The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc, Siobhan Bleakney, ND, and Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc Co-Medical Directors of Inner Source Health in New York

Posted on | By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc , Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc , Siobhan Bleakney, ND | Comments ()

Conventional thought used to consider fats like coconut oil to be unhealthy and contribute to heart disease. We now know that this isn’t true. In fact, coconut oil is actually a heart-healthy food that can keep your body running smoother in a few different ways.

What are the health benefits of coconut oil?

Studies have show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida.

Coconut oil can also positively affect our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control. People who take coconut oil also tend to have improvements in how they handle blood sugar since coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

Can coconut oil reduce cholesterol?

Coconut oil has a saturated fat called lauric acid, a type of MCT. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.  Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need. Coconut can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol.

How does coconut help keep weight balanced?

Coconut fats have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. One 2009 study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat, a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems.

Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc

Article written by Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York

Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

Article written by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York

Siobhan Bleakney, ND

Article written by Siobhan Bleakney, ND
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York