November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month in the US. This important annual event was created by Nationwide Pet Insurance and the Animal Cancer Foundation to help educate pet owners on protecting their pets against cancer.
According to the Animal Cancer Foundation:
"There are 65 million dogs and 32 million cats in the United States. Of these, roughly 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and a similar number made in cats each year."
In fact, cancer is now the leading cause of death in both cats and dogs, and it is estimated that 50% of dogs and 33% of cats will die from the disease.
Clearly, cancer is a huge threat to the health and longevity of our pets. That's why it's so important that pet owners do everything they can to minimize their pet's risk of developing this devastating disease.
In today's post, we'll explain how the MCFAs in coconut oil bolster the immune system and help the body fight off cancer. We'll also take a look at the latest scientific research that highlights the anti-cancer properties of our favorite dietary oil.
Coconut Oil Boosts the Immune System
Coconut oil contains different types of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), each responsible for various health benefits. The most abundant of these is the "super ingredient" lauric acid. It is often considered the most beneficial of the MCFAs and gives coconut oil its immune-supporting properties.
Lauric acid is converted into a molecule called monolaurin in the body, which effectively eliminates disease-causing microorganisms that lead to inflammation and stress.
Monolaurin protects a pet's immune system allowing white blood cells to concentrate on fighting cancer cells, instead of constantly fighting microbes. This is especially important for older pets as their immune system naturally weakens with age.
Studies on Coconut Oil and Cancer
The scientific community is continuing to discover the wide-ranging health benefits of MCFAs and coconut oil. In an article about coconut oil, the American Society for Nutrition says:
"Both research and clinical studies have shown that MCFA may be useful in treating and preventing diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, virus-related diseases (mononucleosis, hepatitis C, herpes, etc.), gallbladder disease, Crohn's disease, and cancer."
In this section of the post, we'll highlight some recent scientific studies that explore how coconut oil can help protect against cancer.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide studied the effects of lauric acid on colon cancer cells. Their findings show that lauric acid completely exterminated over 90% of colon cancer cells after just two days of treatment.
The study was conducted in vitro. This means that the results were observed in a test tube setting. However, the researchers believe that lauric acid could also eradicate colon cancer cells in clinical trials.
In his book, Coconut Therapy for Pets, Dr. Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D., discusses several scientific studies that point to coconut oil's anti-cancer properties. In one study, researchers examined the effect of dietary oils on breast cancer in laboratory animals. Dr. Fife explains:
"Researchers used a variety of different oils – olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and coconut oil. The animals were fed an identical diet, except for the type of oil. Each animal was exposed to powerful carcinogenic chemicals to induce mammary cancer. All of the animals developed tumors, except those given coconut oil."
In a separate study, virgin coconut oil has even been shown to increase quality of life in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.
Research demonstrates that the MCFAs in coconut oil have powerful immune-supporting and anti-cancer properties. For this reason, introducing coconut oil to your pet's diet is a great way to protect them against cancer throughout their lifetime
Although more research is needed, it also appears that coconut oil can actually help eradicate cancer cells in the body. If your pet is suffering from cancer, please speak to your holistic veterinarian about supplementing their diet with coconut oil as an accompaniment to conventional or natural cancer therapies.
Finally, choosing a high-quality, therapeutic-grade oil such as CocoTherapy coconut oil is the best way to ensure your pet benefits from the immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties of MCFAs.
CocoTherapy virgin coconut oil has the highest lauric acid content possible (53.28%) – the "super Ingredient" that boosts the immune system, protects against cancer, and supports your pet's overall health. Our oil also has a high percentage of other beneficial MCFAs, including caprylic acid and capric acid.
Want to find out more about how coconut oil can improve your pet's immune health? Check out our previous post, How Coconut Oil Can Help Boost Your Pet's Immune System.