It's good for our hearts
Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids and is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated. In the past, saturated fats were wrongly demonised because of their association with increased bad cholesterol and coronary heart disease, however new research is showing that they actually increase good cholesterol and are beneficial for the heart (1).

It Can Reduce Hunger and Cravings

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolised differently. Medium Chain Triglycerides are both absorbed and burned more easily than other types. They go straight to the liver, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s (2,3). These ketone bodies can also have an appetite reducing effect, helping you to curb those cravings (4).

It Can Help Us To Burn More Fat and Lose Weight

The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure, helping you to burn more fat. They have also been shown to increase 24-hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (5). Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning potential, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight. Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing stomach fat. A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks without restricting calories or adding exercise (6).

It Can Kill Harmful Bacteria and Viruses

The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, boosting immunity. Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are Lauric Acid. Furthermore, 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 (7).