Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coconut Oil

A couple of months ago, Mom approached me with an article that a friend had forwarded to her.  It was about coconut oil as a treatment and possible cure for Alzheimer's disease.  I read through it, nosed a bit around the internet and responded to Mom.  I had decided at that time to not write it up here.  However, this week has seen the topic come back up repeatedly.  So, against my initial desire to not weigh in, I am.



Advocates of coconut oil are proclaiming that it provides ketones to the brain as an alternative source of fuel if the brain is unable to use its normal fuel of glucose.  Some have stated that it provided miraculous cures for AIDS.  Some of the other disorders supposedly helped by coconut oil include Parkinson's Disease, ALS, Schizophrenia, herpes, autism and epilepsy.  There are claims that it has anti-cancer effects, weight loss benefits and stimulates the thyroid and is even a poison antidote

Can we stop here?  Do I need to continue with more links that sound more and more like someone's selling something?


Yep.  Sounds like snake oil to me.  What studies have been done to prove this?  None that I could find.  However, our friends at the Mayo clinic have weighed in on the impact to thyroids.  Coconut oil does not stimulate the thyroid and is not a panacea for weight loss.   They do list coconut oil as a type of fat to avoid for a healthy heart.  With the proponents advocating you take up to 3 tablespoons a day of pure fat, I think I'll advocate we not kill my sister with heart disease first.

Additional Information Sources:
Snopes: Coconut Oil claims are Undetermined
How Stuff Works: Coconut Oil

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