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Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

There are significant benefits from both using Virgin Coconut Oil externally and taking VCO internally.  These have been scientifically documented in part by nutritionist Marianita Shilhavy and her husband.  Their research is summarized in their book (see sidebar), and on their website CoconutOil.com

Here are just some of the benefits, claimed by the Shilhavys and others doing research in this field:

Alzheimers:  Some of the most recent research has come from people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, with reports of people improving or even reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s by using coconut oil. Alzheimer’s is now seen as a type 3 form of diabetes.

Diabetes:  There have been positive results from people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in using coconut oil.

Hypothyroidism:  There are reports of coconut oil health benefits from those suffering from hypothryroidism, as coconut oil helps boost metabolism and raise body temperatures to promote thyroid health. Restricting carbohydrates and increasing coconut oil in the diet has also led many to report losing weight with coconut oil.


Recent Study:  Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation Prevents Bone Loss in Osteoporosis Rat Model

"VCO and coconut oil obtained from copra (dried kernel meat of coconut) contain the same composition of triglycerides with more than 90% being short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids while the remaining are the unsaturated fats. However, VCO is different from coconut oil as the former contains a lot more biologically active components like vitamins and polyphenols. Marina et al. showed that VCO has higher antioxidant capacity than copra oil and alpha-tocopherol. This corresponds to the higher amount of polyphenols in VCO."

"Phenolic compounds are found to be associated with many health benefits.  They exhibit a wide range of physiological properties such as antiallergenic, antiaftherogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antithrombotic, cardioprotective, and vasodilatory effects."

"To summarise our findings, virgin coconut oil effectively improved bone structure and prevented bone loss in osteoporosis animal model. The beneficial effects of VCO on bone microarchitecture may be due to the high polyphenols which exert antioxidant property. Virgin coconut oil could offer an interesting approach to prevent accelerated bone loss in osteoporosis especially in postmenopausal women."

Pharmacology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Full Study Report

Osteoporosis:  At least one study (see box above) proved that rats that had been hysterectimized and then treated with VCO, showed less weight gain and better bone structure than the same rats treated with calcium supplements.

Skin Diseases:  Candida sufferers also report health benefits with coconut oil as research now confirms, and those suffering from various skin diseases are also seeing tremendous health benefits by applying coconut oil directly on the skin.

Healthy Hair:  The benefits of coconut oil for healthy hair are also well known.

Other Benefits:  Other healthy benefits of coconut oil include fighting off bacterial infections and viruses.

Coconut oil is also increasingly being seen to benefit athletes and fitness trainers giving them an advantage in sustaining energy levels longer without drugs or stimulants.

Plus, here is the personal testimonial of Jim Bandy of Also Island:

"At one point in my life I had warts on my face.  I did not know about VCO then, wish I had.  They burned them off with an electric needle.  Not long back I had a wart on my thumb.  I dipped my index finger in ALSO Island VCO and then rubbed the oil on the wart.  In about a week it was gone.  No muss no fuss, no scare, just gone! 

“A visiting yacht came to ALSO Island and the lady had a very bad looking area of skin on her arm.  I gave her a bottle of our VCO and suggested she try it; “it can not hurt you”.  In 3 days there was noticeable improvement in her condition.  About 3 weeks later I ran in to her at the Suva Yacht Club.  I could hardly tell that there had ever been anything wrong with her arm!

“Shortly after that yacht left, another yacht came with a young German Lady on the boat.  She had Psoriasis.  She had had the condition for a considerable time and had visited dermatologists in Germany trying to get rid of it.  I gave her a bottle of ALSO Island VCO and suggested she try it: “It can not hurt you”.  A few weeks later I ran into her at the Suva Yacht Club.  She came running: “Jim look!  Look my arm, my leg!”  They both looked perfectly normal!

"I am a diabetic.  I test my sugar every day.  I started taking a tablespoon of ALSO Island VCO morning and evening.  I noticed a drop in my blood sugar the first day!  All of this confirms recent research reports on VCO.  ALSO Island VCO is completely natural and processed without any chemicals or treatment after it is pressed.  The medicinal benefits are outstanding.  VCO is becoming recognized as an important part of alternative benefits for good health."

Some Additional Published Studies of the Health Benefits of VCO

Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. Clinical Biochemistry. 2004;37(9):830–835. [PubMed]

Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Influence of virgin coconut oil on blood coagulation factors, lipid levels and LDL oxidation in cholesterol fed Sprague-Dawley rats. e-SPEN. 2008;3(1):e1–e8.

Hery W, Hernayanti, Agus P. Virgin coconut oil enriched with Zn as immunostimulator for vaginal candidiasis patient. Journal of Biosciences. 2008;15:135–139.

Ogbolu DO, Oni AA, Daini OA, Oloko AP. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2007;10(2):384–387. [PubMed]

Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.2010;23(6):290–297. [PubMed]

Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Virgin coconut oil supplemented diet increases the antioxidant status in rats. Food Chemistry. 2006;99(2):260–266.

Srivastava P, Durgaprasad S. Burn wound healing property of Cocos nucifera: an appraisal. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2008;40(4):144–146. [PubMed]

Marina AM, Che Man YB, Nazimah SAH, Amin I. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2009; 60(2):114–123. [PubMed]

Hertog MGL, Hollman PCH, Katan MB, Kromhout D. Intake of potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids and their determinants in adults in The Netherlands.  Nutrition and Cancer. 1993;20(1):21–29.[PubMed]

Parr AJ, Bolwell GP. Phenols in the plant and in man. The potential for possible nutritional enhancement of the diet by modifying the phenols content or profile. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 2000;80:985–1012.

Manach C, Mazur A, Scalbert A. Polyphenols and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Current Opinion in Lipidology. 2005;16(1):77–84. [PubMed]

Middleton E, Kandaswami C, Theoharides TC. The effects of plant flavonoids on mammalian cells: implications for inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. Pharmacological Reviews. 2000;52(4):673–751. [PubMed]

Puupponen-Pimiä R, Nohynek L, Meier C, et al. Antimicrobial properties of phenolic compounds from berries. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2001;90(4):494–507. [PubMed]