Sunday, November 04, 2018 by: Ralph Flores
(Natural News) Coconut is known in some cultures as the “tree of life,”
and it’s hard to argue against it. People have found a use for every part
of the coconut tree, from the leaves down to its roots. It can be
processed into many forms, from food and medicine to fuel, timber, and
even oil. In a recent study, researchers from the Federal University in
Nigeria suggest that virgin coconut oil, a type of oil derived from
coconut, can improve cholesterol levels, based on animal studies. Their
findings, which appeared in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, showed how
adding virgin coconut oil to a diet can improve cholesterol-related
biomarkers and lipid oxidation.
For the uninitiated, virgin coconut oil is derived from coconuts without
using heat. To get regular coconut oil, it must be extracted from dried
coconut kernels (also known as copra) through milling. Virgin coconut oil,
on the other hand, is obtained from coconut milk, where the oil is
separated from the water using processes such as fermentation and
churning, among others. To ensure that the coconuts are not subjected to
the heat of sunlight during the extraction process, the raw materials are
treated with the utmost care. The meticulous process in making virgin
coconut oil gives it more health benefits compared to regular coconut oil.
It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, medium chain fatty
acids, and even protein. Its antioxidant content, in particular, is higher
than that of regular coconut oil, which has a negligible amount. If that’s
not enough, it can be stored longer than most oils and does not easily go
rancid. However, researchers pointed out that for all its benefits, there
is limited scientific literature validating these advantages.
the study, researchers used an animal model to investigate the effects of
supplementing a diet with virgin coconut oil, especially how it impacts
total cholesterol and antioxidant levels in the liver, overall kidney and
liver function, and cardiovascular risk factors. They used healthy
rats for the study and assigned them to either a control group or an
experimental group treated with different doses of virgin coconut oil. The
tests ran for five weeks. During this time, biomarkers for kidney and
liver function, antioxidant activity, and lipid oxidation were sampled for
findings revealed that rats supplemented with virgin coconut oil had
improved biomarkers for liver and kidney function and antioxidant levels.
In addition, malondialdehyde levels, which indicate the presence of
cell damage from oxidation, were significantly reduced for the group.
Similar trends were seen in biomarkers for total cholesterol,
triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein levels — all of which are
indicators of risk for cardiovascular disease.
addition, high-density lipoprotein, also known as the “good cholesterol,”
markedly went up, as well as the number of antioxidant enzymes present in
the liver, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and
glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Rats supplemented with a VCO diet had
modulated levels of creatinine, sodium (Na+), potassium (K+),
chloride (Cl?), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase
(AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
findings suggest a beneficial effect of VCO [or virgin coconut oil] on
lipid profile, renal status, hepatic antioxidant defense system, and
cardiovascular risk indices in rats,” the researchers concluded in
more about the other benefits you can get from virgin coconut oil at Food.news.