With its silky smooth texture, nutritional benefits, natural anti-microbial qualities, pleasant aroma, and unique semi-solid state at room temperature, the uses for Onnit Extra Virgin coconut oil are virtually boundless:
Coconut oil contains a high proportion of saturated fats relative to other vegetable oils. However, the lipid composition present in coconut oil promotes a healthy ratio of cholesterol that is associated with a reduced risk in cardiovascular challenges. Furthermore, coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that support its use as an essential component for a healthy diet.
The chemical structure of fatty acids determines how the body breaks down and utilizes the ingested triglycerides[source]. The term "saturated fats" encompasses a wide variety of fatty acids, from vegetable oils to animal fat. Coconut oil predominately contains medium chain triglycerides, most importantly lauric acid and myristic acid, which have known health benefits despite their classification as saturated fats.
A diet high in saturated fats can result in cardiovascular challenges. However the consumption of coconut oil has been shown to promote cardiovascular heath by increasing the ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or commonly know as increasing "good cholesterol." A clinical trial assessing the nutritional intake of coconut oil found an increase in the HDL:LDL ratio without an increase in circulating triglycerides[source]. A second clinical trial examined the effects of integrating coconut oil into the diet of an obese population. In addition to replicating previous findings of increased healthy cholesterol, this study reported that the cohort supplemented with coconut oil achieved a significant reduction in waist circumference[source]. Overall, the current research suggests that the saturated fat content of coconut oil actually promotes healthy cardiovascular function and its use as a replacement for other oils can reduce abdominal fat.
The high concentration of lauric acid and polyphenols in coconut oil has been shown to possess anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil not only has a long history of use as ingestible oil, but also as a topical ointment. Studies show that the biological active compounds present in coconut oil mitigate the acute inflammatory response in the skin that can occur during acne or sun exposure[source]. A double-blinded study compared use of coconut or olive oil to diminish skin dryness and reduce harmful microbes. Coconut oil was most effective in eliminating harmful bacteria and fungi that can contribute to adult dermatitis.
The numerous health benefits associated with coconut oil, particularly to the cardiovascular system, have been directly confirmed through scientific research and support a moderate use of this oil as a source of fat. In addition, the extracted oil can be used as a dietary additive or applied directly to the skin as a natural, anti-microbial agent moisturizer. Overall, the organic virgin coconut oil sold here at Onnit™ Labs serves as a valuable replacement for many cooking oils or skin products.