need more help, drop a line.

  12. All my life I been drinking my coffee black and had a little breakfast like a green smoothie or 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast. About 4 weeks ago I stopped eating breakfast. I only have a mug of coffee with about 2 TBSP of coconut oil which I blend in very well. It is so yummy and keeps me satiated all day till dinner. I use Kirkland Organic C. O. which comes in a clear acrylic type container. I have very lose bowel movements, however little there is, I go about 3 times each day. Lots of air and they are GREEN. Otherwise no discomfort but why green? I do eat a large green salad every dinner. The multiple bathroom visits and clean up is annoying. Perhaps I should cut back on the C.O. or try a different brand in a glass Jar?

    • Hi Edith, why is your poop green?

      The brown hue in poop comes mainly from dead red blood cells and waste from gut bacteria. If your bowels move too fast, the chunk may not stay long enough in your gut to feed the bacteria (when they eat less, they pass less waste out as well) and hence, your stool may likely be more greenish (caused by the yellowish-green bile in your intestine) than brownish. This explains why diarrhea sufferers mostly have their poop green in color. Of course, the most common reason for green stool stems from what you put in your mouth.

      Since you mention you eat a large green salad every dinner, plus you're taking coconut oil that has the effect of loosening bowels, I reckon this "combo" has made your stool green. In fact, 3 times a day is what every one of us should at least achieve in order to keep our gut healthy. The longer the waste stays in your gut, the more toxins your body is getting from the waste. So, you should be happy instead of feeling frustrated. You'll get used to the frequency by and by.

      As long as you're not getting much discomfort or other negative effects other than the increase in the frequency of your bathroom visits, continue with your green and coconut oil intake. Of course, coconut oil in glass jar is definitely a much healthier and safer option to go with.

      • Yes Amanda, this is normal. You had taken way too much coconut oil. Introduce it into your diet slowly and progressively to allow your body to adapt to the oil's effect. That's what you should do.

  13. Edith here again. I forgot to mention that I also totally weaned myself off all sugar and simple carbs. I eat very healthy and very little but still cannot lose hardly any weight, sometimes not an once in a whole week. I had gained 15 lb. while on Prednisone, I only lost 10 lb so far. I never sit, I do not smoke or drink. I am 78, very active working in my garden every day. Then again, I am not overweight so it does not matter.

    • Hi Edith, prednisone may disrupt your sleep cycle and trigger a hormonal disorder which can slow your metabolism and cause weight gain. But fortunately, you have grown to like coconut oil that helps to bring your metabolism up again. Keep up your active and healthy lifestyle with your daily intake of coconut oil and I believe your health will take a turn for the better.

  14. I wish I had done some research on possible negative effects before taking the two tbsp I took earlier. It was my first time taking coconut oil. I took it by itself but not necessarily on an empty stomach. Before I had hummus with pretzels, but honestly that might have made it worse since hummus has quite a bit of healthy fats as well. Like 15-20 mins later, I was on the toilet in excruciating pain. :c

  15. I feel better after reading the posts. I too, took my initial dose of two tablespoons yesterday afternoon, on a fairly empty stomach. About an hour later, I had gut wrenching cramping and diarrhea, sweats, you name it! That went on for hours. I have been taking immodium and I slept thru the night fine. I had a piece of dry toast this morning. I am still running to the bathroom and have blood in the toilet. Sorry, this is gross. I don't know if it is from hemmorhoids (which never bleed) but could be after all of the activity. Hope it is not coming from my intestines... I had no idea this would happen.

    • Hi Connie, it could be the hemorrhoids that bleed due to the sudden increase of bowel movements. You just need to restart your coconut oil intake at a lower dose like 1 teaspoon per meal. Let your body adapt to it for a few days before you increase another teaspoon. The diarrhea-like effect will taper off once your body gets used to coconut oil.

  16. Glad to know that having "diarrhea"-like symptoms is normal for some newbies. I too got super excited to try out my EVCO after buying it for the 1st time last night, drinking it straight from its free 120ml bottle. Lucky I'm not tempted to finish all of it in one go (but I did gulp about 3tbs hahah). Five minutes later, my stomach got this cramp that lasted overnight, and I ended up jerking up from my sleep 3 times just to rush to the toilet. I did not consume anything weird yesterday, only the coconut oil is the newly added menu in my meal time, so I know that it is the culprit. Thank God I'm used to drink ACV mixed with honey everyday, so I know that the toilet-rush drama is just my body reacting to the EVCO. It's just that I'm quite worried at first because stools produced by the ACV drinks is firmer, but the EVCO only got liquid gushing from my rear end. Thanks to this article, I now know the reason and will try to cut back my intake for this first few days. Maybe I'll try the half spoon in the morning and another half in the evening. Thank you, author 🙂

    • Hi Nadzirah, thanks for your great sharing of experience. The reason for a firmer stool from ACV is probably due to ACV being diuretic and much fluid will pass out via urination and hence, lesser fluid remains in the bowels to help with "sliding" the waste out.

      By contrast, coconut oil releases glycerols (upon breaking down) that absorb fluid to help with the "flush". Additionally, contraction of bowel muscles are greatly increased by the increase of cellular metabolism (by the MCFAs in coconut oil) that cause the stool to move faster and so stay shorter for intestinal cells to absorb water. Which is why stools from taking coconut oil appear watery and make people think that coconut oil causes diarrhea.

  17. Hi there, Thanks for the information. I, too, am suffering from severe stomach cramps (no diarrhoea though) after taking a little too much coconut oil (about 2 tablespoons perhaps). I've taken lots of it before with no side effects, but I've recently cut out gluten and dairy, and I am eating way more healthily and have been travelling so I've not had CO for most of the last 6 weeks. I'm guessing it's just a case of "too much (of a good thing) too soon". I will stop with the CO (obviously, because this is painful) and when I'm better I will ease back into it gently. Thank you for your help. Any suggestions as to what I can do for the cramps, other than stopping the CO, drinking lots of water, and limiting my food intake?

    • Hi Louisa, there's no need to limit any food intake in general when taking coconut oil. Perhaps your body constitution requires you to do so in order to work well with coconut oil.

      To avoid the cramps, the best way is to get back to coconut oil starting with a teaspoon per day. And if your body feels good with it, increase to 2 teaspoons per day after 2 or 3 days. Raise your intake gradually and progressively to allow your body to adapt to coconut oil's effect.

  18. Hi there, thanks so much for your speedy response. I didn't explain how bad it is - I have had severe abdominal cramps all day yesterday (top, middle part of abdomen) and I didn't sleep all night due to the pain. (Kind of feels as painful as giving birth, but the pain is higher up.) I cannot function properly like this - I have to work in my "free time" and I have two kids to look after. I'm doubled over in pain and half an hour ago it was so bad I couldn't stop myself from moaning really loudly. I'm worried I've done myself some serious internal damage, perhaps to my gallbladder, I don't know... (I've also been taking a lot of vitamins recently) I need to see a doctor urgently. It's totally counterintuitive to me to keep taking the CO while I'm in this much pain.

    • Hi Louisa, that explains why you get such an intense cramp – excessive intake of vitamins and supplements can clog your intestines. And if you've always had problems moving bowels, the clog will exacerbate.

      When coconut oil gets in trying to move your bowels, you get a more intense pain. Of course, it could be other intestinal issues. So yes, stop coconut oil for now and also whatever vitamins you're taking as well. Get a doctor to help you fix your abdominal cramp first.

      And once your problem is fixed, believe me, taking vitamin supplements is not the way to good health. Just improve your diet with more natural plant-based food and you'll receive sufficient nutrients to keep you alive and stay strong. Best of luck.

      • Thanks so much for getting back to me again. The vitamins (along with a plant/veggie based diet) were recommended to me for cystic acne (which I suddenly had a really bad case of a few months ago, after taking milk kefir). I'm eating much cleaner than ever before, and my skin is clearing. I have never had gastro-intestinal issues before - ever. The doctor said the pain is just trapped wind. But I have flu-like symptoms too (which he passed over because I didn't have a fever, only a few degrees). Of course, he's never heard of coconut oil induced die off... Ugh. I wish I could find a real doctor who also understands about alternative medicines/nutrition/die-off.

        • Hi Louisa, glad to know that it's just trapped wind (yes, this could also trigger a severe abdominal pain that lasts for hours) rather than a clogged intestine, which is very much more serious.

          Well, I'm on a plant-based diet as well. But I don't take vitamins. As long as you include in your diet lots of dark green leafy veggies (blending them into smoothies is the easiest way to get tons of nutrients in one sitting), acne should not flare or return easily.

          Of course, perhaps your body (and skin) needs time to repair and so vitamins may be important to you now. But I don't advocate taking plenty of vitamins, they're after all "synthetic" and not as natural as those coming from the food itself. If your health turns for the better as you move along, I hope you can slowly cut back on the amount of vitamins and increase your intake of whole food.

          I remember vividly when I spoke to a doctor about coconut oil, she sneered. Other doctors behave as such. My mom went for a surgery this April and she got a long incision on her lower tummy. I put coconut oil on the incision to help expedite the healing. But when her surgeon noticed the grease on her wound and I told her it's coconut oil, she kind of like smirked and then passed me a chemical-filled cream telling me to use that instead of coconut oil. The cream did not perform well, so I reverted to coconut oil again and my mom's wound was healing like miracle.

          If you can find a doctor like Dr. Bruce Fife (author of The Coconut Oil Miracle), congrats. If you can't, don't waste your breath on them. They're just lazy to learn more about alternative medicines or naturopathy and refuse to change their perspective for the good of their patients.

  19. Hi Soon, after reading all this interesting info I have come to a realization. I have been suffering from diareha for approx 6 months. I've had tests and all come back clean. I just realized my diareha came on around time I started adding approx 1 tbsp of organic virgin coconut oil to my morning oatmeal. I've cut out all sugars. Is it possible I just can't tolerate it? Instead of finding a reason, my doctor diagnosed me with IBSD.

    • Hi Colleen, it's hard to imagine having diarrhea for so many months. How many times do you visit the bathroom per day and what's the interval between bowel movements?

      Meet my mom. She hardly takes fiber-rich food and she's not the health conscious type. So, when I started giving her nutrient-dense, fiber-rich food some months ago, she started to visit bathrooms about 3 times a day with intervals of several hours. And that's considered diarrhea to her (which in fact, it is not) because she normally moves bowels only 3 times a week, which is very inadequate.

      If you move bowels like up to 8 times within a short few hours and you get lots of stomach gases every time, then you're in for a diarrhea. Otherwise, that shows your bowels are improving with virgin coconut oil and congrats for that.

      By the way, oatmeal has lots of soluble and insoluble fiber, which move bowels. And with virgin coconut oil, your bowel movements will definitely increase. I move my bowels 3–5 times a day normally, sometimes can have up to 7 times when I eat even more vegetables (I love vegetables) and raise my activity level but all spreading out nicely in intervals of 2–5 hours between bowel movements.

      As long as the bowel movements do not drain you out and you still can perform your tasks efficiently and effectively, you don't have diarrhea.

  20. WOW...thank goodness for this site. As I just realised my issue might just be related to my intake of coconut oil.

    I just started back cooking with it over the last couple days and because it enhances the food and tastes so good I literally use like 4 tablespoons of it for everything - from making fried eggs to my pasta dinner.

    Between last night and now my bowel movements have gotten more frequent and a bit, well, smelly..very smelly. (SHAME)

    I'm going to ease off on it for a bit, but good to know that I don;t have to rush off to the Emergency room or any sort.

    • Hi Hazel, you can dramatically reduce the odor of your stool by taking more fruits and vegetables while cutting back on animal-based foods. And with more bowel movements, the waste in the gut won't get the luxury of time to rot and ferment further to give off bad smell.

  21. Hi, this is mother of alexjohn a 3.11 years old kids having bleeding in time of his pooping, after first release of his poop blood will follow, I first part of his waste I'd solid, and he poop every other day,.... virgin coconut oil can help this problem?

    • Hi Marilou, do not take this into your own hands and thought virgin coconut oil might help because bleeding during pooping may not appear trivial. It could be other things that is beyond what virgin coconut oil can do. So, please quickly bring your 3-year-old to a qualified pediatrician now.

  22. This has been most helpful...I see, that most people speak freely and discuss what they wouldn't , with a pricey Dr. visit...I woke up with "runny bowel movement" this morning and will call off anything I had to do today...Afraid of the consequences..ha! but yes, I broke into a coconut yesterday and greedily ate half of it and drank some of the water. I am sure that is what caused my problem, as don't generally have such problems. Thank you for the forum.. It certainly set my mind at ease.

  23. I have been taking a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil for 8 years and all of a sudden a couple of days ago I took it in the morning as I done countless times before but about mid day I had gas and out came that tablespoon of coconut oil, right in the middle of work... I don't know what caused that?

    • Hi Phil, you're a super seasoned coconut oil eater. Apparently, your case has nothing to do with coconut oil because it came out before it even got digested.

      Did you take anything special in that morning or the night before? Try to trace back what you have eaten or done and observe your body's reaction for a couple more days and see what happens.

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  26. I was just sitting on the toilet with the worst poo pains and diareah and decided to Google can coconut oil give you poo pains and make you feel nausea as I've been having a table spoon of it every day for the last five days and i came across your site. Thank you so much for all the information on this message board, it's got me through a tough 20 minutes on the toilet and thank God I was at home when this occured unlike poor phil who was caught out at work... I now plan on a coconut free day tomorrow and then building up to a table spoon instead of just jumping in.

  27. i noticed drinking coconut all on empty stomach makes my poo comes with blood. i have ulcer could that be the reason of blood in my poo. please is scary

    • Fear not, Lara. Coconut oil does not cause poo bleeding. It's likely to be your ulcer (as you said) or internal hemorrhoid (pile) that bleeds when your poo "splashes" out. Go check with your doctor ASAP and it might just be a minor issue.

      Try not to "force" your poo out by drinking coconut oil on empty stomach in future. Consume it with food or juice or smoothie and let your poo pass out more gently. Be nice to your intestines.

  28. I feel compelled to add my own experience to this thread. Firstly, thank you previous askers, as you have asked most of my questions. Thank you Soon Chai, I now know this horrible turn of events wasn't from food poisoning but rather my ingestion of CO this morning.

    I made the mistake of substituting my coffee creamer with 2 TBSP of CO and blending thoroughly. Coffee already helps my bowels along, but BOY the CO is a power combo with coffee. I almost blew myself off the toilet with the eruption.

    Soon Chai, what is the best method of intake for CO? Is it best paired with certain foods? I will never again have it with coffee.

    • Hi Matt, different people react differently to food. Like me, I can drink up a Venti cup of coffee at Starbucks and nothing will happen to me (I mean, no bowel movement but will definitely stay wide awake throughout the night).

      And since coffee already helps your bowels, 2 Tbsps of coconut oil is definitely too potent for you. You can still add coconut oil to your coffee, but this time round just a teaspoonful will do.

      Coconut oil is a food by itself. As far as I'm concerned, it mixes well with literally any food. We add it to brown rice, noodles, pasta, soup, smoothie, juice, soy milk, almond milk, desserts, spread it on multigrain bread, dip cookies in it, pour over veggie pizza (I'm a vegetarian), mix with salad, and anything you can think of.

      We cook with coconut oil as well. How best coconut oil is paired with certain food is up to your palate.

      Bottom line, always eat coconut oil with food to scale down its bowel-stimulating effect. And keep in mind to always begin with a small dose and work your way up gradually until you reach 3 or 4 tablespoons per day for health protection.

    • Hi Janine, getting negative reaction from eating coconut oil is just like an inflammation response to a cut. It's painful in the beginning but it is actually healing in the process. It'd be a shame to stop eating coconut oil just because you cannot put up with the healing crisis.

  29. hi! i have a son who is 2 years old and had amoebiasis in the past three weeks and had taken medication for amoebiasis. I've read it online that amoebiasis that VCO is good in expelling the parasites that caused amoebiasis.. After a weeks of my son's medication, I slowly introduced VCO just 1.25ml in the morning and in the evening. Apparently, today on his 3rd day of taking VCO he's experiencing watery diarrhea. Is this because of the VCO fighting the bacteria in my son's gut? I'm not sure if should continue supplementing VCO to my son anymore.

    • Hi Siena, virgin coconut oil may cause watery stool due to the increasing of bowel movement. Honestly, I'm not sure if coconut oil could be used to treat amoebiasis despite there are people circulating the info. I'm checking with Dr. Bruce Fife (via email) who's an expert in treating certain infections and diseases with coconut oil. Please be patient while we're waiting for his reply. Will update you as soon as I receive his response.

    • Hi Siena, this is Dr. Bruce Fife's reply:

      "Coconut oil has been shown to kill many amoebas and could possibly help. About 1 teaspoon twice a day of VCO for a young child, taken with food."

      I think your son just needs a bit more time to get used to the effect of coconut oil. And when taken with food, his stool should not appear as watery. Keep me posted.

  30. Like everyone here I ate a lot of coconut oil that I mixed with plain yogurt it was yummy. It woke me up in the middle of the night it was almost pure water and wouldn't stop back and forth I thought I was gonna die but for some reason it felt good it was like a big cleansing though I drunk a lot of water thinking that the coconut oil was expired or poisoned. We're so much programmed to think everything negatively. Glad I visited your site to know the truth that I was not sick.

  31. I have trouble with Organic extra virgin Coconut Oil, I once uncontrollably filled my boots and jeans up, not funny on a 19klm trip home, the trick appears to not take it on an empty stomach and also get used to it over a coupke of weeks.

  32. Hi, i tried coconut oil even small amount gives me diarrea and eructate like i didn't digest the oil is it normal?, but just clean my bowel and then stop. This kind of diarrhea is bad for our health? if i do it more times this can put my health in risk or just go clean my bowels?

    • Hi Vitor, I guess you drank coconut oil on empty stomach instead of mixing it into your food. If you consume coconut oil this way, yes, it is normal that it loosens bowels. This is detox, to be more specific. It's good for health since it helps to cleanse your intestines. But it could be taxing for elderly especially.

      You can have detox and great health at the same time with coconut oil. Just don't eat coconut oil on its own particularly on empty stomach, add it to food or cook your food with it.

  33. Thanks! I found this because I think I've found to cure for my chronic heartburn at last. I've been taking about a tablespoon of CO at night for at least half a year, but last night I increased the amount to two. I soothed my burning esophagus immediately. I slept better than I have in years. I took more CO this AM when my heartburn acted up slightly. (I had only had coffee with half and half, so stomach nearly empty.)

    A few hours later, I experienced what you described above. It was more what I would consider "loose" than diarrhea, but I was definitely obligated to stay on the throne.

    You know what? I'm okay with that detox. Unlike someone said above, it was not stinky and gross. Just very loose. I wonder if I have fewer toxins to shed since I've already been taking about a tablespoon of CO every night.

    I will take it a bit easier, but I'm going to continue to treat my heartburn with CO. Seriously, this is an answer to prayer. After four surgeries in the past several years, I've dealt with far too many intestinal side effects from antibiotics and NSAIDS,

    For me, It's only probiotics and CO from now on; maybe a chewable, calcium antacid tablet once in a while if necessary.

    One more thing. You can remove this if the endorsement of a product is not allowed, but for those of you who suffer from diarrhea or even just the cramping, there's a homeopathic remedy that has rescued me immediately from these symptoms over this past year: It's from BHI and the name is Diarrhea. When I my fave health food store went out of business, I found it at Amazon.

    • Hi Joan, thanks for sharing. Since you mentioned diarrhea, the "loose" effect from taking too much coconut oil is normal, there's no need to get any diarrhea relief drugs to slow the movement of gut. As you up your intake gradually and your body begins to adjust itself to the effect of coconut oil, the "loose" feeling will be less intense but you'll move bowels more regularly in a healthy manner.

  34. Hi!I ingested 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil for 4 days on an empty stomach every morning and night and I had diarrhea that would last for 3-4 hours.At first I would have normal stool,second excretion was loose,third was loose with water and fourth was water with brown and white mucus.Is it normal?In addition to my discomfort,my lower left abdomen part would have cramps after taking in coconut oil.After getting rid of all the waste in my body,the cramps were gone.

  35. Soon, This is indeed a great site.

    Thank You very much for the invaluable advice which you have generously provided.

    Thanks to everybody who has contributed in the discussions.

  36. I have my mom 1 tsp of cocomct with her morning coffee this morning. She's had I don't know how many trips to the bathroom already, and this last one at 5:30 pm was pretty bad (did not quite make it to the bathroom.) I have her the same 1 tsp yesterday and nothing. Am afraid she's done trying cocomct.
    Is this what caused her diarrhea?

    • Hi Jojo, caffeine has a laxative potential. And when coupled with coconut oil (even with just 1 teaspoon), they can generate quite a powerful bowel-loosening impact. But this probably shows a good sign – your mom is not having a sluggish bowel. I said this because some people tried mixing 2 tablespoons into their coffee but their bowels only managed to move a little.

      If you're trying to encourage your mom to take coconut oil for health benefits, then tell her to add to her food rather than to caffeine-containing beverages like coffee or tea.

  37. So grateful to find this page. I also am suffering greatly from overdose where I previously did not Recently I underwent a colon cancer resection and am getting used to a new stomach. So here a couple of years later the CO is drastically cleaning me out where it once had little effect. I mean, I've never spray-painted the bathroom like last night. And it's still going strong over 24 hours later. But to learn of other instances and read such wonderful advice heartens me by giving the direction I was frantic for. Now that the mind is set straight, recovery will more easily follow. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Roger, glad that you found this page helpful.

      Are you taking lots of coconut oil straight off the jar? If yes, I strongly suggest that you add or mix two or more tablespoons of coconut oil into your food or beverages. This way you can consume more coconut oil for greater health and a speedy recovery from your recent surgery. Besides that, you'll probably suffer less of the "spray-painting" effect.

      I wish you excellent health for many years to come. 😉

      • Thanks for reply, and may I add that yours is the most gracious forum I've found. I'd had CO previously and it seemed rather bland in effect, even at 2-3 tsp a day. But once back on it — 2 tsp were way too much. So I've been forcefully emptying over the last three days in a sticky goo, all over everything. It took a lot out of me but I'm recovering. Your page showed me the cause and effects better than any others, and that information settled my mind into just contending with it. You do good work.

  38. I started taking coconut oil in my coffee each morning. Tasty and good. After a couple/few weeks, I found that it was too much, so I reduced it to 1/2 tsp. but even that had a not wanted effect. So, now I only use coconut oil in cookies, cakes, and sometimes in cooking.
    Why does the oil affect me this way?

    • Hi Nechama, even reducing to 1/2 teaspoon does not seem to mitigate its effect... three possibilities:

      1. Coffee itself has some laxative effect.
      2. Coconut oil breaks down faster into its bowel-stimulating components – medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and glycerols.
      3. Different people react differently to coconut oil's detox effect. If you've not had any constipation issue all along, then coconut oil will appear potent to you. Meaning, it will make your bowels move even faster.

      But when you mix coconut oil into solid food like cookies and cakes as per your case, it tends to break down slower into MCTs and glycerols. And so, the diarrhea effect would be greatly soften. Of course, depending on the quantity of coconut oil you add to the food.

    • Hi Thuli, I'm not sure how baking soda is going to react with coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, so I don't suggest you to do that. But it seems alright to take both coconut oil and apple cider vinegar at the same time.

      I cook all my meals with coconut oil and often dip veggies in apple cider vinegar. Nothing bad occurs so far.

  39. This explains a lot. Thank you!
    I just gave my 6yo and 2yo 2 spoons of VCO to strengthen their immune system as they got food poisoning and experiencing diarrhea.

    Shocked to see that from a mild diarrhea, it then turned to be an awful one! They’ve been having watery stools for 2 days now. I feel horrible.

    From the comments, I can see you suggest that they should take sips of water and not burden the digestive system.
    But do you have any other suggestions to get the diarrhea to stop?
    Can I give them honey?

    • Hi Nurul, one contradicting part about coconut oil is that it helps to kill germs that cause food poisoning.

      But you should start them off with 1/2 teaspoon first and see how it goes before you feed another 1/2 teaspoon after an hour or so, rather than giving them 2 tablespoons (I suppose that's what your "2 spoons" meant, right?) in the first place.

      Honey helps to soften stool too, so it's best not to give them. I guess their diarrhea effect should have worn off by now. Sorry that I couldn't respond earlier.

      Sometimes, having diarrhea helps to clean up the system, so it may not be a bad thing. But if their diarrhea persists for more than 2 days, you might like to bring them to a pediatric specialist.

      Taking virgin coconut oil is one of the best ways to strengthen immune system and prevent food poisoning. I've been traveling around for the past 10+ years and been to polluted area or eating unhygienic food too. I make food choices very carefully. But sometimes you simply have no choice when you're out of your country and at the mercy of the place you visit.

      However though, food poisoning just doesn't seem to favor me. I guess this has a lot to do with virgin coconut oil's germ-fighting properties.

      Once your kids recover from their diarrhea, you should try to encourage them to take virgin coconut oil every day for long-term health benefits, rather than giving them only in times of need. That might be a bit too late.

  40. Thank you for replying, Soon Chai.
    Yes, fortunately their diarrhea has seem to wear off since yesterday. Thank God!

    I have actually been giving them VCO regularly, but usually mixed in their rice or spread on their bread. Never given them directly like I did previously.
    And yes, 2 spoons within 12 hours was too much for them.
    Will be more careful with the dosage next time.

    I appreciate your explanation and sharing of knowledge.
    May God bless you with good health and wealth, amen!

  41. CECIL
    Find your work extremely useful as I too made the same mistake of ingesting too much VCO on an empty stomach as a newbie and suffered similarly. Wish I had hit upon this site earlier !!! Pl continue your good work. You will be blessed for that.

  42. So I stopped smoking cigarettes a week ago. No vaping, no cigarettes, and just healthy eating, small doses of cannabis and nicorette gum 2mg. I started ingesting the oil yesterday with a small sip and had instant diarrhea. I said ok cool. I'm detoxing pretty fast. Plus, I have a super high metabolism. Took another sip last night before bed. Instant mistake with regret. I have now been up for a couple of hours with little sleep. I think I will have to call in today because it hasn't stopped yet. Can just a sip of coconut oil, not even a full teaspoon, give you the runs? I have used oil pulling and accidentally swallowed a tablespoon full before a swish and had no effect a few years ago. Can it switch on your metabolism like that?

    • Hi Ace, your body is undergoing some form of withdrawals as you've started quitting smoking just recently. Withdrawals can weaken the control of your bowel muscles and lead to intestinal disorder.

      On top of that, MCT in coconut oil can trigger a rapid release of cannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD). CBD can potentially motivate bowel movement.

      Which is why even a sip of coconut oil (less than a teaspoonful) can stimulate and give you the runs.