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Virgin Coconut Oil

An introduction:

For about 3960 years of the of the past 4000 years of the documented historical use of the fruits of the coconut palm as a food and a pharmaceutical, the news has all been good. It was seen as a sustainable resource from which the harvested materials influenced every aspect of the lives of tropical communities, but most importantly its fruit, the coconut flesh, water, milk and oil.

The use of coconut oil around the world in tropical regions is prolific: South and Central America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Micro-, Mele- and Poly-nesia and most of Asia. The uses are so respected that they were documented by Ayurvedic medicine in Sanskrit from 1500BC in all areas relating to the mind, body and spirit. Early European explorers including Captain Cook wrote affectionately about the beauty of communities across the Pacific using coconut oil as an integral part of their daily lives. During WWII the water of the young green coconut was successfully used as a substitute for a saline drip saving the lives of many allied soldiers. After the war, in England coconut oil was sold as "margarine" and in the USA as “coconut butter”.

However, this all changed in 1954. In the social environment of the USA in which coronary heart disease (CHD) was becoming the primary cause of mortality in the adult population, the young researcher David Kritchevsky published two academic papers. The initial research described the effects of feeding cholesterol to rabbits and indicated that this may lead to the formation of blocked arteries and thus contribute to potential heart disease. In his second paper he described the beneficial effects of consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids from the oil of corn, soybeans, safflower and sunflower seeds for the lowering, at least temporarily, of cholesterol in the blood.

Kritchevsky’s theory fueled support for the lipid hypothesis, which argued that saturated fat and cholesterol from animal sources raise cholesterol levels in the blood, leading to possible deposition of cholesterol and fatty acids as pathogenic plaques in the arteries. Although many studies at the time had also shown research to the contrary, the mud stuck and by the mid 60’s the reputation of all saturated oils in America had been destroyed.

The well oiled marketing machinery funded by the soy bean and corn industry and supported by the American Heart Association was committed to change the American Diet, calling among others, for the substitution of saturated fats for polyunsaturates. The Prudent Diet, as it was called, left a legacy which still haunts us today. 40 years on, this conceptual change in the eating habits of Americans has negatively influenced and changed the dietary regimes of societies all around the world that were initially not even affected by America's particular meat, potato and milk diet. So determined was the pursuit of the American industries in converting their claims into magnificent billboards of health and wealth that even small island nations in the South Pacific were converted by this powerful marketing machine to change centuries of dietary traditions of tropical oils to importing polyunsaturated fats. Today heart disease is still on the increase and obesity, linked to the “new” American diet is a major social problem worldwide that has governments worried about the health care cost of future generations. The U.K. and Australia unfortunately, are racing to catch up to their allies with a large percentage of the population defined as overweight.

Critical modern research is starting to show that dietary changes based on the evidence presented by Kritchevsky and company were at the very least premature and at worst placed the health millions of people at risk. However, time will only tell whether the greatest crime of this initiative will have been the bundling of all saturated fats, whether from meat, dairy or vegetable source together under the one label: Deadly Diet.

The travesty of this action was that one of nature’s most amazing resources, tropical oils, and especially coconut oil with all its functional, nutritional and pharmaceutical possibilities, has been lost to modern medicine for decades. Although saturated, coconut oil is structurally, pharmaceutically and behaviorally different to any other natural oil or fat.

However, we have reached a critical time in our history when society is in dire need of a cost efficient, abundant, natural and effective anti bacterial and anti viral remedy. Modern medical research has allowed us to scientifically dispel many of the theories of the recent past and show the complexity of our modern lifestyle and diet. More importantly however, this critical research into coconut oil has pinpointed the one aspect that makes the case for coconut oil to be reaccepted, not only as a legitimate part of our daily diet, but also as a potent natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial remedy of the future.

To read the remainder of this article and to find out more about the structure of fats and oils click on this research page.

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Note:  This website is for information purposes only.  The content is reproduced from previously published sources or from peer reviewed research.  If you have a health concern, we recommend that, in all cases, you first refer to your GP or other qualified health professional to diagnose any health concern that you may have and for guidance as to the appropriate treatment.