Coconut Oil Enhances Weight Loss and Lowers Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health, including fat loss, better brain function and many other remarkable benefits.Virgin coconut oil possess antioxidant property because of its high contents of vitamin E and polyphenols. Virgin coconut oil, which may be produced from fresh coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut milk residue, is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (TGs) and lauric acid. The lauric acid is the most predominant medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil, conferring to it antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, coconut oil is easily absorbed and can be an excellent energy source for physical performance. If your not using coconut oil, your missing out on a ton of health benefits. Here are two studies recently just published that highlite the potent health benefits of extra virgin coconut oil.
Study 1:Coconut oil supplementation and physical exercise improves baroreflex sensitivity and oxidative stress in hypertensive rats
Researchers in Brazil set out to test the hypothesis that a combination of daily coconut oil intake and exercise training would restore baroreflex sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress, resulting in reduction in blood pressure. Their experiments were performed in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Spontaneously hypertensive rat is an animal model of essential (or primary) hypertension, used to study cardiovascular disease. They found that both coconut oil and exercise training were able to reduce weight gain compared to rats that were given saline and were not exposed to the exercise training protocol along the 5 weeks of study.
Either coconut oil supplementation or exercise training was shown to reduce blood pressure. However, only combined coconut oil and exercise training were able to bring the pressure back to normal values. The reduction in blood pressure caused by the combination of coconut oil supplementation and exercise training might be explained by the improvement of the reduced baroreflex sensitivity and by the reduction in oxidative stress in the serum, heart and aorta.
Baroreflex receptors, which tell the brainstem when pressure levels are either too high or too low. Looking at this reflex, the research team was able to discern the impact coconut oil and exercise were having on the rats’ health, both individually and when applied together. When the researchers measured the baroreflex sensitivity before and after the five-week period, the rats that had experienced both lifestyle changes showed a similar reduction in baroreflex sensitivity. In other words, their bodies weren’t responding to external fluctuations as frequently as the sedentary rats. They were able to maintain homeostasis to a greater degree. This means for those people that are exercising and using coconut oil have a synergistic health impact of better weight control and lowering blood pressure.
Study 2: Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo.
A recent study conducted in Malaysia looked at the effects of consuming high-antioxidant virgin coconut oil on mental health. A previous study demonstrated the potential of a medium-chain fatty acid-containing dietary oil, which was found to be effective as an antidepressant in the forced swim test.
Researchers evaluated the anti-stress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in mice with stress-induced injuries. The researchers performed several stress tests on groups of mice. Control groups included untreated mice and mice not subjected to stress, and virgin coconut oil was compared to a commonly prescribed psychiatric drug, Diazepam. It was previously reported that virgin coconut oil is rich in polyphenols and these antioxidants may contribute to the increased levels of antioxidant enzymes in the brain, which subsequently reduce lipid damage and inflammation in virgin coconut oil-treated mice.Restoration of antioxidant levels in the brain may help prevent further neuronal damage and avoid subsequent depletion of monoamines, including dopamine which can reduce depression and stress levels.
In conclusion, the present study demonstrated the potential of virgin coconut oil in preventing exercise- and chronic cold restraint stress-induced damage and restoring the antioxidant balance. This promising antistress activity may be attributed to the polyphenols and medium-chain fatty acids present in virgin coconut oil. At the end of the study, the rats using the high quality virgin coconut oil rivaled antidepressant drugs Diazepam without the dangerous side effects.
YEAP SK, BEH BK, ALI NM, et al. Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2015;9(1):39-42.
Alves NF, Porpino SK, Monteiro MM, Gomes ER, Braga VA. Coconut oil
supplementation and physical exercise improves baroreflex sensitivity and
oxidative stress in hypertensive rats. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015