Coconut oil is a very common product used for food, skin care and natural medicine. It comes from the coconut – that is, the fruit of the coconut palm. The oil is extracted from that nut in order to use it for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Coconut oil can be listed in a product’s ingredients by several different names. These include: cold pressed coconut oil, huile de noix de coco, huile do coco, coco palm, coconut fatty acid, fermented coconut oil, aceite de coco, acide gras de noix de coco, and several others.
There are different types of coconut oil available on today’s market. While some are sold as being virgin coconut oil or extra virgin, these designations are not the same as with olive oil. There is no industry standard for the meaning of those terms. Instead, it is meant to suggest that the product has not been processed such as through bleaching, refinement or deodorizing.
Some products are also labeled as being “cold processed”. This typically refers to the method by which the oil is extracted from the nut without the use of external heat sources. Instead, it uses high pressure which naturally generates heat. That said, the temperature in cold pressing remains controlled so that it won’t rise any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This substance – taken as a solid, liquid or supplement capsule – is used for the treatment of many different conditions such as for weight loss, thyroid conditions, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heart disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cholesterol reduction, Alzheimer’s disease and even chronic fatigue. Some people also believe that it helps to give the immune system a boost. It is also sometimes used topically as a skin moisturizer, particularly in cases of conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and rosacea.
That said, the research linking coconut oil to benefits for these various conditions is spotty at best. The medical community considers the studies conducted for the use of this product for any of the aforementioned medical conditions – including weight loss – to be insufficient. While there is some preliminary and developing research that indicates that the use of 10 mL of this substance, three times per day could help to decrease waist size after using it for between one and six weeks, researchers acknowledge that far more study is needed before that would be considered proven.
Before using this substance for weight loss or other medical purposes, it’s highly recommended that a doctor be consulted.