Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil in Capsules, Pills or Tablets: Is it Best as a Supplement?

Why Are People Taking Coconut Oil in Capsules and Pills?

People are taking Coconut Oil in Capsules or Pill form because it’s practical. In cases where you are traveling, out and about, or at work and don’t have access to a jar of coconut oil you can simply take a few capsules. Can you imagine carrying a jar of coconut oil with you everywhere? Me either. It might take more capsules to reach the required dosage but they are just much easier to carry around. It might sound weird, but people are even putting coconut oil in their coffee these days, so it’s not that odd at all!

Coconut oil is made from the flesh of the coconut, also known as the kernel. When the kernel is dried, it is known as copra. A heated hydraulic press is used to extract the oil from the copra. Before coconut oil capsules were widely available, people would consume it in liquid form — straight off a spoon or blended into a hot beverage — if they wanted to experience its many health benefits.

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Most of coconut’s oils — about 62 percent — are composed of caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid, which are all healthy. Of all the fat in coconut oil, 91 percent is healthy saturated fat. Unlike other fats that take longer to digest, but the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) found in coconut oil make it easier for the body to convert to fuel.

In contrast to plant-based oils that have long-chain fatty acids, MCFAs have the following benefits:

  • Easy to digest
  • Not stored as fat
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • More easily permeable by cells, providing an immediate source of energy

Liquid vs. Capsule/Pill Forms

Coconut oil is naturally in liquid form at temperatures over 76° F. Below that temperature, it turns solid. The state it’s in has no effect on its benefits. Furthermore, if sold in capsule or pill form, it doesn’t matter whether the coconut oil is in a liquid or solid state within the capsule.

Benefits of Coconut Oil Capsules and Pills

Taking coconut oil in capsule or pill form is more convenient than taking it in liquid form, considering the fact that it travels better. Both forms provide a variety of health benefits, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Science Direct and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrient database, including the benefits mentioned here.

Cancer: There are two cancer-fighting components of coconut oil: its MFCAs and the ketones it produces.

  • MCFAs — In studies where cancer was chemically induced, coconut oil prevented it from further developing due to the MCFAs that kill helicobacter pylori bacteria — bacteria associated with an increased stomach cancer risk.
  • Ketones produced through coconut oil digestion — Because tumor cells can’t use the energy in ketones, they can’t grow.

Immune Booster: Overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses in the body causes many types of diseases. The lauric acid in coconut oil has been known to fight bacteria and viruses. By replacing sugar and grains with coconut oil when sick, you can prevent bacteria that’s normally fueled by sugar from growing. Experts recommend one tablespoon in liquid form three times per day when sick, however this can increase or decrease with body weight, as mentioned at the end of this article. If taking capsules, you’d  need to consume a staggering 15 capsules (1000 mg) three times daily for a total of 45 capsules to get the same result.

Brain Function: A 2004 Journal of Neurobiology of Aging study discovered that coconut oil had MCFAs that improved memory because they’re more easily absorbed by the body and used by the brain in absence of insulin. Furthermore, the ketones from coconut oil are thought to create an alternate source of energy in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, which can help repair brain function.

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Thyroid: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition posted a study that found that coconut oil increases metabolism in humans. Since increased metabolism releases more energy, and people with hypothyroidism tend to lack energy, coconut oil can give them the boost they need. Furthermore, the capric acid in coconut oil has helped the thyroid function properly in past research.

Cardiovascular Disease: Coconut oil has high levels of natural saturated fats, which both increase levels of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), and lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by converting it into good cholesterol. The result is lower triglyceride levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Kidney Infections and UTIs: According to anecdotal research, the MCFAs in coconut oil have cleared kidney infections and UTIs. The MCFAs disrupt the bacteria’s lipid coating, thus killing it and acting as a natural antibiotic.

Reduces Inflammation and Improves Arthritis: A study conducted in India found that, due to its antioxidants, virgin coconut oil was more effective in treating arthritis and reducing inflammation than popular medications.

Energy: The MCFAs in coconut oil are quickly converted into energy because they’re sent directly to the liver. Many athletes use coconut oil before races.

Digestion: According to anecdotal evidence, coconut oil improves digestion by helping the body absorb vitamins that are fat-soluble. In fact, consuming coconut oil during a meal that contains omega-3 fatty acids can make the fatty acids twice as effective.

Pancreatitis and Gallbladder Disease: Consumption of coconut oil is thought to ease the strain on the pancreas because it doesn’t require pancreatic enzymes to break it down. Because it is so easily digestible, it has also improved symptoms of patients with gallbladder disease.

Skin: Coconut oil has the potential to treat a variety of skin disorders, as its fatty acids reduce inflammation. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that have been known to combat the imbalance of fungal sources and candida responsible for a variety of skin conditions. It is also commonly used as a facial cleanser, sunscreen and moisturizer.

Gum Disease: Using a method called oil pulling, people have been using coconut oil for hundreds of years in an effort to kill bacteria and fight periodontal disease. Its high concentration of MCFAs, which are antibacterial, make coconut oil good for oil pulling, a practice that involves swishing the oil in the mouth for about 20 minutes.

Osteoporosis: The antioxidants in coconut oil make it an effective treatment method for osteoporosis because the two main contributors to the disease are free radicals and oxidative stress. According to research published by NCBI, coconut oil also increases the absorption of calcium by the gut, which, as a result, increases bone structure and decreases bone loss.

Diabetes: Type I2 diabetes often follows insulin resistance. Since coconut oils MCFAs support insulin reactions, they help the pancreas do its job, thus providing the body with an energy source that is constant and not reliant upon glucose. As a result, coconut oil has been found to prevent Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, according to a 2008 study published by NCBI.

Weight Loss: In 1985, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that a capric acid injection in male rats made them eat less and, as a result, lost weight. Research is ongoing, but it is thought that coconut oil can help the body use its energy reserves effectively while boosting the breakdown of useless fat reserves thanks to its capric acid content.

Hair and Scalp: The fatty acids present in coconut oil have been known to reduce dandruff and moisturize dry hair.

Yeast Infections and Candida: According to a Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study, the lauric and capric acid in coconut oil make it an effective treatment for yeast infections and candida.

Anti-Aging: A study published in Food and Function, a medical journal, found that coconut oil can slow aging by boosting antioxidant levels. It also reduces stress on the liver, which, in turn, lowers oxidative stress.

Hormonal Balance: Since coconut oil is a good source of saturated fat, it can also help balance hormones. According to a study of pre-menopausal women in the Philippines, published by NCBI, coconut oil has positive effects on estrogen levels and can help with symptoms of menopause.

Coconut Oil Capsules Dosage

Coconut oil capsules are sold in different sizes, however 1000 mg (1 gram) is common. If you simply want to experience the benefits that coconut oil can provide, a few coconut oil capsules daily works as a good supplement. However, if you are interested in taking coconut oil to lose weight, it is best to take it in liquid form, since you need to consume a significant amount of it in your diet.

To take coconut oil for weight loss, experts recommend consuming it about 20 minutes before a meal to suppress the appetite.

Coconut Oil Capsules Side Effects, Safety, Dangers and Warnings

When introducing coconut oil to your diet, it is best to do it gradually, since it can cause gastric distress or diarrhea at first. Those introducing coconut oil to their diets are recommended by experts to start by taking it in capsule or pill form since it allows for smaller dosages. If gastric distress still occurs, herbal bitters can help support digestion until the body’s metabolism and gut balance is improved.

Should I Take Coconut Oil in Liquid Form or Capsules/Pills?

It all depends upon your goals. As mentioned previously, you should take it in liquid form to achieve weight loss benefits, as taking it in capsule or pill form is impractical and expensive for weight loss. However, coconut oil capsules and pills can be a great nutritional supplement for those who are unable to consume it in liquid form and for those who are just beginning to incorporate it into their diets. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle, and consult with your health care provider if you have questions.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28405814
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28589949
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26545671
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892314/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044790/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26946252