Everything You Need to Know About What Can You Use Coconut Oil for?

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


What Can You Use Coconut Oil For?

What can you use coconut oil for? There are many different forms of coconut oil that may benefit you. So you’ve purchased a jar– now, what can you use coconut oil for? Here are the top 20 reasons to use coconut oil, accompanied by tips for doing so.

While coconut oil might still be considered ‘exotic’ in the Western world, there is good reason it’s becoming so widespread. Coconut oil is incredibly useful and versatile, with applications as a cooking ingredient, beauty product, and more. It’s known to have a multitude of health benefits, including stress relief. Consisting of healthy saturated fat, specifically medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil is easily digestible, as well as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.

Populations in tropical countries have been consuming and thriving on coconut for generations; on average, the people are extraordinarily healthy and heart disease is nearly inexistent. The question is: why?

One reason may be coconut oil. What are the benefits? And what can you use coconut oil for?

Coconut oil can help combat the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), especially bolstering the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response, our body’s system of self-regulation that works to protect us from excessive stress. Here are the specific reasons why to use coconut and tips for doing so effectively.

1. Coconut oil is highly beneficial for physical fitness.

Contrary to outdated beliefs that “fat makes you fat,” coconut oil can actually help you lose weight and stay healthier in multiple ways.

It speeds up your metabolism, increases your energy levels, reduces hunger by keeping you fuller for longer, and aids in overall fat reduction and weight loss. In fact, coconut oil has been found to be particularly effective in decreasing the amounts of harmful belly fat.

Unlike other plant-based oils, which contain long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), coconut oil contains MCFAs (caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid), which are quickly converted into fuel, helping your body to burn fat for energy.

Permanent lifestyle and diet changes are required to lose weight– it doesn’t just happen overnight. Coconut oil can be instrumental in achieving such goals, however, especially when combined with other changes.

2. Coconut oil helps control appetite and weight

Including coconut oil in your diet can help to curb sugar cravings, which are often caused by Adrenal Fatigue, by keeping you fuller for longer.

3. Coconut oil works wonders for your digestive health.

Consuming coconut oil can benefit your gut by helping your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. If you consume omega-3 fatty acids simultaneously with coconut oil, the omega-3s will be doubly effective.

The MCFAs also help to destroy harmful gut bacteria and fungi, aiding in prevention of digestive conditions such as ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Such ailments can wreak havoc on your life, particularly when already struggling with Adrenal Fatigue.

4. Use coconut oil for healing external wounds and bruises.

In addition to killing harmful microorganisms inside your body, coconut oil is also beneficial when topically applied to wounds. The oil forms a protective chemical layer that shields the wound from dust, air, fungi, viruses, and bacteria, thereby preventing infection.

5. It is excellent for skin in general.

What can you use coconut oil for? Many lotions have added coconut oilOne of the best natural skin products around (and a common ingredient in skincare products), coconut oil is superb as an everyday moisturizer, facial cleanser, massage oil, or even sunscreen. In fact, it can be a safe remedy for a plethora of skin conditions, including dry and sensitive skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and burns.

With its antioxidant properties and ability to reduce inflammation, coconut oil can also help to decrease signs of aging by delaying the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.

6. Coconut oil will increase your chances of a good hair day.

Many people utilize coconut oil to improve the health and general appearance of their hair. Protect your hair from sun damage with coconut oil: it can block up to twenty percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Furthermore, it’s an excellent conditioner, reduces protein loss, promotes a shiny quality, and can aid in the regrowth of damaged hair.

Regularly rubbing the oil into your scalp not only helps to relieve stress but also prevents dandruff and lice. Try the following regime:

Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with ten drops of rosemary essential oil and massage the mixture into your scalp for three minutes and then wait for half an hour. Follow this with a shower and use straight coconut oil as a conditioner. Finally, after blow-drying and styling as you wish, apply small amounts of oil to the ends of your locks for a polished finish.

7. Coconut oil boosts your immunity.

It’s no secret that health problems are caused by overgrowth of harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses within the body. The fatty acids in coconut oil are antimicrobial lipids which are known to fight against bacteria and viruses, working to strengthen the immune system.

When you get a cold, cut out sugar (as it can feed the growth of harmful bacteria), consume plenty of fluids, and take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily. Not only will this help kick start your immune system, it will also give you an energy boost to get you through the day.

8. Use coconut oil to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Ingesting coconut oil can help improve the absorption of nutrients within the body, including calcium—which is essential for strong and healthy teeth.

To achieve optimal gum health, you can also use a method called “oil pulling”, known to decrease rates of plaque formation, tooth decay, and gingivitis. The high concentration of MCFAs in coconut oil make it particularly effective in oil pulling. The oil denatures any bacteria and sticks to your teeth, helping to simultaneously heal your gums of any harmful bacteria, improve overall dental health, and freshen your breath.

The recommended oil pulling method involves swishing a large spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for approximately twenty minutes, three times per week.

9. Use coconut oil to maintain strong bones and avoid osteoporosis.

What can you use coconut oil for? Coconut oil can help bone health.Again, coconut oil helps to promote the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the gut, both of which are essential for optimal bone health.

Antioxidant properties of coconut oil also help to fight against free radicals, providing a natural remedy for osteoporosis. The oil not only helps to enhance bone density and structure, but also benefits those who already suffer from bone density loss as a result of osteoporosis.

10. Coconut oil can help to address inflammation & arthritis.

Failure to properly regulate and suppress excessive inflammation can wreak havoc in your body due to imbalances and overuse of the NEM stress response system.

The caprylic and lauric acids that are found in coconut oil are proven to lower inflammation both in your gut and externally on your body.

A study in India found that the antioxidant properties of coconut oil can help to heal arthritis naturally. In some cases, coconut oil worked even better than the recommended medications, further evidence that it might be one of the most effective natural remedies on the planet.

11. Use coconut oil to balance your hormones.

Hormone health is especially important when recovering from AFS. Healthy fats are an integral part of hormone regulation, and coconut oil may help in the balancing act.

Menopausal women can especially benefit, as it is said to have positive effects on levels of estrogen. Coconut oil can also help to increase your production of milk if you are breastfeeding, which may help your baby’s healthy development.

Along with the healthy fats obtained from coconut and foods like avocado, ghee, and flaxseed, reducing consumption of grains and sugar can also aid in proper hormone balance.

12. Coconut oil can help to improve brain function and memory.

A study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging in 2004 found that the fatty acids in coconut oil helped to improve memory. All patients had enhanced memory recall upon ingesting coconut oil, particularly the older subjects, who saw improvements with memory problems.

13. Coconut oil as a natural remedy for both Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.

What can you use coconut oil for? Coconut oil can help you age healthier.The MCFAs in coconut oil increase the production of ketones in the blood, which have been found beneficial in decreasing seizures as well as countering the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s.

A healthy brain creates its own insulin to process glucose, which fuels brain cells; however, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s has lost this ability. Ketones can provide an alternative energy source for brain cells. This extra energy can contribute to the repair of brain function, naturally relieving symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

What’s more, coconut oil might also mitigate the effects of epilepsy. “Ketogenic” diets, which involve eating lots of fat and very few carbohydrates, have been found to help epileptic children (who aren’t benefitting from medications) significantly reduce their rate of seizures.

14. Maintain your cardiovascular health naturally with coconut oil.

Coconut oil can help you optimize your overall heart health and blood pressure. Saturated fats such as those in coconut oil have been found to not only promote levels of healthy cholesterol (HDL) in the body but also decrease levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).

Coconut oil has also been found to reduce the risk of damage to your arteries and improves blood coagulation factors, encouraging a healthy blood lipid profile.

15. Mitigate the effects of Candida & yeast infection with coconut oil.

Systemic Candidiasis, a condition better known as Candida, is a result of excessive and uncontrolled yeast growth within the stomach. Coconut oil has been found to be beneficial as a natural remedy for Candida, gradually reducing inflammation.

To rid your body of Candida and yeast infections, consume one tablespoon of coconut oil, up to three times per day. It’s also important to remove sugar and refined grains from your diet.

16. Coconut oil can dissolve kidney stones and protect your liver.

Coconut oil works as a natural antibiotic to eliminate the bacteria that cause kidney and urinary tract infections. The fatty acids disrupt the bacteria’s lipid coating, killing the harmful cells to help naturally heal these uncomfortable infections.

Studies have also proven that coconut oil directly protects the liver by reducing its workload and inhibiting fat accumulation.

Liver congestion is a central component of Adrenal Fatigue, so any load that can removed from the liver will likely ameliorate your AFS symptoms as well.

17. Coconut oil is also a friend to your gallbladder & pancreas.

Long-chain fatty acids found in foods like vegetable oil can stress the pancreas. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil, however, are easily digested, not requiring pancreatic enzymes to be metabolized..

Furthermore, this super oil is known to promote gallbladder health, likely due to its ease of digestion.

18. Coconut oil can help prevent and relieve symptoms of cancer and HIV.

What can you use coconut oil for? Coconut oil can be used to treat HIV symptoms.A person’s viral susceptibility to HIV and certain forms of cancer could be decreased by the role of coconut oil in the diet. The previously mentioned “ketogenic diet”, rich in coconut oil, may be particularly effective in helping cancer patients with recovery. Tumor cells are dependent on glucose and unable to access the energy in ketones.

The fatty acids in coconut oil also kill harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, an infection of which can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Studies and preliminary research have shown that when cancer is induced chemically, coconut oil can stop the cancer from developing. It can also reduce the viral load of patients living with HIV.

If you are currently living with cancer, consider consuming coconut oil and incorporating natural, non-toxic modalities into your recovery.

19. Coconut oil can benefit people living with type 2 diabetes.

The fatty acids in coconut oil help to improve cellular reactions involving insulin, control blood sugar levels, and promote general digestive health.

Insulin-resistance, which characterizes type 2 diabetes, is when cells no longer respond to insulin or have difficulty processing glucose as energy. Since MCFAs ease the strain on the pancreas, and ketones provide an alternative energy source in the absence of glucose, coconut oil can relieve the entire system and be effective in maintaining or preventing type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance and other problems regulating blood sugar are also frequently experience by those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.

20. Final tips on using coconut oil:

Coconut oil is becoming increasingly available in Western supermarkets. If your local grocery store doesn’t have it, try your local health food or supplement store.

There are six variations of coconut oil: pure, refined, virgin, organic, fractionated, and extra virgin. Virgin and organic varieties are great options all around, as they are optimal for health and weight loss.

Try to choose brands that are well-known and reputable to ensure quality. While coconut oil doesn’t go rancid like other cooking oils, only buy enough to consume with a few months—the fresher it is, the better.

Coconut oil is a superfood that will help you to achieve optimal health, recover from Adrenal Fatigue, and provide an endless stream of other benefits. Now that you know what can you use coconut oil for, it’s time to explore the ways the remarkable coconut can help you!

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


What can you use coconut oil for? You will be very intrigued when you find out.

DrLam.com
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Dr. Lam,
 
Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time today to answer all my questions and help me understand my body better. You are the only doctor that I could find that even knew what was going on with myself and I`m very grateful to have you helping me through this difficult health issue.




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5 Comments

  • Cathie Roohk says:

    Dear Dr. Lam:
    I have visited your site before and really enjoy it. I am in a quandary. I just turned 70 and have had a lot of stress in my life over many years…between 2007 and 2012 I lost my mom and dad, my mother-in- law, our oldest son, and my husband had prostate cancer.

    During the past 4 years my body has been trying to recoup. I have had 2 saliva hormone tests done in the last 8 months. At first my cortisol was high in the morning and afternoon. The second test showed it had dropped a bit below normal in the morning and the early afternoon. Both tests showed normal results for late afternoon and evening. Other hormone levels have improved greatly and are in normal ranges now and I am not on HRT. except for DHEA which is depressed…saliva test showed it at 1, down from 2 which was already depressed.

    My integrated medicine doctor wants me to start taking 5 mg. of sublinqual DHEA by Ortho Molecular Products in the morning. This is what concerns me. Will taking this alone be the right thing to do, and will it decrease even more the cortisol, which I do not want. I am concerned the high to low levels of cortisol and the lower level of DHEA is showing I may be entering a different stage of AF?

    I am not excessively tired, have no weight gain, eat a good diet…a couple of years ago I went gluten free, etc. All vitamins I consume are whole foods. I am just starting an oil intake regime adding coconut oil daily and a blend from Activation Products called Panaseeda 5 Oil Blend.

    Can I improve my DHEA levels with diet and exercise alone. I’m just not so sure about the DHEA, as anxiety and occasional heart palpitations have been my main symptom and I don’t want to take anything that could cause that to intensify again.

    I look forward to your response. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your very in-depth research. I have found it very helpful.

    Blessings,

    Cathie

  • Antonio says:

    Hello Dr Lam,

    My name is Antonio and I’ve already commented on other AFS topic on your site.

    I’m currently recovering from what it seems Stage 3b/3c Adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, with limited finance resources my recovering seems very slow with crashes due to luck of knowledge/experience in this matter. Never the less, I’m positive I will recover even it has been almost 2 years since my body decided it was enough and since then has been quite a journey and still is… no sport, no sex, no sun, no swimming in the ocean etc… the good part of this is that I’m on a good diet based on animal protein, lots of veg and in my case low sugar low fat due to my metabolic type.

    On this page you are discussing the benefit of the coconut oil and I was wondering if you have anything about CBD oil (Cannabidiol Oil). I think at my AFS stage and with “hitting the wall” symptoms i could move further into my recovery journey with adding more micro nutrients to my body without side effects… or am I wrong?

    Last but not least, you mention fungi and parasites. I went to a fungi specialist and was told i have fungi under my toes nail and have spread to my groin and possibly gut… i was given all sorts of chemicals which made my AFS even worse and eventually i had to stop resulting with fungi getting stronger and spreading further. Could you suggest any remedies which will not worsen my AFS conditions? I feel that if I remove the fungi my recovery will improve alot.

    Thank you for your work DR Lam. I will be lost without your research and hard work

    Warmest
    Antonio

    • Dr.Lam says:

      CBD can be helpful in AFS , but it also has its drawbacks. I have an article on this very issue coming out soon. Do watch for it. As far as mold is concern, this is very challenging because the remedy can sometimes be worse than the problem. Removal is often a failed exercise from my experience as it is only short term at best. Focus on getting the adrenals support is often a much better long term strategy as once the adrenals are strong, the body will fight the battle for you.

      Dr Lam.