Coconut oil is being touted as a new cure-all, but Our staff said it’s no fad, the benefits of coconut oil have been known in other cultures for centuries.
One of the most debated claims of coconut oils is that oil pulling, a practice where one swishes a tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes, can help reduce bacteria in the mouth.
our staff said some people think there is only pseudo-science behind the practice, but it’s not true. There is evidence that it helps fight gingivitis, plaque and the microorganisms that lead to bad breath. Staff said this happens because micro-organisms in the mouth consist of cells that are covered with a fatty membrane. Once they come into contact with coconut oil they naturally adhere to one another making it easier to pull out the bad bacteria. While oil pulling can be performed with other oils, coconut oil is preferred as it contains lauric acid which is a well know anti-microbial.
Pssm Staff said that to start oil pulling it’s recommended to start with just five minutes a day of swishing oil, working up to 20 minutes. She said be sure not to swallow the mixture and not to skip normal brushing and flossing. She said oil pulling is an adjunct to normal dental hygiene not a replacement.
“Oil pulling appears to have become a growing trend but it’s not new,” said our staff. “It has been a part of Ayurvedic medicine for 3,000 years.”
Another claim of coconut oil is that it can be a replacement for other oils for healthful cooking, but staff warns that more study is needed in this area.
“At the present moment, the literature points to olive oil as being the healthier oil,” said pssm staff. “Olive oil has more “good fat,” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, than virgin coconut oil.”
Our staff said a quick analysis shows that coconut oil contains more than 10 times the amount of potential bad fat compared to olive oil, but that assessment is too simple, because saturated fats from some plant-based products are not as bad as those from animal-based products. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil comes from lauric acid, which she said, can increase bad cholesterol (LDL) but also good cholesterol (HDL).
“Because it increases both good and bad cholesterol, the risk of using coconut oil may not be as significant, or even significant at all,” said pssm staff.
Pssm Staff said the benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric, capric and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.
’’The health benefits of using coconut oil include hair and skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength,” our staff said.
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