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6 Benefits of Coconut Oil

by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD December 14, 2017 2 min read

 raw coconut and coconut oil

Although previously shunned due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has become very popular because of its unique fatty acids that can improve brain function, fat loss, skin health, digestion, hair and immune response.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Brain Health

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Compared with long-chain fatty acids these MCTs are metabolized differently, since they are transported straight to the liver from the digestive system and are used immediately as energy or converted into ketones. Ketones have been shown to have a therapeutic effect on brain health.

Skin Health

Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer as well as a massage oil on all types of skin. The antioxidants in coconut oil may help with premature aging. Several skin problems can also be alleviated with coconut oil.

Appetite Suppression

Because of the ketones produced when it’s metabolized, coconut oil suppresses hunger, reducing the number of calories you consume on a daily basis. This can have a positive effect on your weight over the long term.

Immune Support

The lauric acid in coconut oil, which contains antimicrobial lipids, kills viruses, bacteria and fungus. Staphylococcus aureus is an example of a bacteria that lauric acid can combat.

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is beneficial for weight loss due to medium chain fatty acids, which help remove excessive fat. Research also indicates that abdominal weight gain in women can be reduced by consuming coconut oil. Add to this the beneficial effect of boosting your metabolism, helping your body to burn more energy — and as a result, stored fat. Coconut oil does this by removing the stress on your pancreas.

Digestive Health

The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil help your body deal with bacteria, fungi and parasites that can cause indigestion. It aids digestive health and helps prevent digestive problems.

About the Author

 Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD

Ana Reisdorf has 12 years of experience as a registered dietitian. She has a passion for creating health and nutrition content. She is the author of two books, the “Lupus Cookbook” and “The Anti-inflammatory Diet One-Pot Meals.” Find her at anareisdorf.com.

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