Does it Work? - Coconut Oil [m]




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GG
12-29-2005, 10:06 AM
I have read a lot of reports and even the American Heart Association is unsure about this oil now. It has to be the virgin and not the regular. It is supposed to help many things like arthritis etc. I do not usually fall for fad stuff but looking at other people in other countries who use this it sounds interesting. My friend is using it and she has bad arthritis and it is really helping her and she has lost 10 pounds. All her mothers friends are on it too and feel better. Could there be something to this? Before I get flamed I just really want some honest anwers if anyone uses this and the results you get. I have read a few posts about this but that was awhile ago. Just any honest answers


blue_sky
12-29-2005, 10:09 AM
i use it on my face and body. it's a great moisturizer. :)

i know a lot of raw-foods enthusiasts like to put it in smoothies, etc. i can't figure out whether it's good or bad for you, but I tend to think you can't really go wrong with something natural and unprocessed. maybe give it a try in moderation and see how you feel?

Ruthxxx
12-29-2005, 10:16 AM
It's high in sat fat. Here's a thread on it from "Does It Work?"
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=85


remiteas
12-29-2005, 10:19 AM
I use it. It has the healthy fat in it. Can cook with it or use it on your skin. I learned about it on a thyroid site. You need the virgin coconut oil though.

GG
12-29-2005, 09:19 PM
I went and bought coconut extra virgin supplements and the book. I am really interested to see what happens. I am going to do it for six weeks and see what happens. My friend has done it for 6 weeks and her mother and mothers friends and they have all lost weight and felt better. I need to lose weight but I am really interested in the overall effect on the body. I hope someone else will do this with me. Thanks Gayle

MrsJim
12-29-2005, 11:44 PM
I have read a lot of reports and even the American Heart Association is unsure about this oil now...

Ummm...got a link to the American Heart Association's "uncertainty" about coconut oil? Because if the AHA IS "on the fence" regarding coconut oil, they SURE as heck haven't mentioned it on their oft-updated website (http://www.americanheart.org)...for example...

Tips for Eating Thai Food (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1294) - " Ask that cooking be done with vegetable oil rather than coconut oil or lard."

Tropical Oils (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4779) - AHA Recommendation
We advise people to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet. One way to do this is to limit your intake of foods containing tropical oils. A diet high in saturated fat tends to raise blood cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
What are "tropical oils"?
This term refers to coconut, palm kernel and palm oils. Like all fats and oils, these three oils contain various types of fatty acids. But unlike other plant oils, they contain a lot of saturated fatty acids. Coconut oil contains 92 percent, palm kernel oil has 82 percent and palm oil has 50 percent.

Tips on Reducing Cholesterol (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=69) - advises limiting "Saturated oils like coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil."

Hydrogenated Fats (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4662) - "Avoid fats if one of the first three listed ingredients is coconut oil, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil. These oils contain high amounts of saturated fats and so increase the risk of cholesterol deposits in artery walls."

Eating Plan: Fats and Oils (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1003) - "Remember that although coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are vegetable oils and have no cholesterol, they're high in saturated fat. Read food labels carefully."


It's a saturated fat. As Suzanne said back in March (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=793817&postcount=8):

As far as I know, the jury is still out on this one. I'm told that there are no published studies involving humans proving their claims. According to several articles I read, the reason coconut oil is claimed to help weight loss is that it you feel satisfied sooner so you quit eating your meal before it's gone. Eat less, lose weight. Whether or not you actually push away the plate when you feel satisifed is questionable, considering that overeating is the reason we all got fat in the first place. There also has not been enough research to prove that MTC's have thermogenic properties or promote thyroid metabolism. It looks like someone just took an unproven theory and ran with it, as is so often the case with fad diets and fad diet products.

A spokesman for the American Heart Association said this:

People have looked in the past as to whether MCTs have thermogenic properties, and I think the answer is pretty well negative. Generally, saturated fats tend not to be as well [metabolized], so if it does have any ability to promote heat generation, it's going to be minimal..... Coconut oil's effect on metabolism, if any, is modest compared with the potential for raising overall cholesterol and particularly "bad" LDL cholesterol. Ingesting coconut oil for a short period of time will not do harm, but I'm concerned about the long haul.

As a person with heart disease, I personally feel more comfortable avoiding coconut oil and other saturated fats. Life is too short to take risks involving our health.

The subject of coconut oil as a miracle diet aid comes up from time to time...I prefer to quote our ever-astute Meg who said in this thread (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=807643):

The only 'pro' coconut oil info I've ever seen has come from sites selling the stuff. I'd be interested in reading an unbiased source of information about its benefits, if anyone knows of one.

GG
12-30-2005, 09:53 AM
My sister is a dietitian so I get to read some of her newsletters. I have read all the warnings and I have read the other side. I just find it strange that so many people use it in other countries with positive results and Lauric acid is a really neat thing. This is why I am trying it for 6 weeks to see what happens. I am not using it for weight loss more of just to see what happens. My friends have used it with amazing results especially with her ruematoid arthritis. Thank you for responding. I have read many of your posts Ms. Jim and you are a very inspiring person.

GG
12-30-2005, 10:25 AM
Coconut Oil: Diet Miracle or Fad? (http://www.webmd.com/content/article/72/81772.htm)

andreaphilip3
12-31-2005, 07:48 PM
i use it on my hands(have skin issues due to thyroid)
fyi-----someone mentioned 'healthy oil'....it isnt its made of saturated fat

GG
01-02-2006, 11:05 AM
So far I have been using a tablespoon as a butter replacement on my morning lowfat toast. I can't even tell the difference really. I actually have felt really good and seem to have more energy. I guess time will tell. Man usually I am still hungry after my toast but now I am so full I can hardly eat my 3 pcs. It does fill you up I guess the fat. WOW. If it helps me get through my morning then it is worth it alone so I won't snack.

MrsJim
01-02-2006, 05:56 PM
Personally...speaking as someone whose family history includes a LOT of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast and ovarian cancers - I'll keep my distance. It's just not worth it to me to possibly lose a few pounds only to increase my chance of having a surgeon saw my chest open for a bypass in the future...

And I wouldn't call the statement in the WebMD article from the American Heart Association being "unsure" about the status of coconut oil:

Where does the American Heart Association weigh in on coconut oil as an aid to weight loss? "I would be very pessimistic about this, says Robert Eckel, MD, the Association's spokesman on nutrition. He says he's concerned about the effects of high levels of saturated fat. "This is going to be a cholesterol-raising diet."

He says he also doubts claims that coconut oil can boost metabolism. "People have looked in the past as to whether MCTs have thermogenic properties, and I think the answer is pretty well negative. Generally, saturated fats tend not to be as well [metabolized], so if it does have any ability to promote heat generation, it's going to be minimal."

Eckel says coconut oil's effect on metabolism, if any, is modest compared with the potential for raising overall cholesterol and particularly "bad" LDL cholesterol. "Ingesting coconut oil for a short period of time will not do harm, but I'm concerned about the long haul."

Not JUST 'pessimistic' - VERY pessimistic. Coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter and lard! No thanks.

And the companies selling the stuff aren't exactly known for telling the truth - here's a link to an FDA warning letter (http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5263d.htm)sent to one of the companies pushing coconut oil calling it a treatment for AIDS, herpes, Crohn's disease, and hypothyroidism...and another letter (http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/g5620d.htm).

Additionally, here's a Q&A by Dr. Andrew Weil: Is Coconut Oil Good for You (http://health.yahoo.com/ate/drweil/alldaily/2003/12/316479)? in which he states:

...for now, we don't have any evidence suggesting that coconut oil is better for you than other saturated fats. The benefits of coconut oil in the diet, if any, are likely to be minimal, and until we have more and better evidence about coconut oil's effect of metabolism and potential role in promoting weight loss, I do not recommend using it.


Again...I'll pass.

GG
01-02-2006, 09:24 PM
I guess to be honest since I have been using it I have been eating healthier and really watching my fat intake so that I wouldn't be excessively eating it. There are many products that use coconut oil and people injest it all the time without thinking it. Many brands of hot coco use it even low fat. This is why I am trying it for six weeks to see what happens. I do feel more energetic and I feel so full in the morning after replacing it on my morning toast that I am not snacking. I don't know I think losing 10-20 pounds will help my heart too so I am going to see what happens. I will just see what happens. My friends have had great success and one friend just had her labs done and they were much better than before. I don't know I think the virgin is much better than regular. Who knows we will see.

KimC2005
01-05-2006, 06:10 PM
I have heard a lot about coconut oil and I was wondering if anybody has used it or had any results with it?? I have heard it is good for speeding up the metabolism and can be used for some cooking and as an anti-fungal ... It has many benefits..

Suzanne 3FC
01-05-2006, 06:20 PM
Every website I've seen that promotes it happens to have a financial stake in the coconut oil business. Medical websites, such as the American Heart Association, still say avoid it.

Dr. Weil advises against it
http://www.drweil.com/u/QA/QA316479/

Here's a post I wrote not too long ago that may help :)

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=793817&postcount=8

pumpingiron
01-05-2006, 07:18 PM
I just started it, so I'll let you know what happens to me!
I am taking it because I believe I have a slow thyroid. (My temp is always 96 & I'm depressed--waiting to see the doc on that) In the mean time, I heard it was a natural thyroid support, and wanted to see if it would help for that. I am one to eat butter, I don't believe in margarine, so I am replacing one sat. fat in my diet for another. We'll see what happens I guess.

MrsJim
01-05-2006, 07:46 PM
There's a recent thread in General Diet plans that you can access at this link:

Anyone using Virgin Coconut Oil ?? (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=71040)

You might also want to read the rest of the responses at the thread that Suzanne referred to - Coconut Oil Diet? (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?p=793817)

This topic comes up from time to time - keep in mind as I always say, the diet marketers are very wily and know EXACTLY what to say to get you to part with your money. (the ones that slay me are the ones I call "I know a guy..." aka "I heard from someone who read about a doctor somewhere in BFE that they were using coconut oil as a cure for (fill in the blank with whatever disease you want)" But then you check Pubmed and there's NOTHING! Nada! :shrug:

I emphatically agree with Suzanne - there is no proof of its veracity as a weight loss aid, it is HIGHER in saturated fat than lard or butter, and all the "pro" coconut oil sites on the Web are actually selling the stuff.

Keep in mind as well that most of the junk foods that made a lot of people fat/obese to begin with are LOADED with tropical oils, including coconut oils...(please don't start with the "but it's VIRGIN coconut oil" stuff...it's still 92% saturated and that is NOT good!)

I'll stick to olive oil, personally...

MrsJim
01-05-2006, 07:53 PM
I just started it, so I'll let you know what happens to me!
I am taking it because I believe I have a slow thyroid. (My temp is always 96 & I'm depressed--waiting to see the doc on that) In the mean time, I heard it was a natural thyroid support, and wanted to see if it would help for that. I am one to eat butter, I don't believe in margarine, so I am replacing one sat. fat in my diet for another. We'll see what happens I guess.

Before self-medicating based on something you 'heard' especially with the level of saturated fat (HIGHER than butter!) that coconut oil contains, you might want to consult with your endocrinologist or doctor first...especially if you or your family members have heart conditions.

Meanwhile, you might try using olive oil on your bread, like the Italians do...

funniegrrl
01-05-2006, 10:55 PM
If you have a thyroid problem you don't need hocus-pocus "thyroid support" -- you need hormones. You'd be better off spending the money you would have spent on coconut oil on the book Living Well with Hypothyroidism. Many doctors will do a basic screen and stop if that comes back normal, but this book explains why you might need a full thyroid panel, and how various conditions can be treated. It's very helpful in giving you the info you need to talk to your doctor.

Besides, if you are taking something that DOES affect your thyroid or other hormone function, then it will mask problems you have in your blood work. That's not what you want to have happen.

pumpingiron
01-06-2006, 10:28 AM
If you have a thyroid problem you don't need hocus-pocus "thyroid support" -- you need hormones. You'd be better off spending the money you would have spent on coconut oil on the book Living Well with Hypothyroidism. Many doctors will do a basic screen and stop if that comes back normal, but this book explains why you might need a full thyroid panel, and how various conditions can be treated. It's very helpful in giving you the info you need to talk to your doctor.

Besides, if you are taking something that DOES affect your thyroid or other hormone function, then it will mask problems you have in your blood work. That's not what you want to have happen.

Thanks for your suggestions. I am just at my wits end feeling crappy and depressed. I have to wait about 3wks to see the doctor (long story) so I felt that trying something couldn't hurt. :?: Ahh well...I just wait I guess.

Suzanne 3FC
01-06-2006, 10:41 AM
I'm sorry you haven't felt well :( Have you tried increasing your exercise, even by adding a 30 min daily walk? It has been proven to increase our metabolism, and it can also alleviate depression by increasing serotonin production.

Good luck :)

MrsJim
01-06-2006, 11:23 AM
Thanks for your suggestions. I am just at my wits end feeling crappy and depressed. I have to wait about 3wks to see the doctor (long story) so I felt that trying something couldn't hurt. :?: Ahh well...I just wait I guess.

In the meanwhile, why not visit our Dieting with Obstacles (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=14)forum, if you haven't already done so...lots of knowledge and support there ;)

pumpingiron
01-06-2006, 01:44 PM
Thank you for the support everyone....this is truly a special group of people :hug:

I'll search around the dieting with obstacles for a while and see if that helps!

GG
01-08-2006, 09:13 AM
Hello this was a rough week. I had Aunt Flo. I will say this I didn't lose weight but I do feel good and better than I usually do during this week. I do like the coconut oil and even if I am not losing weight right know I am doing it more for health. I do think there is something to feeling better with this stuff. My mother is doing it too and she is perky and normally not this perky. Strange well hope everyone is doing good this week.

Yogini
01-08-2006, 09:37 AM
My MEDICAL DOCTOR (not a vegan, by the way, he's a regular, Board Certified, pharmaceutical-sponsored Doctor) suggests that I eat a serving of Extra-virgin coconut oil and a serving of actual coconut daily.

I LOVE the taste of it and as a vegan and someone who eats ZERO cholesterol and geys very little saturated fat in my diet, I feel good about my choice. My cholesterol is 126, my blood pressure is 117/72 and I am healthy in every way (just over fat by a bit at 27% body fat) and so I agree with my Doctor's reccomendation.

Keep in mind that, while coconut oil does have saturated fat it contains NO cholesterol!!! Also, look at the entire nutritional profile, the caprylic acid, lauric acid and all the fatty acids in this plant oil before discounting it as a "bad" oil.

MrsJim
01-08-2006, 07:15 PM
Keep in mind that, while coconut oil does have saturated fat it contains NO cholesterol!!! Also, look at the entire nutritional profile, the caprylic acid, lauric acid and all the fatty acids in this plant oil before discounting it as a "bad" oil.

Just because it doesn't contain cholesterol doesn't mean the saturated fat is any less harmful, according to not only the American Heart Association but also the Mayo Clinic, whose extremely informative website contains this page:

Cholesterol quiz: Is your diet hurting your heart? (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/QZ00046)

Here's question & answer #2:

Which is most important for you to monitor to prevent or reduce high blood cholesterol?

* Calories
* Protein
* Saturated fat
* Simple carbohydrates
* Dietary cholesterol

Correct answer: Saturated fat

It's reasonable to think that dietary cholesterol is the main culprit behind high blood cholesterol. But in fact, saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol more than does anything else you eat.

What makes fat saturated? Technically, it has to do with the number of hydrogen atoms on the molecular chains that make up different fats. To make it simple, though, remember that saturated fat comes from foods of animal origin (meat, cheese, milk fat, eggs and butter), tropical oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel oils) and cocoa butter.

Meat and dairy products contain both cholesterol and saturated fat. Tropical vegetable oils, which are used mainly in processed foods, have no cholesterol but are mainly saturated fat...

If you want to use coconut oil as a source of caprylic acid (http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/cap_0056.shtml), you can purchase it as a supplement.

PDR Health also has an interesting page on MCT's (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) (http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/med_0172.shtml) which include the highly-touted lauric acids found in coconut oil:

A large number of studies have sought to determine whether MCT can promote long-chain fatty acid oxidation, inhibit the rate of muscle glycogen depletion, and enhance exercise and athletic performance. Many of these studies have tested subjects, some of them elite athletes, on bicycle ergometers. Some of these trials have been randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled. Almost all have found no effect of MCT on rates of long-chain fatty acid oxidation, muscle glycogen utilization or performance. "At present," one research group concluded, "there is insufficient scientific evidence to recommend that athletes either ingest fat, in the form of MCTs, during exercise, or "fat adapt' in the weeks prior to a major endurance event to improve athletic performance."

It should be noted that some have reported that exercise performance is actually impaired in some taking high doses of MCT. This diminished performance was associated with increased gastrointestinal complaints, primarily intestinal cramping.

Research on weight loss associated with MCT intake is not as abundant but presents a mixed and mostly negative conclusion. MCT diets have been compared with LCT (long-chain triglyceride) diets and show no superiority. There are no convincing data that diets high in MCT are effective for weight loss.

suechef
01-09-2006, 10:33 PM
Coconut oil is high in sat fats and I think actually has natural trans fats as well, though not sure about that.

I use it though!! But not to eat. Melted with sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and a little beeswax it makes an excellent body butter!

cheerio,
Sue

AquaWarlock
01-10-2006, 02:35 AM
Coconut oil (and most tropical oils in general) have high saturated fats--which in my books practically negates any benefit it may have. Yes, there are studies showing that tropical populations using coconut oils have less chance of heart disease--but those people do more physical labor throughout the day too.

I'd stick with Canola, Extra Virgin Olive, Enova, or Benecol for cooking.

cybersis
01-15-2006, 10:18 AM
I also have low thyroid and some weight to lose and I decided to try it. Not only did it not work for me but boy did I get awful stomach cramps and diarhea with it. I stopped after three weeks and it took about two months for everything to start working right. My advice: stay away!

Amarantha2
01-15-2006, 10:33 AM
Personally (my opinion), I think adding a bit more fat than currently recommended by most nutritionists to the diet in many cases IS beneficial to weight loss, depression, dry skin, appetite control and a host of other things, but coconut oil seems risky compared to peanut butter, flaxseed oil, canola oil, etc.; I do ingest saturated fat in the 2 percent milk I drink and in meat, so I wouldn't want to add anymore in the form of coconut oil. It kind of looks like something that'd be good to apply to one's face when sunburned. :)

adkpugmom
01-15-2006, 11:13 AM
Can you loose weight by not eating much at all ? I am on a new med and have not much interest in food.. I am just eating protien bar and small bites here and there but I am still trying to loose weight. will this be ok ? Thanks

Amarantha2
01-15-2006, 01:35 PM
Can you lose weight by not eating much at all ? I am on a new med and have not much interest in food.. I am just eating protien bar and small bites here and there but I am still trying to lose weight. will this be ok ? Thanks

It can be very serious to cut calories to the point that your body is not getting enough nutrition. You may lose weight but at some point, that will stop, your bod will go into "starvation mode" and hold on to every calorie in the belief that you are starving it.

Maybe the lack of appetite is temporary due to the meds? At any rate, this is something you need to talk to your doctor about asap, as you need to eat! :)