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A New Look at Coconut Oil – Part 1

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 11:07 AM

Article by MARY ENIG, PHD 
January 2, 2000
Photo by Nisha Ramesh on 

Health and Nutritional Benefits from Coconut Oil: An Important Functional Food for the 21st Century


Coconut oil has a unique role in the diet as an important physiologically functional food. The health and nutritional benefits that can be derived from consuming coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world for centuries. Although the advantage of regular consumption of coconut oil has been underappreciated by the consumer and producer alike for the recent two or three decades, its unique benefits should be compelling for the health minded consumer of today. 

A review of the diet/heart disease literature relevant to coconut oil clearly indicates that coconut oil is at worst neutral with respect to atherogenicity of fats and oils and, in fact, is likely to be a beneficial oil for prevention and treatment of some heart disease. Additionally, coconut oil provides a source of antimicrobial lipid for individuals with compromised immune systems and is a non-promoting fat with respect to chemical carcinogenesis.

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