It won’t be wrong if we state that all Nannies and Grannies in this world praise the incredible coconut oil for its miraculous benefits. But little did we know that this boon can be a bane too! Yes! You read it right. But, coconut oil is well known for its various beneficial uses like for nourishing the scalp, moisturizing the skin, enhancing the digestive system, etc. It is considered an ideal oil for cooking too because it is highly stable at room temperature as compared to other cooking oils.
There is no doubt about the extensive array of health benefits provided by this tropical oil, but apart from these advantages, coconut oil also carries various hazardous disadvantages which require special consideration. One cannot neglect these side effects for it has a significant impact on the functioning of the human body.
Side Effects of Coconut Oil
Is it advisable to drink coconut oil?
Drinking coconut oil in a specified quantity is absolutely safe and advisable. It helps in resolving various health issues like improving digestion, enhancing HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels, weight loss, the killing of bacteria, viruses and fungi, etc.
However, heavy consumption of coconut oil is severely detrimental to the heart. It contains more than 90% of saturated fats, which elevates the harmful cholesterol levels and escalates the risk of heart diseases. But it can be used once in a blue moon as a substitute for vegetable oils due to its healthy fats, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It uplifts the good cholesterol levels in the body and enhances the digestive system as well.
Also, if you are diabetic or allergic to coconut oil, it is suitable to ask your medical consultant well in advance before drinking coconut oil. Henceforth, it is okay to consume it occasionally, but it’s over consumption must be avoided.
Types of Coconut Oil
To negotiate the harmful side effects of coconut oil, you must know that there are two types of coconut oil sold in the market namely, virgin coconut oil & commercial coconut oil.
- Virgin Coconut Oil: It is the unalloyed coconut oil, which is not tainted by any means. So, it is the most beneficial form of coconut oil, which does not cause any side effects. Its consumption is advisable and advantageous for the people. Virgin coconut oil is way richer in benefits than inorganic or commercial coconut oil. It gets proliferated in the contents of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, medium chained fatty acids, etc.
- Commercial Coconut Oil: It is the widely used coconut oil in general. Although, it contains various side effects due to adulteration. It is not refined in nature, hence, should be used wisely. Overconsumption of commercial coconut oil causes weight gain and a rise in unhealthy or bad cholesterol in the body along with various other severe health problems.
Harmful Effects of Drinking Coconut Oil that will Surprise You
Coconut oil contains various antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in destroying bacteria and providing immunity to the digestive system. Sometimes, consumption of coconut oil (to fight bacterial infection) leads to certain short-term disadvantages like diarrhea or other similar diseases like indigestion, loose stools, etc.
Bane for oily skin
In case of dry skin, lauric acid of coconut oil helps in fighting the acne-causing bacteria and increasing moisture. But in case of very oily skin, use of coconut oil causes proliferation of acne. It is because coconut oil is exceptionally comedogenic (it can clog pores) which makes acne worse for people with very oily skin.
Raising Bad Cholesterol
Commercial coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fats (palmitic, myristic, and lauric acids) which upheaves the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body and causes various heart diseases like congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest, coronary infarction, etc.
Although, this side effect is not proven and sometimes it is contradictory to various experiments conducted by medical experts. They say that lauric acid is a healthy fatty acid and burns quickly in the body. That is why many people consider it as a fat burner or a useful weight loss tool. Thus, it is desirable to consult your doctor about your cholesterol problem before consuming coconut oil.
Various products manufactured from coconut oil contain fructose. People who are not repellent to the absorption of fructose suffer from problems like indigestion or intestinal issues. Fructans (made of a slight string of fructose) also lead to gastrointestinal problems. Coconut oil itself does not contain fructose, but the products made from coconut oil include fructose.
People who are sensitive to the use of coconut oil often suffer from various allergies due to its consumption, such as nausea, rashes, acne, puking, headache, trouble in breathing, etc. A Boston study reveals that a child is allergic to peanuts is not likely to be allergic to coconut oil (because coconut gets considered as fruit instead of a nut).
Mutilation of Liver
Coconut oil contains medium- chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are conducted to the liver and gets transformed into energy. Various medical experts state that the rate at which these MCFAs get transported to the liver causes specific problems and deteriorates the organ over time. People suffering from liver problems or diabetes should avoid the consumption of coconut oil for good.
High Blood Pressure
The saturated fatty acids get accumulated in the body, causing congestion within the blood vessels. These fatty acids stick to the walls of the arteries, narrowing the flow of blood and resulting in high blood pressures. This torpid flow of blood often causes blood clotting and occlude arteries in the heart, resulting in dreadful cardiac arrest.
In general, Anaphylaxis is a whole-body allergic reaction which can often be life-threatening. People who are highly sensitive or allergic to the consumption of peanuts or hazelnuts are likely to generate a cross sensitivity to coconut oil. It is an infrequent phenomenon.
People using coconut oils for curing yeast infections are likely to suffer from minor headaches (especially if they are undertaking detoxification). It is because the MCFAs in coconut oil releases a rush of fungal toxins into the circulatory system. Refrain from using coconut oil if you are suffering from a migraine or consult your doctor for the same.
Although coconut oil is beneficial for children, certain points must be taken care of before consuming it. One of the most significant facets of it is malfunctioning thyroid. In case your child is suffering from hypothyroidism, abstain from the use or consumption of coconut oil or similar products before asking your medical consultant. It is because usage of coconut oil might result in worsening of the condition or even developing various allergic reactions in your child. Thus, it should be used judicially in such a scenario.
Usage of coconut oil may lead to die-off symptoms which result due to various toxins released by the dying Candida.
Not reliable as a lubricant
Although, the virgin coconut oil is organic, yet it might contain certain compounds whose effects are still undiscovered. That is why it is not advisable to use coconut oil as a reliable lubricant for the human body.
Also, coconut oil changes the pH of the vagina, which leads to yeast infections. Therefore, one should not rely on coconut oil as a compelling personal lubricant.
A Difficulty with Oil Pulling
If you are not prone to the use of coconut oil, you should not use it for oil pulling. You can instead use any other reliable oil like sunflower oil or sesame oil instead of coconut oil as they also help in fighting bacterial infections.
What quantity of coconut oil is safe and sufficient for a day?
Coconut oil has an array of fascinating health advantages if used wisely. For an instant, it helps in raising metabolism, reducing hunger and uplifting the level of “good” cholesterol in the body. It also nourishes and flourishes your skin by keeping it moisturized throughout the day. It is also good for nourishing the hair by nitrifying the scalp and thereby reducing hair fall.
According to medical experts, almost 30ml or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day are sufficient to derive its useful health benefits and lubricate the human body. It helps in reducing belly fat, improving digestion and other health advantages. Two tablespoons of coconut oil contain enough amount of healthy fats, which is required to maintain the rate of metabolism in the body. Also, consuming 30ml of coconut oil per day is a decent amount without cutting on other healthy fats in our diets such as nuts and avocados.
Furthermore, if your body is not prone to consuming two tablespoons of coconut oil on a regular basis, then begin slowly and increase gradually to avoid nausea, loose motions, etc. You can start by taking one tablespoon of coconut oil per day for healthy digestion.
Warnings & Precautions to be Taken Care of Before using Coconut Oil
People are recommended to take certain precautions for deriving the health benefits of coconut oil and avoiding its hazardous side effects. These precautions are as follows:
- It is advisable to consume the coconut oil in a small quantity initially to prevent diarrhoea or intestinal distress. Then you can gradually increase the consumption to the amount required. It gives enough time to the body to get used to its use and act accordingly.
- To cure acne (for oily skin), medical experts suggest the use of other skin-friendly effective oils along with coconut oil. It helps in reducing irritability and breakdown of acne in case of very oily skin.
- If you are hypersensitive to the consumption of coconut oil or other compounds like sulfites present in coconut oil, it is advisable to terminate the use of all kinds of coconut from your diet. If the symptoms still do not improve, consult your doctor.
- Although, the use of coconut oil is organic, beneficial and healthy yet it is not prudent to entirely rely on it. It is better to use other efficient oils available in the market along with maintaining a reasonable rate of consumption of coconut oil in general.
- Avoid usage of coconut oil if you are a heart patient as the high amounts of saturated fats contained in the coconut oil increases the risk of heart diseases.
Coconut oil is one of the most demanded commercial oils due to its innumerable uses and fascinating results. After conducting a thorough study regarding the surprising revelations of coconut oil, it could get established that the use of coconut oil is not only a boon but a bane as well. It should be consumed cautiously and wisely to extract its health advantages and quash its disadvantages.
Moreover, people suffering from kidney problems or dehydration must abstain from consuming coconut oil or any products containing its supplements. Also, people should pay proper heed to the amount of consumption, so as not to go over the board. If you use coconut oil after considering all its pros and cons, it will result in a wide array of health benefits.