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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has no positive role in a healthy diet. Because it is a highly saturated fat - one of the few saturated fats that doesn't come from animals - coconut oil can raise cholesterol levels. In the past, coconut oil was widely used in movie popcorn, candy bars and commercial baked goods, but has been phased out of many of these products due to consumer concerns about the health effects of consuming tropical oils.

While there is still debate about the hazards of dietary saturated fats, using cosmetic products containing coconut oil is another story. Although I prefer skin care products with natural anti-inflammatory activity, some components of coconut oil have been studied for their benefits to both skin and hair. The lauric acid found in coconut oil is available in a wide variety of skin and hair care products, including body and facial cleansers, soap and sunscreens. Clinical research supports the safety of these products in general, and the utility of coconut oil to help moisturize skin in particular.

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Reader Comments (13)

Hey man, MCT oils are not bad for you. And the studies concering the use of saturated fat has mostly been proved wrong.

Coconut oil is GOOD for you. And the number one used oil in the USA before ww2 was actually coconut oil, but when they entered the war, the deliveries from Asia naturally stopped, The industries began using trans fatty acids, and the general weight in americans increased exponentially. In fact it has just started slowing down!

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBluebear

Local application of coconut oil has been shown to hasten the rate of healing of skin wounds in animal models of experimental skin wounds.

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdoc

I have a family history of my cousin researched all the net looking for natural aversions to aid our healthy choices now and coconut oil is among them. But I also have a family history of high cholesterol so what's a girl to do.........go out stupid or go out with a heart attack! Geesh somebody just shoot me now.......LOL, not really, I am seriously trying to do all the right things to live a healthy lifestyle but let's face it, for a pro there is always a con.........HELP ME decide the pro's for me. Coconut or NO Coconut? That is my question.

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosey Beth

I've been your avid follower and I purchased one of your best selling books before, Spontaneous Healing and it taught me a lot after I had a mild heart attack. I want to make a link on any post you made on VCO (and other helpful posts), if any, so I can post it on my blog if you may. Will appreciate your help. Mabuhay (Long Live)!

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteredwinoel

Mabuhay edwinnoel: Yes you can post a link to this blog.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered

Rosey Beth
You might want to take a look at this:
common sense steps.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered

I believe there is a big difference between the highly processed coconut oils used to make popcorn, commercial baked goods and candy bars and the organic virgin coconut oils used for generations by inhabitants of tropical countries.

Many of these tropical villagers have included virgin coconut oil in their diets for generations and have not experienced high rates of cholesterol or heart disease. Studies have shown that virgin coconut oil is the chief source of energy for many inhabitants of the Pukapuka and Tokelau Islands. Historically, these tropical islanders ate diets that were high in saturated fats, but low in cholesterol and sugar.

When researchers analyzed fat biopsies from these islanders, they found high levels of Lauric Acid (the building block for a potent anti-microbial called Monolaurin). There were low rates of heart disease and the islanders felt no harmful effects from eating a diet high in saturated fats.

Surprisingly, when some of these islanders migrated to New Zealand and stopped eating coconut oil, their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol increased and their HDL cholesterol decreased. Researchers believed these islanders' diet of coconut oil may have played a role in their low rates of heart disease.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Healthy Oil Guy

Coconut oil is good for health. Human can use the coconut oil on their head, foot, do massage etc. Also we can use the coconut oil in our food. Thanks

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTeeth Whitening

As leading MDs in natural wellness and medicine, I think you and Dr. Mercola need to collaborate on the issue of health and use of coconut oil. Dr Mercola promotes use of virgin coconut oil. I have read all the information over the years that he has presented about this and I think his recommend is correct. That would make your first paragraph incorrect. Additionally,in addition to what Dr Mercola has presented about this, there is promise in use of coconut oil for Alheimers prevention and treatment.. Please followup and contact Dr Mercola to dicuss. You two need to be in agreement or at least provide a perspective about why you are disagreeing.

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

Hi Dr. Weil,

I'm a fan of yours but I have to question the unequivocal statement that coconut oil has no positive role in a healthy diet. The issues raised in previous comments regarding the long term consumption of these oil by South Pacific islanders as well as the differences between processed and refined coconut oil and organic virgin coconut oil should be investigated and addressed more thoroughly. Besides Dr. Mercola, Dr. Russell Blaylock author of Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients advocates the use of organic extra virgin coconut oil. Besides the previously mentioned benefits, it is also highly shelf stable and can be used in high heat cooking without being compromised or damaged by the heat. I've also read (and apologies for not providing a link or supporting evidence) that it is metabolized by the body more as it would a sugar/carbohydrate instead of being stored as a fat (presumably if you are not consuming excess amounts). Lastly, is it not coming out more in the media now that many of our problems with cholesterol are associated with excess sugar/carbohydrate consumption and not as much because of saturated fats?

June 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina

I would also like a comment from Dr. Weil on the role of excess sugar/carbohydrate consumption in heart disease rather than saturated fat consumption. The research from the Price-Pottenger Foundation indicates that consumption of saturated fats do not harm the cardiovascular system. I would also like a comment on the consumption of foods with soy. I recently read the Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith and she has references describing the many negative effect of consumption of soy. I have never seen Dr. Weil warn us about eating soy. I have been following Dr. Weil's recommendations for years and do not remember being warned against eating soy.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

Dr. Weil has said
I believe that soy foods such as edamame, tofu, tempeh and soy milk are much more likely to help you than hurt you. Therefore, I recommend one to two servings per day, even to women with breast cancer. That amount will provide about 40 mg of isoflavones, enough to give you the benefits of soy without the theoretical risks. However, I do not recommend soy supplements because of their high isoflavone content and lack of evidence demonstrating their long-term safety. Nor do I recommend eating "designer foods" spiked with soy isoflavones.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered

I'm disappointed to see you post negative thoughts on coconut oil. I've agreed with most of your thoughts on diet, but surely not this one.

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
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