medicinal and nutraceutical uses of virgin coconut oil

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Description of the medicinal and nutraceutical uses of virgin coconut oil.


Nutritional and Medicinal Uses of Virgin Coconut Oil

Gemiliano D. Aligui, MD, MPH, PhD

What is Commercial Coconut Oil?

It is the oil mechanically extracted from the kernel (endosperm) of the coconut Copra is the kernel material after separating the shell (endocarp It is an RBD oil (refined, bleached and deodorized) High heat and chemicals may be used to produce this oil

Composition of Coconut Oil

Saturated Fatty Acid Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) Lauric acid (50%)

Composition of Coconut OilCommon name Caproic acid Caprylic acid Capric acid Lauric acid Myristic acid Palmitic acid Stearic acid Oleic acid Linoleic acid others Composition C 6:0 C 8:0 C 10:0 C 12:0 C 14:0 C 16:0 C 18:0 C 18:1 C 18:2 C 18:3 C 24:1 Mean % 0.44 7.05 6.59 50.63 18.10 8.26 3.07 4.65 0.8 0.31

Fatty Acids

Saturated FA

Do not contain double bond

Fatty Acids

Monounsaturated FA

1 double bond

Fatty Acids

Polyunsaturated FA

2 or more double bonds

Physico-chemical value of Saturated & Unsaturated FA

Saturated FA

Straight configurationMore stable Long shelf life

Unsaturated FA

Curved configurationUnstable Need to be hydrogenated to for longer shelf life

Hydrogenation of Fats

Transforms into longer shelf life for MUFA

Straightens the curve configuration High risk fat


Lowers the level of HDL Raises the level of LDL Leads to obesity, diabetes and immunologic problems



Trans Fatty Acids During Pregnancy and After Pregnancy

Effect on the pregnant woman

Increases the risk of pre-eclampsia Displace essential fatty acids needed for brain and nervous tissue development Interferes with growth and development Significantly changes the composition of human milk by displacing the essential fatty acids

Effect on the fetus Effect on the newborn

Effect on the mothers milk

Importance of Carbon Chain Length in Fatty Acids

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Contain 6 12 carbon atoms Rapidly absorbed

Does not require pancreatic or bile salt digestion prior to absorption Directly taken up by the hepatocytes and directly converted to MC Acyl CoA and enters into the mitrochondria without the aid of carnitine

Does not get stored as fat

Generates heat

Lauric Acid

also known as n-dodecanoic acid and nalkanoic acid is a the main fatty acid in coconut oil with structural formula CH3(CH2)10COOH has a very low toxicity and so is used in many soaps and shampoos and other cosmetic products

What is VCNO?

Mechanically pressed and heated to remove moisture Cold pressed / cold and centrifuged Enzymatic extraction No added chemical on the final product

Nutritional and Medicinal Value

Weak Evidence for weight loss and to increase athletic performance helpful in some cancers and may have some positive effects on immunity.

Nutritional and Medicinal Value

Strong Evidence for nutritional support in enteral and total parenteral nutrition in some infants and surgical patients those who are critically ill with immunosuppression, pulmonary disease, liver disease, neurologic injury and various malabsorption syndromes useful in some with epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures.

Dermatologic/ Cosmetic Use


Emmolients Moisturizer Shampoo Soap Psoriasis Fungal Disease

Base for most cosmetic products

Skin Infections/ Diseases

What are the present problems with the use of VCNO as food supplement?

No standard dose to recommend The definitive effect on cholesterol is still not clear The side effects, such as diarrhea, are still undocumented

What are the present problems with the use of VCNO as medicine?

Lack of controlled clinical trials on specific diseases

Infectious diseases viral or bacterial Diabetes Cancer

Lack of controlled clinical trials on specialized pediatric nutrition

Low birth weight infants/ Pre-term SGA


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