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Truth and myths about the benefits of coconut oil
Truth and myths about the benefits of coconut oil

The miraculous properties of coconut oil are legendary. They say that it both improves health, and helps to lose weight, and makes an ancient Greek goddess out of an ordinary woman. The life hacker figured out which of this is close to the truth, and which is just a marketing ploy.

Truth and myths about the benefits of coconut oil
Truth and myths about the benefits of coconut oil

The truth about coconut oil

1. Good for the skin

One study found that coconut oil moisturizes the skin. The other is that it has a sunscreen effect. Coconut oil blocks about 20% of UV rays. However, sesame oil showed an even higher result - 30%.

2. Protects hair from damage

Scientists have also found that coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen it. But sunflower and mineral oils have not been proven to be effective.

3. Improves oral health

Another recent study found that using coconut oil can help fight plaque and improve gum health. The effect was noted after a week of use.

Coconut oil myths

1. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

Coconut oil aficionados cite studies showing that the saturated fat in coconut oil increases good cholesterol. And this, in turn, reduces the level of "bad" and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In fact, coconut oil has no effect on heart health at best.

According to Berkeley Wellness, a publication of the University of California at Berkeley, it all depends on what exactly the oil is replacing in the diet. When it comes to butter or lard, coconut oil can either have a neutral effect or slightly increase the level of "bad" cholesterol. If it takes the place of vegetable oils, which contain polyunsaturated fats, then the level of "bad" cholesterol will rise significantly.

With regard to the link between high levels of "good" cholesterol and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, recent research suggests that it is too early to draw firm conclusions.

2. Helps to lose weight

Legend from the category "Eat and lose weight". The main argument in support of it: coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, the absorption of which the body spends more calories.

What's the catch? First, the difference in calories burned is minimal. Second, simply adding coconut oil to your diet is not enough: you need to replace other fats. Otherwise, instead of losing, you will gain extra calories, of which there are a lot of coconut oil.

3. Treats Alzheimer's Disease

The theory is based on the idea that ketones, which are produced in the body from coconut oil, can provide an alternative source of energy for brain cells. And, consequently, improve the patient's condition.

As noted by Berkeley Wellness, this theory became popular thanks to the book of the neonatologist (that is, the doctor who deals with babies and newborns!) Mary Newport (Mary Newport). Newport described the experience of treating her husband (!) For Alzheimer's with coconut oil. The experience, naturally, turned out to be positive. No other human studies have been conducted.

In other words, there is still no reliable scientific evidence about the effects of coconut oil on people with Alzheimer's disease.

And even if the benefits of the oil are proven, it is unlikely that the miraculous ketones will have a significant effect. In any case, they will not be able to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

The Truth That Proves Nothing

The healthiest people on the planet eat a lot of coconut oil

The people of Polynesia and Sri Lanka who consume coconut oil every day are in good health and have relatively low rates of cardiovascular disease. But the salt is that, in addition to oil, the diet of these people is also rich in other healthy foods, such as fish. In addition, daily physical activity and genetic characteristics play an important role.


Coconut oil won't work miracles, but it won't do any harm if consumed in reasonable amounts. The main thing is to remember that this is not a panacea: it will not give harmony and will not cure serious diseases. But it can be a good substitute for animal oils or some cosmetics.

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