Dr Mercola continues to discuss the benefits of coconut oil compared to other fats.
...the terms 'fats' and 'oils' are often used interchangeably. But fat is more correctly considered solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid. But what's really important is the structure.
The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains.
Coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. There are several reasons to explain why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil.
Long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs)…
- Are difficult for the body to break down – They must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
- Put more strain on the pancreas, the liver, and the entire digestive system. They can be deposited within arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
- Are predominantly stored in your body as fat. (That's why most people mistakenly buy into the myth that fats are automatically 'fattening'.)
On the other hand, the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil are more health-promoting.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are…
- Smaller and they permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- Easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
- Sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
Plus, the MCFAs like those found in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, can actually help stimulate your body's metabolism… helping you to better keep off the pounds.
You may recall how I mentioned that coconut oil has a super-special ingredient called lauric acid. And this medium-chain fatty acid is…
- Unique and scarcely found in nature…
- Considered to be a 'miracle ingredient' because of its unique health-promoting properties…
- The same compound found in mother's milk that helps babies fight off free radicals…
- Transformed into a substance called, monolaurin, the actual compound responsible for helping to support your immune system
Scientist really put lauric acid to the test with volumes of research on immune system function. What researchers found was that this medium-chain fatty acid derivative actually disrupts the lipid (or fatty) membranes of the offending organisms.
The lauric acid in coconut oil is one effortless way to help support your immune system.