Definition

Virgin coconut oil is an unrefined oil extracted from coconuts. It has a distinct coconut aroma and is used in baking, cooking, as a supplement, as well as for cosmetic use.

Health considerations

Animal studies have shown virgin coconut oil to act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent, and to suppress fever and pain, reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, promote healthy blood coagulation, and to prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol. It contains high levels of antioxidants compared to other oils. Coconut oil’s saturated fats are of the medium-chain variety, which studies suggest are not associated with the negative cardiovascular effects traditionally associated with saturated fats. See: Medium-chain triglycerides

Keep in mind

Virgin coconut oil has a different health effects profile compared to refined coconut oil. Coconut oil production is more earth-friendly than that of palm oil, however organic fair trade oils minimize the likelihood of child labour exploitation in coconut gathering.

May be found in

Chocolates, non-dairy butter, energy bars, non-dairy ice cream, sold as is, prepared meals, smoothies, non-dairy spreads, coconut butter, coconut products, nut butters

References

Pharmaceutical Biology
e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
Trends in Food Science & Technology
Food Chemistry
Clinical Biochemistry
Chempro
Pubmed

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