Coconut Oil -The Healthy Fat?

Many people are taking coconut oil for a range ailments, but why has coconut oil fallen out of favor? Why is it healthier than other oils even though it is a saturated fat? Why should you buy organic virgin coconut oil? Where can you buy coconut oil and how much do you need to take to get the benefits? I wrote this article to answer these questions.

According to “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, heart diseases, cholesterol levels, weight loss, kidney problems, digestion, metabolism, high blood pressure, immunity, dental care, diabetes, bone strength, HIV and cancer.” That’s a tall order and certainly one that raises alarm bells in many. Is it a scam? Let’s have a look at the history and the characteristics of coconut oil.

Fallen Out of Favor

Coconut oil was very popular in pre-WWII America, but by the mid 1950’s that all changed. The “saturated fat is bad for you” campaign categorically condemned all saturated fats even though medium chain saturated fats are good for you. The marketing power of the soy bean and corn industries changed not only American diets, but diets all over the world. Coconut Oil was replaced with poly-unsaturated oil and only in recent years are we beginning to understand how wrong this is.

The Characteristics of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been used for over 4000 years as a food and as a pharmaceutical for very good reason. Coconut oil has:

  • lauric acid (50%!)
  • capric acid
  • caprylic acid
  • antimicrobial properties
  • antifungal properties
  • antibacterial properties
  • antioxidant properties

Because of its high lauric acid content it helps fight viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes and influenza, and research has shown that coconut oil reduces the viral loads of HIV patients. Athletes, body builders and dieters prefer coconut oil because it has fewer calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil boosts energy and endurance, and suppresses appetite. It doesn’t release free radicals when you heat it like vegetable oils do, and it tastes great, too.

Coconut Oil Benefits

  • Hair – helps healthy hair growth and reduces dandruff, lice and lice eggs.
  • Skin – a great moisturizer for all skin types, delays wrinkles and sagging, helps to treat psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
  • An antioxidant – it helps to prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases.
  • Weight Loss – contains short and medium chain fatty acids. It is easy to digest, helps thyroid and enzyme function and suppresses appetite.
  • Digestion – improves digestion and related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The anti microbal properties help deal with bacteria, fungi and parasites that cause indigestion. Aids in the absorption of vitamins, mineral and amino acids.
  • Immunity and Infection – antimicrobal lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties and strengthen the immune system. Helps fight harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. The Coconut Research Center claims that it kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia and is effective against fungi and yeast.
  • Liver – medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids help prevent liver disease.
  • Kidney – helps prevent kidney and gall bladder disease and can dissolve kidney stones
  • Diabetes – helps control blood sugar
  • Bones and Teeth – improves absorption of minerals including calcium and magnesium.
  • HIV and Cancer – it is thought that coconut oil may help HIV and cancer sufferers become less susceptible to viruses

Why You Need to Buy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

  • like all organic products organic oil is free from chemicals
  • virgin coconut oil comes from the fresh mature kernel (not dried copra)
  • oil extraction is mechanical (no solvents are used) and done at a low temperatures
  • it is not refined or bleached
  • it is not hydrogenated
  • it is not deodorized

Most commercial coconut oil is refined, bleached and deodorized. It does maintain the beneficial chemical structures of the medium chain fatty acids, but it will contain chemicals used in processing. If you can’t get organic virgin coconut oil, commercial coconut oil is preferable to most other vegetable oils and fats for cooking at high temperatures and frying. Unlike olive oil, there is no difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil so don’t pay more for it.

Get great coconut oil at discount prices at

Nutiva Coconut Oil, Organic Virgin, 15 oz $8.53

Nutiva Coconut Oil 100% Organic Virgin, 29 oz $19.15

Nutiva Coconut Oil, Organic Virgin, 54 oz $28.03

Coconut Oil doesn’t go rancid like vegetable oils and does not need to be refrigerated making it easier to buy bulk and save even more!

How Much to Take 3 to 4 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil provides enough lauric acid to help build your immune system. Start slowly and build up to this amount. Coconut Oil can cause nausea in some people. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and build up over time.

Remember to stay away from all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats including hydrogenated coconut oil. These contain trans fatty acids and can lead to heart disease.

This article is based on information gathered from these websites:, (Coconut Connections), is another helpful resource.

Disclaimer: There is no intention, implied or otherwise that represents or infers that these products or statements be used in the cure, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.

Please visit a health practitioner regularly!

19 responses to “Coconut Oil -The Healthy Fat?

  1. For those who are interested in trying Coconut Oil:

    I started using coconut oil this year. I first tried the commercial (non-organic) coconut oil which is very cheap to buy in our local Asian grocery stores. It’s great for frying and baking and is completely neutral in flavor.

    I couldn’t find organic coconut oil in any of our local health food stores so I bought online. It is far more expensive than the commercial oil, but you can shop around and get a decent deal.

    This oils tastes like coconut so it’s more difficult for me to slip it into my family’s food. I generally mix it with olive oil or butter. It makes great roasted potatoes and oven fries and tastes very nice on toast (with a bit of butter). I also like to scramble eggs with it and even slip it into the spaghetti sauce. It’s fantastic in any curry dish! I think I have replaced 30% to 40% of my fat intake with Coconut Oil.

    I also put it into my smoothies, but have to be careful because if I use too much, I can feel a bit nauseous. It does curb appetite.

    I use it instead of body lotion and it absorbs into my skin very quickly – leaves no greasy film.

    It’s now a permanent part of my health regime both inside and out. I do feel that it supports my digestion and I don’t get colds.

    It’s a simple, natural, effective and delicious product. Definitely worth a try.

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  3. i have had hypothyroid since diagnosed at 2 1/2 . I have since learnt about the benefits of pure virgin coconut oil . I managed to buy myself a jar of the pure virgin coconut oil and started taking it roughly now about 1 week, so will be very interested in seeing how it benefits me over the longterm. Also let my daughter know about it, as she also has hypothyroidism.

  4. Hi Odette,
    I’ve just posted an excellent article about coconut oil by Dr Ray Peat. Please have a look and pass it to your daughter.
    Good luck with the coconut oil and please post again to let people know how it’s going.

  5. Odette,
    Please take a look at the links below.
    The research based evidence doesn’t support coconut oil as a ‘cure’ for hypothyroidism. This doesn’t mean that it’s not helpful. If you and your daughter are on medication, consult your doctor before changing your therapy.

  6. Thankyou for your recent email and advice, i wouldn”t come off the medication that im on , nor would i advice my daughter the same. Both of us are under medical attention for that condition. Just found the information interesting and thought i would check it out. Thankyou for your emails.



  7. That’s great Odette. Good luck to you and your daughter. If coconut oil isn’t right for your diet, remember that it’s great to use topically on your skin and hair.

    All best,

  8. please give me a detailed information on how coconut oil can cure the kidney

  9. Heri, I am only a consumer of coconut oil, not a health practitioner. Please see a health practitioner for the best way to heal kidneys. Many years ago I had success with homeopathy to help a kidney infection. The article states that coconut oil can help prevent kidney disease and dissolve kidney stones. This is not the same as healing a diseased kidney. Please see a health care practitioner.

  10. I just started taking coconut oil to combat my cold sores, yeast infections and bacterial overgrowth in my colon. I have been taking that and organic coconut milk for not quite a week…. did anyone else notice the “die off” effect at first? I sure did. I had itchy skin, headaches, and I am still far more tired than normal during the day…. I am hoping to start feeling better this weekend.

    BTW Colourless and crystal clear is true if the oil is warmed… but pure virgin coconut oil is actually a solid at room temperature and it will have a whitish color (kind of like lard but not.). You can melt it using hot water and then it is clear and colourless.

    Note: always take it with food, if I don’t I get really nauseous.

  11. pinky sharma

    MeritVCO Extra virgin coconut oil oil is one of the trusted skin moisturizer and hair treatments in tropical countries. Virgin coconut oil is better than most expensive commercial moisturizer and hair conditioners in the market, because it does not only soften rough skin, it is also loaded with antioxidants that help repair skin damage and strengthen skin tissues therefore preventing wrinkles. Most commercial creams and lotions are predominantly water. When the water enters the skin, it expands the tissues, so wrinkles fade away and the skin looks and feel smoother, but this effect is just temporary, as soon as the water evaporates, the dry wrinkled skin returns. Another thing is this moisturizer contains highly refined ingredients (devoid of all natural protective antioxidants), which can do more harm to our skin.

  12. my dog has malessiza and a bad thyroid condition,now his kidney is bad due to all the medicine.we live in thailand and have many coconuts luckily i have been trawling the net for help i never even thought of coconuts or oil to help on reading he will benefit in three ways by taking this hes just had a teaspoon full and i have put it on his skin where he has malessia this is a last hope for him fingers crossed keep you posted on tino and how he reacts to coconut oil

  13. I have many health issues and read that coconut oil has many great benefits. The first day I bought it, I ingested 3 tablespoons of it and had a huge abundance of energy. However, after that day, I have been feeling extremely tired and have to sleep much more, even during the day. I am not sure if this is the die off effect but I don’t get why I didn’t feel that way the first time I took it. Am I supposed to be eating certain foods to help with this? I have to work full time so I really can’t afford to be this fatigued. I am hoping eventually I will be energized again because coconut oil has too many great benefits and I want to continue using it. Please leave any feedback that will help. Thanks.

  14. Hi J,
    It could indeed be die off. As you need your energy for work, you might try a more gradual approach. Take a teaspoon a day until you energy is back and then slowly increase the dose. This way your body will have time to adjust.
    Hope this helps,

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