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August 19th, 2011
08:40 AM ET

How good is coconut oil for you?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Ashutosh of Minneapolis

How good is coconut oil for you? Nowadays in gym and in vitamin shops, they mention to have some coconut oil in our diet. Is it supposed to be good for you? If yes, in what ways, and what are some good tips to use it in our diet?

Expert answer

Hi, Ashutosh. This is a great question that I get asked about frequently as it seems as if a lot of personal trainers, nutritionists and alternative health practitioners are recommending coconut oil to their clients, and this popularity has spread to mainstream stores and health clubs.

Coconut oil is high in saturated fat (about 92% compared with 64% in butter), but some of the fat comes from shorter length chains of carbon known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which I believe is why it has gained popularity in the weight loss/nutrition field.

MCTs are quickly metabolized by the liver (unlike longer chain fats, which undergo a more prolonged course through the body) so they are less likely to be stored as body fat.

If you eat too many calories, however, the extra (non-MCT) calories will be stored as body fat so you won't necessarily lose weight adding these to your diet.

According to Dr. Barry Sears, who is an expert in lipids (fats), holds a doctorate in biochemistry and does extensive research in the field, coconut oil does have some advantages over other types of saturated fat in that it is rich in tocotrienols (vitamin E, an antioxidant), and because of the high amounts of saturated fat, it is stable for cooking. (Note that the tocotrienols degrade during cooking so this benefit is lost if you use coconut oil for cooking.)

In addition, it is low in omega-6 fatty acids (less than 2%), which reduces the formation of arachidonic acid, a pro-inflammatory compound. Unfortunately, the saturated fats can increase inflammation so this benefit may be offset somewhat.

Research on coconut oil is still limited, but one small study published in the journal Lipids found that in women with too much belly fat (waist size larger than 35 inches), taking coconut oil while following a low-calorie diet and walking almost an hour a day raised good cholesterol, or HDL, and lowered belly fat more than a diet including soybean oil. (The soybean oil diet actually increased bad cholesterol and lowered good cholesterol.)

Another larger study of Filipino women published this year showed an association between coconut oil intake and higher levels of good cholesterol and no significant association with bad cholesterol.

All in all, coconut oil may not be as unhealthy as many animal-derived saturated fats (butter, meat), but until more research is done, especially looking at the impact on heart disease risk, it is better to limit your intake to less than 10% of total calories per day and make sure that it replaces less healthy foods such as refined carbohydrates, sugar and high fat animal proteins instead of adding to them.

And I agree with Sears that for controlling inflammation and obtaining optimal health, extra virgin olive oil is unquestionably your best choice.

Got a question for our experts? Submit it here and make sure to follow Dr. Melina Jampolis on Twitter.


soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. twinsand2more

    I'd like to add to this by saying.....Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat, rich in lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (MCT). The MCTs in coconut oil provide numerous health benefits such as stabilizing blood sugar, balancing hormones, nourishing for the thyroid and increasing your metabolism. It contains anti-viral properties, helps reduce risk for hypertension and heart disease, and helps boost immunity and brain function. Metabolizing MCTs creates ketones, known to stall or even reverse Alzheimer's. Coconut also contains caprylic acid, an effective and potent antifungal and antimicrobial. One cause of obesity is overconsumption of long-chain fatty acids (vegetable oils), medium-chain fatty acids. MCTs reverse obesity, resulting in steady weight loss for obese individuals, and weight maintenance for healthy people.

    I personally add 1-2 tsp. a day to my morning oatmeal...add it to blender treats for the kids with fruit.....it makes wonderful popcorn on the stove...works great for sauteing or frying veggies, chicken, shrimp....we have a jar in every bathroom for after-shower "lotion"...it has cleared up the dry bumps on the back of my arms – I use it for my face as well and feel like I look 10 years younger – we could not live with out coconut oil! Make sure your shopping for an Organic Cold-Pressed type if you buy any though.

    August 19, 2011 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kim

      Agree, coconut oil has tremendous health benefits. However, the current standard is to be anti-saturated fat despite the glaring evidence that it does NOT cause heart disease or raise bad cholesterol.

      August 19, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse |
    • CityBoy34

      Just make sure the coconut oil you use is the least refined.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Michael M.

      Thanks for restating the article in your own words, and then adding a bunch of unsubstantiated claims to that.

      Ketones reverse Alzheimer's?! Really? Aside from my own doubts that you know what a Ketone is, believe me... If Alzheimer's could be stalled or reversed by Ketones, it wouldn't be a problem. At all. Ever.

      Increases your metabolism? Anti-Viral? Anti-Bacterial?

      How would it be anti-bacterial? How could it possibly be anti-viral? How would a lipid EVER increase your metabolism?

      You mean a pure fat works as a lotion? No kidding! All fats work as a lotion. That's what lotions ARE, and have ALWAYS been.

      Also, P.S. – The cause of obesity is disparity between Calories eaten vs. Calories burned. Nothing less, nothing more. As someone who's lost 60lbs., I can tell you this from experience.

      August 19, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Marianne

      I love the stuff. Whenever I eat it, I feel energetic and have less depression. I have a dog who loves it. Used to have a wolf and he'd dang near tear the kitchen up to get a blob of it.

      August 21, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • Tete

      Lauric acid converted to monolaurin in the body is antimicrobial. This isn't controversial although frequently overlooked. Same fat in breast milk. The medical establishment saying saturated fat is bad for a long time but also says breast milk is best for babies. Stuff is put in baby formula. Good enough for baby but not for adults. Go figure.

      August 24, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • dr. jim

      Please cite one, just one, peer reviewed published study to support ANY of your claims. Just because you type them on a forum doesn't make them true. Coconut oil is the biggest scam going.

      June 7, 2013 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
  2. Kim

    I'm so glad I don't get my dietary advice from CNN "experts".

    August 19, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • twinsand2more

      Exactly Kim.....wish they'd do more research before posting their crap.......wonder who's paying them!

      August 19, 2011 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I'm guessing you get yours at Mickey D's. The article makes a suggestion. Do your own research before you make blanket negative comments.

      August 21, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse |
  3. Alexandra

    I have heard coconut oil is good for warding off Alzheimer's.

    August 19, 2011 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rodney Downsling

      You are correct, if you try Memory Oil which is also a coconut oil it gives the dead brain cells the ketones it needs and restores the brain cells! Overall this oil can do wonders!

      July 13, 2012 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • rataduncan

      Alexandra, of all the stories and evidence supporting coconut oil there does seem to be a lot around peoples wonderful experiences with Alzheimer's.

      Check out this link about one study conducted by a Dr. on her husband who suffered Alzheimer's

      http://www.coconutoilgood.com/coconut-oil-health-benefits/coconut-oil-good-for-alzheimers-5

      January 14, 2013 at 05:51 | Report abuse |
    • Sceptic

      Real Doctors and scientist do not test their theories on their loved ones and they certainly don't think the results are evidence of anything if they do.

      June 21, 2013 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
  4. John in Dallas

    Why on earth would anyone take advice from two nationally recognized physicians and medical researchers with PhDs when you can get even better advice from anonymous posters on a blog?

    August 19, 2011 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rod

      Well put, John

      August 19, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dravin

      Because the science isn't solid. Same thing with the Atkins diet. Doctors pooh pooh it—but based on what? The noted epicurean Brillat-Savarin even in the 1800s noticed fat people tended to love pasta, but because of some studies from the 50s to 70s fats became the accused. But since this became the establishment accepted dogma, the obesity problem has only worsened. New studies are now coming out contradicting the dogma of the past few decades and are showing that the scorned saturated fats may actually be better than carbohydrates. There's something to be said for thousands of years of human experience versus a handful of nutrition studies.

      October 27, 2011 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
    • Cheryl

      John that is what I keep telling my husband. Look up all the information and sift through it.

      March 3, 2012 at 07:47 | Report abuse |
  5. toughen up

    FYI – to all you popcorn lovers. For the best popcorn ever, use coconut oil for popping.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. erich2112x

    Hawaiian Tropic tastes the best.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. twinsand2more

    Michael M – Do your own research (like I have) – It's too bad your one of the many people in this country that can't see through an article like this, written by a Dr. who is in it for their own benefit – paid by Big Pharma.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • scholarlystudent

      First of all, how is a doctor going to profit off of promoting virgin coconut oil? Big pharmacies cannot possibly profit off of it, and therefore promote doctors to sell it. The pharmaceutical industry profits off of monopolies they have on artificial drugs: drugs that they control the market flow of, the price, etc. Coconut oil is a natural product, grown in certain geographical areas, that they have no control over. Therefore, in conclusion, coconut oil is the exact opposite of what you propose. It is a product that would harm the pharmaceutical industry if it replaced the artificial drugs it controls. Likewise, promoting the product that cannot "benefit" the author of the article. The only benefit he can garner is the gratefulness of his patients if the coconut oil does help as the article claims.

      April 20, 2013 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
  8. huh

    Twinsand2more – Wow, I'm certainly glad we have people like you (anonymous bloggers) who keep tabs on all these evil, greedy, paid doctors. Thanks to your own nationally recognized medical expertise, the rest of us "many people" can be assured that we will never be fooled, since you have the infallible ability to see right through every ruse and scam. Shall we bow to you? (And by the way, you're obviously one of the many people in this country who doesn't know the proper use of "you're" vs "your".)

    August 19, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Kenny K

    Dr Jampolis should do more reserach before espousing the so called benfits of coconut oil and ending with disclaimer that more research needs to be done. Take it from me, I came from a country in South America where coconut oil is the ONLY cooking oil available. Households for the most part make it themselves. The heart-attack rate in my country is thorugh the roof and everyone that I've know, in their 60s or 70s (my father's friends) that are dead, was because of a heart attack. Obviously there are other factors, but this is the one (use of coconut oil) is the one that is discussed more by my younger generation..

    August 19, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      What do you fry with coconut oil....does your country eat alot of high-fat animal meats? Just curious......

      August 19, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  10. Yes1fan

    My wife takes Caprylic Acid, made from cocoanut oil, to reduce her Essential Tremor. It contains 1-Octanol, which is the component in alcohol that ALSO stops Essential Tremor. Between that and her Deep Brain Stimulator, her normally very severe tremors are quite well controlled. From months in a wheelchair to pretty active life.

    August 19, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. jenngg

    @twinsand2more: You've got the right of it- don't pay any mind to the trolls.

    August 19, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tanuja

      I am only a few months raw, but even then, I can't fiugre out why anyone wants any added oil. Dr Essylstyn even convinced me to let go of all oil the final one was olive oil, which I was drizzling on my evening salad. That was hard, but I found alternate ideas. Depending on how clean one is depends on what you are willing to put in your body. Brain fog is gone, a lifelong problem, with a raw food diet. If it helps you, for now, then use it, but I hope you get rid of it eventually.

      August 4, 2012 at 03:39 | Report abuse |
  12. The_Mick

    twinsand2more wrote: "I'd like to add to this by saying.....Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat, rich in lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (MCT)." +++++ And I'd like to add that since research is limited, you have no right to make the claim of healthy saturated fat. And lauric acid or as most of us chemists prefer to call it, dodecanoic acid, is only 50% of coconut oil and not much is known about it's biochemical activities. Coconut oil may prove to be wonderful – but we do NOT know yet.

    August 21, 2011 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Stacey

    I've researched all the health benefits of coconut oil, so decided to try it for a couple of years as a butter on my toast each morning and during this time I worked out 4-5 days per week and ran a minimum of 5 miles daily. While using the coconut oil, my cholesterol went up 6 points and my blood pressure went up from an average of 100/60 to around 110/70. Stopped using coconut oil, still run and work out about the same; my cholesterol dropped almost 15 points and my BP is back to its normal values.

    Not sure if coconut oil is a benefit for all.

    August 21, 2011 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Demetri

      Do you eat bread? Wheat isn't the greatest for your blood pressure and cholesterol. And your body produces more cholesterol when it's in repair, so running more could've increased it.

      October 2, 2012 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
  14. dmat

    Just like Kenny K , I come from a South Indian state called Kerala where coconut oil and coconut products are the staple. Most of the oil that is used for cooking and grooming ( as a hair and skin conditioner) is cold pressed virgin oil. And just like the place Kenny K is from, there is an extremely high number of heart attacks, and even strokes, diabetes. Personally I love the taste of coconut oil as a garnish for the many south indian dishes- vegetarian and non vegetarian , I can't be satisfied unless there is a whiff of the oil. Then, most Keralites have thick healthy hair, and I strongly believe there is a connection between the oil and the thyroid function. At the same time, I also think more research needs to be done on the poor health and coconut oil factor. In any case too much of any good thing can be bad.

    August 21, 2011 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hidetaka

      ewww, no!Coconut oil is SATURATED fat. the artery inggoclg stuff. you will put yourself at risk for heart attacks and strokes if you consume too much of it.olive oil is a monounsaturated fat the type of fat that is good for you.avocado oil is another monounsaturated fat.

      April 8, 2012 at 09:38 | Report abuse |
  15. Midhat

    How can Dr.Gupta and team be contacted if we have a health related question. My questions is related to Vitligo.
    Thankyou.

    August 27, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      @GBelair Please look into iodine stltpemenpauion for the brain for. I take it every day and it is truly a God-send! I have tried several brands but the one that works best for me is i-Throid capsules by RLC Labs. It can be purchased at PureFormulas . c o m for around $15.90 for 90 capsules. I take 4 capsules per day (2 caps twice per day). Soon after I began taking the iodine, it's like someone turned on the lights! Everything became brighter cloudy days literally felt sunny! Give it a try.

      October 14, 2012 at 02:23 | Report abuse |
  16. serveandvolley

    Saw this article late. Seriously? Dr. Barry Sears. Have you seen the "health food" he sells. Mary Enig is a research biochemist in the area of fats. She wrote Know Your Fats, a Complete Primer on the Nutrition of Fats,Oils, and Cholesterol. She was one of the first "whistle blowers" of trans fatty acids when they were developed. She likes coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil. Sigh. Oxidizes with heat. Also,FYI,lard is almost 50% oleic acid which is the same oleic acid in our beloved olive oil but yet demonized but our nutritional experts. Fat makes you fat – right????

    September 12, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Steph

    Coconut oil is so great for you. These CNN people either havent researched enough or they are fans of soy oil and stuff. Coconut oil has cured many skin problems for me and has given me clearer fresher skin. I love it and I think its a great alternative to any oil you use for cooking.

    September 18, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. jerry

    First of all Obama is the worst president ever, then Jimmy Carter.

    Coconut oil is used in Hawaiiiiiiii and theeeey are not overweight at all.

    October 10, 2011 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brianNky

      Jerry, you are a troll and an idiot! What he heck does President Obama or Jimmy Carter have to do with coconut oil?!

      June 30, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • gk

      You have obviously never been to Hawaii.

      March 11, 2013 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  19. herbsvita

    I personally feel it is a precious gift by GOD. I love it..

    http://www.herbsvita.com/product/1876/coconut-oil.html

    November 1, 2011 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. making coconut oil

    In my opinion, it is right to back to nature for keep our body health.

    November 25, 2011 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. All right than

    Once again a Doctor telling us that unless a multi-billion dollar drug company actually does a study on something, it can't possibly be true. Maybe the reason they don't do studies on things like Coconut Oil, it that they can't put it in a pill for $125.00 per bottle. This is the drug company medical plan, spread all over the world. Doesn't matter if people have been using something successfully for years, if Big Pharma doesn't make money off it, no doctor is going to recommend it. Goes for 80% of my diet.
    So extra virgin Olive Oil is the best for your health, though huh ? Where exactly do we get this magic oilve oil ? Olive oil exposed to light or air is just liquid fat. It has no nutritional value, and that happens before you even buy it. And if it isn't organic, it probably has enough pesticides in it to be more harm than good anyway. I mean get real, it's always, you don't need anything but a balanced diet. Seriously ? If you are not eating organic – None of the food you are eating has any nutritional value without being fortified, and shoved in a box. Our farmland has no nutrients in the soil, that's why we have GMO food – to kill bugs and grow food without soil nutrients. Do tomatoes have licopene to help your vision ? Not if they aren't organic ! All Dr. and experts speak as if you were eating a fresh, ripe, organic tomato – YOU AREN'T ! Amazing how you have to explain eating healthy to people you are supposed to trust. Do your own research on the internet, eat organic, drink lots of water, take a fiber supplement twice daily, take a probiotic and a multivitamin and get 8 hrs. sleep and you'll be a whole lot healthier than listening to "Doctors" advice.

    January 2, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. niasmihan

    Good Information and Usefull of coconut oil

    February 6, 2012 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Cheryl

    I've been reading a lot about the benifits of coconut oil. I have started using it in cooking, my hair, and as a lip balm. I get cold sores and usually take lycene for it and now I've tried the coconut oil and it does so much better.

    March 3, 2012 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ironage

      If your cold sores are do to Herpes Simplex....and most are......start taking one or two Oregeno oil pills a week and you will never be bothered with them again. Oregeno oil is anti-viral and anti-fungal and will keep Herpes Simplex in a dormant state.

      December 3, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  24. Keep an Open Mind

    I think what everyone needs to remember is that not all bodies are the same. We all metabolize things differently. For example, my wife and I eat basically the same diet for the past 5 years. Her HDL is through the roof, while my HDL is ridiculously low. For this reason I don't buy conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom would say that two people eating the same diet should have similar HDL and LDL levels. We can make some generalizations about which foods are good and which are bad, but there are always exceptions and variations. We observe this in every day life.

    Also, weight loss is much more complicated that calories in vs calories burned. For the last 3 years on average I have taken in less calories than I should (key word) be burning for my size, yet I have slowly gained weight. I was also eating what the government would call a healthy diet. In the past two months I have completely changed my diet I am eating way more calories and I am losing weight. About 15 lbs in 2 months with a very slight increase in activity.

    One thing that makes absolute sense is that the more natural a food is the better it should be for you. However, there is no silver bullet or quick easy way to be healthy. There isn't one absolute diet for all. Everyone needs to try things for themselves and monitor their wellness. I suggest keeping a food journal that also keeps track of your mood, weight, activity and other external stress/joy factors.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. coconutoilking

    Fat doesn't make you fat.

    Excess calories makes you fat.

    What works for some may not work for others.

    S'all I'm sayin'.

    March 24, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mccartney L

    Terrific article! Coconut Oil is absolutely a miracle food. I have been taking it for the past year and am amazed at the benefits I have reaped from taking it. The overall list of benefts http://coconutoilinformation.com/health-benefits/ is amazing and I wish more people knew about coconut oil so they could experience them too!

    keep up the great work.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Rodney Downsling

    Hello, Memory Oil is also a virgin coconut oil and it is very healthy and helps reduce Alzheimer's and seizure's due to epilepsy. Overall this Oil is very very healthy and I'd recommend it. You can also apply Memory Oil to the skin and helps remove wrinkles. It really works! :) Give Memory Oil a shot at MemoryOils.com and this website will be up soon!

    July 13, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Severe Acne Cure

    Hi there, You have performed an excellent job. I'll certainly digg it and in my view suggest to my friends. I am sure they'll be benefited from this website.

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  29. Joshua

    From my own research coconut oil is the best oil to use because of its many benefits. It is a saturated fat but is not stored in the body as fat because it contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids and is converted into energy by the liver and the excess is expelled from the body. Most other oils and animal fats contain Long Chain Fatty Acids which in excess are stored in the body as fat.

    Studies have been done on populations in the South East Asia that live primarily on this fat and have very low cases of heart disease. Studies need to be done on places mentioned by previous bloggers where coconut oil is a staple and there are high levels of heart attacks. There must be other things that contribute to the high rate of heart attacks. Having something healthy in your diet and not excluding other unhealthy things will not make you healthy. I strongly believe that what they may be cooking with the oil may be responsible and not the oil itself. The answer is research and more research.

    We all owe it to ourselves to search out the truth more especially those that may benefit from the amazing properties of coconut oil. Check for responses of people who have conciously used it. Negative or positive its a response that will help you with your own analysis. Good health to all.

    August 11, 2012 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Ian Furber

    Hi, what many people do not know is that many of the claims and fancy packaging of so-called "coconut oil" is a scam. Much of it is a mixture of low-grade vegetable oils and animal fat even lard (not good if you are Islamic) and finally a bit of ground coconut to give it the flavour. Then they sell it for some outrageous price to some poor fool. I used to work for one of the companies that made and marketed it. Go out as sick of the money grubbing deceptions foisted on decent people just to make a quick buck.

    August 26, 2012 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. George

    My question stems from the following paragraph written by Dr. Jampolis,

    "According to Dr. Barry Sears, who is an expert in lipids (fats), holds a doctorate in biochemistry and does extensive research in the field, coconut oil does have some advantages over other types of saturated fat in that it is rich in tocotrienols (vitamin E, an antioxidant), and because of the high amounts of saturated fat, it is stable for cooking. (Note that the tocotrienols degrade during cooking so this benefit is lost if you use coconut oil for cooking.)"

    After re-reading the paragraph I am confused about the statement that it is stable for cooking, and then, in the very next sentence she writes, "...this benefit is lost if you use coconut oil for cooking." How can it be good for cooking and at the same time cooking ruins it?

    September 22, 2012 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gk

      You obviously didn't comprehend what you read George. Vitamin E is susceptible to heat, so if you cook with Coconut Oil, you will lose any Alpha-Tocepherol benefits.

      March 11, 2013 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
  32. KK

    Extra Virgin Olive oil is actually not good for Cooking as it is unstable.
    Coconut oil is the safest oil for cooking although it might lose those tocotrienols. You can find them from other sources.

    I'm not sure why Coconut oil is inflammatory. Can anyone explain or point to articles/ studies that show why and how coconut oil is inflammatory?

    September 26, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. milone7

    Check out http://goodcoconut.com which has all the information needed about COCONUT USES, BENEFITS and products.

    GOODCOCONUT.COM is a pin board that is all about coconuts.

    October 21, 2012 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rataduncan

    The main controversy about coconut oil is its saturated fat content however as the Dr. said it is made up of 66% MCFA and support thyroid function so really weight isn't an issue if used responsibly as a replacement for your unsaturated fats.

    Research is growing on the subject and looking very favorable for coconut oil. The range of health benefits are vast.

    For example, i use coconut oil –
    In my cooking to replace unsaturated oils and fats
    On my skin as a lotion for its softening qualities
    As a thrush treatment for its anti fungal qualites
    On my dandruff, again anti fungal
    On my babies skin and cradle cap
    As a deodorant, the best one ive ever had, anti bacterial qualities.

    For more info and evidence check out http://www.coconutoilgood.com

    January 14, 2013 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mdas

    Iam not sure about other benefits of cocunut oil. But i can say that it is an excellent skin tonic. I was suffering from yeast infection on my upper body to the extent that i was ashamed of taking out my shirt. Application of coconut oil for a week after bath brought it back to almost normal. now iam planning to include in my meals also.

    January 17, 2013 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Maria

    In how many ways are mct oil including coconut oil good for eating?

    March 26, 2013 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. calkid

    I am starting to believe the benefits of coconut oil and coconut based foods. On a recent trip to south India everything I ate was coconut based. The food was terrific, and I ate whatever I wanted. When I got home from vacation I had lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks. All my digestive issues were gone during the trip and I felt very good. It could also be the reduction in wheat based foods as well.... Either way – trying to continue eating similarly now that I'm back home to see if the weight continues to fall off.

    April 11, 2013 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. coco

    It's really a great and useful piece of info. I'm glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    April 25, 2013 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Greg

    Without an atherosclerosis study involving, specifically, virgin coconut oil and direct arterial examination or imaging, real evidence does not exist that virgin coconut oil is safe.

    May 5, 2013 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nobody you know

      Correct, but don't bother trying to convince the nuts who insist that "natural is always better" and "doctors and Big Pharma are the devil."

      December 5, 2013 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  40. yorkie

    I have used coconut oil for the last year or so, which may not sound so unusual except for the fact that I had a heart attack five years ago. I do not take any medications except for taking an aspirin 3 to 4 times a week much to my doctors disgust. so I can tell you I would not use the second most saturated oil on the planet if I thought it was going to kill me. I have, and I advise all of you not so sure people to do what I did (Google it ) like I did and you will find that coconut oil is one of if not the most researched oil on the planet with some 17,000 papers written about dating back to around 1953. So the next time you hear a white coat say it needs more research, what they are really saying is I have not checked the research, but read on some other web site that it needs more research. Many nation around the world have had a staple diet of coconut oil, butter and milk for what must be thousands of years and have much lower heart and obesity problems than the western world.

    May 7, 2013 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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  43. Bill Stevens

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    Big Pharma samples (some of which ruin peoples lives), so they can reap the rewards from prescriptions (tracked by Big Pharma with rewards of doctors). If the medical profession, FDA, and Big Pharma were half as concerned about patients as they are about protecting the cash flow, U.S. medicine would be a different world (this certainly does not apply to all physicians); A lot of lives are harmed more by FDA approved medicine than by alternative natural remedies.

    December 5, 2013 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nobody you know

      Cite your sources for this last claim. You can't, because "natural" and "homeopathic" remedies aren't subject to the same scrutiny as drugs. There is no study that shows that they "work better", either, because the manufacturers of such "remedies" aren't required to prove they do.

      It's nonsense to claim that "a lot of lives are harmed more by FDA approved medicine" than by "alternative natural remedies." But thanks for playing.

      December 5, 2013 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.