PUBLISHED BY:

DR. TONI BARK

847.869.7740

The Benefits of Coconut oil and Other MCT Oil

While I am not into fad diets or dieting, I do support creating the right diet for individual metabolic needs.

Over the years I have used virgin coconut oil in patients with everything from seizure disorder to metabolic syndrome and cancer. The benefits of virgin coconut oil are many: production of ketones due to the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) content, improved brain fuel, reduced insulin needs, improved immune function, catharsis (a laxative effect), reduced hunger, improved brain function, increased sex drive and more.

There has been a big misconception regarding coconut oil and its effects on the lipid profile. The negative information was borne out of studies performed decades ago where coconut oil had been hydrogenated for export. Virgin coconut oil (VCO)is not detrimental to the lipid profile. In fact, using the oil regularly can lead to lowered insulin levels and hence larger, healthier LDL particles.

Another misconception is that eating lots of fish oil is great. While omega 3 oils are beneficial on the lipid profile, they leave the body’s fatty acids vulnerable to lipid peroxidation or oxidative damage and free radicals. Coconut oil provides some protection against this process.

The word ketones often scare folks as ketones in diabetics can lead to something called acidosis and this is not a good thing. However, in those that are not diabetic, this does not happen and a bit of ketone production can be great for brain fuel, weight loss, and reduced insulin needs.

I have many patients who have successfully lost and kept weight off, improved libido, improved brain function and reduced or eliminated their seizures by eating a diet with VCO or MCT oil along with a low carbohydrate diet. One should not eliminate the essential fatty acids of omega 3 and omega 6, nor should one eliminate the other beneficial oils, 9 and 12. A diet with well rounded fatty acids while being low but adequate in carbohydrates (enough for individual needs, can vary depending upon how active one is) and in protein (approx 1gm per kilo of body weight) is best for most.

A favorite spread containing VCO is taking coconut butter (found online or at natural foods markets) and mixing some of this with either walnut, hemp or chia oil in a double boiler just allowing the oils to slightly warm for mixing purposes. once cooled, the butter is now spreadable. Coconut butter without mixing is quite hard at room temperature and doesn’t contain essential fatty acids. The combinations allows for an easily spreadable yummy nut butter that contains MCT and omega 3 oils.