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 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 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(1), weight loss, fighting against 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.
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 the overconsumption must be avoided.
Harmful Effects of Coconut Oil Intake that will Push You Into Shock
Coconut oil contains various antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in destroying bacteria and improving the immunity of the digestive system. However, consumption of coconut oil can lead to certain digestive conditions like diarrhea, indigestion, loose stools, etc.
2. A Strict ‘NO’ 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 extreme oily skin, the use of coconut oil causes the development of acne. It is because coconut oil is exceptionally comedogenic (it can clog pores) which makes acne worse for people with oily skin.
3. Bad Cholesterol
Commercial coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fats (palmitic, myristic, and lauric acids) which increases the level of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body and causes various heart diseases like congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest, coronary infarction, etc.
Thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming coconut oil.
The fructose content present in coconut oil-based products can often land people into gastrointestinal problems. This is because the digestive system fails to absorb fructans (made of a slight string of fructose) present in such products. Therefore to avoid such situations it is always advised to check the label of the product before purchasing.
People who are sensitive to the use of coconut oil often suffer from certain allergies that results in other related conditions like nausea, rashes, acne, puking, headache and trouble in breathing.
6. Damage to the Liver
Coconut oil contains medium- chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which helps liver to generate energy. Various medical experts state that the rate at which these MCFAs get transported to the liver can deteriorate the organ over time. Therefore, people suffering from liver problems or diabetes should avoid the consumption of coconut oil for good.
7. High Blood Pressure
The saturated fatty acids present in coconut oil gets accumulated in the body over a period of time, causing congestion and blockages within the blood vessels.
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 also likely to generate a cross sensitivity to coconut oil.
People using coconut oil 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. Stop using coconut oil if you are suffering from a migraine and 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 of the thyroid.
Usage of coconut oil may lead to die-off symptoms which result due to various toxins released by the dying Candida.
12. 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.
13. Difficult for 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 as they fight against bacterial infections more effectively than coconut oil.
What Amount of Coconut Oil Is Safe and Sufficient for a Day?
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(2).
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 coconut oil in a small quantity initially to prevent diarrhea or intestinal distress(3). 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, medical experts suggest the use of other skin-friendly oils like olive oil, shea butter, jojoba oil along with coconut oil. It helps in reducing irritability and breakdown of acne in case of very oily skin.
- If you are hypersensitive to sulfites present in coconut oil, it is advisable to terminate the usage of coconut from your diet completely. If the symptoms do not improve, consult a doctor.
- If you are a heart patient it is advisable to avoid the usage of coconut oil as it contains high amounts of saturated fats that increases the risk of heart diseases.
Though coconut oil is one of the most demanded commercial oils in the market, it can be concluded that the use of coconut oil is not only a boon but can be a bane at times. It should be consumed cautiously and wisely to extract its health advantages and quash its disadvantages.