I first learned about Coconut Oil years ago, after I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and was reading everything I could about nutrition and health. The first book I read that mentioned it was The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin. In the book, he explains how the human body is not meant to digest or process man-made foods, but how it’s designed to digest and process natural foods, non-processed foods occurring in nature. For optimal health, we need to consume the foods that we as humans are meant to consume, the foods that God, or nature gives us, and not the food created in laboratories or by scientists.
He includes a section on healthy saturated fats such as high-vitamin butter and coconut oil. He says “extra virgin coconut oil is one of the healthiest saturated fats available (despite the misguided advice of so-called health experts warning against the saturated tropical oils such a coconut and palm oils). Coconut oil can tolerate extremely high heat, unlike polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Use extra-virgin coconut oil in cooking, baking, and in smoothies. It is a stable, healthy saturated fat that does not elevate undesirable (LDL) cholesterol; it reduces the symptoms of digestive disorders, supports overall immune functions, and helps prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Extra virgin coconut oil is great for people suffering from candida yeast infections, due to the presence of caprylic acid and antifungal fatty acids contained in the oil. Extra-virgin coconut oil has also been shown to help balance the thyroid and improve metabolic function, which may result in weight loss.”
I then went on to read his other book, Patient Heal Thyself, which he had written previous to The Maker’s Diet and which contained much of the same information - “Extra virgin coconut oil is an extremely healthy fat. It contains large amounts of lauric acid, one of the cheif fatty acids in breast milk. According to scientific and clinical research, consuming extra virgin coconut oil can reduce the risk of deadly degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Extra virgin coconut oil supports the immune system and helps prevent bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Reportedly, it reduces the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation. Extra virgin coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with because it can withstand heat without oxidation. People who suffer from digestive disorders often notice an improvement in symptoms after they substitute extra virgin coconut oil for whatever cooking oil they use. “
So I went out to my local health food store and bought some coconut oil. I began using it in all of my cooking, sometimes even just melting it in some hot broth and consuming it that way to make sure I got at least 1 or 2 TB a day. Almost immediately, I noticed how soothing it was to my system.
In this book, he gives full scientific evidence, with molecular diagrams, about how saturated fats are not the killers that we had been brainwashed into believing they were, that it is the trans fats, the hydrogenated oils, that are what’s really killing us due to their instability and the harmful way that they break down in the human body when consumed. He also explains the “Tropical Oil Wars” and how it was all put into motion by corporations wanting to make money on synthetic oils. He explains how Coconut Oil can help with heart disease, how it kills germs, including viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, and parasites. He includes a section on how it is beneficial to skin and hair. He also says the following with regard to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis:
The inflammatory intestinal disease known as Crohn’s is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain, bleeding ulcers, bloody stools, anemia, and weight loss. Ulcerations can occur anywhere along the digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum. Ulcerative colitis is a similar disease that affects the colon - the lower part of the intestinal tract. At times, these chronic conditions can become debilitating. The ability of the intestines to absorb food is hampered, which may lead to nutritional deficiencies. Sufferers find that certain foods aggravate symptoms, and therefore they are constantly challenged to find foods that they can tolerate. Like many other chronic illnesses, Crohn’s disease has no known cure. Drugs can ease the symptoms, but if conditions become too severe, surgical removal of the infected organ is usually recommended.
However, interestingly enough, researchers have demonstrated the benefits of coconut oil for patients with digestive problems, including Crohn’s disease, at least since the 1980’s. The anti-inflammatory and healing effects of coconut oil apparently play a role in soothing and healing the inflammation and injury in the digestive tract that are characteristic of Crohn’s disease. Its antimicrobial properties also affect intestinal health by killing troublesome microorganisms that may cause chronic inflammation.
Dr. L.A.Cohen of the Naylor Dana Institute for Disease Prevention in Valhalla, New York, notes the ease with which MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) in coconut are digested and absorbed and says they “have found use in the clinic as a means to provide high energy lipid to patients with disorders of lipid digestion (pancreatitis), lipid absorption (Crohn’s disease), and lipid transport (chylomicron deficiency). Eating coconut cookies has made an impact on Gerard Brinkley, a Crohn’s disease sufferer for 30 years. “When I read that eating coconut macaroons could ease my symptoms,” Brinkley says, “I decided to try them myself. Coincidence or not, my symptoms have improved since I began eating two cookies a day.”
Other anecdotal reports suggest that coconut may offer relief from symptoms and prevent digestive distress. Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., the co-author of The People’s Pharmacy Guide To Herbal and Home Remedies, says that during the research for her book she heard enough testimonials about the benefit of using coconut oil for Crohn’s disease that she was convinced that this is one home remedy that may have important medical significance and believe strongly that more research should be pursued in this area. I have also heard similar stories. For example, one case in Hawaii involved a small child who suffered from an intestinal problem so severe that almost any food, including milk, aggravated symptoms. The child was wasting away because he couldn’t tolerate most of the foods he was given. A native Hawaiian told the mother to feed the child the “jelly” inside an immature coconut. She took the woman’s advice, and the child thrived, eating a diet consisting primarily of coconut jelly (unripened coconut meat). Knowing what we know scientifically about the digestibility of coconut oil, it makes sense that it would be of benefit to those with digestive problems.
While the cause of Crohn’s disease is still unknown, many doctors feel it is the result of a bacterial or viral infection. Stomach ulcers, for example, are caused primarily by the bacterium H. pyloris. It’s possible that this bacterium or a similar one could also infect other areas of the digestive tract. Several studies have shown that the measles and mumps viruses might be involved with the development of Crohn’s disease. In fact, a persistent low-grade measles infection in the intestine is common in many Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients. Those who have had measles or mumps in the past and now suffer from some type of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s or colitis are likely to harbor a low-grade intestinal infection that the body has not been able to overcome. H.pyloris bacteria and the measles virus are both killed by the MCFAs in coconut oil. If the symptoms characteristic of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are also caused by these or some other microorganism, then coconut oil may be beneficial in treating these conditions.
Eating macaroons to ease symptoms of Crohn’s disease, as strange as it may sound, does have some scientific backing. For those who have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, or other digestive problems, you don’t have to eat coconut cookies to get relief - any food prepared with coconut oil or coconut milk would work just as well.
He has me sold. I read The Coconut Oil Miracle in late 2004 or early 2005 and it was very shortly after that that the medical industry and the media all began reporting on how bad trans fats and hydrogenated oils were for you. NYC even went so far as to ban all trans fats in restaurant foods. Of course, by the time all of this news broke, I had made my entire family read the book as well as most of my close friends so while most people were confused and didn’t understand what the whole fuss was about, we understood perfectly. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in health, nutrition, and especially digestion.
Also, here’s another tip for you. Ever since I learned about how coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, etc, I have never had a major cold. Whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, a sore-throat, etc, I make the following recipe:
Fill a mug about 3/4 full with chicken broth. Fill the other 1/4 with coconut milk. Add about 1/8 tsp curry powder. Stir to combine. Microwave for about 2 1/2 minutes until hot. Drink. Repeat often.
This can also be made in a saucepan on a stove if you don’t like to use microwaves. The chicken broth has been known to be a home remedy for immunity boosting for decades (they don’t call it Jewish penicillin for nothing), the coconut oil has been scientifically proven to kill viruses, bacteria, etc, and curry powder contains turmeric and spices which also have been known to boost immunity.
It’s only been twice in the last 5 years that I’ve been hit with a stomach virus or flu that came on so fast I didn’t have time to ward it off. However, I think I’ve recovered much faster from them by drinking this immunity soup than I would have without it. But I haven’t had a head cold since.
Jarrow makes excellent coconut oil. Here is what they have to say about it:
Jarrow Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is one of the healthiest and most versatile unprocessed dietary oils in the world. Once thought to be a ‘bad’ fat coconut oil has been proven to be a stable healthy saturated fat that can help maintain cholesterol levels, support thyroid function, ease occasional digestive disorder symptoms, avert sugar cravings, and provide many other health benefits. Virgin Coconut Oil is a healthy naturally saturated vegetable product. Unhydrogenated coconut oil contains good fat - 50% Lauric Acid. It is made up mostly of medium chain fatty acids which the body metabolizes efficiently and converts into energy rather than storing as fat. Coconut oil does not elevate your bad cholesterol level LDL and is slightly lower in calories than most vegetable oils. For thousands of years Coconut Oil has been used as a cooking oil and is still a staple in the diets of many people living in tropical areas. Americans used Coconut Oil as well until shortages of imported oils during WW II made it necessary to look for domestic oils such as soybean and corn oil. Although soybean and corn oil make good substitutes for use in the kitchen, over time the polyunsaturated fats has started to take their toll on the health of Americans in the form of obesity and higher cholesterol levels. It has been discovered that Coconut Oil contains a unique form of saturated fat which helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries.
The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc. Coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes without using much