Research is paying closer attention to coconut oil’s ability to boost brain function significantly with just a single 40 ml. dose. This is highly interesting especially in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and it shows great promise.
One of the smartest choices of good fat you can add to your diet is organic virgin coconut oil. Yes, organic virgin coconut oil.
However, as of this writing, its use to stave off early signs of dementia or treating already existing Alzheimer’s disease is still being studied with the results coming mid-2017. So, it looks good, looks promising but we still have to wait.
I can tell you though, that I notice improved mental clarity when I regularly use coconut oil.
Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils to use in the kitchen or for skin and hair care but my first line of interest is for the very healthy benefits it offers.
Coconut oil is one of the few MCFA (medium chain ‘fatty acid’ aka MTC). What this means is that it is metabolized much differently by the body than other fats and oils. As such, the body uses it much like carbohydrates – for an energy source.
There are roughly 10–20% of medium chain fatty acids in milk from cows, horses, goats and sheep, with the rest of the fat present being long chain.
Although coconut oil is classified as a saturated fat, it has a substantially different and beneficial molecular structure than other saturated fats. MCFA do not need bile salts to be digested like LCFA (long chain fatty acid aka LCT), are easily absorbed, metabolized immediately via the liver and used for energy.
Further benefits of coconut oil include:
- Scientifically proven health benefits, such healthy support for your brain, heart, immune system, thyroid and skin.
- It is rich in lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin which has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal properties. Monolaurin can destroy the lipid coated surfaces of such as pathogenic bacteria, herpes, measles, influenza virus, HIV and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
- It is also rich in capric acid, which shares similar antimicrobial benefits that help protect against infections.
- Helps with diabetes. Coconut oil is utilized as a carbohydrate for energy, but without the insulin spike of carbohydrates.
- Helps with diabetes Type 3 (aids the removal of beta amyloid plaques responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s).
- May help stabilize weight gain (since it is not stored in fat tissue like LCFA).
- Its metabolic effect increases the activity of the thyroid thus helping with a ‘sluggish thyroid‘ – often the cause of some people not being able to lose weight.
- Helps to increase the metabolic rate of the body which means an improved immune system
- Speeds up the healing process and on a cellular level, increases cell turnover (quicker regeneration of new cells).
- Unlike LCFA, MCFA in coconut oil promote normal platelet function.
Coconut oil is regarded as highly nutritious and is often used in hospitals to feed critically ill patients, especially those with digestive complications which is often the case in the elderly as well. It is exceptionally beneficial for pregnant or nursing mothers and its use in baby formulas is especially beneficial.
I find it particularly interesting how coconut oil helps remove the beta amyloid plaque buildup in the brain – so does the curcumin in turmeric.
Cosmetically, coconut oil really is excellent for skin care. Rubbed into still moist from a shower (but not wet) it soaks in quicker than other oils and leaves the skin soft and protected though never ‘oily’. And, if you do get it on clothes or sheets, it washes out easily unlike other oils which makes it perfect for massage. Excellent also for hair care – apply it like any other hair oil treatment and you will notice it shampoos out relatively easily.
My experience and advice is to use organic coconut oil you would use for cooking. If you can eat it, you can use it for cosmetic purposes. I love the scent and taste of coconut oil so I prefer unrefined. Sometimes I use it with a little other oil or butter for cooking when I don’t want too much of the coconut flavor. By the way, there is a standing debate regarding refined vs. unrefined. Look it up and decide for yourself!
Looking for a super health combination? Cook with coconut oil and be sure to add the turmeric for not only a brain function boost but for all the combined benefits. What a dynamic duo!
- Bruce Fife, ND. Coconut Oil and Medium-Chain Triglycerides.
- Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation”,
- Firoozeh Nafar, Karen M Mearow. Coconut Oil Attenuates the Effects of Amyloid-β on Cortical Neurons In Vitro.
- Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity, Lipids, 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601.
- Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing
- Lauren C Costantini, Linda J Barr, Janet L Vogel, Samuel T Henderson. Hypometabolism as a therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease.
- Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus. Ruzin A, Novick RP
- A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Agero AL1, Verallo-Rowell VM.
- Article from epicurean Digest.