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What are the health benefits of coconut oil?
Coconut Oil has many uses however it is mostly consumed in cooking or used as a body lotion. However, in recent years there has been much speculation whether or not the use of coconut oil did in fact aid in any health benefits.
Coconut oil can be seen as the world’s most healthy fat, as it contains a combination of fatty acids it will then affect the body’s metabolism positively and effectively help the body to reduce fat content. Coconut Oil consists of medium chain fatty acids, these are metabolized in a completely different way other than that of longer chain fats. The medium chain acids are then sent right to the liver from the digestive tract in which is either used right away or is stored into ketone bodies; when stored these are released slowly, then resulting in beneficial effects on metabolism.
As well as an increased metabolism, Coconut Oil can be seen to be helping in the reduction of belly fat. Other benefits have been seen such as reduced appetite or improved cognitive function in association with fats knows as MCTs.
Coconut Oil can also help in regards to a rise in HDL (‘Good cholesterol’), however, as coconut oil contains high levels of saturated fat this is frowned upon due to the increase in LDL (‘Bad cholesterol’). However, the BBC had made a study testing and experimenting on whether coconut oil can, in fact, increase HDL levels, intrusting Cambridge academics Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nia Forouhi to study this theory. However, the results were that there was no rise in LDL (‘Bad cholesterol’) but there was a 15% increase in HDL (‘good cholesterol’); this stated that the people consuming the coconut oil had reduced the risk of developing heart disease or risk of stroke.
Coconut Oil can help eliminate overgrowth of harmful bacteria and other microbes which may be present in your digestive tract. It does this by helping the body to intake/absorb fat-soluble vitamins calcium and magnesium; if coconut oil is taken at the same time that Omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective. This can help treat urinary tract infections and kidney infections, the medium chain fatty acids that the coconut oil produces work as a natural antibiotic to these infections.
Coconut Oil for use on skin and the body
Coconut oil can be used to improve the general health of the hair, ranging from deep-conditioning, tame frizz, add shine and minimise dandruff to name but a few. Coconut oil can be used as a deep conditioner, this has been seen to prevent protein loss in the hair; improving growth and structure of the hair due. Coconut oil in the hair can also help to tame ‘frizz’ or add ‘shine’; disguising split ends and nourishing them at the same time. Coconut oil can also be used in the minimisation of dandruff, this is due to the nourishment of the scalp as most causes of dandruff is from a dry scalp. Directions of use are to heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil until turned into liquid (let cool) then apply to areas of the scalp.
Coconut oil is also used to treat the skin, this has been used for years in different continents and more globally in recent years. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, moisturising; many individuals swear to its overnight use and revitalising methods. The coconut oil can be used to clean face and reduce oil build up, with the moisturiser to dry skin and effective revitalise the skin that it is applied to. (However, don’t do this unless you know that your skin tolerates coconut oil.) This can also be used as a natural lip balm and leave your lips smooth, added moisture and shine; this is due to the natural oils and vitamins the coconut processes.
Overall coconut oil is a versatile product that can be seen to improve the general health of individuals that are in taking this product, however, incorrect consumption you should see results. This can be seen from the increase in HDL levels that can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease; quoted from the BBC article . However, we can also see that there are factors that coconut oil will help with ranging from teeth whitening to the removal of dandruff from the scalp.