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  1. Stress relief: Coconut oil is extremely soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Using coconut oil to the head, accompanied by a gentle massage therapy, helps you to eliminate psychological fatigue. Diabetic issues: Coconut oil helps in managing blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin.

    • Overview
    • 1. May encourage fat burning
    • 2. May work as a quick source of energy
    • 3. May have antimicrobial effects
    • 4. May help reduce hunger
    • 5. May help reduce seizures
    • 6. May boost skin health
    • 7. May protect your hair
    • 8. May improve oral health
    • 9. May help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

    Coconut oil may help reduce hunger, improve oral health, possibly reduce seizures, and more. However, while coconut oil does have several potential benefits, it may not be great for your heart health.

    Coconut oil is an increasingly popular cooking oil.

    Many people praise it for its health benefits, including antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, improved skin and oral health, and weight loss potential.

    Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of coconut oil, plus some special considerations to keep in mind if you want to include it in your diet.

    Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat.

    In general, saturated fats are divided into three subgroups, each of which has different effects in your body. These subgroups are (1):




    Scientists are studying medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), including those found in coconut oil, for their potential health benefits.

    The MCTs in coconut oil provide a quick supply of energy.

    When you eat long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), the fat molecules are transported through your blood to tissues that need them, such as muscle or fat tissue (4).

    On the other hand, MCTs go straight to your liver and become a rapid energy supply in much the same way as carbs — your body’s preferred source of energy (5).

    In fact, MCTs have been long used in sports nutrition products for athletes who need a source of energy their body can absorb and use fast (1, 5).

    Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties due to its MCT content — specifically, lauric acid (1).

    Lauric acid is a fatty acid that makes up about 50% of the MCTs in coconut oil.

    Research suggests it may have antimicrobial effects against disease-causing microorganisms, such as (1, 6):

    •Staphylococcus aureus

    •Streptococcus mutans

    •Streptococcus pyogenes

    One interesting feature of MCTs is that they may help reduce food intake (8, 9).

    This may be related to how the body breaks them down. A proportion of MCTs you eat are broken down in a process that produces molecules called ketones (1).

    Ketones reduce appetite by either acting directly on the brain’s chemical messengers or altering the levels of hunger-inducing hormones, such as ghrelin (10).

    You may be familiar with ketones in the context of ketogenic diets, which are quite popular these days. People who are on keto diets don’t eat many carbs, but they do often eat lots of fat. For this reason, their bodies tend to use ketones for fuel.

    People have long used keto diets, which are very low in carbs and high in fats, to treat various disorders, including drug-resistant epilepsy. They have been shown to help reduce how often seizures happen (12, 13).

    Researchers believe that the lack of available glucose to fuel brain cells is a possible explanation for the reduction in seizure frequency in people with epilepsy on ketogenic diets (12).

    However, overall, there’s a lack of evidence for the use of keto diets in adults and infants with epilepsy, so more research is needed (14).

    Reducing your carb intake reduces the glucose in your blood, and increasing your fat intake leads to significantly increased concentrations of ketones. Your brain can use ketones as an energy source instead of glucose (1).

    Recently, people have found they can effectively treat epilepsy by following modified keto diets that include MCTs and a more generous carb allowance to induce ketosis (12, 13).

    Research shows that the MCTs in coconut oil get transported to your liver and turned into ketones (15).

    Coconut oil has many uses that have little to do with eating. Many people use it for cosmetic purposes to improve the health and appearance of their skin.

    Studies show that coconut oil can boost the moisture content of dry skin. It may also improve the function of the skin, helping prevent excessive water loss and protecting you from external factors, such as infectious agents, chemicals, and allergens (16, 17, 18, 19).

    In fact, a recent study determined that applying 6–8 drops of virgin coconut oil on your hands and leaving it overnight may be an effective way to prevent dry skin caused by frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (20).

    It may also reduce the severity of mild to moderate symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disease characterized by skin inflammation and defects in skin barrier function (18, 21, 22).

    Coconut oil can also protect against hair damage.

    For instance, one study determined that, since coconut oil deeply penetrates hair strands, it makes them more flexible and increases their strength to prevent them from breaking under tension (23).

    Evidence shows that using coconut oil as a mouthwash — a process called oil pulling — benefits oral hygiene in a cost-effective way (25, 26).

    Oil pulling involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth like mouthwash. It may significantly reduce the count of harmful bacteria in the mouth — namely S. mutans — compared with a regular mouthwash (27, 28).

    This is thought to be due to the antibacterial properties of lauric acid (27, 28).

    Additionally, lauric acid in coconut oil reacts with saliva to form a soap-like substance that prevents cavities and helps reduce dental plaque buildup and gum inflammation (28, 29).

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia (1).

    This condition reduces your brain’s ability to use glucose for energy. However, researchers believe that ketones can offset early signs of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease by providing an alternative energy source for brain cells (1, 30, 31).

    For this reason, individual foods like coconut oil have been investigated for their potential role in managing Alzheimer’s disease (1).

    Yet, larger studies in humans are needed.

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  3. Fueling the coconut oil trend, celebrity endorsements have claimed the ingredient to help blast away belly fat, curb appetite, strengthen the immune system, prevent heart disease, and stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A survey found that 72% of Americans rated coconut oil as “healthy,” though only 37% of nutrition experts agreed. [1]

  4. In addition, coconut oil can decrease protein loss in your hair, improving your hair health. However one study found coconut oil to be comedogenic, which means that it clogs pores. It may...

    • Franziska Spritzler
    • Protect Your Skin From UV Rays. When applied to your skin, coconut oil may protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which raise your risk of skin cancer and cause wrinkling and brown spots.
    • Increase Your Metabolism. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These are fatty acids that are quickly absorbed and can increase the number of calories you burn (3).
    • Cook Safely at High Temperatures. Coconut oil has a very high saturated fat content. In fact, about 87% of its fat is saturated (7). This feature makes it one of the best fats for high-heat cooking, including frying.
    • Improve Your Dental Health. Coconut oil can be a powerful weapon against bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria in your mouth that causes dental plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease.
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