4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi .
For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans .
Bottom Line: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.
5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger. This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect .In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men. The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average . Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch .
These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.
Bottom Line: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.
6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures
A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currently being studied to treat various disorders.The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children. This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood.For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.
Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet .
Bottom Line: The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.