Coconut products in general are fantastic. However, I'd have to say that coconut oil has the most potential uses of any said coconut product. Coconut oil, in my opinion, is one of earth's greatest nutritional gifts, as it tastes great and is seemingly useful for everything. One of the first questions raised when talking about coconut oil is the cholesterol raising issue, which is usually a mute point because it actually only raises the good form of cholesterol, HDL. This is of course is as long as you are using organic, extra virgin coconut oil; which is the only type that should be recommended. However, the benefits of coconut oil reach far beyond simply raising HDL, as it has many nutritional and healing properties.
Coconut oil is largely composed of the medium chain triglyceride known as lauric acid. Lauric acid has shown the ability to fight off things like lipid coated viruses such as: HIV, herpes, Epstein-Barr, CMV, measles, rubeola and more. It is also particularly useful at fending off lipid coated bacteria such as H. pylori, listeria, Staph. aureus, and various Strep. groups. The mechanism of action is, once the lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, it can then disrupt the lipid membrane of the pathogen and cause the cell to destruct.
Other things lauric acid has also been proven to been an effective, therapeutic agent for are:
- Fighting inflammatory acne caused by acne vulgaris and other P. acnes.
- Promoting a reduction in abdominal obesity.
- Reducing atopic dermatitis caused by the afforementioned S. aureus.
And in recent studies medium chain triglycerides have shown improvements in people with cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's, as they act as an alternate source of glucose to the brain, providing ketones. Pretty amazing stuff.
In addition to being anti-pathogenic it is also an effective moisturizer, pre-shave, post-shave, lubricant, and cooking agent. It truly is an all purpose product.