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Nutritious Coconut

SJ Sweets


Researched by American Oil Chemists Society
Published in India Outlook

Alekh Angre
09 February 2012

The eminent professor said coconut oil contains mono-lauric acid, the same fatty acid that mother's milk has. Until the 1930s, even bread in the US was made using coconut oil. Things changed after that and the ghost of cholesterol was given birth to flourishing today as the best business, Prof Dr. Hegde says
Ask any Keralite for the benefits of coconut oil and you will be presented with a long list. Barring the southern part of India, everywhere else coconut oil has been off the food list for a long time. Nutritionists and doctors’ have been advising everyone to avoid the saturated fat it contains, allegedly linked with many diseases.
Contrary to popular perception, Prof., Dr., BM Hegde, a renowned doctor and a Padma Bhushan awardee, says that coconut oil is, in fact, the best source for treating skin diseases and as well as Alzheimer’s diseases.
Busting the myths propagated by doctors and nutritionists over coconut oil, Prof., Dr,. Hegde says, “I am surprised when people say coconut oil is poison. If a doctor says that it contains cholesterol, it means he has not gone to any medical colleges. The first thing they taught you in any medical school in biochemistry, where students learn that cholesterol comes from an animal source. How can a plant like a coconut could then become a source of cholesterol?”
“After realizing this mistake, they (doctors and nutritionists) started saying that the coconut oil contains saturated fat and hence it is bad. The larger question here is that one should inquire what coconut oil contains and not directly label it as bad,” the “people’s doctor”, said.
According to Prof Dr. Hegde, coconut oil and mother’s milk are the only two things that get digested in the mouth of a baby. “Both, coconut oil and mother’s milk contain sodium monolaurate, which is mono-lauric acid that forms the basis of the human immune system.”
He also said that feeding milk, other than the mother’s to an infant is not a good option and instead we should use coconut oil. He said, milk from larger cows like the Jersey type, provokes a severe antibody response from the human system as its milk protein is foreign and is antigenic. Unfortunately, the same antibodies also recognize the beta cells in the pancreas as foreign and attack them. “In short, cow's milk is not good food for a baby and, certainly, not for adults who, also, do not have an enzyme to digest any kind of milk after they have stopped taking mother's milk,” Prof Dr. Hegde said.
Warning that milk from any foreign source is only a time bomb waiting to detonate soon, he, however, admitted that the milk (dairy) industry is very powerful and it is very difficult to speak the truth. He, however, said the industry should concentrate more on selling denatured milk, in curds, buttermilk, and ghee which are good food instead of milk.
Prof Dr. Hegde said, “Ayurveda describes clarified butter (Ghee) as the best food which gives Ojus, the highest form of health. Butter is not as good as it still has cow's protein but, ghee is pure fatty acids only-mainly butyric and caproic acids, devoid of any protein from the cow or buffalo.”
In the US, infant food has coconut oil as the main base. “Americans after having done the propaganda against coconut oil has now accepted it for treating many diseases,” he says.
Prof Dr. Hegde explained that coconut oil is also being used widely to treat Alzheimer’s diseases as it is digested in the mouth and gets converted into ketones. Brain cells damaged due to Alzheimer’s can live on these ketones. “If you take coconut oil your brain cells won’t die. Even if they are dying that they can get rejuvenated,” he added.
Coconut oil is also the best cure for many skin diseases. “It is a natural fat. Apart from curing skin diseases, it can be used for softening skin,” says Dr. Lata Joshi, a professor with MGM Medical College in Mumbai.
Even a severe form of skin infection can completely be healed by just applying coconut oil according to Prof Dr. Hegde. Sharing an anecdote where coconut oil cured a skin problem, he said “One of my friends developed a particular skin problem. After approaching a dermatologist, he was advised for Bio Oxy. Though nothing happened, the infection got pus. Merely on applying coconut oil, it got healed completely.” He also explained the benefits of coconut oil for hair loss, dandruff problems.
According to Prof Dr. BM Hegde, coconut oil in any form is good but one should use virgin coconut oil for treatment. It is extracted from fresh coconut kernel without any chemical processes and is the purest form of coconut oil.
Prof Dr. BM Hegde also appealed to the Kerala government to sell virgin coconut oil. “I am glad that the government has now started selling it under the name of Kerala Amrit.”
He believes that every part of the coconut tree is useful and biodegradable. So, enjoy your coconut chutney and eat idli too, if you like!
Estimated amounts of cholesterol in vegetable oils and animal fats.

The truth is healthy

For the last three decades, there has been widespread misinformation on coconut and its properties. Maligned as saturated fat and an ‘artery-clogging oil’, there has been a wilful move to banish it from the traditional diets of people. But pause a while and reflect. People across the globe in 93 countries spanning six continents made coconut an essential part of their diet. They lived long and healthy without falling prey to the degenerative diseases prevalent today. Coconut oil was widely used in the manufacture of infant foods and as a shortening in the USA until the 1930s. So, should we not know more about the Perfect Health Nut which has nourished mankind for about 3000 years? Coconut has a history dating back more than 3000 years. The Ayurvedic Physician Susruta emphatically declared that coconut is good for the heart.

Coconut is hrudya or a cardiac tonic says a passage from the celebrated text ‘Susruta Samhita’. Coconut has been recommended for increasing the strength of people who suffer from debilitating disease. Ayurveda also recognizes the contribution of coconut to provide instant energy and improve muscular performance.


What made this health oil unhealthy?

The genesis of the propaganda against coconut oil can be traced back to 1957 when researchers fed animals hydrogenated coconut oil (as the only fat source) naturally became essential fatty acid-deficient and their serum cholesterol levels increased. Diets that cause an essential fatty acid deficiency always produce an increase in serum cholesterol levels as well as an increase in the atherosclerotic indices. The same defect has also been seen when other essential fatty acids deficient highly hydrogenated oils such as cottonseed, soybean or corn oils have been fed indicating that this phenomenon is clearly the effect of the hydrogenated product. The reason for this phenomenon is either because the oil is Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) deficient or on account of Trans Fatty Acids. The conclusion that can be drawn from the animal research is that feeding hydrogenated coconut oil devoid of essential fatty acids, in a diet otherwise devoid of EFA, leads to EFA deficiency and paves the way for the formation of atherosclerosis markers. It is pertinent to note that animals fed with regular coconut oil had lower cholesterol deposited in their body.

Coconut oil can only make you healthy

Coconut oil helps you improve nutrient absorption. It improves the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium and thus aids in preventing osteoporosis. It also increases the absorption of some of the B vitamins, other fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K, beta-carotene) and some amino acids. Because it is easily digested, coconut oil provides a quick and easy source of nutrition and improves the absorption of other nutrients. Coconut oil has also been recommended in the treatment of malnutrition. The fats in coconut oil are easily digestible and converted into quick energy. And these types of fatty acids are less likely to cause obesity because they are immediately used by the body and have no opportunity to be stored.

The healing value

Many diverse cultures, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows, people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine. For thousands of years, coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine. Traditionally coconuts were used to treat a wide variety of health problems including abscesses, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, constipation, earache, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rashes, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, and general weakness. More about the Perfect Health Nut.

  • The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid derivation monolaurin that babies make from mother’s milk.
  • Improves the anti-inflammatory response of the immune systems.
  • Coconut oil inactivates various microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, etc.
  • Consumption of coconut oil increases energy and normalizes blood sugar
  • Improves digestion and bowel function
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant
  • Helps protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative diseases
  • Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin
  • Protects from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun
  • Doesn’t produce harmful after-effects when heated to normal cooking temperature
  • Researched by the American Oil Chemists Society

Coconut oil antidote for memory loss!

DC Correspondent
Kochi, Oct 6

A study has found that medium-chain triglycerides (MGM), the primary type of fat found in coconut oil can boost brain functions of people suffering from disorders as serious as Alzheimer's. According to a report in the latest edition of Indian Coconut Journal a mouthpiece of the Coconut Development Board, a single dose of as little as 40 ml coconut oil can cause an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance in such patients.

Subsequent cognitive tests on the subjects revealed that those who took the MCTs had improved their performance. The research was also sparked by the five-year efforts of US-based Dr. Mary Newport, who claimed that she began seeing improvements in her husband's Alzheimer's after she started giving him four teaspoons of coconut oil per day. According to some scientists, coconut oil is a source of food that the body can easily convert into ketones, identified as a possible alternative to glucose as brain fuel.

Their explanation is rooted in the unique metabolic needs of the brain and in the configuration of MCTs themselves. Whereas the primary fuel source for the energy-hungry brain is glucose, when insulin resistance and suboptimal metabolism (hypometabolism) develops in the brain, both the brain's structure and function are compromised.

Estimated amounts of cholesterol in vegetable oils and animal fats

Oil/Fat Coconut Palm Kernel Sunflower Palm Soy Cottonseed Rapeseed Corn Beef Tallow Butter Lard
Range (parts per million) 5-24 9-40 8-44 13-19 20-35 28-108 25-80 18-95 800-1400 2200-4100 3000-4000