Cardiovascular disease is recognized as one of the major causes of deaths around the world. In the United States alone, there is an average of 600,000 deaths a year due to heart disease. This is the reason why heart disease prevention is a priority for many people. Research is constantly being done to find ways to reduce the risk – and this includes many studies done with virgin coconut oil (VCO).
The use of coconut oil has been a rising trend over the past decade, with many useful applications being created due to its various health benefits. This is why many people have been making an effort to include coconut oil into their diets to take advantage of these benefits.
Health Benefits of VCO in a Nutshell
There many benefits to including coconut oil in a person’s diet, as evidenced by statistics showing a lower number of heart disease cases in Asia and the Pacific region where coconuts are more common. Here are just some of the many benefits that are associated with VCO:
- Lowers cholesterol – Coconut oil contains a high percentage of lauric acid, which lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
- Stimulates metabolism – Coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids that do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats and can be easily converted into energy. This can lead to increased metabolism and can even help with weight loss as a result.
- Good for the skin – Certain products that make use of coconut oil can form a protective anti-bacterial layer that can help fight against infection, as well as repair damaged or bruised skin tissue.
- Improves brain functions – There have been studies that show that inclusion of coconut oil in a person’s diet can increase cognitive functions and can even fight off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Keeps blood sugar levels stable – Compared to regular sugar, consuming coconut oil does not give you an insulin spike, making it much easier to control blood sugar.
And best of all, the benefits of VCO also extend to cardiovascular health.
How VCO Can Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease
It used to be that coconut oil had a bad reputation due to it containing saturated fats. However, a study in the early 2000s contradicted statements that claimed coconut oil causes atherosclerosis and heart disease. The study explained that the use of virgin coconut oil made from wet process had the beneficial effect of lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids as well as low density lipoproteins (LDL).
The study saw uniform results across the board of how coconut oil helped in reducing the oxidation rate of cholesterol, which is known to kick start atherosclerosis. The trace amounts of polyphenol components in the oil aided in preventing this oxidation process.
Another study observed effects of a coconut oil-based diet and how it can lower Lp(a) levels, which is considered a more accurate way to measure how prone a person is to Coronary Heart Disease. The study tested subjects’ Lp(a) levels when consuming a high-saturated fat diet and a lowered-saturated fat diet of both coconut oil. The results showed that both types of diets had their Lp(a) levels lowered with the inclusion of coconut oil.
With these types of studies, the demand for coconut oil has increased over the past years. Seeing the many health benefits that it can give a person, it’s no wonder that many are getting on board it.