Coconut Oil

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Welcome to our Australian Low Carb Forums. Join us for free support, information and recipes to help you with your low carb diet. We're a friendly bunch so please register and join in the fray, but most of all have fun! If you like us please share and spread the love!

    • Coconut Oil

      Lets put coconut oil articles here so this info doesn't get lost in peoples diaries etc like it has many times before:

      Hiv/aids killed by coconut oil

      by anonymous 2003-07-09 3:28 AM +0800…=newswire&parentview=1013

      lauric acid disrupts the lipid envelop of viruses including HIV

      Can coconut oil reduce the viral load of HIV-AIDS patients? "Initial trials have confirmed that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients", University of the Philippines' Emeritus professor of pharmocology Dr. Conrato S Dayrit said.

      A minimum of 50 ml of coconut oil would contain 20 to 25 grams of lauric acid, which indicates that the oil is metabolized in the body to release monolaurin which is an antibiotic and an antiviral agent. Among the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has the maximum antiviral activity, he said. Based on this research, the first clinical trial using monolaurin as monotherapy on some of the HIV patients was conducted recently. Dr. Dayrit's conclusions after the study: "This initial trial confirmed the anecdotal reports that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients. The positive anti-viral action was seen not only with the monoglyceride of lauric acid but with coconut oil itself. This indicates that coconut oil is metabolized to monoglyceride forms of C-8, C-10, C- 12 to which it must owe its anti-pathogenic activity."

      The entire results of Dr. Dayrit's study can be found here in PDF format.

      On July 19, 1995, Dr. Mary Enig, noted biochemist and nutritionist, was quoted in an article published in The HINDU, India¡¯s National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is converted by the body into ¡°Monolaurin¡± a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig¡¯s presentation at a press conference in Kochi and wrote the following:

      ¡°There was an instance in the US in which an infant tested HIV positive had become HIV negative. That it was fed with an infant formula with a high coconut oil content gains significance in this context and at present an effort was on to find out how the 'viral load' of an HIV infected baby came down when fed a diet that helped in the generation of Monolaurin in the body.¡±

      The reporter commented on Enig¡¯s observations that ¡°Monolaurin helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes, vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances."

      Enig stated in an article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept., 1995 that Monolaurin, of which the precursor is lauric acid, disrupted the lipid membranes of envelope viruses and also inactivated bacteria, yeast and fungi. She wrote: ¡°Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity than either caprylic acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14). The action attributed to Monolaurin is that of solubilizing the lipids the envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus envelope.¡±

      Dr. Mary Enig has also written a book entitled "Nutrients and Foods in AIDS," and one of the chapters is published on her website here.

      In a July 1997 newsletter entitled "Keep Hope Alive" an interview with Chris Dafoe was recorded. Chris Dafoe of Cloverdale, IN who, based on his lab numbers, thought the end was near in September, 1996. His HIV viral load was over 600,000, CD4 count was 10 and CD8 at 300. He prepaid his funeral and decided to take his last vacation in the jungles of South America with an Indian tribe in the Republic of Surinam. Around October 14, 1996, he began eating daily a dish of cooked coconut which was prepared by the local Indians. By Dec. 27th, 1996, a mere 2 and 1/2 months later, his viral load was at non-detectable levels and he had gained 32 lbs and was feeling great. He had some other people he knew with HIV try using coconuts in their diet, and they experienced the same results. The entire interview is recorded here.

      Recently the PATA International-Potato and Products Aid Alliance To Africa committed to purchase and send several hundred container loads of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil to Africa for distribution among HIV - AIDS sufferers. They state:

      "AIDS is the modern day Black Plague. Millions have all ready died from this disease, leaving behind millions of orphans. Millions more will follow in death, unless a low cost way of controlling this illness is found quickly.

      Several long term world studies sponsored by various health organizations have found that the high content of lauric acid in unrefined coconut oil can prolong the lives of AIDS patients by dissolving the covering of the virus itself. This same action has been found effective against other infectious, tropical based diseases as well."

      If the results from the smaller studies duplicate themselves in the clinics in Africa, PATA intends to extend the distribution of Virgin Coconut oil in Africa.

      On July 19, 1995, Enig was quoted in an article published in The HINDU, India¡¯s National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is converted by the body into ¡°Monolaurin¡± a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig¡¯s presentation at a press conference in Kochi and wrote the following:

      ¡°There was an instance in the US in which an infant tested HIV positive had become HIV negative. That it was fed with an infant formula with a high coconut oil content gains significance in this context and at present an effort was on to find out how the ¡°viral load¡± of an HIV infected baby came down when fed a diet that helped in the generation of Monolaurin in the body.¡±

      The reporter commented on Enig¡¯s observations that ¡°Monolaurin helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes, vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances. "

      In another article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept., 1995, Dr. Enig stated:

      ¡°Recognition of the antimicrobial activity of the monoglyceride of lauric acid (Monolaurin) has been reported since 1966. The seminal work can be credited to Jon Kabara. This early research was directed at the virucidal effects because of possible problems related to food preservation. Some of the early work by Hierholzer and Kabara (1982) that showed virucidal effects of Monolaurin on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses was done in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control of the US Public Health Service with selected prototypes or recognized strains of enveloped viruses. The envelope of these viruses is a lipid membrane.¡±

      Enig stated in her article that Monolaurin, of which the precursor is lauric acid, disrupted the lipid membranes of envelope viruses and also inactivated bacteria, yeast and fungi. She wrote:¡°Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity than either caprylic acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14). The action attributed to Monolaurin is that of solubilizing the lipids the envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus envelope.¡± In India, coconut oil is fed to calves to treat Cryptosporidium as reported by Lark Lands Ph.D. in her upcoming book ¡°Positively Well¡± (1).

      While HHV-6A was not mentioned by Enig, HHV-6A is an enveloped virus and would be expected to disintegrate in the presence of lauric acid and/or Monolaurin. Some of the pathogens reported by Enig to be inactivated by Monolaurin include HIV, measles, vercular stomatitis virus (VSV), herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), visna, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Influenza virus, Pneumonovirus, Syncytial virus and Rubeola. Some bacteria inactivated by Monolaurin include listeria, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Groups A, B, F and G streptococci, Gram-positive organisms; and gram-negative organisms, if treated with chelator.

      Enig reported that only one infant formula ¡°Impact¡± contains lauric acid while the more widely promoted formulas like ¡°Ensure¡± do not contain lauric acid and often contain some hydrogenated fats (trans fatty acids). A modified ester of lauric acid, Monolaurin (available in capsules), is sold in health food stores and is manufactured by Ecological Formulas, Concord, CA.

      Based on her calculations on the amount of lauric acid found in human Mother¡¯s milk, Dr. Enig suggests a rich lauric acid diet would contain about 24 grams of lauric acid daily for the average adult. This amount could be found in about 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil or 10 ounces of ¡°Pure Coconut Milk.¡± Coconut Milk is made in Sri Lanka and imported into the United States. It can be found in health food stores and in local grocery stores in the International Foods section or in specialty grocery stores that sell products imported from Thailand, the Philippines or East India. About 7 ounces of raw coconut daily would contain 24 grams of lauric acid. 24 grams of lauric acid is the therapeutic daily dose for adults suggested by Mary Enig based on her research of the lauric acid content of mother¡¯s milk. (1)

      1. Positively Well, by Lark Lands Ph.D. Her new book discusses lauric acid and suggests many treatment options for persons with AIDS or CFIDS and may be ordered by calling 905-672-7470 or 800-542-8102

      Mary Enig cites 24 references in her 7 page article on ¡°Lauric Acid for HIV-infected Individuals,¡± a few of which are as follows:

      1. Issacs, C.E. et al. Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human bodily fluids by purified lipids. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1994;724:457-464.

      2. Kabara, J.J. Antimicrobial agents derived from fatty acids. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 1984;61:397-403.

      3. Hierholzer, J.C. and Kabara J.J. In vitro effects on Monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety 1982;4:1-12.

      4. Wang, L.L. and Johnson, E.A. Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Appli Environ Microbiol 1992; 58:624-629.

      5. Issacs, C.E. et al. Membrane-disruptive effect of human milk: inactivation of enveloped viruses. Journal of Infectious Diseases 1986;154:966-971.

      6. Anti-viral effects of monolaruin. JAQA 1987;2:4-6 7. Issacs C.E. et al. Antiviral and antibacterial lipids in human milk and infant formula feeds. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1990;65:861-864.

      Note: Enig¡¯s article in the Indian Coconut Journal has 41 reference cites. To obtain a complete set of both articles she wrote, see our order form on the last page of this newsletter.

      An Interview with Chris Dafoe
      May 15, 1997:

      In our last newsletter, I reported on a PWA, Chris D. of Cloverdale, IN who, based on his lab numbers, thought the end was near in September, 1996. His HIV viral load was over 600,000, CD4 count was 10 and CD8 at 300. He prepaid his funeral and decided to take his last vacation in the jungles of South America with an Indian tribe in the Republic of Surinam. Around October 14, 1996, he began eating daily a dish of cooked coconut which was prepared by the local Indians. By Dec. 27th, 1996, a mere 2 and 1/2 months later, his viral load was at non-detectable levels and he had gained 32 lbs and was feeling great. Since he continued the cooked coconut for breakfast every day after he returned, both he and I agreed that something in the coconut must have inactivated the AIDS virus(s) (HIV and HHV-6A). In last my phone conversation with him in January, 1997, Chris indicated that he planned to return soon to Surinam and would be there for a few months. I did not hear from him again until April 28th, 1997.

      Mark: Welcome back. How are you doing?

      Chris: I feel great. I have more energy that ever. I had one setback when I got shingles and had to take a prescription drug. At the time I had the shingles, my viral load increased to 5000. Since then it has dropped back to non-detectable levels.

      Mark: Have you had other lab results?

      Chris: My total White Blood Count (WBC) increased from 1.7 to 3.0. My RBC and HGB both have increased. My triglycerides have come down from 760 to 547. My platelets are up from 228 to 235. CD4¡¯s are up from 10 to 60. CD8¡¯s increased from 300 to 375.

      Mark: Do you know of anyone else who tried the coconut treatment?

      Chris: Yes, a friend with a viral load of 900,000 ate 1/2 a cooked coconut a day. After 4 weeks, his viral load dropped to around 350,000. After the second month, his viral load remained the same and his doctor added Crixivan to his protocol. He did not use AZT or 3TC. After 4 weeks, his viral load dropped to non-detectable levels.

      Mark: Coconuts and Crixivan?

      Chris: Yes.

      Mark: Was your friend¡¯s diet the same as yours?

      Chris: No. He ate red meats, hamburgers, pizza, french fries, the typical American diet.

      Mark: What do you eat?

      Chris: I do not eat fried foods, baked foods, red meat, hamburgers, lunch meat, french fries, pizza or bread or any products made from wheat (pasta, spaghetti). I eat raw and steamed vegetables, fruit, legumes and rice, some broiled fish and a little chicken.

      Mark: It sounds like your diet is low in fat, gluten-free (no wheat products) and also free from hydrogenated fats and trans fatty acids.

      Chris: That would be correct.

      Mark: Did you find out why the Indians in Surinam eat cooked coconut every morning?

      Chris: The Indian Chief told me that they use the coconut as the basis for all their medicines. They also use the milk from the inside of the coconut and also use other plants and herbs from the jungle to make these medicines. They eat cooked coconut every morning to help prevent illness.

      Mark: How have you been making the coconut porridge every morning?

      Chris: After I crack open the coconut, I peel the thin brown layer off the white meat and place 1/2 of the coconut meat in a microwave oven for 2 and 1/2 minutes. Then I run it through a food processor to make a fine paste. Then I cook it for 10 minutes and add breakfast cereal and cook them together until done.

      Mark: If someone wants to contact you, would you mind giving out your e-mail address?

      Chris: No. It is

      Mark: Thank you for sharing this information with our readers. Note: Chris has recently been out of town for interviews for different employment positions he is considering.

      Milwaukee, WI. Jim Prentice, whose experience with Eden, the olive leaf extract, was reported in Positive Health News, Report No 11, under the initials J.P. tried ¡°Coconut Milk¡± in May, 1997.

      Around May 1st, Jim Prentice tried the coconut milk and liked it so much he drank up the whole can. Because of its heavy fat content, he later would divide it into 2 or 3 daily portions. His reaction: ¡°I love it, it makes me feel great!¡± After 3 days he reported the last traces of his neuropathy was completely gone.

      Brooklyn, NY., Robert Marra tried the coconut milk but because of a gall bladder operation could not tolerate a whole can and consumed 1/2 can daily. He reported 50% of his neuropathy was gone after using it for 3 days. May 21st: In a phone call I received from Don from Jamaica, he had reported previously a persistent pain in his belly that he had had for several months. After starting to drink a large glass daily of ¡°Pure Coconut Milk¡± about a month ago, he reported the pain is completely gone.

      While this report is about 5 cases, every new discovery has a beginning. The lab results in the first two cases are impressive but too small a number to draw definitive conclusions. However, the published scientific research on the antiviral properties for Monolaurin and its derivative, lauric acid, are well documented. There is a sound scientific basis for expecting broad spectrum anti-viral activity against all lipid envelope viruses from the consumption of coconuts, coconut milk and/or coconut oil.

      Update: June 15th, 1997. Case No 6. This late-breaking news came too late to be printed in the hard copy of Positive Health News, Report No 14. On June 13th, a PWA from California called and told me the first lab results of any reported using canned Coconut Milk. He used 3/4 of a can of Pure Coconut Milk daily for 4 weeks. He reported his viral load for HIV dropped from 30,000 to 7,000. He used no other anti-virals. He also used some of the other immune based therapies like Naltrexone and Thymic Factors. He reported a doubling of his T cell counts (both CD4 and CD8) during the 4 week period.

      THAI Kitchen Pure coconut Milk(1) and Gourmet Awards Pure Coconut Milk(2) come in 14 oz cans without added preservatives. 11 ounces contain about 24 grams of lauric acid, the therapeutic dose suggested by Mary Enig. I knew if coconut were to be widely used as a treatment for AIDS or CFIDS, we would need to find a more convenient way of using it since many people won¡¯t go through the bother of cracking, peeling and cooking their own coconuts. (Note: Do not buy ¡°Lite¡± Coconut milk. It is watered down and contains about half the lauric acid of regular coconut milk).

      1. THAI Kitchens, Berkeley, CA Whole importers - 510-268-0209 E-mail:

      2. Gourmet Award Foods, St. Paul MN. Wholesale importers for grocery stores 612-646-2981

      Since some of the lauric acid in coconut oil is converted by the body into ¡°Monolaurin¡± and the published scientific research indicates that Monolaurin dissolves the lipid membranes viruses, pure coconut oil or coconut oil found in coconut milk might be an effective, non-toxic, long term treatment for AIDS and CFIDS, inactivating not only HIV, but HHV-6A, EBV, CMV as well as other lipid envelope viruses.

      Jarrow Formulas carries a ¡°Certified Organic Coconut Oil ¡°made by Omega Nutrition, Bellingham, WA. However, the demand for Organic Coconut Oil is often greater than the supply. As long as the coconut oil is natural and not hydrogenated, it should still work even if not certified ¡°organic.¡± Coconut milk and oil have three things going for it and two against. The three things for it are 1. availability 2. low cost 3. non-toxic/no side effects. The two things going against it are 1. Too few success reports at this time - only 5 persons have given feedback (although there are no failures to report either) 2. Low profit from sales - not likely to be heavily promoted in the media.

      Update: A person with CFIDS whom I reported in my last newsletter who was 36 lbs underweight called me the other day to report his CD8 and CD4 counts have doubled and he has gained 15 lbs in the past 3 months. He eats 2 whole raw coconuts weekly, takes Naltrexone daily, supplementation with intestinal flora and received injections of L-Glutathione and ATP from Dr. Patricia Salvato (Houston, TX). He eats no fried foods. He eats squash daily, Okra and other vegetables. He says he is doing much better. John can be reached at

      Raw coconut - 7 ounces contains about 24 grams of lauric acid. For some persons, coconut are free for the picking. One lady in Hawaii told me ¡°we have coconuts all around here. There are several hanging in front of the window as we talk.¡± Raw coconut may be eaten plain or ground in a coffee grinder or food processor into fine tasty moist flakes that can be mixed with yogurt, applesauce or cereal.

      Coconut Milk: To 2 and 1/3 cups of skim or low fat ¡°cows¡± milk add one 14 ounce can of pure coconut milk. Shake and refrigerate until used. Three 8 ounce glasses daily provides 24 grams of lauric acid. In place of regular ¡°cow¡¯s milk,¡± you may substitute lactose reduced milk or low fat soy or rice milk.

      Other uses for coconut milk. Add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla to a can of coconut milk. Refrigerate. It thickens to the consistency of ice cream. Add it to dishes of berries, apple sauce or other fruits. Add coconut milk to ¡°Stir Fry vegetables¡± - Thai style with added curry.

      Use coconut milk or coconut oil in place of vegetable oil for baking purposes.

      Whole lemon/coconut oil drink - substitute 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or 2/3 cup coconut milk) for 1 tbs. of olive oil. Add 3/4 cup pineapple or other fruit juice. Dose: about 12 to 14 grams of lauric acid per serving.

      Add 1 scoop of Designer Protein or one packet of Immunocal to a jar and add 2/3 cup of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of fruit juice (pineapple?). Stir. Do this twice a day. This gives you 24 grams of lauric acid.

      If you are Allergic to coconuts, use coconut oil
      The allergy is caused by proteins in the coconut, not the oil. Mix equal parts of melted butter and coconut oil together and use it in place of pure butter on bread, potatoes and vegetables as well as for frying and baking needs.

      To make a drink, add 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil to 2 and 3/4 cups of skim or low fat milk (or soy or rice milk) and place in a blender. Add 1 teaspoon of pectin and blend. Pectin is sold in grocery stores for canning jams and jellies. Three 8 ounce glasses daily gives you 24 grams of lauric acid.

      Breakfast Pancakes - substitute coconut oil for butter or vegetable oil and double the dose. Two large buckwheat pancakes containing 2 tbs. of coconut oil provide 14 grams of lauric acid.

      John Finnegan in ¡°The Facts About Fats¡± recommends the following brands of coconut oil: ¡°Only Omega Nutrition make organically grown, unrefined coconut oil that is packaged in light excluding containers.¡± Omega organic coconut oil is distributed through Jarrow Formulas.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

      Might be a good book!

      A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

      by Paulette Millis

      The word coconut comes from the Spanish and Portugese word “coco”, which means monkey face. These explorers found a resemblance to a monkey’s face in the three round “eyes” found at the base of the coconut.

      Coconuts, botanically known as “cocos nucifera,” are the fruit of the coconut palm. It is actually classified as a drupe, and not a nut, and is the largest seed known. These “nut bearing” palms are native to Malaysia, Polynesia, and Southeast Asia, and are now prolific in South America, India, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, and Florida. Because the husk is light and fibrous, it drifted on the oceans to other areas to propagate. The husk was originally burned for fuel by the natives but now a seed fibre, called “coir”, is taken from the husk to make brushes, mats, fishnets, and rope. The saturated fat made from the coconut meat is used for cooking, as well as for non-edibles such as soaps and cosmetics.
      Fruit is constantly forming on the coconut palm, as it blooms up to thirteen times a year. Trees yield a tremendous amount of coconuts, sixty per tree in an average harvest, and they produce for seventy to eighty years.

      October through December are peak months but coconuts can be found year-round in most markets. Most often the outer husk is removed, stripped down to the hard dark brown shell. Contrary to popular belief, the thin watery juice in the centre is NOT coconut milk, although it is consumed and can be used in recipes. Coconut milk is actually made with the meat of the coconut and water. (see recipe section)
      Most people pierce the “eyes” of the coconut and drain the liquid, cracking the coconut apart with a hammer. You may also bake the shell at 350ºF for about twenty minutes, wrap it in a towel, and then place it on a firm surface and crack it in several places with a hammer. Of course you could do as the monkeys do, just fling it onto a cement or rock surface!

      The original process of making coconut oil was made from dried coconut, pressed using heat, or it was refined, bleached, and deodorized. The result was an odourless, tasteless, slightly cloudy oil. These boiling and fermentation methods were not ideal. Look for the new patented process of extraction known as a wet process made from the milk of fresh coconuts. The white meat of the coconuts are gently transformed into a smooth milky emulsion through a three step centrifugal process. When solid, it has a rich shade of snowy white.


      Coconuts contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, and some B and C vitamins. Research has revealed a powerhouse of compounds in coconut oil. These benefits are: 1) medium chain triglycerides, 2) anti-microbial fatty acids, and 3) safety. Suppressed immune system, thyroid insufficiency, and weight problems are some of the human health concerns for which coconut oil may help.

      Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oils are digested and handled by the body differently than other fats, and over sixty percent of the fat in coconut oil is medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Commercial MCT oils do not contain laurate, a particular fatty acid that is in coconut oil. It is this lauric acid that is so important for immune-suppressed individuals.

      MCTs are a superior energy choice and they are digested and absorbed quickly. This means that they are not stored as fat tissue by the body. In fact, MCTs have a fat-burning, or thermogenic, effect. Consequently they aid in weight reduction because they keep fat levels down and energy levels up. MCTs also help with digestive problems, e.g. diarrhea, because they are easily absorbed.

      Caprylic acid, one of several anti-microbial fatty acids in coconut oil, has been used for decades as a remedy for intestinal yeast infections as it directly kills potentially harmful fungi. Coconut oil contains eight percent caprylic acid. Integrating it into the diet makes a great prevention strategy for yeast overgrowth, particularly if taking antibiotics, as these drugs kill off the good bacteria that control yeast overgrowth.
      Other fatty acids in coconut oil are: capric (7%), myristic (18%), palmitic (8%), and oleic (6%). These are all needed by the body for a range of functions but capric acid has demonstrated significant activity against Herpes Simplex-2, Chlamydia, and HIV-1.

      Almost fifty percent of coconut oil is comprised of lauric acid, a principal fat found in breast milk. Babies’ intestines are protected from bacterial, protozoal, viral, and fungal infections until the immune system gains strength from this lauric acid.

      A safe, anti-microbial substance called monolaurin is made in the small intestines from lauric acid. Dr. Stephen Byrne states that lipid biochemists have shown this monolaurin to inactivate fungi such as Candida albicans, bacteria such as Listeria, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, and viruses such as Herpes Simplex, Cytomegalovirus, influenza, measles, and HIV. How this works is that monolaurin inactivates microbes by disrupting their lipid (fat) membranes. Benefits of this lauric acid are obvious to immune-suppressed individuals. Other sources are butter, cream, and palm kernel oil.

      Dr. Mary Enig, PhD, a well-known lipid biochemist, suggests adding three to four tablespoons of coconut oil (25 grams lauric acid) to the daily diet to reduce the viral load. This is comparable to the levels found in breast milk.

      Use coconut oil to sauté veggies, in salad dressings, in cooked cereals, or by eating it off the spoon.
      Canned coconut milk contains eleven grams of lauric acid in two cups; six grams in two cups of fresh shredded coconut, or macaroons. (see recipe section)

      It is possible that the Polynesians were onto something when they combined coconut and fish dishes, as this combination of coconut oil and fish oil has been shown to decrease levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines while stimulating anti-inflammatory cytokines.

      For those of you who still hold those ideas about saturated fats causing heart disease, now disproved, Dr. Mary Enig says the one thing to remember is to use natural unrefined coconut oil, not the old hydrogenated oil of the past.

      Coconut oil is helping many with low thyroid function. Many of my clients over the years have struggled with depression, inability to lose weight, hormone imbalance, mood swings, constipation, feeling cold, lack of energy, and fatigue, all related to the functioning of the thyroid gland. We have an epidemic of sub-clinical hypothyroidism, meaning the thyroid is under-functioning, but it does not show up on blood tests, as yet, as a disease state. Of course, one needs to change diet, exercise, balance hormones, etc. to improve this condition and coconut oil is an additional option.

      Ray Peat, PhD, a physiologist who works with hormones, states the surge of polyunsaturated oils since World War II has interfered with the function of the thyroid gland. These unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. Increased levels of estrogen generally result when the thyroid hormone is deficient, leading to hormone imbalance.

      These polyunsaturated oils, such as soybean oil, are used for livestock feed because they cause animals to gain weight. They are made up of long chain fatty acids, they have an anti-thyroid effect, and they promote weight gain. One study states they reduced the weight on swine by reducing soy oil and substituting it with saturated animal fat.

      Isn’t it interesting that people today want “lean” pork, so the pigs are being fed saturated fats, while we continue to gain weight, often ignorantly consuming the polyunsaturated soy and corn oils. As Peat says, “Lean pigs and obese people...”.

      As mentioned above, MCTs are known to increase metabolism and promote weight loss. Coconut oil may also raise basal body temperature.

      There are reports of hormonal balance, mood stability, stamina, overall energy, weight loss, greatly improved sleep, reduced migraines, and raised body temperature, all attributed to coconut oil. Experts say to take 3 to 4 tablespoons a day. It is also a great after-shower skin moisturizer.

      Coconut milk replaces liquid, potassium, sodium, and calcium, lost through sweating. So take a coconut milk-based drink after working out to prevent the muscle cramps and weakness that can result from loss of these minerals through sweating.


      When buying coconuts look for a quality nut that is heavy for its size, and when shaken you can hear the liquid slosh around. Do not choose one without liquid as this indicates spoilage, and avoid “eyes” that are wet or moldy.

      Shredded coconut has less than three percent moisture content and about 68 percent oil. Buy only sugar-free desiccated coconut which is available in all good health food stores. These stores also carry organic canned coconut milk, a kitchen staple! Add coconut milk to soups, shakes, or anywhere as a dairy substitute. Cook your whole grain breakfast cereal in coconut milk; try oat flakes. Cook brown rice or other grains in coconut milk for a taste treat as well. Try mixing fresh carrot juice 3:1 with coconut milk for a creamy treat. When feeling flu-like, use one cup of homemade chicken broth with one cup of coconut milk for a great meal as the gelatin in the chicken stock helps to settle the intestines, and the coconut gives some fat for energy. You may also mix coconut milk with any nut milk for a delicious combination milk.

      Coconut oil is saturated, therefore very stable and safe. It stays fresh without refrigeration and has a shelf life of three to five years at room temperature. Use coconut oil, in place of butter, for baking, to sauté, melted in salad dressings, and by just eating it off the spoon!



      Awesome in smoothies, or with fresh carrot juice!

      2 cups organic coconut shreds, unsweetened
      4 cups very hot water

      Pour hot water over coconut in a blender and let it sit for 20 minutes. Blend for 2–3 minutes and press through a fine sieve. Discard dry pulp. Makes 4 cups.


      1/4 can coconut milk
      1 cup heated tomato or V-8 juice

      Heat and serve.
      – Dr. Mary Enig


      2 cups organic shredded coconut, unsweetened
      4 tbsp warm pure water
      2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
      2 tbsp melted honey
      2 tsp coconut oil

      Oil a large cookie sheet with the coconut oil. Mix the warm water and the honey together in a medium bowl. Add the coconut. Beat in the eggs. When well mixed, form into balls with a spoon and drop onto oiled sheets. Bake at 400ºF for 12 to 15 minutes. Yields approximately two dozen.

      – adapted from Tropical Traditions


      Even easier than the one in my book! Use this recipe to replace commercial mayonnaise.

      1 whole egg
      2 egg yolks
      1 tbsp dijon mustard
      1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
      1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
      1/4 tsp white pepper
      1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
      1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

      Put the eggs mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a food processor or blender. Using a very low speed, start adding the oils very slowly. This is extremely important—start out with drops and gradually increase to about a 1/16 inch stream. It should take about two minutes to add the oil. Continue blending until there is no free standing oil. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Great in vegetable dips!

      – from Tropical Traditions


      1 chopped garlic clove
      a bit of ground coriander
      1/2 tsp whole peppercorn (optional)
      2 tbsp coconut oil
      1 cup coconut milk (canned is best)
      1 tbsp curry powder
      1 potato cut into 1-inch cubes
      1 cup cooked chickpeas
      2 tomatoes cut in wedges or 1 can
      of tomatoes
      some basil (10 fresh leaves)
      1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
      1 tsp honey (optional)
      1 tbsp tamari sauce

      Mash garlic, coriander, and peppercorns if using in a mortar to form a paste. Heat oil and briefly fry the paste, than add the coconut milk, stirring well. Stir in remaining ingredients in order, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Serve with brown rice. You can mash the potatoes when tender with a fork to make a thicker sauce. I like this for breakfast!


      1 cup coconut milk
      1/4 cup organic peanut butter

      Blend well and serve over brown rice, other grains, or on cereal.


      1/4 cup coconut oil, butter, or ghee
      2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

      Preheat oven to 325ºF. Oil a large pie plate. Mix the ingredients well and press into the pie plate. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Spoon in filling of choice.

      *taken from Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, Paulette Millis, RNC, RSW.

      References: Foods that Heal, Bernard Jensen, MD; Alive Magazine, July 2000; Tropical Traditions: I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, Dr. Stephen Byrne, PhD;;

      The above information regarding nutritious food is not intended to replace any instruction from medical or health professionals.

      Paulette Millis lives and works in Saskatoon as a counsellor and nutritional consultant. Her cookbook, Nutrition, Cooking and Healing, is available in health food stores, or by calling Paulette at
      (306) 244-8890, or visit
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Coconuts: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century

      Oldie but goodie...

      Coconuts: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century

      by Mary G. Enig, PhD, FACN
      1999, 2001 Director Nutritional Sciences Division
      Enig Associates, Inc.
      12501 Prosperity Drive, Suite 340 Silver Spring, MD 20904-1689, USA
      Telephone: +1 (301) 680 8600
      Fax: +1 (301) 680 8100

      Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 2 (February-March 2002)
      PO Box 30, Mapleton Q ld 4560 Australia.
      Telephone: +61 (0)7 5442 9280; Fax: +61 (0)7 5442 9381
      From our web page at:

      (The following is the text of a talk and paper, "Coconuts: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century", presented by Dr. Mary Enig at the Asian Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) meeting held in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia in 1999. Note that it does make several references to animal experiments, and that NEXUS does not condone animal experimentation. Editor.)


      Coconuts play a unique role in the diets of mankind because they are the source of important physiologically functional components. These physiologically functional components are found in the fat part of whole coconut, in the fat part of desiccated coconut and in the extracted coconut oil.

      Lauric acid, the major fatty acid from the fat of the coconut, has long been recognized for the unique properties that it lends to nonfood uses in the soaps and cosmetics industry. More recently, lauric acid has been recognized for its unique properties in food use, which are related to its antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal functions. Now, capric acid, another of coconut's fatty acids, has been added to the list of coconut's antimicrobial components. These fatty acids are found in the largest amounts only in traditional lauric fats, especially from coconut. Also, recently published research has shown that natural coconut fat in the diet leads to a normalization of body lipids, protects against alcohol damage to the liver and improves t he immune system's anti-inflammatory response.

      Clearly, there has been increasing recognition of the health-supporting functions of the fatty acids found in coconut. Recent reports from the US Food and Drug Administration about required labeling of the trans fatty acids will put coconut oil in a more competitive position and may help its return to use by the baking and snack-food industry, where it has continued to be recognized for its functionality. Now it can be recognized for another kind of functionality: the improvement of the health of mankind.


      Mr. Chairman and members of the Asian Pacific Coconut Community: I would like to thank you for inviting me once again to speak to this gathering of delegates on the occasion of your 36th session as you celebrate the 30th anniversary of APCC.

      When I addressed the 32nd Cocotech meeting in Cochin, India, I covered two areas of interest to the coconut community. In the first part, I reviewed the major health challenge facing coconut oil at that time, which was based on a supposed negative role played by saturated fat in heart disease. I hope that my talk was able to dispel any acceptance of that notion. In the second part of my talk, I suggested that there were some new, positive health benefits from coconut which should be recognized. These benefits stemmed from coconut's use as a food with major functional properties for antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects.

      In my presentation today, I will bring you up to date about the new recognition of "functional foods" as important components in the diet. Additionally, I would like to review briefly the state of the anti - saturated fat situation and bring you up to date on some of the research that compares the beneficial effects of saturated fats with those of omega-6 polyunsaturates, as well as the beneficial effects of the saturated fats relative to the detrimental effects of the partially hydrogenated fats and the trans fatty acids. In particular, I will review some of the surprising beneficial effects of the special saturates found in coconut oil as they compare with those of the unsaturates found in some of the other food oils. Components of coconut oil are increasingly being shown to be beneficial. Increasingly, lauric acid and even capric acid have been the subject of favourable scientific reports on health parameters.


      Earlier this year, at a special conference entitled "Functional Foods For Health Promotion:
      Physiologic Considerations" (Experimental Biology '99, Renaissance Washington Hotel, Washington, DC, April 17, 1999), which was sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America , Technical Committee on Food Components for Health Promotion, it was defined that "a functional food provides a health benefit over and beyond the basic nutrients".

      This is exactly what coconut and its edible products such as desiccated coconut and coconut oil do.
      As a functional food, coconut has fatty acids that provide both energy (nutrients) and raw material for antimicrobial fatty acids and monoglycerides (functional components) when it is eaten. Desiccated coconut is about 69% coconut fat, as is creamed coconut.
      Full coconut milk is approximately 24% fat.

      Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human (and animal) to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes and Helicobacter pylori, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia . Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid.

      Also, approximately 6 - 7% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are capric acid. Capric acid is another medium-chain fatty acid which has a similar beneficial function when it is formed into monocaprin in the human or animal body. Monocaprin has also been shown to have antiviral effects against HIV and is being tested for antiviral effects against herpes simplex and for antibacterial effects against Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted bacteria (Reuters, London, June 29, 1999).

      The food industry has, of course, long been aware that t he functional properties of the lauric oils, and especially coconut oil, are unsurpassed by other available commercial oils. Unfortunately in the United States, during the late 1930s and again during the 1980s and 1990s, the commercial interests of the domestic fats and oils industry were successful in driving down usage of coconut oil. As a result, in the US and in other countries where the influence from the US is strong, the manufacturer has lost the benefit of the lauric oils in its food products.

      As we will see from the data I will present in this talk , it is the consumer who has lost the many health benefits that can result from reg ular consumption of coconut products.

      The antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties of lauric acid and monolaurin have been recognized by a small number of researchers for nearly four decades. This knowledge has resulted in more than 20 research papers and several US patents, and last year it resulted in a comprehensive book chapter which reviewed the important aspects of lauric oils as antimicrobia l agents (Enig, 1998). In the past, the larger group of clinicians and food a nd nutrition scientists has been unaware of the potential benefits of consuming foods containing coconut and coconut oil, but this is now starting to change.

      Kabara (1978) and others have reported that certain fatty acids (FAs) (e.g., medium-chain saturates) and their derivatives (e.g., monoglycerides, MGs) can have adverse effects on various micro-organisms. Those micro-organisms that are inactivated include bacteria, yeast, fungi and enveloped viruses. Additionally, it is reported that the antimicrobial effects of the FAs and MGs are additive, and total concentration is critical for inactivating viruses (Isaacs and Thormar, 1990).

      The properties that determine the anti-infective action of lipids are related to their structure, e.g., monoglycerides, free fatty acids. The monoglycerides are active; diglycerides and triglycerides are inactive. Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity than caprylic acid (C-8), capric acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14).

      In general, it is reported that the fatty acids and monoglycerides produce their killing/inactivating effect by lysing the plasma membrane lipid bilayer. The antiviral action attributed to monolaurin is that of solubilising the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the virus, causing the disintegration of the virus envelope. However, there is evidence from recent studies that one antimicrobial effect in bacteria is related to monolaurin' s interference with signal transduction (Projan et al., 1994), and another antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to lauric acid's interference with virus assembly and viral maturation (Hornung et al., 1994).

      Recognition of the antiviral aspects of the antimicrobial activity of the monoglyceride of lauric acid (monolaurin) has been reported since 1966. Some of the early work by Hierholzer and Kabara (1982), which showed virucidal effects of monolaurin on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses, was done in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control of the US Public Health Service.
      These studies were done with selected virus prototypes or recognized representative strains of enveloped human viruses. The envelope of these viruses is a lipid membrane, and the presence of a lipid membrane on viruses makes them especially vulnerable to lauric acid and its derivative, monolaurin.

      The medium-chain saturated fatty acids and their derivatives act by disrupting the lipid membranes of the viruses (Isaacs and Thormar, 1991; Isaacs et al., 1992). Research has shown that enveloped viruses are inactivated in both human and bovine milk by added fatty acids and monoglycerides (Isaacs et al., 1991) and also by endogenous fatty acids and monoglycerides of the appropriate length (Isaacs et al., 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992; Thormar et al., 1987).

      Some of the viruses inactivated by these lipids, in addition to HIV, are the measles virus, herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), visna virus and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Many of the pathogenic organisms reported to be inactivated by these antimicrobial lipids are those known to be responsible for opportunistic infections in HIV-positive individuals. For example, concurrent infection with cytomegalovirus is recognized as a serious complication for HIV-positive individuals (Macallan et al., 1993).

      Thus, it would appear to be important to investigate the practical aspects and the potential benefits of an adjunct nutritional supp ort regimen for HIV-infected individuals, which will utilize those dietary fats that are sources of known antiviral, antimicrobial and antiprotozoal monoglyceri des and fatty acids such as monolaurin and its precursor, lauric acid.

      Until now, no one in the mainstream nutrition community seems to have recognized the added potential of antimicrobial lipids in the treat ment of HIV-infected or AIDS patients. These antimicrobial fatty acids and their derivatives are essentially nontoxic to man; they are produced in vivo by h umans when they ingest those commonly available foods that contain adequate level s of medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid. According to the published research, lauric acid is one of the best "inactivating" fatty acids, and it s monoglyceride is even more effective than the fatty acid alone (Kabara, 1978; Sands et al., 1978; Fletcher et al., 1985; Kabara, 1985).

      The lipid-coated (enveloped) viruses are dependent on host lipids for their lipid constituents. The variability of fatty acids in the foods of individuals, as well as the variability from de novo synthesis, accounts for the variability of fatty acids in the virus envelope and also explains the variability of glycoprotein expression - a variability that makes vaccine development more difficult.

      Monolaurin does not appear to have an adverse effect on desirable gut bacteria but, rather, only on potentially pathogenic micro-organisms. For example, Isaacs et al. (1991) reported no inactivation of the common Escherichia coli or Salmonella enteritidis by monolaurin, but major inactivation of Hemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus epidermidis and group B gram-positive Streptococcus.

      The potentially pathogenic bacteria inactivated by monolaurin include Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, groups A, F and G streptococci, gram-positive organisms, and some gram-negative organisms if pretreated with a chelator (Boddie and Nickerson, 1992; Kabara , 1978, 1984; Isaacs et al., 1990, 1992, 1994; Isaacs and Schneidman, 1991; I saacs and Thormar, 1986, 1990, 1991; Thormar et al., 1987; Wang and Johnson, 1992).

      Decreased growth of Staphylococcus aureus and decreased production of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 was shown with 150 mg monolaurin per litre (Holland et al., 1994). Monolaurin was shown to be 5,000 times more inhibitory against Listeria monocytogenes than is ethanol (Oh and Marshall, 1993). Helicobacter pylori was rapidly inactivated by medium-chain monoglycerides and lauric acid, and there appeared to be very little development of resistance of the organism to the bactericidal effects of these natural antimicrobials (Petschow et al., 1996).

      A number of fungi, yeast and protozoa have been found to be inactivated or killed by lauric acid or monolaurin. The fungi include several species of ringworm (Isaacs et al., 1991). The yeast reported is Candida albicans (Isaacs et al., 1991). The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia is killed by free fatty acids and monoglycerides from hydrolyzed human milk (Hernell et al., 1986; Reiner et al., 1986; Crouch et al., 1991; Isaacs et al., 1991). Numerous other protozoa were studied with similar findings, but these have not yet been published (Jon J. Kabara, private communication, 1997).

      Research continues in measuring the effects of the monoglyceride derivative of capric acid, monocaprin, as well as the effects of lauric acid. Chlamydia trachomatis is inactivated by lauric acid, capric acid and monocaprin (Bergsson et al., 1998). Hydrogels containing monocaprin are potent in vitro inactivators of sexually transmitted viruses such as HSV-2 and HIV-1 and bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Thormar, 1999).


      The coconut industry has suffered more than three decade s of abusive rhetoric from the consumer activist group Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), from the American Soybean Association (ASA) and other members of the edible oil industry, and from those in the medical and scientific community who learned their misinformation from groups like CSPI and ASA. I would like to review briefly the origins of the anti-saturated fat, anti-tropical oil campaigns and hopefully give you some useful insight into the issues.

      When and how did the anti-saturated fat story begin? It really began in part in the late 1950s, when a researcher in Minnesota announced that the heart disease epidemic was being caused by hydrogenated vegetable fats. The edible oil industry's response at that time was to claim it was only the saturated fat in the hydrogenated oils that was causing the problem. The industry then announced that it would be changing to partially hydrogenated fats and that this would solve the problem.

      In actual fact, there was no change because the oils were already being partially hydrogenated and the levels of saturated fatty acids remained similar, as did the levels of the trans fatty acids. The only thing that really changed was the term for "hydrogenation" or "hardening" listed on the food label.

      During this same period, a researcher in Philadelphia reported that consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids lowered serum cholesterol. This researcher neglected, however, to include the information that the lowering was due to the cholesterol going into the tissues such as the liver and the arteries. As a result of this research report and the acceptance of this new agenda by the domestic edible oils industry, there was a gradual increase in the emphasis on replacing "saturated fats" in the diet and on consuming larger amounts of the "polyunsaturated fats".

      As many of you probably know, this strong emphasis on consuming polyunsaturates has backfired in many ways. The current adjustments, being recommended in the US by groups such as the National Academy of Sciences, replace the saturates with mono-unsaturates instead of with polyunsaturates and replace polyunsaturates with mono-unsaturates.

      Early promoters of the anti - saturated fat ideas included companies such as Corn Products Company (CPC International), through a book written by Jeremiah Stamler in 1963, with the professional edition published in 1966 by CPC. This book took some of the earliest pejorative stabs at the tropical oils. In 1963, the only tropical fat or oil singled out as high in saturated fats was coconut oil. Palm oil had not entered the US food supply to any extent, had not become a commercial threat to the domestic oils and was not recognized in any of the early texts.

      The editorial staff of Consumer Reports noted that " writer observed, the average American now fears fat [saturated fat, that is] 'as he once feared witches"'.

      In 1965, a representative of Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals told the American Heart Association to change its diet/heart statement to remove any reference to the trans fatty acids. This altered official document encouraged the consumption of partially hydrogenated fats . In the 1970s, this same Procter & Gamble employee served as nutrition chairman in two controlling positions for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Lipid Research Clinic (LRC) trials and as director of one of the LRC centres. These LRC trials were the basis for the 1984 NIH Cholesterol Consensus Conference, which in turn spawned the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). This program encourages consumption of margarine and partially hydrogenated fats, while admitting that trans should not be consumed in excess. The official NCEP document states that "coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil...should be avoided".

      In 1966, the US Department of Agriculture documents on fats and oils talked about how unstable the unsaturated fats and oils were. There was no criticism of the saturated fats. That criticism of saturated fats was to come later to this agency when it came under the influence of the domestic edible fats and oils industry and when it developed the US Dietary Guidelines. These Dietary Guidelines became very anti - saturated fat and remain so to this day. Nevertheless, as we will learn later in my talk, there started some reversal of the anti - saturated fat stance in the works of this agency in 1998.

      In the early 1970s, although a number of researchers were voicing concerns about the trans fats, the edible oil industry and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were engaging in a revolving-door exchange that would promote the increasing consumption of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, condemn the saturated fats and hide the trans issue. As an example of this "oily" exchange, in 1971 the FDA's general counsel became president of the edible oil trade association, the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils (ISEO), and he in turn was replaced at the FDA by a food lawyer who had represented the edible oil industry.

      From that point on, the truth about any real effects of the dietary fats had to play catch-up. The American edible oil industry sponsored "information" to educate the public, and the natural dairy and animal fats industries were inept at countering any of that misinformation. Not being domestically grown in the US, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil were not around to defend themselves at that time. The government agencies responsible for disseminating information ignored those protesting "lone voices", and by the mid-1980s American food manufacturers and consumers had made major changes in their fats and oils usage - away from the safe, saturated fats and headlong into the problematic trans fats.

      Enig and Fallon (1998 - 99) have reviewed the above history in "The Oiling of America", published in Nexus Magazine [see 6/01 - 2]. This article can be viewed and downloaded from the NEXUS website at and


      Some of the food oil industry members - especially those connected with the American Soybean Association and some of the consumer activists (particularly the Centers for Science in the Public Interest and also the American Heart Savers Association) further eroded the status of natural fats when they sponsored the major anti - saturated fat, anti - tropical oils campaign in the late 1980s.

      Actually, an active anti - saturated fat bias started as far back as 1972 at the CSPI. But beginning in
      1984, this very vocal consumer activist group started its anti - saturated fat campaign in earnest. In particular at this time, the campaign was against the "saturated" frying fats, especially those being used by fast-food restaurants. Most of these so-called saturated frying fats were tallow-based, but also included was palm oil in at least one of the hotel/restaurant chains.

      Then, in a critical "News Release" in August 1986 - "Deceptive Vegetable Oil Labeling: Saturated Fat Without The Facts" - CSPI referred to "palm, coconut and palm kernel oil" as "rich in artery-clogging saturated fat". CSPI further announced that it had petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to stop allowing labeling of foods as having "100% vegetable shortening" if they contained any of the "tropical oils". CSPI also asked for the mandatory addition of the qualifier, "a saturated fat", when coconut, palm or palm kernel oil was named on the food label.

      In 1988, CSPI published a booklet called "Saturated Fat Attack". This booklet contains lists of processed foods "surveyed" in Washington, DC, supermarkets. The lists were used for developing information about the saturated fat in the products. Section III is entitled "Those Troublesome Tropical Oils" and it contains statements encouraging pejorative labeling. There were lots of substantive mistakes in the booklet, including errors in the description of the biochemistry of fats and oils and complete ly erroneous statements about the fat and oil composition of many of the products.

      At the same time that CSPI was conducting its campaign in 1986, the American Soybean Association began its anti - tropical oils campaign by sending inflammatory letters, etc., to soybean farmers. The ASA took out advertisements to promote a "[tropical] Fat Fighter Kit". The ASA hired a Washington, DC, "nutritionist" to survey supermarkets to detect the presence of tropical oils in foods.

      Then, early in 1987, the ASA petitioned the FDA to require labeling of "tropical fats". In mid-1987 the Soybean Digest was continuing an active and increasing anti - tropical oils campaign.

      At about the same time, the New York Times (June 3, 1987 ) published an editorial, "The Truth About Vegetable Oil", in which it called palm, palm kernel and coconut oils "the cheaper, artery-clogging oils from Malaysia and Indonesia" and claimed that US federal dietary guidelines opposed tropical oils, although it is not clear that this was so. The "artery-clogging" terminology was right out of CSPI.

      Two years later, in 1989, the ASA held a press conference with the help of the CSPI in Washington, DC, in an attempt to counter a press conference held on March 6 by the palm oil group. The ASA "Media Alert" stated that the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Research Council "recommend consumers avoid palm, palm kernel and coconut oils".

      Only months before these press conferences, millionaire Phil Sokolof, the head of the National Heart Savers Association (NHSA), purchased the first of a series of anti - saturated fats and anti - tropical fats advertisements in major newspapers. No one has found an overt connection between Sokolof (and his NHSA) and the ASA, but the CSPI bragged about being his adviser.


      The research over four decades concerning coconut oil in the diet and heart disease is quite clear:
      coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial in combating/reducing the risk factors in heart disease. This research leads us to ask the question, "Should coconut oil be used both to prevent and treat coronary heart disease?" This is based on several reviews of the scientific literature concerning the feeding of coconut oil to humans.

      Blackburn et al. (1988) reviewed the published literature of "coconut oil's effect on serum cholesterol and atherogenesis" and concluded that when "fed physiologically with other fats or adequately supplemented with linoleic acid, coconut oil is a neutral fat in terms of atherogenicity".

      After reviewing this same literature, Kurup and Rajmohan (1995) conducted a study on 64 volunteers and found "no statistically significant alteration in the serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio and LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol rat io of triglycerides from the baseline values". A beneficial effect of adding the coconut kernel to the diet was noted by these researchers.

      Kaunitz and Dayrit (1992) reviewed some of the epidemiological and experimental data regarding coconut-eating groups and noted that the "available population studies show that dietary coconut oil does not lead to high serum cholesterol nor to high coronary heart disease mortality or morbidity".

      They noted that, in 1989, Mendis et al. reported undesirable lipid changes when young adult Sri Lankan males were changed from their normal diets by the substitution of corn oil for their customary coconut oil. Although the total serum cholesterol decreased 18.7% from 179.6 to 146.0 mg/dL and the LDL cholesterol decreased 23.8% from 131.6 to 100.3 mg/dL, the HDL cholesterol decreased 41.4% from 43.4 to 25.4 mg/dL (putting the HDL values very much below the acceptable lower limit of 35 mg/dL) and the LDL/HDL ratio increased 30% from 3.0 to 3.9. These latter two changes are considered quite undesirable.

      Mendis and Kumarasunderam (1990) also compared the effect of coconut oil and soy oil in normolipidemic young males, and again the coconut oil resulted in an increase in the HDL cholesterol, whereas the soy oil reduced this desirable lipoprotein.

      As noted above, Kurup and Rajmohan (1995), who studied the addition of coconut oil alone to previously mixed fat diets, had reported n o significant difference from baseline.

      Previously, Prior et al. (1981) had shown that islanders with high intakes of coconut oil showed "no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations". When these groups migrated to New Zealand, however, and lowered their intake of coconut oil, their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol increased and their HDL cholesterol decreased. Statements that any saturated fat is a dietary problem is not supported by evidence (Enig,1993).

      Studies that allegedly showed a "hypercholesterolemic" effect of coconut oil feeding usually only showed that coconut oil was not as effective at lowering the serum cholesterol as was the more unsaturated fat to which coconut oil was being compared. This appears to be in part because coconut oil does not "drive" cholesterol into the tissues as do the more polyunsaturated fats. The chemical analysis of the atheroma showed that the fatty acids fro m the cholesterol esters are 74% unsaturated (41% of the total fatty acids is polyunsaturated) and only 24% are saturated. None of the saturated fatty acids was reported to be lauric acid or myristic acid (Felton et al., 1994).

      There is another aspect to the coronary heart disease picture. This is related to the initiation of the atheromas that are reported to be blocking arteries. Recent research shows that there is a causative role for the herpes virus and cytomegalovirus in the initial formation of atherosclerotic plaques and the reclogging of arteries after angioplasty (New York Times, January 29, 1991). What is so interesting is that the herpes virus and cytomegalovirus are both inhibited by the antimicrobial lipid monolaurin, but monolaurin is not formed in the body unless there is a source of lauric acid in the diet.

      Thus, ironically enough, one could consider the recommendations to avoid coconut and other lauric oils as contributing to the increased incidence of coronary heart disease.

      Chlamydia pneumoniae, a gram-negative bacterium, is another of the micro-organisms suspected of playing a role in atherosclerosis by provoking an inflammatory process that would result in the oxidation of lipoproteins with induction of cytokines and production of proteolystic enzymes - a typical phenomenon in atherosclerosis (Saikku, 1997). Some of the pathogenic gram-negative bacteria with an appropriate chelator have been reported to be inactivated or killed by lauric acid and monolaurin as well as capric acid and monocaprin (Bergsson et al., 1997; Thormar et al.,1999).

      However, the micro-organisms which are most frequently identified as probable causative infecting agents are in the herpes virus family and include cytomegalovirus, type 2 herpes simplex (HSV-2) and Coxsackie B4 virus.

      The evidence for a causative role for cytomegalovirus is the strongest (Ellis, 1997; Visseren et al.,
      1997; Zhou et al., 1996; Melnick et al., 1996; Epstein et al., 1996; Chen and Yang, 1995), but a role for HSV-2 is also shown (Raza-Ahmad et al., 1995).

      All members of the herpes virus family are reported to b e killed by the fatty acids and monoglycerides from saturated fatty acids ranging from C-6 to C-14 (Isaacs et al., 1991), which include approximately 80% of the fatty acids in coconut oil.

      In spite of what has been said over the past four or more decades about the culpability of the saturated fatty acids in heart disease, they are ultimately going to be held blameless. More and more research is showing the problem to be related to oxidized products. The naturally saturated fats such as coconut oil are one protection we have against oxidized products.


      Both the United States and Canada will soon require labeling of the trans fatty acids, which will put coconut oil in a more competitive position than it has been in the past decade. (In 2001, Canada published examples of the labels it plans to use, while the US is still to finalize its labels.)

      A fear of the vegetable oil manufacturers has always been that they would have to label trans fatty acids. The producers of trans fatty acids have relied on the anti-saturated fat crusade to protect their markets. However, the latest research on saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids shows the saturated fatty acids coming out ahead in the health race.

      It has taken a decade, from 1988 to 1998, to see changes in perception. During this period, the trans fatty acids have taken a deserved drubbing. Research reports from Europe have been emerging since the seminal report by Mensink and Katan in 1990 that the trans fatty acids raised the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and lowered the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in serum. This has been confirmed by studies in the US (Judd et al., 1994; Khosla and Hayes, 1996; Clevidence, 1997).

      In 1990, the Lipids Research Group at the University of Maryland published a paper (Enig et al.,
      1990) correcting some of the erroneous data sponsored by the food industry in the 1985 review of the trans fatty acids by the Life Sciences Research Office of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (LSRO-FASEB) (Senti, 1985).

      In 1993, a group of researchers at Harvard University, led by Professor Walter Willett, reported a positive relationship between the dietary intake of the trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease in a greater than 80,000 cohort of nurses who had been followed by the School of Public Health at Harvard University for more than a decade.

      Pietinen and colleagues (1997) evaluated the findings from the large cohort of Finnish men who were followed in a cancer prevention study. After controlling for the appropriate variables including several coronary risk factors, the authors observed a significant positive association between the intake of trans fatty acids and the risk of death from coronary disease. There was no association between the intake of saturated fatty acids or dietary cholesterol and the risk of coronary death. This is another example of the differences between the effects of the trans fatty acids and the saturated fatty acids, and a further challenge to the dietary cholesterol hypothesis.

      The issue of the trans fatty acids as a causative factor in cancer remains underexplored, but recent reports have found a connection. Bakker and colleagues (1997) studied the data for the association between breast cancer incidence and linoleic acid status across European countries, since animal and ecological studies had suggested a relationship. They found that the mean fatty acid composition of adipose did not show an association with omega-6 linoleic acid and breast, colon or prostate cancer. However, cancers of the breast and colon were positively associated with the trans fatty acids. Kohlmeier and colleagues (1997) also reported that data from the EURAMIC study showed adipose tissue concentration of trans fatty acids having a positive association with postmenopausal breast cancer in European women.

      In 1995, a British documentary on the trans fatty acids was aired on a major television station in the UK. This documentary included an exposé of the battle between the edible oil industry and some of the major researchers of the trans fatty acids. Just this year [1999], this same documentary was aired on television in France, where it had been requested by a major television station. Several of the early researchers into the trans problems, including Professor Fred Kummerow and Dr George Mann, have continued their research and/or writing (Kummerow, 1999, 2000; Mann, 1994, 2000). The popular media have continued to press the issue of the amounts of trans in foods, for which there are still no comprehensive government databases.

      A recently published paper from a US Department of Agriculture researcher states: "Because trans fatty acids have no known health benefits and strong presumptive evidence suggests that they contribute markedly to the risk of developing CHD, the results published to date suggest that it would be prudent to lower the intake of trans fatty acids in the US diet" (Nelson, 1998).

      Professor Meir Stampfer from Harvard University refers to trans fats as "one of the major nutritional issues of the nation", contending that "they have a large impact" and that "we should completely eliminate hydrogenated fats from the diet" (Gottesman, 1998).

      Lowering the trans fatty acids in foods in the US can only be done by returning to the use of the natural, unhydrogenated and more saturated fats and oils.

      Predictions can be made regarding the future of trans fatty acids. Our ability to predict has been pretty good; for example, when Enig Associates started producing the marketing newsletter Market Insights, written by Eric Enig, we predicted that trans fatty acids would eventually be swept out of the market. It appears that this prediction may be close to coming true.

      Also in the early 1990s, Market Insights predicted that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) would change its mind about the trans fatty acids, which it had spent years defending. CSPI did change its mind, and in fact went on the attack regarding the trans, but CSPI never admitted that it had originally been promoting trans or that the high levels of trans fatty acids found in the fried foods in fast food and other restaurants and in many other foods are directly due to CSPI lobbying. While its change was welcome, CSPI's revisionist version of its own history of support of partially hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids would have fitted perfectly into George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.


      The statement that trans fatty acids are like saturated fatty acids is not correct for biological systems. A listing of the biological effects of saturated fatty acids in the diet versus the biological effects of trans fatty acids in the diet is in actuality a listing of the good (saturated) versus the bad (trans).

      When one compares the saturated fatty acids and the trans fatty acids, we see that:

      * 1) saturated fatty acids raise HDL cholesterol, the so-called "good cholesterol", whereas the trans fatty acids lower HDL cholesterol (Mensink and Katan, 1990; Judd et al., 1994);
      * 2) saturated fatty acids lower the blood levels of the atherogenic lipoprotein (a), whereas trans fatty acids raise the blood levels of lipoprotein (a) (Khosla and Hayes, 1996; Hornstra et al., 1991; Clevidence et al., 1997);
      * 3) saturated fatty acids conserve the elongated omega-3 fatty acids (Gerster, 1998), whereas trans fatty acids cause the tissues to lose these omega-3 fatty acids (Sugano and Ikeda, 1996);
      * 4) saturated fatty acids do not inhibit insulin binding, whereas trans fatty acids do inhibit insulin binding;
      * 5) saturated fatty acids are the normal fatty acids made by the body and they do not interfere with enzyme functions such as the delta-6-desaturase, whereas trans fatty acids are not made by the body and they interfere with many enzyme functions such as delta-6-desaturase; and
      * 6) some saturated fatty acids are used by the body to fight viruses, bacteria and protozoa and they support the immune system, whereas trans fatty acids interfere with the function of the immune system.


      The arteries of the heart are also compromised by the unsaturated fatty acids. When the fatty acid composition of the plaques (atheromas) in the arteries has been analysed, the level of saturated fatty acids in the cholesterol esters is only 26% compared to that in the unsaturated fatty acids, which is 74%. When the unsaturated fatty acids in the cholesterol esters in these plaques are analysed, it is shown that 38% are polyunsaturated and 36% are mono-unsaturated. Clearly, the problem is not with the saturated fatty acids.

      As an aside, you need to understand that the major role of cholesterol in heart disease and cancer is as the body's repair substance and that cholesterol is a major support molecule for the immune system, an important antioxidant and a necessary component of neurotransmitter receptors. Our brains do not work very well without adequate cholesterol. It should be apparent to scientists that the current approach to cholesterol has been wrong.

      The pathway to cholesterol synthesis starts with a molecule of acetyl CoA [coenzyme A] that comes from the metabolism of excess protein-forming ketogenic amino acids and from the metabolism of excess carbohydrates as well as from the oxidation of excess fatty acids. Grundy in 1978 reported that the degree of saturation of the fat in the diet did not affect the rate of synthesis of cholesterol. However, research reported by Jones in 1997 showed that the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet increase the rate of cholesterol synthesis relative to other fatty acids. Furthermore, research reported in 1993 (Hodgsons et al.) showed that dietary intake of the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid, was positively related to coronary artery disease.

      Thus, those statements made by the consumer activists in the United States, to the effect that the saturated fatty acids increase cholesterol synthesis, are without any foundation.

      What happens when there is an increase or a decrease of cholesterol in the serum is more like a shift from one compartment to another as the body tries to rectify the potential damage from the excess polyunsaturated fatty acids. Research by Dr Hans Kaunitz (1978) clearly showed the potential problems with excess polyunsaturated fatty acids.


      One major concern expressed by the nutrition community is related to whether or not people are getting enough elongated omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. The elongated omega-3 fatty acids of concern are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Some research has shown that the basic omega-3 fatty acid, linolenic acid, is not readily converted to the elongated forms in humans or animals, especially when there is ingestion of the trans fatty acids and the consequent inhibition of the delta-6-desaturase enzyme. One recent study (Gerster, 1998), which used radioisotope-labelled linolenic acid to measure this conversion in adult humans, showed that if the background fat in the diet was high in saturated fat, the conversion was approximately 6% for EPA and 3.8% for DHA; whereas, if the background fat in the diet was high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), the conversion was reduced 40-50%.

      Nanji and colleagues (1995) reported that a diet enriched with saturated but not unsaturated fatty acids reversed the alcoholic liver injury in their animals which was caused by dietary linoleic acid. These researchers concluded that this effect may be explained by the down-regulation of lipid peroxidation. This is another example of the need for adequate saturated fat in the diet.

      Cha and Sachan (1994) studied the effects of saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid diets on ethanol pharmacokinetics. The hepatic enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase and plasma carnitines were also evaluated. The researchers concluded that dietary saturated fatty acids protect the liver from alcohol injury by retarding ethanol metabolism, and that carnitine may be involved.

      Hargrove and colleagues (1999) noted the work of Nanji et al. and postulated that they would find that diets rich in linoleic acid would also cause acute liver injury after acetaminophen injection. In the first experiment, two levels of fat (15g/100g protein and 20g/100g protein), using corn oil or beef tallow, were fed. Liver enzymes indicating damage were significantly elevated in all the animals except for those animals fed the higher level of beef tallow. These researchers concluded that "diets with high [linoleic acid] may promote acetaminophen-induced liver injury compared to diets with more saturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids".


      Research that compares the feeding of coconut oil with other oils to answer a variety of biological questions is increasingly finding beneficial results from the coconut oil.

      Obesity is a major health problem in the United States and the subject of much research. Several lines of research dealing with metabolic effects of high-fat diets have been followed. One study used coconut oil to enrich a high-fat diet and the results reported were that the "coconut oil-enriched diet is effective in...[producing]...a decrease in white fat stores" (Portillo et al., 1998).

      Cleary et al. (1999) fed genetically obese animals high-fat diets of either safflower oil or coconut oil. Animals fed safflower oil had higher hepatic lipogenic enzyme activities than did animals fed coconut oil. When the number of fat cells was measured, the safflower oil fed also had more fat cells than the coconut oil fed.

      Many of the feeding studies produce results at variance with the popular conception. High-fat diets have been used to study the effects of different types of fatty acids on membrane phospholipid fatty acid profiles. When such a study was performed on mice, the phospholipid profiles were similar for diets high in linoleic acid from high-linoleate sunflower oil relative to diets high in saturated fatty acids from coconut oil. However, those animals fed diets high in oleic acid (from the high-oleate sunflower oil) or high in elongated omega-3 fatty acids (from menhaden fish oil) were not only different from the other two diets, but they also resulted in enlarged spleens in the animals (Huang and Frische, 1992).

      Oliart-Ros and colleagues (1998) at the Instituto Tecnológico de Veracruz, Mexico, reported on effects of different dietary fats on sucrose-induced cardiovascular syndrome in rats. The most significant reduction in parameters of the syndrome was obtained by the n-3 PUFA-rich diet. These researchers reported that the diet thought to be PUFA-deficient presented a tissue lipid pattern similar to the n-3 PUFA-rich diet (fish oil), which surprised and puzzled them. When the researchers were questioned, it turned out that the diet was not really PUFA-deficient, but rather just a normal coconut oil (nonhydrogenated) which conserved the elongated omega-3 and normalized the omega-6 to omega-3 balance.

      A recent study measured the effect of high-fat diets, fed for more than three months to neonatal pigs, on the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme's function and gave some surprises. There were two feeding protocols: one with the added cholesterol and one without added cholesterol, but both with coconut oil. The hepatic reductase activity, which was the same in all groups at the beginning of the feeding on the third day and similar on the 42nd day, was increased with and without added cholesterol on the 13th day and then decreased on the 25th day. The data were said to suggest that dietary cholesterol suppressed hepatic reductase activity in the young pigs regardless of their genetic background, that the stage of development was a dominant factor in its regulation, and that both dietary and endogenously synthesized cholesterol were used primarily for tissue building in very young pigs (McWhinney et al., 1996). The feeding of coconut oil did not in any way compromise the normal development of these animals.

      When compared with feeding coconut oil, feeding two different soybean oils to young females caused a significant decrease in HDL cholesterol. Both soybean oils, one of which was extracted from a new mutant soybean thought to be more oxidatively stable, were not protective of the HDL levels (Lu et al., 1997).

      Trautwein et al. (1997) studied cholesterol-fed hamsters on different oil supplements for plasma, hepatic and biliary lipids. The dietary oils included butter, palm stearin, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil and sunflowerseed oil. Plasma cholesterol concentrations were higher (9.2 millimoles/litre) for olive oil than for coconut oil (8.5 mmol/L), hepatic cholesterol was highest in the olive oil group, and none of the diet groups differed for biliary lipids. Even in this cholesterol-sensitive animal model, coconut oil performed better than olive oil.

      Smit and colleagues (1994) had also studied the effect of feeding coconut oil compared with feeding corn oil and olive oil in rats, and measured the effect on biliary cholesterol. Bile flow was not different between the three diets, but the hepatic plasma membranes showed more cholesterol and less phospholipid from corn and olive oil feeding relative to coconut oil feeding.

      Several studies (Kramer et al., 1998) have pointed out problems with canola oil feeding in newborn piglets, which results in a reduction in the number of platelets and alteration in their size. There is concern for similar effects in human infants. These undesirable effects can be reversed when coconut oil or other saturated fat is added to the feeding regimen (Kramer et al., 1998).

      Research has shown that coconut oil is needed for good absorption of fat and calcium from infant formulas. The soy oil (47%) and palm olein (53%) formula gave 90.6% absorption of fat and 39% absorption of calcium, whereas the soy oil (60%) and coconut oil (40%) gave 95.2% absorption of fat and 48.4% absorption of calcium (Nelson et al., 1996). Both fat and calcium are needed by the infant for proper growth. These results clearly show the folly of removing or lowering the coconut oil content in infant formulas.


      Coconut oil appears to help the immune system response in a beneficial manner. Feeding coconut oil in the diet completely abolished the expected immune factor responses to endotoxin that were seen with corn oil feeding. This inhibitory effect on interleukin-1 production was interpreted by the authors of the study as being largely due to a reduced prostaglandin and leukotriene production (Wan and Grimble, 1987). However, the damping may be due to the fact that effects from high omega-6 oils tend to be normalised by coconut oil feeding.

      Another report from this group (Bibby and Grimble, 1990) compared the effects of corn oil and coconut oil diets on tumour necrosis factor-alpha and endotoxin induction of the inflammatory prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. The animals fed coconut oil did not produce an increase in PGE2, and the researchers again interpreted this as a modulatory effect that brought about a reduction of phospholipid arachidonic acid content.

      Another study from the same research group (Tappia and Grimble, 1994) showed that omega-6 oil enhanced inflammatory stimuli, but that coconut oil, along with fish oil and olive oil, suppressed the production of interleukin-1.

      Several recent studies are showing additional helpful effects of consuming coconut oil on a regular basis, thus supplying the body with the lauric acid derivative, monolaurin. Monolaurin and the ether analogue of monolaurin have been shown to have the potential for damping adverse reactions to toxic forms of glutamic acid (Dave et al., 1997). Lauric acid and capric acid have been reported to have very potent effects on insulin secretion (Garfinkel et al., 1992). Using a model system of murine splenocytes, Witcher et al. (1996) showed that monolaurin induced proliferation of T-cells and inhibited the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 mitogenic effects on T-cells.

      Monserrat and colleagues (1995) showed that a diet rich in coconut oil could protect animals against the renal necrosis and renal failure produced by a diet deficient in choline (a methyl donor group). The animals had less or no mortality and increased survival time as well as decreased incidence or severity of the renal lesions when 20% coconut oil was added to the deficient diet. A mixture of hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn oil did not show the same benefits.

      The immune system is complex and has many feedback mechanisms to protect it, but the wrong fat and oils can compromise these important mechanisms. The data from the several studies show the helpful effects of coconut fat. Additionally, there are anecdotal reports that consumption of coconut is beneficial for individuals with the chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome known as CFIDS.


      A number of patents have been granted in the United States for medical uses of lauric oils, lauric acid and monolaurin. Although one earlier patent was granted to Professor Kabara more than three decades ago, the rest of these patents have been granted within the past decade.

      In 1989 a patent was issued to the New England Deaconess Hospital (Bistrian et al., 1989) for the invention titled "Kernel Oils and Disease Treatment". This treatment requires lauric acid as the primary fatty acid source, with lauric oils constituting up to 80% of the fat in the diet "using naturally occurring kernel oils".

      In 1991 and 1995, two patents were issued to the group of researchers whose work has been reviewed above.

      The first invention (Isaacs et al., 1991) was directed to antiviral and antibacterial activity of both fatty acids and monoglycerides, primarily against enveloped viruses. The claims are for "a method of killing enveloped viruses in a host human...wherein the enveloped viruses are AIDS viruses...[or]...herpes viruses...[and the]...compounds selected from the group consisting of fatty acids having from 6 to 14 carbon atoms and monoglycerides of said fatty acids...[and]...wherein the fatty acids are saturated fatty acids".

      The second patent (Isaacs et al., 1995) was a further extension of the earlier one. This patent also includes discussion of the inactivation of enveloped viruses, and it specifically cites monoglycerides of caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric and myristic acids. These fatty acids make up more than 80% of coconut oil. Also included in this patent is a listing of susceptible viruses and some bacteria and protozoa.

      Although these latter patents may provide the owners of the patents with the ability to extract royalties from commercial manufacturers of monoglycerides and fatty acids, they cannot require royalties from the human gastrointestinal tract when it is the "factory" that is doing the manufacturing of the monoglycerides and fatty acids.

      Clearly, though, these patents serve to illustrate to us that the health-giving properties of monolaurin and lauric acid are well recognized by some individuals in the research arena, and they lend credence to our appropriate choice of lauric oils for promoting health and as an adjunct treatment of viral diseases.


      I would like to review for you my perception of the status regarding the coconut and coconut products markets in the United States and Canada at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

      Coconut products are trying to regain their former place in several small markets. The extraction of oil from fresh coconut has been reported in the past decade and my impression is that this is being considered as a desirable source of minimally processed oil with desirable characteristics for the natural foods market.

      There have been some niche markets for coconut products developing during the past half-decade. These are represented primarily by the natural foods and health foods producers. Some examples are the new coconut butters produced in the US and Canada by Omega Nutrition and Carotec, Inc. And this is no longer as small a market as it has been in past years. Desiccated coconut products, coconut milk and even coconut oil are appearing on the shelves of many of these markets. After years of packaging coconut oil for skin use only, one of the large suppliers of oils to the natural foods and health foods stores has introduced coconut oil for food use, and it has appeared within the last few months on shelves in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, along with other oils. I believe I indirectly had something to do with this turn of events.


      There is much to be gained from pursuing the functional properties of coconut for improving the health of humanity.

      On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Asian Pacific Coconut Community, at this 36th meeting of APCC, I wanted to bring you a message that I hope will encourage you to continue your endeavors on behalf of all parts of the coconut industry. Coconut products for inedible and especially edible uses are of the greatest importance for the health of the entire world.

      Some of what I have been telling you, most of you already know. But in saying these things for the record, it is my intention to tell those who did not know all the details until they heard or read this paper about the positive properties of coconut.

      Coconut oil is a most important oil because it is a lauric oil. The lauric fats possess unique characteristics for both food industry uses and also for the uses of the soaps and cosmetics industries. Because of the unique properties of coconut oil, the fats and oils industry has spent untold millions to formulate replacements from those seed oils so widely grown in the world outside the tropics. While it has been impossible to truly duplicate coconut oil for some of its applications, many food manufacturers have been willing to settle for lesser quality in their products. Consumers have also been willing to settle for a lesser quality, in part because they have been fed so much misinformation about fats and oils.

      Desiccated coconut, on the other hand, has been impossible to duplicate, and the markets for desiccated coconut have continued. The powdered form of desiccated coconut now being sold in Europe and Asia has yet to find a market in the United States, but I predict that it will become an indispensable product in the natural foods industry. Creamed coconut, which is desiccated coconut very finely ground, could be used as a nut butter.

      APCC needs to promote the edible uses of coconut, and it needs to promote the re-education of the consumer, the clinician and the scientist. The researcher H. Thormar (Thormar et al., 1999) concluded his abstract with the statement that monocaprin "is a natural compound found in certain foodstuffs such as milk and is therefore unlikely to cause harmful side effects in the concentrations used". It is not monocaprin that is found in milk, but capric acid. It is likely safe at most any level found in food. However, the level in milk fat is at most 2%, whereas the level in coconut fat is 7%.

      One last reference for the record. Sircar and Kansra (1998) have reviewed the increasing trend of atherosclerotic disease and type-2 diabetes mellitus in the Indians from both the subcontinent of India and abroad. They note that over the time when there has been an alarming increase in the prevalence of these diseases, there has been a replacement of traditional cooking fats with refined vegetable oils that are promoted as heart-friendly, but which are being found to be detrimental to health. These astute researchers suggest that it is time to return to the traditional cooking fats like ghee, coconut oil and mustard oil.

      There are a number of areas of encouragement. The nutrition community in the United States is slowly starting to recognize the difference between medium-chain saturated fatty acids and other saturated fatty acids. We predict now that the qualities of coconut, both for health and food function, will ultimately win out.

      About the Author:

      Dr. Mary G. Enig holds an MS and PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland in the USA. She is a consulting nutritionist and biochemist of international renown and an expert in fats/oils analysis and metabolism, food chemistry and composition and nutrition and dietetics.

      Dr. Enig is Director of the Nutritional Sciences Division of Enig Associates, Inc., President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. She is also Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and Science Editor of the Foundation's publication. Dr Enig has many years of experience as a lecturer and has taught graduate-level courses for the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Maryland, where she was a Faculty Research Associate in the Lipids Research Group, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland. She also maintains a limited clinical practice for patients needing nutritional assessment and consultation.

      Dr Enig has extensive experience consulting and lecturing on nutrition to individuals, medical and allied health groups, the food processing industry and state and federal governments in the US. She also lectures and acts as a consultant to the international health and food processing communities. Since 1995 she has been invited to make presentations at scientific meetings in Europe, India, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Micronesia.

      Dr Enig is the author of numerous journal publications, mainly on fats and oils research and nutrient/drug interactions. She also wrote the book Know Your Fats (Bethesda Press, Silver Spring, MD, May 2000). She is a popular media spokesperson and was an early critic speaking out about the use of trans fatty acids and advocating their inclusion in nutritional labeling.

      One of Dr Enig's recent research topics dealt with the development of a nutritional protocol for proposed clinical trials of a non-drug treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. Her articles, "The Oiling of America" and "Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium", written with nutritionist/ researcher Sally Fallon, were published in NEXUS 6/01 6/02 and 7/03 respectively.


      References can be found at above link....
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • The Health Benefits of Medium Chain Fatty Triglycerides

      The Health Benefits of Medium Chain Fatty Triglycerides
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Which Brands?

      Hi Sherrie

      Just thought I would come out of lurking mode for a minute to ask what brand of coconut oil you use??

      Ive been reading with great interest the benefits and thought I would give it a try, especially as it can help with PMS and I need all the help I can get!!!

      I bought some today from the health food shop. The brand Ive got is
      Aclara Health

      I love the taste!! Have been sneaking a few spoonfuls here and there but think Ive over done it as had to make a few trips to the loo!! I cooked our curry in it tonight as well, with lots of comments from the boys of "Mmmm, what smells so good??"

      Im now trawling through the old posts looking for the recipes. Mmmm, coconuts!
    • OMG you can eat it of the spoon?

      I wish I could!

      I used to buy sri lanki coconut oil but since I movied it varies on whats around and the price I trie to get them around the $6 mark. Recently I stuffed up and bought some coconut oil with a red label that is called something like majarah, I emailed them and turns out is deodoried and refined which was a bit strange because it tastes vile!

      I have a couple of coconut diet books, currently reading one called Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.

      Theres a yummy chicken salad recipe I use it with, maybe posted under salads.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Don't know how you could eat it off a spoon... but in curry and salad dressings it is a great change from Olive Oil.

      Pity it is so hard to buy though.
      PS it is good as a face 'cream' - tiny drop goes a long way and your skin feels SOOOO soft. ALMOST as good as the maruijana moisure "Secret Women's Oil".

      Also great on your hair, if you have a spare hour or so and can pop your hair in gladwrap and sit in the sun even better.

      Great for babies cradle cap too....

      and the list goes on...

      Thanks Sherrie for all your information that you have posted.
      Bron Doingit
      Now to maintain.....hard work! :D
    • Possibly but I figure that seeing its pretty much all coconut and palm oil its gonna be alot more able to handle the proccessing then the other soaps you buy. I did start to buy organic coconut soap but at something like $7 a bar that only lasts a week or so (and who knows how less proccessed that is anyway, i mean they still have to make it stay hard?) I quickly changed my mind :)
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Does it have to be kept in the fridge like flax oil?? if not I guess it would stay liquid..

      p.s just went and read some of the previous articles and it can be stored out of the fridge..
      Coconut oil is saturated, therefore very stable and safe. It stays fresh without refrigeration and has a shelf life of three to five years at room temperature. Use coconut oil, in place of butter, for baking, to sauté, melted in salad dressings, and by just eating it off the spoon!

      You don't stop laughing because you grow old,
      You grow old because you stop laughing.
    • Moonie theres other ways, do you still bake things like muffins or cheesecakes etc.... ?

      I used to put it in my cheesecake bases, almond biscuits etc... and it worked great!

      When I make that Chicken salad where I cook the chicken in it, it went really well.

      Goes great in curries plus on top of that you could use more coconut cream, I also buy this creamed coconut in bars which is really coconutty and would be great in recipes I think it was around atleast 70% fat so lots of coconut fat in that.

      I used to have it mixed in with cream and strawberries ages ago, cream was straight from the fridge so maybe it depends on how quickly you mix it in as I never had problems with that.

      You can make chocolates with it too, very easy and tastes great.

      Hmm I might do some experimenting with it on the weekend to try and get some ideas going!
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • I just had a good idea, I'm going to make a coconut choc mix using the oil and cocoa powder with maybe some almonds and/or dessicated coconut and set them in an ice cube tray, if they work I will post the recipe in the coconut recipe thread.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Well calories can be healthy too Bron ;) Too little calories does more harm then good not only that but many of our bodily functions need fats aswell as the absorbtion of some vitamins etc...

      Not only that but coconut is metabolised differently, its is used for energy straight away rather then being stored, it revs up your thyroid (you will feel warmer using it), it is an anti fungal, anti bacterial and antibiotic. When my hormones went really berserk on LC I started to get pimples on my back, this cleared it up!

      Oh and it also has less calories per gram then any other fat! Maybe something like 5 per gram instead of nine, I will look it up after.

      If you want to try it but really scared of upping your calories why not get your feet wet by replacing other fats you are already consuming with coconut oil.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • Maybe experiment with lamb chops first. I never noticed it when frying chicken in it for a salad. I do taste it in my toasted meusli though.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • My first experiment cooking with it the other day I put a tiny bit of olive oil in the pan then thought hmmm I could try the coconut oil, the gent at the health food shop said it goes nice to make popcorn, not that I'm going to try that anytime soon :rolleyes: So I added it just a little when I cooked a lean pork chop. To the meat I had rubbed in a little spice, but not much and you could just vaguely taste the coconut in the background. I love coconut in things i.e., coconut milk or cream even fresh coconut (a Sri Lankan import place near me sells a wicked coconut sambal :D ), although don't really like decicated coconut, but it wasn't a bad taste at all, hubby commented that it was really yummy and he takes leftovers to work for lunch and he had a few comments that it smelt nice, what was it cooked in :D

      So having a teaspoon a day has good benefits and laxative benefits too then?