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Coconut oil

Five powerful ways coconut oil boosts brain function and protects against disease

Sunday, March 10, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: coconut oil, brain function, disease prevention

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(NaturalNews) For thousands of years, the human race has benefited significantly from the consumption of fresh coconut and its many derivatives. Coconut water, coconut flesh, and coconut oil all possess unique nutritional profiles that make them superior healing foods. And coconut oil in particular has gained considerable attention in recent years due to its amazing ability to promote fat loss, boost energy levels, protect against disease, and even cure debilitating brain conditions, among many other important functions.

The health benefits of coconut oil truly are numerous, and there is not a single valid reason not to incorporate this amazing "superfood" into your routine diet. If you are still not convinced, here are five specific ways that coconut oil helps boost brain function and protect against disease:

1) Energy, weight loss in the form of ketones. Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that the body processes differently from most other types of fat. Rather than have to be mixed with bile from the gallbladder in order to digest and assimilate, MCTs are absorbed directly by the liver, which converts them into a substance known as ketones, or ketoacids, that feed the brain and protect against brain atrophy.

Besides helping to boost energy levels naturally, these same ketones are also believed to promote fat loss. And the only time the body produces ketones is when you fast or consume MCTs, which is why coconut oil is uniquely suited to help you naturally achieve your weight loss goals while simultaneously boosting energy levels. It is a win-win situation for those who are overweight or obese, and few foods besides coconut oil provide this dual benefit.

2) Saturated fat for healthy brain function. As it turns out, these same saturated fats are also necessary for proper brain function. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats from coconut and other sources are not unhealthy, but are in fact needed by the body to prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Pediatrician and caregiver Dr. Mary Newport, M.D., knows first-hand how important saturated fats are for healthy brain function, having published a study in 2008 documenting her successes in treating her husband's brain degeneration with coconut oil.

"Our cells can use ketone bodies as an alternative fuel when glucose is not available," explains Dr. Newport in her groundbreaking paper. "Brain cells, specifically neurons, are very limited, more limited than other cells, in what kinds of fuel they can use to function and to stay alive. Normally, they require glucose (sugar), but they can also use ketone bodies."

"It is urgent that funding become available to move forward for the sake of the millions who currently suffer, and will in the future suffer, from Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Type I and Type II diabetes, as well as any number of other conditions that involve a defect in transport of glucose into neurons and other cells." (http://www.coconutketones.com/whatifcure.pdf)

3) Protection against high cholesterol, heart disease. Another unique characteristic of coconut oil is the way it tends to increase HDL cholesterol levels, also commonly known as "good" cholesterol, while lowering LDL cholesterol levels, or "bad" cholesterol. In general, high consumption of coconut oil is linked to healthy cholesterol levels and lower rates of heart disease, which is the leading cause of early death in America today. (http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10132.htm)

4) Antioxidants for protection against cancer. A 2006 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that regular consumption of virgin coconut oil can significantly increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes inside the body. This study and others have identified polyphenol compounds present in coconut oil as the likely active ingredient responsible for this action, which renders coconut oil as a powerful anti-cancer food.

"It is well established that dietary coconut oil reduces our need for vitamin E, but I think its antioxidant role is more general than that, and that it has both direct and indirect antioxidant activities," says Dr. Ray Peat, a biochemist with extensive knowledge on the antioxidant benefits of coconut oil.

5) Defense against bacterial, viral infections. The only other natural source of lauric acid besides breast milk, coconut oil possesses a unique ability to treat all sorts of infections stemming from bacterial, viral, and even fungal sources. Coconut oil is also a powerful immune booster, aiding the body in natural regeneration and healing from a variety of ailments without the need for drugs or surgery.

"Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is converted into monolaurin for treating Candida albicans, fungal infections, athlete's food and also bacterial infections such as measles, influenza and hepatitis C," explains a recent article published in The Poughkeepsie Journal. "[C]oconut oil protects against cancer and HIV, kills bacteria and parasites such as tapeworm, eases acid reflux, aids in regular bowel function, lowers the risk of hemorrhoid episodes, heals and relieves intestinal symptoms, soothes earaches, and protects against liver degeneration."

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