1. Why is Coconut Oil Often Considered the Miracle Oil?
Virgin coconut oil is the richest natural source of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA). Most of coconut oil's health benefits come from medium-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids consists of caprylic (C8:0), capric (C10:0) and lauric (C12:0) acids. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, and the only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk. The value of lauric acid has been widely studied and has shown multiple health benefits. The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutriceutical effects. See our Health Benefits page to learn more.
2. Isn't coconut oil a saturated fat, and isn't saturated fat bad for you?
Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat, but not all saturated fat is bad for you. It is not the kind doctors warn you about. Recently, saturated fats have been getting a second look, because it turns out that not all saturated fats are the same. Coconut oil is known as a medium chain fatty acid, which means it contains 12 single carbon bonds, making it a more stable fat. The saturated fatty acids found in meats such as pork or beef are long chain fatty acids, containing 18-22 double carbon bonds, making it an unstable oil, prone to oxidation. Animal fats such as red meat and full-fat dairy products contain mostly palmitic and stearic acids, while tropical vegetable oils such as palm and coconut oils contain primarily lauric acid. CocoTherapy© coconut oil is all natural and pure, and is not hydrogenated, and is rich in beneficial lauric, capric and caprylic acids.
Click here to learn more about coconut oil and types of fats.
Click on the article "Coconut Oil" by Dr. Ray Peat to learn more about saturated and unsaturated fats. About Dr. Ray Peat: PhD. Biology, with specialization in Physiology, University of Oregon.
3. Does CocoTherapy© contain Trans Fat or Hydrogenated Fat?
CocoTherapy does not contain Trans Fat or Hydrogenated Fat. Virgin, natural coconut oil is not hydrogenated coconut oil. Unfortunately, coconut oil often found in today's processed foods is the hydrogenated version of coconut oil. Because of this, coconut oil has gotten a bad rap. However, not all coconut oil is the same, and not all is hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oils are molecularly changed oils by processing, heat, solvents, and other chemicals. CocoTherapy is NOT hydrogenated, nor does it contain any Trans Fat.
4. What exactly is in coconut oil that is good for me and my pet?
Coconut oil is abundant in a Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid. Lauric acid is responsible for many of its health benefits. The only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk. Dr. Jon J. Kabara, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus of Michigan State University emphasized the value of Lauric Oils. The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutriceutical effects. Babies make monoglyceride monolaurin from the lauric acid they get from their mothers' milk and is the same substance that keeps infants from getting viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections.
5. Is it true that coconut oil can promote weight loss and increase metabolism?
Yes, coconut oil can support healthy weight levels. Researchers now know that weight loss associated with coconut oil is related to the length of the fatty acid chains contained in coconut oil. Coconut oil primarily consists of medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs). These triglycerides can support a healthy metabolism because they are so easily digested and converted into energy. These medium chain fatty acids are different from the common longer chain fatty acids found in other plant-based oils. Most vegetable oils are composed of longer chain fatty acids (LCTs). LCTs are typically stored in the body as fat, while MCTs are burned for energy.
Coconut oil can support a healthy weight in other ways as well. It slows down the digestion of food, which helps one feel fuller after a meal. Because it slows digestion, coconut oil also helps support healthy blood sugar metabolism after a meal by slowing the rate carbohydrates are broken down into blood glucose.
6. Is coconut oil a good source of antioxidants and Vitamin E?
The unsaturated oils in some cooked foods become rancid in just a few hours, even at refrigerator temperatures, and are responsible for the stale taste of left-over foods. Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for over a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Because of this, coconut oil has been shown to have powerful anti-oxidative effects. It is well established that dietary coconut oil reduces our need for vitamin E, and provides a significant source of antioxidants. As an antioxidant, it is 50 times more potent than Vitamin E, 15 times more potent than carrots, and 300 times more potent than tomatoes.
7. So coconut is good for people, but is it good for my pet(s) as well?
Numerous benefits of coconut oil for pets have been reported and the growing evidence is impressive. According to Dr. Bruce Fife, coconut oil supports a healthy metabolism, providing a higher level of energy and vitality. In dogs, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil support healthy thyroid function, supporting healthy weight levels and optimal energy levels. As a bonus, coconut oil supports healthy dog's skin and coat. Read the article in The Whole Dog Journal to read about coconuts and dogs.
8. How is CocoTherapy coconut oil produced? How does your production differ from the other commercial coconut oil brands?
CocoTherapy© organic virgin coconut oil is superior to other coconut oils in the market today.
We know that there are other coconut oils available in the market, but we also know that there are many different ways to produce and manufacture coconut oil.
CocoTherapy© Coconut Oil and CocoChips© come from fresh organically grown coconuts. The coconuts are grown in a USDA certified organic coconut farm. The coconuts are harvested fresh and are opened between four to eight hours of harvesting. The fresh coconut meat is then air-dried in a cold dry environment, and cold-pressed to express the healthy and pure coconut milk. The oil is separated from moisture in a process called vacuum drying, with low processing temperatures that are approximately 100 degrees F.
Usually, coconut oil that is considered "excellent" has a 0.04% - 0.11% moisture content. Higher moisture content not only lessens the oil's shelf life, but also makes the oils more susceptible to oxidation, bacteria, and the breakdown of triglycerides. CocoTherapy© coconut oil has a moisture content of only 0.02% - 0.08%. Other coconut oil brands contain a much higher moisture content. Click here to learn more about how CocoTherapy coconut oil and chips differ from other brands.
9. How do you determine an organic product vs. a non-organic product? How do you certify that your products are truly USDA Organic?
Our organic coconut oil comes from coconuts that are grown without the use of any chemical fertilizers and pesticides. In addition to this, chemicals are not used through out the entire production process. In organic coconut oil manufacture, the coconut flesh is not dried using chemicals. Extraction is done at low temperatures and only through mechanical means, without the use of chemicals or solvents. In addition to this, chemicals are not used for refining process. The entire process of manufacturing organic coconut oil does not involve the use of chemicals. CocoTherapy© is certified organic by Global Organic Alliance, Inc, a USDA Accredited Certifying Agent, and bears the USDA Organic seal on its labels.
10. Why does CocoTherapy© use glass jars as opposed to plastic for the coconut oil?
Most experts recommend storing coconut oil in glass jars rather than plastic. CJ Puotinen, in her article on coconut oil in The Whole Dog Journal states ""Assuming the oil is correctly labeled and properly prepared, virgin organic coconut oil in glass rather than plastic is the favorite of most experts." Most soft plastic products are made with PVC. The chemicals which comprise PVC, have been known to leach into water, and food products. For this same reason, experts have advised consumers to purchase glass baby bottles instead of plastic. There is concern with the plastic chemicals leaching into the oil. Oils can swell polyethylene, and therefore some of this substance may leach into the oil. Unless you are 100% certain that the oil is in a high quality food-grade HDPE non-leaching plastic container, it is safest to purchase coconut oil in glass jars.
11. What is "Virgin" or "Extra Virgin" coconut oil? Is there a difference?
There are many coconut oils on the market that are labeled as "Virgin Coconut Oil" or "Extra Virgin Coconut Oil." The term "Extra Virgin" when used in coconut oil, is more a marketing ploy from manufacturers to increase the appeal of their products. Virgin coconut oil simply refers to coconut oil that is prepared using mechanical means without the addition of any heat or chemicals. The oil must come from fresh coconut meat as opposed to copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, resulting in a natural, pure coconut oil that is very stable.
According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, which has provided APCC Standards for Virgin Coconut Oil, "virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh and mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat, which does not lead to alteration of the oil". The APCC does not mention anything about extra virgin coconut oil. There is no difference between extra virgin coconut oil and virgin coconut oil.
True virgin coconut oil has a shelf life of several years. One of the main differences between virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oils is the scent and taste. Virgin coconut oils retain the fresh scent and taste of coconuts, whereas the copra-based refined coconut oils have a bland taste due to the refining process.
12. Is CocoTherapy© coconut chips the same as the shredded dehydrated coconut found in the baking aisle in the supermarket?
No. CocoTherapy© coconut chips are not the same as the shredded dehydrated coconut found in the baking aisle in the supermarket. The shredded dehydrated coconut in the supermarket aisle is not from organic fresh coconut meat. Often times, it is dried in kilns or heat. They often contain preservatives, chemicals, or sugar. Do not feed dehydrated coconut found in the baking aisle to your pet.
CocoTherapy Coconut Chips are made specifically for maximum digestibility, while the traditional dehydrated coconut chips are not. CocoTherapy Coconut Chips are uniquely developed to be easily digestible for animals, and easily assimilated in the body, while providing all the beneficial nutrients from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Unlike other dehydrated coconut chips or flakes available in your grocery aisles or even health food stores, CocoTherapy coconut chips break down easily and quickly with just water.
13. I give my dogs coconut oil regularly. Is it safe to give on a regular basis and long-term? Can coconut oil elevate triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood and cause hyperlipidemia when given long term?
There have been numberous studies on this done on lab animals as well as humans. Coconut oil is unique as a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) in that it is synthesized in the body differently from other fats. The smaller medium chain triglyceride molecules are easily digestible and absorbable. They do not need bile to be assimilated, nor do they need pancreatic lipase to be digested. Typically the blood has triglycerides as well as cholesterol. These triglycerides are long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) being transported from the liver to the peripheral tissues and cells. LCTs are long chain fatty oils from saturated animal fats or from unsaturated fats from vegetable oils.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil are not found in the systemic blood; they go straight to the liver and they are rapidly metabolized to liberate energy. So in short, coconut oil will not elevate triglycerides and cholesterol in human or animals with long term use.
Also, well-known holistic vet, Dr. Becker states that coconut oil does not elevate triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood and does not cause hyperlipidemia when given long term. It is a very healthy oil when given long-term!
14. If my dog is allergic to peanut butter or tree nuts, will he be allergic to coconuts?
Coconuts and coconut oil is considered hypoallergenic, which is why most soaps, shampoos, and lotions that are created for people with allergies contain pure coconut oil. Coconut is not a commonly allergenic food and is not on the list of restricted foods for those who have allergies to tree nuts. It does not fall under the same category as peanuts or tree nuts (the types of nuts that experts recommend excluding from the diets of young children).
Many people say that coconut is a seed (in fact, it is the largest seed in the world) and others describe it as a fruit (Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm). Technically, its closest relations are fruits like cherries and peaches (known as drupes). Because coconut is rather less juicy than other drupes, it is known as a 'dry drupe' or 'fibrous drupe'.
Coconut oil is essentially a nontoxic food. It is considered safer than soy, which many people eat by the pound. The FDA has included coconut oil on its list of foods that are "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS list). This is an exclusive list. Only those foods that have passed stringent testing and have a history of safe usage can qualify for inclusion on the GRAS list.
15. If applied topically, will coconut oil irritate my dog's skin?
Applied topically, coconut oil will not irritate your dog's skin. MCFA (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) in coconut oil helps support healthy skin function. The combination of the slightly acid pH of the skin and the MCFA provides a protective chemical layer on the skin that prevents infection from disease-causing organisms. When you bathe your dog, ordinary soap or shampoo tends to wash off the acid mantle of the skin. Applying coconut oil helps to restore the protective layer of the skin. Coconut oil penetrates quickly, keeping skin soft. It helps to reduce any inflammation and is healing to wounds, blood blisters and rashes. Herbalists have been known to use coconut oil as an ingredient to prepare healing salves and ointments.
16. I give my pet Salmon / fish oils and flax seed oil. Isn't this enough?
Salmon or fish oils, and flax seed oil is do not contain Medium Chain fatty acids, Lauric acid, capric and caprylic acids. The only other supplement rich in Lauric, Capric and Caprylic acids is coconut oil. Therefore, fish oils and flax seed oil will not provide the same benefits found in coconut oil.
Learn more about the differences between Fish Oils and Virgin Coconut Oil.
17. Can I give coconut oil and coconut chips, along with Flax and fish oils?
Yes, you may give coconut oil along with Flax and fish oils. Some veterinarians recommend rotating oils, as some animals may develop sensitivities and allergies to fish oils, especially if given daily, over long periods of time. Some cats are sensitive to Flax seed oils and have trouble digesting Flax seed oil. It is always best to provide as much variety as possible when giving your pets supplements and treats, to ensure your pet is getting as much nutritional support as possible. Alternating coconut oil with fish oils and flax seed oil will provide your pet with the best possible variety, as well as adding coconut chips to his repertoire of treats. Talk to your holistic veterinarian about incorporating coconut oil in your pets diet.
18. Are CocoTherapy products manufactured or processed in facilities that process and uses dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, trea nuts, or wheat?
No, CocoTherapy products are NEVER manufactured or processed in facilities that process and uses dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. If you or your pets are allergic to any of these products, you can be assured that CocoTherapy is safe for you and your pets.