The health ramifications of virgin coconut oil keep surfacing from international studies without much coverage from mainstream media health or food sections. Fortunately, Health Impact News and their CoconutOil.com website is the leading authority today on the health benefits of coconut oil, keeping you up-to-date on all the published research about coconut oil you will never read in the mainstream corporate media.
There has been a lot of text and talk about the wonders of coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids and how they benefit the brain by producing ketones for brain cells’ functional nutrition. Ketones can even reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry and their support of the mainstream media would like to keep that information from being known.
There are even folks losing weight with high-fat ketogenic dieting, which includes the saturated fat coconut oil and other whole unadulterated healthy fats, to debunk the unscientific dogma of saturated fats as responsible for obesity. Many studies have demonstrated coconut oil’s antifungal and antibacterial capabilities as well.
Now we have coconut oil demonstrating powerful antioxidant potential, even powerful enough for reducing the biological stress of chemotherapy. Here are two studies that point this out.
- Study 1: Polyphenols of Virgin Coconut Oil Prevent Pro-oxidant Mediated Cell Death
Researchers in India performed the above-named study, which the journal Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods published in early 2017. They used Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS), which combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry (MS) to isolate the chemical constituents of virgin coconut oil (VCO).
The researchers detected certain polyphenols, plant-based micronutrients that act as antioxidants. They are ferulic acid, quercetin, gallic acid, methyl catechin, dihydrokaempferol, and myricetin glycoside.
The researchers experimented with inducing oxidative stress in a human cell line culture with and without VCOP (virgin coconut oil polyphenols) to observe how VCOP positively promoted catalase, a very important enzyme in protecting the cell from oxidative damage, and glutathione (GSH), a self-recycling antioxidant produced by the liver. GSH is considered the “mother of all antioxidants.”
From these experiments, the researchers concluded “… VCOP protects cells from pro-oxidant insults by modulating cellular antioxidant status.” (Study Abstract)
- Study 2: Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation Attenuates Acute Chemotherapy Hepatotoxicity Induced by Anti-Cancer Drug Methotrexate via Inhibition of Oxidative Stress in Rats
Methotrexate (MTX) is so toxic it is a last-resort-only chemotherapy, not only for cancer but severe rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Normally, it easily poisons the liver faster than it can deal with detoxing this poisonous pharmaceutical.
It’s obvious that any protection against hepatoxicity (liver toxicity) with something this toxic would not only be welcomed by orthodox oncology but useful for restoring liver health after liver damage. That protection is something we could all use.
Nigeria came together for this animal study, which was published in the journal Biomed Pharmacother in early 2017 also. They injected rats fed virgin coconut oil (VCO) for 10 days with MTX and compared the results of livers from rats injected with MTX without VCO protection and determined there are “… antioxidant and hepatoprotective [liver protective] effects of VCO supplementation against hepatotoxicity and oxidative damage via improving antioxidant defense system in rats.” (Study Abstract)
So there you have it. More real science the public is probably unaware of that proves more health benefits from virgin coconut oil. But how much does quality matter?
How Do I Choose the Best Coconut Oil with the Highest Anti-oxidant Properties?
The highest standard of nutritional health comes with virgin coconut oil, or VCO, which is used in most studies. Although technically, all coconut oils are refined to some degree, virgin coconut oil is the least refined. Thus one should look for virgin coconut oil stated on its product label.
VCO uses less refining methodologies than are used on oils obtained from copra, the dried meat from coconuts that has to be refined before it’s edible.
Other RBD oils (refined, bleached, and deodorized oils) may be healthy, but not quite as healthy with its full compliment of polyphenols intact. But the fatty acid or medium chain triglyceride (MCT) quality is not altered as long as chemicals are not used for extracting, bleaching, or deodorizing the copra.
If the product description is simply coconut oil there may or may not be some chemical agents used for processing this oil. Buyer beware.
But a coconut oil to avoid completely would be labeled hydrogenated coconut oil. The process of hydrogenation produces trans-fatty acids that are so harmful even the FDA followed the lead of most European countries some years back and started to require trans-fatty acid content be listed on food labels in the U.S.
Another “coconut oil” to avoid is liquid coconut oil. It’s altered to allow refrigeration without going solid. Coconut oil liquefies from a solid state at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and putting it into a refrigerator creates a solid brick that needs thawing somewhat before it can even be removed from its container.
But the convenience of liquid coconut oil is marred by the fact that liquid coconut oil contains no lauric acid, which is around half of real coconut oil’s content containing most of the coconut oil’s major nutrients. The only other major source of lauric acid is mother’s breast milk. (Source details)
Organic coconut oil shouldn’t be a priority since most coconut producing areas located in the Philippines and Southeast Asia don’t deal with the organic labeling process and coconuts high up in tall trees are not sprayed. Although herbicides can be sprayed on the ground nearby, it’s doubtful they usually are. There is no such thing as GMO coconuts so far.
A useless label is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Unlike olive oils, there is no such thing. If it’s virgin coconut oil, it’s as good as it can get because the oil is pressed from freshly dried coconuts or by using a wet milling process.
One of the myths perpetrated among coconut oil vendors is that virgin coconut oil that has “seen no heat” or is touted as “cold pressed” is somehow superior to virgin coconut oils that use heat. While this may be true in the olive oil industry and with other edible oils, the exact opposite is true with virgin coconut oil. Studies have shown that heat used in the processing of virgin coconut oil actually enhances the antioxidant quality. See:
Study: Traditional Virgin Coconut Oil High in Antioxidants and Reduces Oxidative Stress in Heart, Kidney, and Liver
Wet milling extracts the oil from fresh moist coconut meat instead of dried coconut, and it is a traditionally accepted method that does not destroy the oil’s nutritional qualities. It actually enhances them, according to studies, demonstrating higher antioxidant levels in wet milled coconut oil.
There’s more on those studies in the “The Research on Wet-Milling Virgin Coconut Oil” section near the end of this source article.
Also, it’s important to research what is claimed to be virgin coconut oil since there is no official governing group to authenticate this high standard.
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