The high amount of LA (40 to 60%), mainly in the form of free fatty acids and monoglycerides, in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal activity and can also improve the immune system. The lauric acid in coconut oil may have antimicrobial properties against a variety of harmful microorganisms. However, the American Heart Association (AHA) has determined that increases in HDL caused by diet or drug treatment do not appear to be directly related to changes in heart disease risk (40). At first glance, this seems to be quite true.
Look, coconut oil is made up of approximately 50 percent 12-carbon lauric acid. When lauric acid is digested, it produces monolaurin. Both of these funny-sounding things can kill things like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. So yes, coconut oil can be linked to killing bad things.
But here's the catch: Scientists aren't sure that the human body can produce monolaurin from coconut oil. If you're a regular reader of our blog, you'll learn about the benefits of coconut oil for dogs and cats. Virgin coconut oil has long been known for its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Thanks to these powerful properties, virgin coconut oil for dogs and cats can help eliminate harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi both inside and outside the body.
This review summarizes in vivo and in vitro studies on the topical anti-infective properties of coconut oil and the medium chain fatty acids it contains, and describes the proposed use of coconut products for dermal infections. While MCTs can increase the amount of calories you burn, keep in mind that coconut oil is very high in calories and can easily cause weight gain if you consume it in large quantities. Similarly, another study found that coconut oil nourishes hair strands and reduces breakage, making hair even stronger (2). The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood ketone concentrations, which may help reduce the frequency of seizures).
However, it is true that medium chain triglycerides (MCT) may be related to an increase in the amount of calories burned, but the studies were conducted with semisynthetic MCT oil, not necessarily the MCT oil found in coconut oil. An increase in HDL (good) cholesterol levels actually reduces the risk of heart disease, so you might think that the increase in HDL produced by coconut oil could be beneficial. Coconut oil is a good source of antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals. Compared to vegetable fats, coconut oil increases LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels to a greater extent.
In vitro and in vivo trials published in English that evaluated the anti-infective efficacy and safety of coconut oil and its components were selected and evaluated. To take full advantage of the benefits mentioned above, it is essential to ensure that coconut oil is organic and virgin, such as that produced by Franklin Baker. The results of this study indicate that coconut oil could be formulated in the form of a cream and maintain its antimicrobial activity in both fungi and bacteria. Scientists are studying medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including those found in coconut oil, for their potential health benefits.
Coconut oil is a good source of antioxidants, which provide anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and brain-protective effects. But if you love the taste and texture, try swapping coconut oil for butter in vegan baked goods or as an alternative to olive oil in Thai curry.