It seems that more and more people are learning about the health benefits of coconut oil, but few know that coconut oil can be dangerous as well.
Coconut oil is one of the best sources of saturated fats, which raise cholesterol and might increase the risk of heart disease. But some doctors and health specialists are stating the opposite, despite the fact that coconut oil contains more saturated fat than butter, lard or beef tallow.
There are more than 1,500 that demonstrate the usefulness of coconut oil, but there are also some health concerns you should be aware of. While the purest form of coconut oil –virgin coconut oil– does offer some health benefits, commercial coconut oil can cause unwanted side effects. Here are 10 unknown side effects of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is known to relieve constipation and promote regular bowel movements, but sometimes it can be too efficient. This is why, in some cases, the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil can cause diarrhea if you use too much. To prevent this, it’s recommended you gradually increase the amount you use, rather than doing it all at once. People in the Pacific incorporate 10 tbsp. of coconut oil into their diet, but their bodies have adapted to the exotic oil over time. Coconut oil also fights bacteria, but it can sometimes upset the balance in your digestive system and cause this unwanted side effect.
Virgin coconut oil is commonly used to treat acne, but it won’t work for all people. While this natural oil is effective in closing pores and reducing acne, it can sometimes amplify your acne breakout. This is because coconut oil eliminates toxin from the deeper layers of your skin, which in turn worsens your appearance and delays the healing process. Thus, coconut oil should not be used by those with oily skin.
In a study from Harvard Medical School, coconut oil has been shown to be less healthy than other vegetable oils such as olive oil or soybean oil. Despite the fact that coconut oil does improve good cholesterol levels (HDL), it also increases bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and your overall cholesterol level. Coconut oil contains more saturated fats than other types of oils (or even butter), which can lead to an increase in cholesterol and cause more serious problems.
If you’re prone to allergies, coconut oil may not be your ally, as it can cause rashes, hives, eczema, nausea, vomiting, or even anaphylaxis. Since coconut is technically a fruit, not a nut, those with peanut allergies have a lower risk of being allergic to coconut oil. But if you or your child have peanut allergies, talk to your doctor before trying coconut oil. Allergy symptoms also include lightheadedness, facial swelling and an increase in heart rate.
People who have trouble absorbing fructose are likely to experience intestinal distress after using coconut oil. While this oil is fructose-free, products derived from it might contain fructose, so if you’re sensitive to it, consult with your physician before consuming it. Coconut oil also contains sulfites, which can upset your gut balance and cause stomach cramps, diarrhea or flushing.
Might Be Bad for Heart Health
Keeping your cholesterol, weight, blood pressure and blood sugar in check, along with being active and quitting smoking are the best ways to prevent heart disease. And since coconut oil is high in saturated fats, it might harm your heart health. This article from Reuters shows that coconut oil raises bad cholesterol just like other foods that are high in saturated fats, such as beef and butter.
The MCFAs in coconut oil make their way to the liver, where they’re transformed into energy for the body to use. While this process isn’t bad, the speed at which these acids make their way to the liver can damage its health over time and cause health concerns. This is why people with liver disease should avoid coconut oil and foods containing medium-chain fatty acids.
While virgin coconut oil is likely better for you, some products might contain ingredients with unknown effectiveness, so using it as a lubricant may cause unwanted side effects and upset the pH of the vagina, causing yeast infections.
There’s a myth going on that says coconut oil might be good for your thyroid, but that’s not the case, as there’s currently insufficient evidence to back up this claim. Unsaturated oils are known to inhibit thyroid hormone secretion and thus interfere with thyroid function.
If you’re using coconut oil to detox, headaches are one of the most frequent side effects that you can encounter. In those with yeast infections, the MCFAs in coconut oil break down the yeast cells, triggering the release of waves of fungal toxins in the bloodstream.
Coconut Oil Side Effects Conclusion
These are some of the side effects of commercial coconut oil. Having said all this negative stuff about it, coconut oil does have some benefits — but they’re related to using extra virgin coconut oil.
If you apply virgin coconut oil on the skin and hair, its antibacterial properties will protect against cuts, infections, burns, and acne. It improves digestion, protects against kidney and liver diseases, and prevents Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Let’s see what to expect if you use Virgin Coconut Oil.
In one study, virgin coconut oil (VCO), which is extremely high in antioxidants, was found to reduce inflammation and help in the treatment of arthritis with better results than over-the-counter medications. It apparently does this thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
In another study, this time from the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging, scientists revealed that the medium-chain-fatty-acids in coconut oil helped reduce memory problems in older subjects. It supports more efficient brain cells and makes it easier for people to recall things.
Contrary to regular commercial coconut oil, virgin coconut oil can improve digestive health by helping with nutrient absorption. VCO helps the body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and minerals such as calcium or magnesium. If you take it with omega-7 fatty acids, it can make them twice as efficient, increasing their availability. It also promotes healthy gut flora and reduces imbalance and digestion problems such as ulcers.
But virgin coconut oil also has some oral health benefits. This is because this oil has been used for centuries to eliminate oral bacteria and reduce the risk of periodontal disease. It’s apparently good for healthy gums and teeth, helping you take better care of your pearly whites.
Lastly, virgin coconut oil is a great way to improve your appearance. Coconut oil takes care of your long and shining hair, promoting a healthy growth. It can be used by simply applying it on your hair or in a coconut oil hair mask. It’s a great conditioner that nourishes and heals damaged hair, while reducing dandruff.
In terms of skin care, VCO is a very effective moisturizer that works for all skin types with no side effects. It prevents flaky skin, helps treat dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis, and fights infections.