coconut oil


Medicinal plant used mainly in case of overweight or obesity, as a complementary measure. However, no serious studies have really shown the effectiveness of coconut oil in weight loss. The oil is usually presented in the form of capsules or directly as coconut oil.


Name: coconut oil, coconut oil, coconut tree
Binomial name: Cocos nucifera L. (scientific name of the palm tree)
French name: huile de noix de coco
English name: Coconut oil, coconut butter
German name: Kokosöl
Italian name: olio di cocco
Spanish name: coconut oil


Arecaceae (Palms)


Glycerol and fatty acids such as: lauric acid (saturated medium-chain fat – main component responsible for its effects), myristic acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, capric acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and arachidic acid, vitamin E.

parts used

Oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit. Other parts of the coconut, such as coconut water, have health benefits, but on this page, we’ll only be talking about coconut oil.


Anti-inflammatory (only in acute cases), antinociceptive, antioxidant, abdominal circumference reducer, hepatoprotective (dose-dependent), humectant (external), healing (external). Read more at: interesting observations


Internal use
– Possible effect, but without scientific proof, in case of overweight and obesity (read more in Observations) with an eventual action in the reduction of abdominal fat and stomach ulcers.

External use
– Wounds (help promote healing), hair care, acne (external use, read more in Notes below),  hemorrhoids (apply as an oil directly to hemorrhoids several times a day)

Secundary effects

Coconut oil is a fat, so when consumed in excess it can lead to increased cholesterol and weight gain.


It is not recommended to use reheated coconut oil (read more in notes).

Coconut oil, like any other saturated fat, is contraindicated in cases of hepatic steatosis (liver fat) and people suffering from a slow digestive process.


None known.


– Virgin or refined coconut oil

– Coconut oil used externally, for example as a conditioner or to be applied directly to hemorrhoids several times a day.

– Coconut oil capsules

Where does the coconut grow?

The coconut prefers high temperature places, a lot of solar radiation and a lot of water. It can be found in several countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

When to harvest?

According to our information, the dwarf coconut tree takes 2 years to give the first coconuts, while the giant coconut tree takes about 4 years. For purposes of using its “meat”, the coconut must be harvested 12 to 13 months after pollination.

Interesting Observations

– Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years by people in many Asian countries (eg India, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines…) in cooking and for medicinal purposes. In traditional Malay medicine it is used to treat cases of fever, headache, digestive problems and diarrhea.

– Medical chain saturated fat is easily oxidized and metabolized, not being stored in adipose tissue (responsible for the accumulation of fat in the waist area), unlike long chain saturated fats.

– Compared to other vegetable oils (olive), virgin coconut oil improves liver lipid metabolism, demonstrating a hypolipidemic effect, according to the Indian study published in November 2012 in the Indian journal J Exp Biol .

– A pilot study with 20 obese and healthy adults showed that virgin coconut oil is effective in reducing waist circumference especially in men, however, it did not show an effect on the lipid profile (such as cholesterol). This study was conducted by Kai Ming Liau of Universiti Sains Malaysia and published in 2010 in ISRN Pharmacology journal .

– A study carried out by researchers from Alagoas, compared the consumption of coconut oil with that of soy oil for 12 months in 40 women who were on a low-calorie diet and given guidelines for exercising. There was no difference in weight loss between groups, in the coconut oil group and there was no change in the lipid profile and there was a reduction in abdominal circumference when compared to the soy oil group.

– In 2011, researcher Zakaria from Universiti Sains Malaysia, demonstrated that virgin coconut oil can have a hepatoprotective effect. The study was conducted with animal models and published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine .

– In 2012, the Malaysians published yet another interesting study demonstrating that virgin coconut oil can prevent postmenopausal bone loss, due to its antioxidant effect. This study was conducted by Zil Hayatullina of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and performed with animal models.

– An Indian study published in 2010 in the British Journal of Nutrition, demonstrated the genotoxic and carcinogenic risks to the liver associated with the consumption of reheated coconut oil, which produces compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons like other vegetable oils. The study was carried out with trout, but indicates that it can also be harmful to humans.

– Another Indian study published in 2010 in the journal Skin Pharmacol Physiol , carried out by the University of Kerala, demonstrated in animal models that virgin coconut oil has healing effects when applied topically on wounds.

– Some older studies showed that dietary supplementation with coconut oil was related to an increase in cardiovascular disease and an increase in cholesterol, but many of these studies used hydrolyzed coconut oil in their analysis, which is more difficult to metabolize than virgin oil. Published in Elsevier Science Inc. in 1998, the study conducted by researcher Almudena Gil-Villarino from the University of Granada – Spain demonstrated the hypercholesterolemic effect (increased cholesterol) of dietary supplementation with two different brands of coconut oil in chickens, the effect was superior for one of the brands.

– Coconut oil can be applied in a thin layer in cases of acne , especially after applying a cream or chemical, for example, based on salicylic acid, which tends to dry the skin. Coconut oil (which contains vitamin E ) and lauric acid have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

– In some countries like Brazil, many products based on coconut oil are sold promising a slimming effect. However, no serious scientific studies demonstrate the slimming effect of coconut oil. That is why the Brazilian Association of Nutrology (Abran) ruled in March 2017 on this subject and advised against the use of coconut oil to lose weight.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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