Amie Sugat, citizen journalist / Feb 24, 2009
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(NaturalNews.com) If you could make one change in your current diet which would positively affect all other areas of your life, would you do it? If you knew that just three tablespoons of a saturated fat would positively benefit your current health condition, would you take those three tablespoons of medicine?
The Secret Fountain of Youth
The secret Fountain of Youth, of health and longevity, has been located. No, it`s not actually water, but the fountain-like tree of the Coconut Palm or Cocos nucifera, which is a member of the Arecaceae family. This family also includes the famous acai fruit, dates, and other drupe fruits which are popular in tropical and subtropical regions.
Many common products and foods are derived from the palm family. In fact, all through history palms have become symbols of life, victory, peace, fertility, and sustenance. The Coconut Palm, in particular, is often called the tree of life in the many cultures which rely on it for sustenance. Virtually every part of the Coconut Palm is used for something - from roof thatch to boats, from clothing to firewood, from garden mulch to a variety of culinary uses. In Sanskrit the name is kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life." While those in Malay refer to it as pokok seribu guna, or "tree of a thousand uses." In the Philippines, the coconut is affectionately termed "The Tree Of Life."
Wherein Coconut is The Main Course
If a person were to take a look at the countries in which coconut oil and milk were staples of the diet, they would notice that those who have not adopted any part of a western diet are beautiful and robust. If you were to take a trip to Sri Lanka, where coconut products are used in every meal and the population consumes an average of 120 coconuts per year, you would notice the health and fitness of the inhabitants. A little more research would show you that merely one or two deaths of every 1,000 are contributed to heart disease, compared to heart disease in America, which contributes to nearly half of all deaths.
Other countries which rely heavily on coconut include most parts of India, the Philippines, and most islands of the Pacific. You would notice that these people who have not adopted the modern Western diet - which contains unsaturated margarine and vegetable oils - and who consume this saturated fat of the coconut oil also have low instances of any major illnesses. Heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and many other common complaints of the Western World are virtually nonexistent. Their secret is coconut oil.
When people of these regions have adopted the Western diet, researchers have found that the instances of these diseases became comparably close to that of Americans. In fact, a major study was performed on the remote islands of Pukapuka and Tokelau. The entire populations of these islands took part in the study. Before the study, coconut oil, milk, and meat was the main staple in the diet contributing to 60% or more of the populations` daily intake of calories from fat, while the American Heart Association only recommends that up to 30% of daily calories consumed come from fat and that no more than 10% of that fat should be saturated.
Despite this recommendation, those populations were consuming 50% of their calories are from saturated fat from coconut products. Yet, these people showed no evidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, or any other immunological or degenerative disease common in the Western World. In fact, atherosclerosis and arthritis were not even heard of!
When researchers had half the population in the study begin eating a Western diet, they began to develop the disease found in the Western world within days to weeks of adopting the new Western diet. When they returned to their traditional coconut-based diet, the diseases disappeared.
The Right Kind of Fat
Make no mistake; this article is not discussing hydrogenated coconut oil. Refined and/or hydrogenated coconut oil, just like other refined or hydrogenated oils, should never be consumed. Refined or hydrogenated oils of any kind contain harmful metals and toxins as well as nonmetabolizable and indigestible fats, which promote diseases. When you hear reports about studies which claim that coconut oil does raise cholesterol levels and promote heart disease, they are leaving out the crucial point that the study was done with hydrogenated coconut oil.
No, this article is discussing pure, unrefined, organic, coconut oil. Dozens of studies over the past few decades have shown that natural coconut oil, the organic extra virgin kind, has no adverse effects on cholesterol levels. In fact, researchers have found quite the opposite is true. The fact is if unrefined coconut oil was the cause of disease, then these countries which rely heavily on it would show evidence of disease. In reality, quite the opposite is true.
Unfortunately, the fallacy of the reported negative research has slipped up many reporters and by and large the misinformed writers, healthcare professionals, and the public. While the reports were accurate, the conveyed information left out that refined and hydrogenated coconut oil was used in the studies, which developed diseases in the participants. This problem is compounded because everybody recites and repeats each others` false statements. If the public and health care professionals were only to read the new research and the full reports, they would find that they were in the dark ages of nutritional knowledge. So, if you hear about negative aspects of coconut oil and product, realize that the person is misinformed and kindly do some research of your own.
On the other hand, research performed with unrefined coconut oils resulted in some amazing findings. People who consumed the unrefined and non-hydrogenated coconut oils were healthier at the end of the study than those who consumed the refined and hydrogenated coconut and/or vegetable oils or a low fat diet.
have become so pleased with the health benefits of coconut oil that
they have begun to use it as a "secret" ingredient in their baby
formulas and adult nutrition formulas used in
hospitals for tube feeding. Research has
now confirmed that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious and healthful
foods available. It is recommended to everyone, including those with health
problems, to include unrefined coconut oil into their diets daily.
The Miracle Non-Nut
While coconuts are called nuts, they are not actually nuts. Rather, they are the monocot seed of the palm family. It is rare that anyone has allergies or adverse reactions to the coconut. So rare, in fact, that none have been reported. However, many report the positive reactions they have felt from the coconut. Those who have diabetes have reported lower blood sugar counts. Those which have high cholesterol have reported lowered cholesterol. Those who experience lethargy or low body temperatures have reported their energy levels rising and their body temperature normalizing.
Even those experiencing common addictions have reported quitting smoking and drinking without even realizing it. Those who suffer from obesity have reported a reduction in food cravings and astounding weight-loss of around 2 pounds per week. They claim that the weight melts right off!
How much do you need to take to receive health benefits? The recommended daily dosage is three tablespoons. Of course, you can feel free to take more than that. Coconut oil is heat-stable oil. You can cook with it, fry with it, bake with it and even eat it right out of the jar. It is a delicious butter replacement and melts easily onto your toast. It adds a delicious, light flavor to everything it complements.
Since it is solid at room temperature and liquid at body temperature, it is shelf stable for months, even years, in the right conditions. Unlike other oils, even olive oil, it does not develop cancer-causing chemicals at moderately high heat. So, go ahead, replace your butter and cooking oil. You can even replace your favorite skin cream and lotion. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer and provides excellent health benefits both outside and in.
(Personal closing note: The best coconut oil I have found is made by Nutiva, 54 oz for $24.00 from www.iherb.com, which is also the best price I have found. It is superb. We’ve been using it for several years in place of butter, etc. Customers who have bought Nutiva at iHerb have given a very high rating. Go to http://www.iherb.com/Nutiva-Organic-Extra-Virgin-Coconut-Oil-54-oz-1532-g/7311?at=0 to check it out). Here is a typical comment on iHerb for this product:
By Martha Estrada from California
I love this product and the price can't be beat. My whole family uses it including my pets. I mix a tablespoon into their food and they love it. It has many health benefits for both pets and humans. It has eliminated the problem I had with my dog getting worms because it kills parasites and their coat is so smooth and glossy.
I just got done baking the most delicious and moist cookies substituting coconut oil for butter in the recipe. It is by far healthier than butter and can be heated for frying and cooking with out causing oxidation. I can't rave enough about this product and use it as a massage oil as well as a deep conditioner for my hair. For those not yet familiar with the health benefits of coconut oil do some research and you to will be amazed. This product tastes great and should be in everyone's home.
www.iherb.com is the #1 natural supplement website in the U.S. Orders over $60 ship free, with a discount of 6%, I believe. Use promo code WIL572 on your first internet order, and receive a $5 discount. If an order is rec’d before 4PM Pacific time, the order usually ships the same day.
1. Eat Fat, Look Thin By Bruce Fife
2. Wikipedia: Coconut
3. Wikipedia: Arecaceae
4. The Coconut Diet By Banahaw Health Products Corp.
5. Nutiva Nourishing People & Planet
Coconut Info Page
The Extraordinary Importance of the Oils We Eat
(Taken from “Oil Pulling Therapy” by Dr. Bruce Fife / 2008)
Of all the foods we eat, none have been as misrepresented and misunderstood as the dietary oils. Saturated fats have been demonized and polyunsatured fats have been given sainthood, based primarily on the fact that the latter reduces blood cholesterol in comparison to the former.
This concept has been promoted and kept alive by promoters of the cholesterol theory of heart disease, in other words, the pharmaceutical industry and their friends. In truth, saturated fats are the good guys and polyunsatured fats are the fiends.
The dominant fat in the diets of all the healthy people Dr. Weston A. Price studied was saturated, yet heart disease was absent among them. Disease attacked those who had abandoned their traditional diets, exchanging saturated fat for processed vegetable oils and other modern foods.
This was seen in every population he studied throughout his travels around the world. The African Masai, Canadian Indians, and Alaskan Eskimos, whose diets consisted almost entirely of saturated fat and meat, were free from heart disease, yet once they began to eat processed oils and other modern foods, their health rapidly declined.
Many of Melanesians and Polynesians in the South Pacific Islands ate a diet high in saturated fat from coconuts. Some populations consumed up to 50 percent of their daily calories as saturated fat. Again, they were healthy and free from heart and other degenerative diseases. These diseases crept in after modern foods were introduced.
Although processed vegetable oils (safflower, corn, soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, etc.) have been promoted as being healthy, they are far from it. Compared to saturated fats, they are very unstable and go rancid quickly. This is why they are not commonly used in baked goods and other prepared foods. When heated, as in cooking foods, polyunsaturated oils degrade rapidly, generating harmful free radicals. Saturated fats are much more stable and are healthier to use for cooking.
All processed polyunsaturated oils have undergone some degree of oxidation by the time you buy them in the store. As soon as seeds are crushed and the oil exposed to oxygen, heat or light, oxidization begins. When oxidation occurs, free radicals are formed and the oil starts to go rancid. Oxidation continues as the oil is refined, bottled, transported, and stored on the store shelf and in your own kitchen. If you use the oil in cooking, oxidization is greatly accelerated, making it even more rancid and unhealthy.
Free radicals cause systemic inflammation and tissue degradation. Free radicals destroy cell walls and even DNA, leading to cellular death and cancer. In fact, polyunsaturated vegetable oils are well known for their cancer-causing effects. Studies show that when cancer is chemically induced in animals, the type of fat in their diet determines the number and size of the resulting tumors. Polyunsaturated fats produce the greatest number and the largest tumors. Monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, produce fewer, and saturated fats the least. Of the saturated fats, coconut oil can completely prevent tumor development, even when the animals are given very potent cancer-causing chemicals. Coconut oil is a powerful anti-cancer food.
Processed vegetable oils also depress the immune system. This fact is so well known that vegetable oil emulsified with water is given as intravenous injections for the purpose of suppressing immunity in patients who have had organ transplants.
One of the ways unsaturated fats hinder the immune system is by killing white blood cells. White blood cells, which defend us against harmful microorganisms, are the primary component of our immune system. If you are trying to rid yourself of systemic and oral infections, you certainly don’t want to use something that lowers the efficiency of your immune system, or, for that matter, promotes inflammation and cancer.
Coconut oil would be a far better choice. It has anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties as well as being anti-cancerous. Coconut oil has many other benefits; it protects against heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, IBS, diabetes, and helps balance hormone levels. Perhaps its most remarkable characteristic is its ability to kill disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Among the dietary fats, coconut oil is unique because it is composed of a special group of fat modules known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). The only other food in the human diet that has any appreciable amount of MCFAs is breast milk. These special fats are essential for the health of newborn infants and are added to scientifically designed infant formulas. These unique fatty acids have many important uses. They are very easy to digest, providing a quick and easy source of nutrition, which is important to infants.
In fact, it is primarily the presence of MCFAs in human breast milk that protects newborn babies for the first few months of life while their immune systems are still developing. The fatty acids that protected us as infants also protect us as adults when we eat coconut oil.
Coconut oil’s fatty acids kill many of the same types of bacteria and viruses that inhabit the mouth and cause infections elsewhere in the body. Antibiotics can kill bacteria, but they are useless against viruses. There are no drugs that can effectively kill viruses, but MCFAs can. They also kill yeasts and fungi, including candida. MCFAs aren’t a universal remedy for all infections, however. They don’t kill all bacteria, which is actually a good thing. They don’t harm the friendly bacteria in our gut, so they don’t cause digestive disturbances. Coconut oil can help clear the gut of harmful organisms, while leaving the harmless or beneficial ones alone.
Coconut helps keep the teeth healthy. Even eating coconut meat, which contains the oil, can help to promote good dental health. In the coastal areas of northern Brazil, where coconuts are commonly consumed, the incidence of tooth decay and gum disease are reportedly lower than in other parts of the country. Even the poor, who don’t have access to the best dental or health care, have healthier mouths than the more affluent non-coconut eaters.
This same observation was made by Dr. Weston A. Price when he studied the peoples in the South Pacific islands. Those people who maintained their traditional coconut-based diet had extraordinarily good dental health. He reported that they had a cavity rate of only 0.34 percent. That means out of every 1000 teeth examined, he found only 3.4 teeth with cavities. Gum disease was essentially absent. In comparison, we have at least 10 times this many cavities and most of us have some level of gum disease.
For optimal health benefit, I recommend that you consume between 1-3 tablespoons of coconut oil in place of other oils, especially processed vegetable oils, in food preparation. In recipes that call for vegetable oil, margarine, or shortening, use coconut oil instead. Coconut oil is very heat-stable and does not form free radicals like other vegetable oils do, so it makes an excellent cooking oil. You can also take the oil by the spoonful like a dietary supplement, as many people do. A good quality virgin coconut oil has a pleasant taste, and processed coconut oils have essentially no taste, so taking them by the spoonful isn’t really difficult.
Because of coconut oil’s antimicrobial effects, its ability to enhance the healing of injuries, and its many other health-promoting properties, I recommend coconut oil for oil pulling. Why use any other oil, when you can use coconut oil?
Change Your Dietary Oil and Reduce Your Risk of Disease
Amie Sugat, citizen journalist / August 25, 2010
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(NaturalNews) The corn, canola, and soybean oil companies do not want the consumers to know these hidden facts about their products. These products were never meant for consumption by living organisms. They were meant for industrial purposes such as lubricating equipment, mixing paints, and even the next generation of fuel for automobiles. Industries realized that they were cheaper to produce than healthy fats and oils, and since many are by-products, they are plentiful.
Dangers of Vegetable Oils
The minute amounts of oils found in whole grain corn and soybeans are healthy, bound to the antioxidants that prevent them from being dangerous. However, as a mass produced product, manufacturers needed the oil to keep longer. The fatty acids found in grains turn rancid rather quickly after being separated from the product.
To make them last longer the antioxidants and phytochemicals are removed; the oil is processed using chemicals such as hexane and chlorine bleach. Then they are deodorized. Further, most oils have food coloring and preservatives added as well as chemicals to mask the smell of the rancid oils.
Damage done to the body by these rancid refined oils includes: loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, low birth weights, irritability, problems thinking, and foggy memory. Long term use causes increased risk of cancer, increased risk of atherosclerosis, increase in heart attacks and strokes, digestive disorders, pain sensations, and a host of other problems associated with poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
Where They Come From
Canola oil comes from genetically engineered rapeseed. Rapeseed is easy to produce because it is so toxic not even insects want it. It was originally used as a lubricant for machinery in small industries. It has been proven to cause lung cancer and heart disease. It was originally used in Europe in farm animal feeds. These animals went blind, began exhibiting various diseases, and finally went mad and began attacking people.
Soybean oil comes from soybeans of course; while the mass media glorifies the soybean, it really has a dark side. Soybeans and soybean oil are not health foods. Soybean product consumption is linked to infertility, increased cancer and infantile leukemia, Type 1 diabetes, and precocious puberty in children fed soy formula. "Clinical and laboratory studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, cognitive, immune system breakdown, and even heart disease and cancer," Says Liz Lipski PhD CCN. Dr. Mercola says, "Soy formula...also has over 1,000 percent more aluminum than conventional milk based formulas."
Corn oil's polyunsaturated acids are the prime requirements for cancer growth. Long-term corn oil use is associated with colon cancers because it inhibits an enzyme used to prevent cancer growth. Further, Japanese researchers have found that long-term use of corn oil and other corn products increases mortality rates and esophageal cancers.
Change Your Oil
The reason these oils have such a negative effect on the body is simply because they are indigestible. They inhibit the natural enzyme functions of the body that turn fats into fuel and vitamins into chemicals the body can absorb, and they bind to minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. However, the effects are not immediately felt; the onset of health complications often takes ten or more years before symptoms begin to show up and have a dramatic effect on the body.
Switching from a diet high in these polyunsaturated and refined vegetable oils to one with raw or at least minimally processed medium chain fatty acids can thus reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, and various other diseases associated with these dangerous refined oil products.
[Personal Note: Organic extra-virgin coconut oil, such as the Nutiva brand, and extra-virgin olive oil are great oils to be using in place of the dangerous oils listed above]
1. Karinya: Canola Oil (0102 July 22) http://www.karinya.com/canola.htm
2. Shirleys Wellness Cafe: Soy Linked to Many Human and Animal Chronic Health Conditions (2010 July 22) http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.c...
3. Mercola.com: The Darkside of Americans Favorite Foods Revealed (2010 July 22) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...
4. Zhion.com: Corn Nutrition Values (2010 July 22) http://www.zhion.com/herb/Corn.html
New Warning About Olive Oil
Posted by Dr. Mercola / October 30, 2010
A common question that many people have is whether or not food should be eaten uncooked. I personally believe that consuming a majority of your food uncooked is a cornerstone of optimal health.
Typically, the less processed and heat-treated the food is, the more nutritious and healthier it is going to be.
Nevertheless, most people prefer to cook their food, at least occasionally. When you do, you're going to cook with some form of oil.
The question is, what's the best, healthiest type of oil to use when cooking?
Dr. Rudi Moerck has studied oils for a long time, and offers some intriguing insights in this interview.
Cooking with Tropical Oils – Your Healthiest Alternative
I have, for many years now, recommended coconut oil on the basis and the supposition that it doesn't contain much unsaturated fat. As a result, it's not going to be damaged by heat and create trans fats like some other oils. (Another tropical oil that is very similar is palm oil.)
Dr. Moerck agrees, saying:
"I would say that coconut oil is okay to cook with. It's a saturated fat. Your body will burn it as fuel or it will get rid of it some other way. It won't store it in your body.. So from that point of view, if you're going to use oil then that's a good one to use."
Interestingly, unlike carbohydrates, which can also deliver quick energy to your body, coconut oil does this without producing an insulin spike. Yes, it acts like a carbohydrate, but without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption.
But that's merely the beginning.
Earlier this week I published an entire special report on the health benefits of coconut oil, which include:
· Promoting heart health
· Promoting weight loss, when needed
· Supporting your immune system health
· Supporting a healthy metabolism
· Providing you with an immediate energy source
· Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
· Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland
Part of what makes coconut oil such a healthful oil for cooking is that 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. This is also one of the features that distinguishes coconut oil from other saturated fats.
Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.
In addition, coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids also produce a host of health benefits.
Best of all, coconut oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which you cannot say for other oils. In fact, it's so stable you can even use if for frying (although I don't recommend frying your food for a number of health reasons).
I recommend using coconut oil in lieu of every other oil, whether your recipe calls for butter, olive oil, vegetable oil or margarine.
Important, New Information about Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It's a staple in healthful diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.
However, it's important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.
Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage. However, during this interview I learned that extra-virgin olive oil has a significant draw-back even when used cold – it's still extremely perishable!
As it turns out, extra-virgin olive oil contains chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly.
In fact, Dr. Moerck actually prefers using almost tasteless, semi-refined olive oil rather than extra-virgin olive oil for this reason.
If you're like most people, you're probably leaving your bottle of olive oil right on the counter, opening and closing it multiple times a week. Remember, any time the oil is exposed to air and/or light, it oxidizes, and as it turns out, the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates the oxidation of the unsaturated fats.
Clearly, consuming spoiled oil (of any kind) will likely do more harm than good.
To protect the oil, Dr. Moerck recommends treating it with the same care as you would other sensitive omega-3 oils:
· Keep in a cool, dark place
· Purchase smaller bottles rather than larger to ensure freshness
· Immediately replace the cap after each pour
To help protect extra virgin olive oil from oxidation, Dr. Moerck suggests putting one drop of astaxanthin into the bottle. You can purchase astaxanthin, which is an extremely potent antioxidant, in soft gel capsules. Just prick it with a pin and squeeze the capsule into the oil.
The beautiful thing about using astaxanthin instead of another antioxidant such as vitamin E, is that it is naturally red, whereas vitamin E is colorless, so you can tell the oil still has astaxanthin in it by its color.
As the olive oil starts to pale in color, you know it's time to throw it away.
You can also use one drop of lutein in your olive oil. Lutein imparts an orange color and will also protect against oxidation. Again, once the orange color fades, your oil is no longer protected against rancidity and should be tossed.
This method is yet another reason for buying SMALL bottles. If you have a large bottle, you may be tempted to keep it even though it has begun to oxidize.
The Worst Cooking Oils of All
Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.
This category includes common vegetable oils such as:
Damaged omega-6 fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were.
Trans fat is the artery-clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.
I strongly recommend never using margarine or shortening when cooking. I guarantee you you're already getting far too much of this damaging fat if you consume any kind of processed foods, whether it be potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners...
Trans fat is the most consumed type of fat in the US, despite the fact that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.
Trans fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want. In fact, trans fats -- as opposed to saturated fats -- have been repeatedly linked to heart disease. They can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Personally I don't cook very much but when I do I use our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil as it is the most resistant to heating damage, but also a great source of medium chained triglycerides and lauric acid.
So, cleaning these oils out of your kitchen cupboard is definitely recommended if you value your health.
Coconut Oil Now Being Used in AIDS Prevention and Treatment
(from The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. / 2004)
After more than two decades of research, the AIDS epidemic is still going strong. Drugs have been developed to help slow down the progress of the disease, but, as is the case with other viruses, there is no cure. But there is hope. One of the most exciting and active areas of research with MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) is in the treatment of those infected with HIV, which, like many other microorganisms, has a lipid membrane that is vulnerable to MCFAs.
In the 1980s researchers discovered that the medium-chain fatty acids, specifically lauric and capric acids, were effective in killing HIV in lab cultures. This opened the door to a possible treatment for HIV/AIDS that was far safer than the antiviral drugs being used.
One of the problems with the antiviral drugs used to fight HIV is that they have undesirable side effects, including muscle wasting, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, bone marrow suppression, ulcerations, hemorrhaging, skin rash, anemia, fatigue, and altered function.
Another problem is that the AIDS virus can grow resistant to the drugs, often becoming invulnerable to them. The specific combination of viral resistance varies from patient to patient. To fight these resistant strains of super viruses, doctors use a hit-or-miss approach by brewing potent AIDS drug cocktails. The more drugs used, the greater the risk of undesirable side effects.
Unlike the standard drugs used to treat HIV, which attach the virus’s genetic material, medium-chain fatty acids simply break the virus apart. Much like the other fatty acids that make up the virus’s lipid membrane, the MCFAs are absorbed by the virus; this weakens the membrane until it breaks apart, killing the virus. It is unlikely that the virus can develop an immunity to this mechanism, so MCFAs can attack and kill any of the strains of HIV, even the genetically drug-resistant super viruses.
Over the years many HIV-infected individuals have reported a decrease in their viral load (the number of viruses in the blood) and an improvement in overall health after eating coconut or drinking coconut milk. Some have reported lowering their viral loads to nondetectable levels after eating coconut for only a few weeks.
The first clinical study on the effectiveness of coconut oil to treat HIV patients was reported by Cornrado Dayrit, M.D., emeritus professor of pharmacology at the University of the Philippines and former president of the National Academy of Science and Technology in the Philippines. In this study, 14 HIV patients, ages 22 to 38, were separated into three groups. None of the patients received any other anti-HIV treatment during the study.
The treatment they were testing compared monolaurin (the monoglyceride of of lauric acid found in coconut oil) and pure coconut oil. One group (four patients) was given 22 grams of monolaurin a day. The second group (five patients) was given 7.2 grams of monolaurin. The third group (five patients) was given 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil. The coconut oil given to the third group contained about the same quantity of lauric acid as was supplied by the monolaurin in the first group. After three months of treatment, the viral load had decreased in seven of the patients. After six months, when the study was completed, 9 out of the 14 patients had a decreased viral count (two in the first group, four in the second, and three in the third). Eleven of the patients had regained weight and appeared to be improving. This study confirmed the anecdotal reports that coconut oil has anti-viral effects and has provided solid clinical evidence that both monolaurin and coconut oil are effective in fight HIV. Additional research is currently underway to further study the use of monoluarin and coconut oil to treat HIV/AIDS.
Unfortunately, the ready availability and low cost of coconut oil and its derivative fatty acids are reasons why research into its use as a treatment for AIDS and other viral illnesses has been low. There is little monetary incentive for pharmaceutical companies to fund research on a natural, readily available substance that they cannot protect with a patent and charge exorbitant prices for. Currently the cost of standard medications for one person to control HIV can reach over $15,000 a year. If all the hundreds of thousands of people who are infected by the virus spend anywhere near this amount, you can easily see the enormous amount of money the pharmaceutical companies pull in. It is no wonder they are reluctant to support a treatment that threatens to end this flood of cash.
Individuals with HIV often suffer from nutritional deficiencies and recurrent infections. Resistance to infectious illness decreases as the disease progresses. Opportunistic microorganisms such as cytomegalovirus, candida, cryptosporidium, and others quickly take root. In time, the body is devastated so greatly by infection that survival is impossible. The fatty acids in coconut oil not only offer the possibility of reducing the HIV load but kill other harmful organisms as well. Combined with the fact that lauric acid and other MCFAs improve digestion and energy production, the result is better overall health.
Current research suggest that individuals infected with HIV progress more rapidly to AIDS when they have a higher viral load. Reducing the viral load to undetectable levels greatly increases the patient’s chances of avoiding the disease and reduces the chance of infecting others.
A recent study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University showed that the number of individual viruses in the person determines the degree to which the virus can be passed on to others. The study found that someone with 200,000 virus copies (individual viruses per mm of blood) is 2.5 times more likely to spread HIV than someone with only 2,000 copies. The researchers found no transmission of the virus at all by infected people who carried less than 1,500 copies of the virus.
Case In Point: Chris Dafoe / Cloverdale, Indiana / September 1996 –
In September 1996 AIDS patient Chris Dafoe of Cloverdale, Indiana, figured his time was running out. He’d lost a great deal of weight, lacked energy, and felt worse and worse with each passing day. The thing that drove the nail into his coffin was the lab results. The report showed he had a viral load of over 600,000 – an indication of rampant HIV infection and a sign that he didn’t have too much time left to live.
So he made arrangements for his funeral, paying all expenses up front. Before he died, however, and while he still had some strength left, he wanted to take one last vacation – a dream vacation to the jungles of South America. He flew to the tiny Republic of Surinam and wound his way into the jungle, where he stayed briefly among a group of Indians. While there, he ate the same foods as the natives. Every day he was served a dish of cooked coconut prepared by the natives.
“The Indian Chief told me,” says Dafoe, “that they use 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 medicines. They eat cooked coconut every morning to help prevent illness. “
While there, Dafoe’s health took a turn for the better, his strength and energy increased, and he regained 32 pounds. Home again, six weeks later he went in for another lab test. This time the results showed his viral load had plummeted to undetectable levels. The HIV virus that had once flooded his body was no longer measurable.
He continues eating cooked coconut for breakfast every day, mixing it with hot cereal. He is convinced that it keeps the virus under control and allows him to enjoy good health. With a zest for life he says, “I feel great. I have more energy than ever.”