Coconut oil health benefits: Why is coconut oil sooo good for you?

Two scientists holding magnifying glasses researching coconut oil

Did you know that coconut oil is good for weight loss, constipation, heart disease, alzheimer's disease, flu, diabetes, low thyroid, osteoporosis, arthritis and candida infection? Did you also know that coconut oil may protect you against cancer? I'm not kidding. If you dive into coconut oil, you'll see that it owns 80 – 90% saturated fats and 50 – 64% medium-chain fatty acids.

On top of that, coconut oil is chock full of antimicrobials. These properties are the secrets behind coconut oil that provide us with health benefits.

Take saturated fats. Some people are slamming coconut oil for its high saturated fat content.

But the hard truth is, the saturated fats in coconut oil actually provide huge benefits for our health. They're good at reducing destructive oxidative damage that happens inside our body day in and day out.

Oxidative damage is the harm caused to cells, tissues and organs when they succumb to the overwhelming free-radical attacks.

It makes you age faster. It also increases your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic inflammation, cataract and memory loss etc.

1. How coconut oil's saturated fats reduce oxidative damage so that you can stay young, vibrant and healthy

To understand better on how the saturated fats in coconut oil work to minimize oxidative damage and provide health benefits, you must first learn some basics about free radical and oxidation. They're easy to pick up, no sweat!

1.1   Free radical and oxidation, what are they?

A stable (hence, harmless) atom has perfectly paired electrons on its outer shell. But when it loses an electron on its outer shell due to chemical reaction, air pollution, radiation, viral attack, bacterial infection, or other reasons, the pairing is upset.

This then causes the atom to become highly reactive and thus aggressive. And this highly reactive atom is called free radical.

What free radical is
Note
A free radical can also be a molecule, which comprises 2 or more unstable atoms.

To restore its electron pairing, this barbaric free radical will go around snatching electron from a nearby atom or molecule that has weak (double) bonding.

This leads to oxidation (loss of electron) of that nearby atom or molecule, which then has its property changed and becomes the next free radical hunting for another frail atom or molecule.

Note
Oxidation also occurs when an atom or molecule gains oxygen (or loses hydrogen).

What's even worse is that, upon oxidation, some molecules may split into two or more free radicals, making the chain reactions of oxidation even faster and more destructive.

To help you get a better picture, ever seen a peeled apple turning brown on exposure to air? It happens on a small area at first and then more areas turn brown after some time. That's the result of oxidation and its chain reactions when you expose the fruit to air.

In essence, free radicals can cause oxidation and oxidation can result in the formation of free radicals, forming a vicious cycle that endangers our health.

So now, the question is, what kind of atom or molecule is prone to free-radical attack? Or more specifically to the context here, which fat is more vulnerable to oxidation, unsaturated or saturated?

1.2   The ugly truth about unsaturated fat

We've always been educated that monounsaturated fats (such as in olive oil) are good for our health, right? Now, let's see if this is true.

Monounsaturated fatty acid chemical structure

This monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) composes of a chain of 18 carbon atoms fully attached with hydrogen atoms, except for ONE missing pair (mono-).

That missing pair induces a double bond between 2 carbon atoms (pink box). It is this missing pair of hydrogen atoms that makes the fat molecule unsaturated.

Note
A double bond C=C includes one pi (π) bond and one sigma (σ) bond, whereas a single bond C–C solely comprises one sigma bond. Sigma bond is stable. But pi bond is weak and hence, more unstable and eagerly reacts with free radicals. This is why a double bond is more prone to free-radical reaction than a single bond.

Now, imagine you expose this unsaturated fat to air. Any free radicals in the form of reactive oxygen molecules can attack and break the pi bond between carbon atoms. And convert the MUFA into a "don't know what" molecule – an alien, technically.

Oxidation of monounsaturated fatty acid

The reactive oxygen molecule might also kiss up to that C=C pair and force the MUFA to turn into an unnaturally saturated compound.

Saturation of monounsaturated fatty acid

Whichever way oxidation takes place, MUFA has now become a free radical since it got one or more unpaired electron on it. And you know what it'll do next?

It'll physically assault its neighboring monounsaturated fats, causing them all to oxidize eventually via a series of chain reactions.

And not just monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats can't escape oxidation either. Things actually get even worse on polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs).

Note
All oils and fats are essentially made up of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

1.3   How much worse is PUFA than MUFA?

Polyunsaturated fatty acid chemical structure

See? It has more than one missing pair of hydrogen atoms. "Poly" means many. That's why it's called poly-unsaturated fat.

One missing pair alone is already so prone to oxidation. Can you imagine having more than one missing pairs in a single molecule?

And you don't just have one MUFA molecule or one PUFA molecule in a say, 14-oz jar of dietary oil. You have trillions of them, literally.

Take olive oil for instance. It comprises about 70% MUFAs and 10% PUFAs. Can you imagine the outcome of this healthful oil?

Professor Susan Richardson

"Any oil that contains unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats – that is, fats that allow the oil to be liquid at room temperature – can go rancid. Unsaturated fats have a carbon-carbon double bond in their structure. However, these bonds can be broken by oxygen in the air." Susan D. Richardson, a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina, told Live Science journal.

Which is why many researchers found that olive oil degrades over time and most of its beneficial nutrients vanish after several months of storage. The loss of nutrients accelerates as temperature rises.

That also explains why when you cook your food with olive oil, your food tends to taste stale in a few hours. (Putting the food in the fridge only slows the process of oxidation and hence, property changes of the oil.)

A question suddenly pops up. Why do oil makers prefer to partially hydrogenate their common cooking oils, which contain mostly unsaturated fats?

They know very well that unsaturated fats are prone to oxidation and oxidized fats turn rancid easily. So, they happily pump hydrogen to increase the oil's saturation level so that the oil can last longer. And they can make more money!

Good for them, huh? But bad for us because hydrogenation creates trans fats.

1.4   Advantages of saturated fat in coconut oil

Because most of its content are saturated fats (about 80 – 90%), coconut oil does not oxidize easily.

Saturated fatty acid chemical structure

All hydrogen atoms in the fat are completely filled and carbon atoms are all single-bonded with sigma bonds.

Imagine you are a nasty free radical, how do you attack this fat?

No way, right? There's simply no "empty space" for you to fit in and no unstable pi bond for you to react with. (Pi bond readily reacts with free radicals, remember?)

Note
That little gray box is the carboxyl group (–COOH), which is the indicator for an acid. Attacking its double bond doesn't affect the health property and behavior of the saturated fat.

So, that makes saturated fat in coconut oil a very stable and good fat that doesn't readily oxidize in the presence of free radicals.

No wonder coconut oil can still retain its nutritional quality and health benefits even after a year of storage, unlike olive oil.

Also, when you expose it to an environment that has plenty of oxygen and heat, such as inside our body, coconut oil doesn't turn rancid easily. (A heated environment promotes oxidation.)

Speaking of that, you probably aren't aware that even when you consume olive oil absolutely raw and fresh, its unsaturated fats may oxidize and react with the large volume of oxygen in our body, are you?

Absorbing oxidized fats is definitely toxic to our health. It's akin to smoking cigarettes. You won't die instantly. But your cells, tissues and organs will rot gradually until you get some sort of disease one day.

So, verdict? Which fat oxidizes more easily? You should know by now.

Oops! I almost forgot that coconut oil also carries about 8 – 10% unsaturated fats (including mono- and poly-). So, will that affect the health benefits of coconut oil? Is coconut oil still as good?

Since it consists of mostly saturated fats, you can imagine how randomly spaced out and diluted the minority unsaturated fats are when the good saturated fats predominate in coconut oil.

Saturated fats prevent oxidation of unsaturated fats in coconut oil

You can see that the dominant presence of saturated fats is forcing the unsaturated fats to spread out far apart. They literally can't interact with each other to form a destructive chain reaction, even when exposed to air.

As a result, reactions of free radicals and oxidation hardly take place in coconut oil, under normal circumstances and uses.

That's why researchers found coconut oil's properties and hence, health benefits unchanged even after storing it for 12 long months.

That also explains why my brown rice (fried with coconut oil) tasted just as good after several hours at room temperature. (In Singapore, our room temperature typically ranges from 80.6 °F to 89.6 °F or 27 °C to 32 °C.)

1.5   If coconut oil's saturated fats are so good, why do some people say they're bad?

According to The Coconut Oil Miracle (authored by Dr. Bruce Fife), it's all due to a well-orchestrated conspiracy spearheaded by the American Soybean Association (ASA).

In the late 1980s, although import of consumable tropical oils at that time took up only a minority share of the America's dietary oil market, it still posed a threat to the soybean industries.

(If you feel intimidated by a competitor, wouldn't you want to get rid of him?)

So, they set out to create a negative publicity about tropical oils, claiming that the saturated fats in tropical oils can clog arteries and cause heart disease and stroke. (Pretty much the same as what you're hearing and reading today.)

Coconut oil came under the largest fire as it carries the greatest amount (80 – 90%) of saturated fats.

Soon after, many authoritative but misguided health groups, especially the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) jumped on the media bandwagon to support the propaganda, blindly followed by a Nebraska multi-millionaire, Phil Sokolof (founder of the National Heart Savers Association) and many food manufacturers.

With the combined effort of these powerful (but ignorant and moronic) groups and people, the wicked propaganda became so viciously "loud" that it muted the weak voices from the tropical oil industries and medical researchers and experts who were truly familiar with the extensive benefits and health properties of tropical oils.

So, in the end, the public of course, believed in the rumors as the misinformation clouded the America's sky.

For the "good health" of the public, since then, the tropical oils and all coconut-based food were forced to "vanish". And you could only see food that were non coconut-based in the markets. This not only took place in America, soon the world got to know about the "oil from hell".

Fortunately, in the past 15 years the truth about coconut oil and its massive benefits on health and skin have gradually surfaced and come to light. Thanks to the relentless promoting effort of those who have genuinely benefited from the consumption and use of coconut oil.

1.6   So, what are coconut oil's saturated fats good for?

Coconut oil's saturated fats are effectively good for:

  • Slowing biological aging
  • Preventing cardiovascular diseases
  • Protecting against colon and breast cancers
  • Alleviating rheumatoid arthritis
  • Improving diabetes
  • Treating Alzheimer's disease
  • Retarding cataract development

These conditions and diseases are primarily caused by oxidative stress due to free-radical reactions.

That's why you hear a lot about consuming food rich in antioxidants can help slow aging, prevent certain cancers, abate cataract development, protect against heart disease, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease etc, right?

If unfortunately you're already down with one or more of these diseases while reading this, taking coconut oil orally at this point might still bring some health benefits.

For example, if you've been diagnosed with a mild (early stage) Alzheimer's disease, you might still stand a chance of completely reversing this chronic disease after taking coconut oil internally every day for several weeks.

But if you're already at its severe stage, coconut oil should still be able to help slow your memory loss or even improve your memory a bit while reducing your reliance on Alzheimer's disease medication.

It's worth noting that the saturated fats in coconut oil are not the only good guys that provide health benefits for those with the aforementioned chronic diseases, but also its medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) as well.

How do MCFAs in coconut oil help?

They rev up your metabolism and expedite repairing of damaged cells and tissues, which are caused by the destructive free-radical chain reactions.

That's probably the reason why some Alzheimer's sufferers' memory are able to remarkably improve with adequate ingestion of coconut oil.

2. How coconut oil's MCFAs boost your metabolism and improve your health

When you eat coconut oil, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil will first split into MCFAs and glycerols on digestion.

Medium-chain triglyceride breaks down into medium-chain fatty acids and glycerol

These freed MCFAs then travel directly to your liver. As soon as they reach your liver, they enter liver cells (hepatocytes) without much effort and convert to energy quickly. This rapid energy conversion stimulates your metabolism. And you get a sudden burst of energy.

When your metabolism increases and energy elevates, your cells will function at a higher rate of efficiency.

For example, your injury will heal faster such that new cells are made quickly to replace old, diseased or worn-out cells. Your liver can metabolize body fat more efficiently to obtain more energy. Your immune system becomes more alert and able to provide stronger protection against harmful microbes. Your body is able to detox better. And many more.

The opposite occurs if you're running at a metabolic rate slower than normal.

This is why people with slow metabolism are more likely to get into trouble such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and obesity etc.

How about long-chain fatty acids, can they also boost metabolism?

Deriving from long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) can convert to energy too. However, they don't boost metabolism as much as MCFAs do. Why?

2.1   LCFA vs MCFA

Pathway of long-chain triglyceride and medium-chain triglyceride
EntitiesDescriptionActivities on LCTActivities on MCT
Lingual lipaseDigestive enzymes secreted by serous glands in tongue.Break down only a very small number of LCTs into LCFAs.Split up some fractions of MCTs into MCFAs.
Gastric lipaseDigestive enzymes secreted by peptic cells in stomach.Digest and convert some more LCTs into LCFAs.Unleash most MCFAs from MCTs.
BileDigestive enzymes secreted by liver cells.Break up larger fat globules into smaller fat droplets where undigested LCTs reside.
Pancreatic lipaseDigestive enzymes secreted by pancreatic acinar cells into small intestine.Release more LCFAs from undigested LCT droplets.
MicellesTiny spheres formed by bile salts.Pick up and ferry LCFAs across chyme (watery mass of partly digested food in small intestine) to enterocytes.
EnterocytesIntestinal absorptive cells.1. Absorb LCFAs from micelles.

2. Reconstruct LCFAs into LCTs.

3. Package LCTs with cholesterols, proteins and phospholipids to form chylomicrons.
1. Absorb MCFAs directly via simple diffusion.

2. Diffuse MCFAs straight to portal vein.
ChylomicronsLipoprotein particles formed by triglycerides, cholesterols, proteins and phospholipids.1. Export LCTs out of enterocytes by exocytosis.

2. Enter bloodstream via lymphatic vessels (lacteals).

3. Deliver and drop LCFAs to fat cells (adipocytes) and muscle cells (myocytes).

4. Excess LCFAs not stored or utilized by cells are transported to liver.
Portal veinBlood vessel that carries blood to liver.1. Absorb MCFAs from enterocytes.

2. Channel MCFAs directly to liver.
LiverOrgan that takes care of around 500 functions, including lipid metabolism and energy production.1. Convert LCFAs to energy, but less efficiently.

2. May convert LCFAs to ketone bodies, depending on bodily condition.

3. Unused LCFAs are stored in liver cells.
1. Convert MCFAs to energy.

2. Convert excess MCFAs to ketone bodies as fuel for brain, heart and muscles.

Did you realize that LCT has to go through a lot more "hardships" than MCT? You know why?

All because of its size. Yes, LCT is a lot larger and hence, bulkier than MCT.

Size of long-chain triglyceride versus medium-chain triglyceride

2.2   Why size matters

Each LCT composes of three LCFAs that hold 13 to 21 carbons whereas each MCT comprises three MCFAs that are only 6 to 12 carbons long.

Because of the difference in size, LCT requires a lot more digestive enzymes to free up its LCFAs.

Not only that.

As LCFAs are longer by nature, many of them generally don't enter the portal vein straight and convert quickly to fuel at liver just like MCFAs. They must be reconstructed and then circulated in our bloodstream as LCTs. It's only when signaled, LCTs will let loose their LCFAs into cells that need "food".

But the harsh reality is, when LCFA meets MCFA at a cell's doorstep, the cell often chooses MCFA over LCFA, without fail.

This is because LCFA requires special enzymes called carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I (CPT-I), CPT-II and carnitine-acylcarnitine

translocase (CACT) to help them pass through the cell's double membranes and convert to energy.

Whereas MCFA simply diffuses through the membranes with ease, just because it's much shorter.

Imagine you're the cell, would you wait for your enzymes to escort and convert the slow-moving LCFA to energy or you prefer MCFA to flash in so that you can quickly utilize it to fuel your daily task?

Our cells behave just like us – impatient. If we can have a more efficient and quicker source of energy, why wait?

This is especially crucial for diabetics as many of their cells are resistant to insulin and thus, in constant starvation. They need instant energy. Hence, when MCFAs spring into action and fuel their starving cells after consuming coconut oil regularly, their diabetic condition improves.

So at the end of the day, the poor rejected LCTs in the bloodstream often wind up in your fat cells as energy reserve.

Take a look at your bulging tummy, heavy butt and bingo wings. They're the results of LCT deposits.

Wait, sniff, sniff... did you smell a rat?

2.3   MCFAs boost metabolism in more than one way

Early on, I showed you that MCFAs take the portal path while LCFAs the lymphatic route, right? If they travel differently and arrive at liver at different times, why would they bump into each other at a cell's doorstep?

Well, the truth is, some amounts of MCFAs actually undergo the lymphatic route like the LCFAs. Especially the relatively longer 10- and 12-carbon MCFAs.

This arrangement actually benefits our health even more than just shuttling all MCFAs to liver and burn as fuel there. Not only your liver gets the perk now, but the cells in other parts of your body as well.

No wonder people who often have low energy rave that they have more energy than ever after taking coconut oil daily.

What's even more encouraging is that, your body's metabolism accelerates as a whole when MCFAs also metabolize in cells other than liver cells.

Good news to you if you're overweight. You can lose weight easily with coconut oil now!

That's not all. Alongside weight loss, MCFAs in coconut oil are good at destroying malicious pathogens.

Yes, coconut oil's MCFAs are super antimicrobials.

In fact, the LCFAs in coconut oil possess antimicrobial properties too. Together with MCFAs, they make coconut oil an extremely powerful immunity booster against harmful viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

3. How coconut oil's antimicrobials step up your immunity against pathogens

Are you aware that your immune system is struggling to fight off trillions of malicious microbes at every second to keep you safe?

Seriously, it won't be long before your immune system breaks down and you fall sick again.

You need something to effectively relieve the burden on your immune system so that you can avoid getting sick every few months and stay free from illness for years, like me.

And that "something" is – coconut oil.

"Why coconut oil?", you might ask.

3.1   Coconut oil is flooded with antimicrobials

As I've told you a while ago, the LCFAs and MCFAs in coconut oil have strong antimicrobial properties. They're specifically skilled at rupturing the envelopes (membranes) of pathogens.

Damaging the envelopes can cause significant disruption to the pathogens' energy intake and starve them to death consequently. They may also die due to the spilling and disintegration of the inside pathogenic particles when their outer protective layer is destroyed.

Sounds brutal. But the problem is, fatty acids can't flex their antimicrobial muscles until you set them free. What does that mean?

Look, coconut oil is made up of triglycerides. It is these triglycerides that lock the fatty acids firmly together. In such a state, the locked fatty acids are basically dormant.

Inactive fatty acids in triglycerides

Like super soldiers not able to show off their fighting skills when you lock them up. You must free them so they can go out and fight enemies.

Same to the fatty acids in coconut oil. You must set them free to unleash their pathogen-killing instinct. How?

Eat coconut oil and your body's digestive enzymes will break down the triglycerides. Once broken down, the triglycerides will release these 9 different types of free fatty acids (FFAs) into your bloodstream. They'll destroy harmful microbes on contact and keep you safe.

9 types of free fatty acids in coconut oil
Note
1. Did you know what those lipid numbers mean? Take C8:0. It means the fatty acid contains 8 carbon atoms with zero missing hydrogen atoms – it's fully saturated. On the other hand, C18:1 means the lipid has 18 carbon atoms with one missing pair of hydrogen atoms. It's monounsaturated. C18:2 means two missing pairs of hydrogen atoms – polyunsaturated.

2. Coconut oil may actually contain a few other lipids such as butyric acid, arachidic acid etc. But they are in trace amount (less than 0.1%) and you may not find them in all types of coconut oil. I'll cover only the commonly found lipids. More practical.

You might not know this. These FFAs in coconut oil can also convert to monoglycerides, which may display even greater antimicrobial strength in most cases. This definitely adds more power to the health benefits of coconut oil and takes your immunity to the next level.

3.2   What exactly are monoglycerides?

Monoglycerides are actually derivatives of FFAs. Our body produces them via partial breakdown of triglycerides.

For example, when you set two fatty acids free from ester bonds #1 and #3, you create a T-shaped monoglyceride.

Triglyceride converts into T-shaped monoglyceride

But if you separate them from either ester bonds #1 and #2 OR #2 and #3, then an L-shaped monoglyceride will form.

Triglyceride converts into L-shaped monoglyceride

In fact, our body may also chemically construct a monoglyceride by binding a free fatty acid to a solo glycerol molecule.

A free fatty acid binds to glycerol to form monoglyceride

And since monoglycerides are derivatives of FFAs, if the coconut oil you ingest contains 9 types of FFAs, then you should expect your blood to have an extra 9 types of monoglycerides as well.

9 types of monoglycerides derived from corresponding free fatty acids

3.3   How do these monoglycerides work to protect you from microbial harm?

These monoglycerides work pretty much the same as their corresponding FFAs. They inactivate or kill pathogens by blocking the pathogens' food intake and/or crumbling the pathogenic cells into pieces.

However, one thing very different is – their strength from FFAs. They may be produced out of FFAs in coconut oil, but they can exhibit higher levels of antimicrobial effects against pathogens in many cases.

For instance, a research shows that lauric acid is highly active in killing herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). But you only need 10 times lesser monolaurin to get rid of the same virus.

In this case, I'd say if lauric acid is the powerful Thor, then monolaurin behaves like Thor with hammer. Even more powerful.

Another research shows that myristic acid has negligible antibacterial activity against H. pylori. But when its corresponding monomyristin confronts the bacteria, the number of bacterial cells shrinks considerably.

This makes me feel that myristic acid is just like Tony Stark, ordinary and thus, powerless against bad guys. And monomyristin is like myristic acid putting on an armor suit and become – iron man.

On top of that, monoglycerides may also help to reserve more FFAs for the battle against certain pathogens, which are more susceptible to the antimicrobial effects of FFAs than that of monoglycerides.

What do I mean by that?

Take monolaurin and lauric acid for example. Monolaurin performs better than lauric acid in reducing the common Candida albicans. Whereas lauric acid exhibits very much higher antibacterial activity than monolaurin against Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria that causes STD Chlamydia.

Imagine if someone suffers an overgrowth of Candida yeast and contracts Chlamydia bacteria at the same time. What he can do to get rid of both pathogens and reclaim his health is to take coconut oil internally.

Upon ingestion, the derived monolaurin can help him tackle the Candida fungi while sparing the reserves of lauric acid so that lauric acid can focus its entire effort and effectively wipe out the STD bacteria.

That's the synergistic effects generated when FFAs and monoglycerides work hand in hand. They ensure a more complete elimination of the pathogens.

If you run through the short list (below) that I've compiled from over 10 research papers to study their antimicrobial behavior and strength against the microbes, you'll notice that each microbe doesn't get killed by just one type of FFA or monoglyceride, but a combination of both.

PathogensWhat it causesAntimicrobial lipids
Staphylococcus aureus
(Gram +ve bacteria)
– Sepsis
– Pneumonia (lung infection)
– Endocarditis (infection of heart's inner lining)
– Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
Skin infection
#1 Monolaurin
#2 Monocaprin
#3 Lauric acid
#4 Capric acid
#5 Monomyristin
#6 Myristic acid
Streptococcus group A
(Gram +ve bacteria)
– Strep throat
– Rheumatic fever
– Scarlet fever
– Necrotizing Fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)
#1 Monolaurin
#2 Linoleic acid
#3 Lauric acid
#4 Monocaprin
#5 Myristic acid
#6 Capric acid
#7 Oleic acid
#8 Palmitic acid
Chlamydia trachomatis
(Gram –ve bacteria)
Chlamydia (STD)#1 Lauric acid
#2 Monocaprin
#3 Capric acid
#4 Monolaurin
Escherichia coli
(Gram –ve bacteria)
– Urinary tract infection (UTI)
– Food poisoning
#1 Monomyristin
#2 Caprylic acid
#3 Capric acid
Helicobacter pylori
(Gram –ve bacteria)
Chronic gastritis#1 Monocaprin
#2 Monolaurin
#3 Lauric acid
#4 Monomyristin
#5 Monocaprylin
Neisseria gonorrhoeae
(Gram –ve bacteria)
Gonorrhea (STD)#1 Monocaprin
#2 Lauric acid
#3 Monolaurin
#4 Capric acid
#5 Myristic acid
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
(Bacteria)
Tuberculosis (TB)#1 Lauric acid
#2 Myristic acid
#3 Oleic acid
#4 Linoleic acid
#5 Palmitic acid
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)Cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth#1 Monolaurin
#2 Monocaprin
#3 Linoleic acid
#4 Oleic acid
#5 Lauric acid
#6 Myristic acid
#7 Capric acid
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)Respiratory tract infection#1 Monocaprin
#2 Monocaprylin
#3 Lauric acid
#4 Oleic acid
#5 Monolaurin
#6 Monoolein
#7 Capric acid
Human parainfluenza virus type 2 (HPIV-2)Respiratory tract infection#1 Monocaprin
#2 Lauric acid
#3 Monolaurin
#4 Capric acid
Candida albicans
(Fungus)
– Oral thrush
– Vaginal yeast infection
– Candidemia
#1 Monolaurin
#2 Linoleic acid
#3 Monocaprin
#4 Lauric acid
#5 Capric acid
#6 Myristic acid
Giardia lamblia
(aka Giardia duodenalis)
(Parasite)
Giardiasis#1 Lauric acid
#2 Monolaurin
Note
Certain FFAs and monoglycerides may not appear in the table for their negligible antimicrobial effect. In the case of Giardia lamblia, researchers picked only a couple of fatty acids or monoglycerides for the study. But that doesn't mean other FFAs and monoglycerides are ineffective. I've also ranked the FFAs and monoglycerides based on my observation to give you an idea of their antimicrobial strength against the pathogens.

This shows that when you consume coconut oil, its FFAs and monoglycerides produced can protect you against a broad spectrum of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

Can you find a drug that can target a broad spectrum of pathogens like coconut oil? This kind of drug can never exist. Take antiviral drugs. You need to develop a specific vaccine and drug for each type of virus.

Let's say you're so unlucky that you happen to contract the above bacteria and viruses (touch wood!), can you imagine how many different types of drugs your stomach has to swallow?

What's more, these antimicrobial lipids don't care how the pathogens mutate from one strain to another. They just crush the membranes and kill the pathogenic microbes.

In other words, it's difficult for pathogens to mutate to become resistant to their antimicrobial effect.

As in the case of antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), they have mutated to become resistant to antibiotic drugs, but they're still susceptible to the antibacterial effect of monolaurin, monocaprin, lauric acid and capric acid etc. That's what researchers have discovered.

3.4   Nature's super germ-killers – Lauric acid and monolaurin

If you spend hundreds of hours like me sitting in front of a screen flipping page after page of a huge stack of online research papers, you'll discover that lauric acid in coconut oil and its derivative, monolaurin are the most potent antimicrobial lipids against a long list of pathogens that threaten our lives.

Coincidentally, of all lipids, lauric acid takes up the most space in coconut oil.

Fatty acids (lipids)Quantity
Lauric acid41.8 %
Myristic acid16.7 %
Palmitic acid8.64 %
Caprylic acid6.8 %
Oleic acid6.25 %
Capric acid5.39 %
Stearic acid2.52 %
Linoleic acid1.68 %
Caproic acid0.477 %

Don't you get it? Mother Nature wants to protect us! That's why SHE has purposely planted so much lauric acid in a coconut since day one.

And when we gulp down the oil from coconut, lauric acid and monolaurin will spring into action and literally shield us from super germs such as (just to name a few)...

Super germsWhat it causes
Chlamydia pneumoniaePneumonia (lung infection)
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)Hearing loss in babies
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)Infectious mononucleosis (mono)
Haemophilus influenzae– Bloodstream infection
– Meningitis
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)Hepatitis C (liver infection)
Herpes simplex virus (HSV)– Cold sores
– Genital herpes
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)AIDS
Human T-lymphotropic virus Type 1 (HTLV-1)– Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL)
– Tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP)
Influenza virusFlu
Listeria monocytogenesListeriosis
Measles (rubeola) virusRed measles
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)Respiratory tract infections

Did your eyes pop out when you saw AIDS up there? It's the most deadly disease by far. Once infected, you're literally on death row.

So, how is it possible that the so much cheaper coconut oil can fight HIV and treat AIDS while costly medications fail?

Meet Tony V., a Filipino AIDS sufferer who was about to die of full-blown AIDS years ago. He literally got "resurrected" after ingesting 6 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily and applying it 3 times a day from head to toe for his severe skin infections due to the disease.

When he returned to the hospital for his periodic blood tests, the doctors were all astounded at his recovery.

Tony V. sharing how coconut oil helps to treat his AIDS

"They were all excited and couldn't understand what was happening," says Tony. "They asked me what I was taking. I told them I was using coconut oil."

They couldn't believe that something as simple as coconut oil was killing the virus and infections better than their drugs.

"HIV virus has not been curable until now," he said. "The antiretrovirals cannot control the infection, which is why a lot of my friends died. Doctors cannot predict how long I will live. When I was diagnosed, my doctors told me I wouldn't live another three months. Well, here I am now. I'm still standing. Maybe I have a mission to share my experience with all whom I meet."

"People like me who have HIV/AIDS are scared. But you don't need to be afraid now. Years ago tuberculosis was a worldwide epidemic, but eventually they found the cure. For HIV, maybe virgin coconut oil is the solution the world has been looking for."

After hearing Tony's miraculous story, you might wonder, if coconut oil is so effective against AIDS, why isn't anyone carrying out research studies on it?

In fact, a few enthusiastic researchers did carry out small clinical trials and the results obtained were promising. One performed at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Philippines, another at Dharmais Cancer Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia.

But to convince the world, you need to run several large scale clinical trials which need a heck lot of money. And who wants to fund those researches?

Practically all drug makers or pharmaceutical companies won't be interested because they can never patent and own coconut oil.

Coconut oil is everywhere and anyone can make themselves at home or get it for an affordable price.

So, it's not difficult to understand why only very little voices endorse coconut oil as the anti-HIV solution once you understand the filthy reason behind – money.

Anyway, I'm not in the least interest to uncover any dirty secrets on any money-driven drug makers. I'm just here to make you aware of the powerful antimicrobial properties of coconut oil.

Note
The coconut oil I'm talking about refers to any coconut oil including virgin coconut oil and RBD coconut oil, but except fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil has limited antimicrobial ability as they typically carries only caprylic acid and capric acid.

Wait, a thought just flits across my mind. Let me clarify this first.

Although coconut oil may help to kill HIV or protect you from AIDS, you should never take it lightly and carry on with your casual sex or one-night stand or whatever sexual activity that can expose you to high risk of HIV infection.

Once you open the door for HIV, it retains in your body for life. You can never get rid of the virus completely. Coconut oil can at best help to reduce the viral load and improve your quality of life. And if you let your guard down, resurgence can overwhelm or even negate the antiviral effect of coconut oil.

That said, the safest way to keep yourself free of AIDS is to stay loyal to your partner. And refrain from any potentially dangerous sexual activity. You just never know who you're sleeping with.

3.5   One BIG disadvantage of FFAs and monoglycerides in coconut oil

After telling you so much health benefits of coconut oil and you're probably excited about giving coconut oil a good shot, I really hate to pour cold water now.

But if I don't say it now, I don't think I will sleep well tonight.

Despite the fact that coconut oil's FFAs and their corresponding monoglycerides are exceptionally good fighters against a multitude of life-shortening microbes, they're practically useless against naked viruses (non-enveloped viruses). Why?

Because naked viruses don't have a surrounding membrane (envelope) that is specifically sensitive to the antiviral effect of FFAs and monoglycerides.

That's why coconut oil has simply no effect on naked viruses such as human rhinovirus (HRV), poliovirus, norovirus etc.

Is that the only drawback of coconut oil?
You might like to have a good look at 3 other disadvantages of coconut oil before you get started with it.

But that's not end of you when you catch naked viruses.

As coconut oil can help to ward off most enveloped viruses such as influenza virus, dengue virus, HSV, HIV and other pathogenic microbes, it's able to relieve massive stress on your immune system.

This allows your immune system to concentrate more effectively on eradicating naked viruses. In a way, coconut oil still helps with combating naked viruses, albeit indirectly.

4. Health benefits of coconut oil

Coconut oil is not a cure-all. But it does function like a "seat belt" that can help to protect you against a host of medical conditions and maladies such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Athlete's foot
  • Bladder infections
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Earache
  • Fatigue
  • Flu
  • Food poisoning
  • Gonorrhea
  • Heart disease
  • Hepatitis C.
  • Herpes
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Malabsorption
  • Measles
  • Meningitis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Premature aging
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Stroke
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infections

Coconut oil may also help to relieve or reduce symptoms associated with:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Ulcerative colitis

What you just saw are merely some good examples of what coconut oil can do for you. Of course, there are certainly more health benefits you can gain from coconut oil than meets the eye.

Are you constipated?
I've told you early on that coconut oil is good for constipation. You'll probably heave a sigh of relief later on.

And these health benefits are powered by the 50 – 64% MCFAs in coconut oil for the most part.

Composition of coconut oil

For instance, the saturated medium-chain lauric, capric, caprylic and caproic acids not only can boost metabolism, but can also disrupt free-radical activities and kill pathogens. They're fundamentally a 3-in-1 bodyguard.

5. Does coconut oil seem too good to be true?

Honestly, it did make me feel that way when I first met coconut oil in 2006. But as I get to learn more about the amazing mechanisms behind the health benefits of coconut oil, plus my personal experience in using it every single day, I feel that it's simply a godsend.

I used to fall sick every 2 to 3 months. But not anymore now. Even when I let my guard down at times and flu hits me, coconut oil will get rid of the influenza viruses quickly inside my body.

I can feel its potent antiviral effect because sore throat and other flu symptoms always went away very fast and became mild.

My diabetic mom was prone to injuries especially on her legs. Her wounds would take weeks to heal. Ever since I started to treat her injuries with coconut oil, her wounds would start to heal in a few days. Diabetics tend to heal slower on their lower body.

If you have such healing issue, try coconut oil. You'll witness its metabolism-boosting effect – new and functioning cells replace old and dead cells faster than usual.

Coconut oil doesn't just work inside our body. It works outside our body as well. I put coconut oil on the skin of my arms and the back of my neck that were exposed to a blazing hot sun for 4 hours during a summer bicycle ride. My skin was perfectly intact after that. No sunburn and no burning sensation. Just a little tanned.

You know which property of coconut oil had protected me from sunburn, which is a severe skin damage caused by rapid reactions of free radicals in the skin?

You got it, its saturated fats.

Tell me, where else on this planet can you find such a dietary oil that can fight off pathogens, speed up your metabolism and stop free radicals dead in their tracks?

Do you still have the energy to find out more?
Learn how to overcome the side effects of coconut oil while reaping only its benefits.

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