If you're a regular reader of our blog, you'll know that therapeutic-grade coconut oil provides a myriad of health benefits for both humans and animals. It's been shown to fight infection, promote digestive health, support brain function, boost the immune system, and much more!
But don't just take our word for it... countless scientific studies have been published that demonstrate the health benefits of therapeutic-grade coconut oil. And in today's post, we'll explore a few of our favorites.
1) Antimicrobial Effects
In a 2016 study, researchers compared the antibacterial properties of coconut oil and chlorhexidine (a powerful disinfectant and antiseptic). During the study, a total of 50 children were randomly assigned to two groups of 25.
Participants in the first group were asked to rinse their mouths with coconut oil after brushing their teeth in the morning. By comparison, participants in the second group were asked to rinse with chlorhexidine. All participants were instructed to continue rinsing with coconut oil or chlorhexidine for a period of 30 days.
The results at the end of the study? Both coconut oil and chlorhexidine significantly reduced streptococcus mutans bacteria (the most common organism causing dental cavities). In fact, coconut oil was just as effective as chlorhexidine! According to the researchers:
"...in comparison of coconut oil and chlorhexidine there is no statistically significant change regarding the antibacterial efficacy."
2) Brain Function
In a 2015 study, researchers compared two groups of Alzheimer's patients to evaluate the effects of coconut oil on cognitive function. Patients in the first group were given 40ml of virgin coconut oil daily, while the second group received no dietary supplementation.
The researchers used standardized tests to measure the cognitive function of patients in both groups. They found a statistically significant increase in test scores and an improvement in cognitive status among those given coconut oil. According to the researchers:
"This study, although preliminary, demonstrated the positive influence of coconut oil at the cognitive level of patients with Alzheimer's, this improvement being dependent on sex, presence or absence of diabetes and degree of dementia."
In a 2014 study, researchers examined the effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the quality of life (QOL) of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
During their second cycle of chemotherapy, patients were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control group. Patients in the intervention group were given 10ml of virgin coconut oil twice daily (one week after each chemotherapy cycle from the third until the sixth cycle). Patients in the control group did not receive any supplementation.
Quality of life was evaluated from the first cycle of chemotherapy to the sixth cycle, and researchers collected data using a validated standardized quality of life questionnaire. In the conclusion of their paper, the researchers state:
"VCO consumption during chemotherapy helped improve the functional status and global QOL of breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy."
4) Heart Health
In a previous post, we explored why coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. And a 2015 study sheds further light on the link between coconut oil and cardiovascular health.
Researchers studied two groups of patients with coronary artery disease. The first group were placed on a dietary program that included coconut oil, while the second group did not consume any coconut oil throughout the study.
The results of the study show that the group of patients who consumed virgin coconut oil had raised levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. They also lost more weight than the group of patients who ate no coconut oil at all!
5) Weight Management
In a 2000 study, researchers examined a group of overweight rats to explore the effects of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) on body composition and protein metabolism.
The group of overweight rats were fed on isoenergetic diets to maintain their body weight, using either medium-chain (MCT) or long-chain (LCT) triglycerides as a lipid source. According to the researchers:
"The present data clearly show that a diet with MCT as lipid fuel depresses weight gain and fat stores, relative to a standard LCT diet."
In a previous post, we explained why coconut oil has gained a reputation as an effective weight loss aid. And the results of this study confirm that coconut oil can help prevent weight gain and obesity.
Throughout this post, we've highlighted 5 scientific studies that demonstrate the health benefits of coconut oil. We hope you've learned a little about just some of the ways therapeutic-grade coconut oil can help improve the lives of pets and people!
It’s important to mention that when taking coconut oil for acute or chronic heath issues, it is crucial to choose a therapeutic-grade organic virgin coconut oil.
Therapeutic-grade coconut oil should have high levels of lauric acid and low moisture content. CocoTherapy organic virgin coconut oil is a true cold-pressed, raw therapeutic-grade oil with a minimum of 53% lauric acid levels, compared to 30-35% lauric acid levels in grocery store (or cooking grade) coconut oil.
Want to explore more studies involving coconut oil? Click here to access the Coconut Oil Research Center.