A study found in the 2013 issue of Chemotherapy found that lauric acid (coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid) killed over 93% of human colon cancer cells (Caco-2) after 48 hours of treatment. Intriguingly, the lauric acid poisoned the cancer cells by simultaneously unleashing profound oxidative stress while strongly reducing their levels of glutathione (which is exactly what the cancer cells needed to protect themselves from the increased oxidative stress). (1)
Coconut Oil Cancer Treatment?
While we are just now discovering coconut oil’s full anti-cancer potential, its many health benefits have already been well established through medical research. It naturally kills multiple viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. It aids digestion and liver metabolism, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthier skin and faster wound healing when applied topically. It may also be an effective aid for diabetes. It has been shown to raise levels of the beneficial cholesterol HDL in women, improve their LDL: lassHDL ratio, and resulted in superior weight loss and abdominal loss compared to soybean oil.
Coconut oil is now being used in clinical trials for improving cholesterol in patients with chronic heart disease, in fighting Alzheimer’s, and for improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Coconut oil is unique in that it is about 50% lauric acid, a medium-chained triglyceride that is otherwise very hard to find in our diets (palm kernel oil is also about 50% lauric acid). Interestingly, lauric acid makes up about 2% of the fat in cow’s milk but 6% of the fat in human milk, implying that humans may have a naturally higher need for this fatty acid.
These studies don’t necessarily mean coconut is the panacea of cancer. What it means is that nature has provided many natural ways to combat disease. The more research we can do and the more information we can share with others gives us opportunities to possibly find cures and preventive measures using Mother Nature instead of simply putting our faith in the medical communities singular approach to disease.