Why are People Putting Coconut Oil In Coffee?
Coconut oil in coffee refers to adding an edible cooking oil extracted from the fruiting bodies of mature coconuts to coffee. Given its high content of satured fats, coconut oil is slow to oxidize and can thus last up to six months without spoiling at room temperature. This product has been applied to a wide array of health-related uses, from nourishing the hair and skin to ameliorating digestive issues and, of course, providing stable fats for cooking at high temperatures. Though high quantities of saturated fats are inadvisable for human consumption, the fats that comprise coconut oil are somewhat unique in that they are heavily composed of medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. Some studies have indicated that MCTs are metabolized differently than longer-chain saturated fats that are typically found in vegetable oils, dairy products, and fatty meats, which contribute to cardiovascular diseases such as high cholesterol. While medium-chain triglycerides raise “bad” LDL cholesterol, in appropriate doses they can also elevate “good” HDL cholesterol, and in some circumstances convert LDL cholesterol into HDL.
These are our favorite Coconut Oils and MCT Oils to add to your coffee
In recent decades, there has been some attention pointed towards coconut oil as a protective agent for the organs, a weight loss aid, a hormonal balancer, and an anti-inflammatory product. However, instead of (or in some cases in addition to) consuming coconut oil via home cooking, many are opting to blend coconut oil with a cup of coffee in an effort to benefit from the energizing, pro-metabolic, and immunomodulatory effects the two products are reputed to have when blended together. There is also a hypothesis circulating among nutritionists that coconut oil and coffee might yield improved cognitive function, based on a study that indicated that MCTs may ameliorate the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Further, a tablespoon of coconut oil is said to smooth and mellow out the naturally acidic taste of coffee grounds.
Coconut Oil in Coffee Benefits and Uses
There are no studies dedicated to Coconut Oil and its weight loss benefits but there is a significant amount of MCT-related research. There is evidence that enducing thermogenis through diet, reduced food intake and the consumption of MCT might promote weigh loss. This indicates there there is a possibility coconut oil might help with weight loss as well. Although evidence suggests that MCT oil might promote weight loss, and coconut oil has MCT in it, they are not exactly the same. Coconut oil contains much more Lauric acid (47.7% of the fat) but MCT oil has no lauric acid. In terms of weight loss, MCT oil is probably better, but if you cant afford it Coconut oil is something to experiment with. If you do try MCT oil the dosage is at least 3g, which is considerably high. I’d hypothesize that the dosage of Coconut oil would be even higher than that. It’s obvious that additional studies and more importantly human trials are needed for Coconut oil and MCT oil and its weight loss effects.
Caffeine has a widespread reputation as an ergogenic aid, or a performance-enhancing or energizing agent. There is also some evidence to indicate that caffeine supports the metabolism, in particular fat metabolism, though it is unclear if performance improvement as a result of ingesting caffeinated products is from enhanced fat oxidation or an alternative mechanism. In terms of coconut oil, studies directly assessing its impact on cholesterol metabolism and fat oxidation are limited and mostly restricted to laboratory animals. The theory that coconut oil may indeed support metabolic improvement in humans stems primarily from research related to the physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which the oil is heavily composed of. A literature review published by The Journal of Nutrition confirmed that edible MCTs induce less body weight gain and smaller fat deposits in both humans and animals in comparison to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Though the exact mechanisms are not well-understood, it is likely that MCT consumption in substitution of LCTs increases human energy metabolism and satiety. Based on this information, it has been hypothesized by advocates of coconut oil and coffee that the two products combined might provide a significant metabolic boost. However, no studies directly investigating this contention have been conducted to date. While coconut oil has been touted as “the fat burning fat,” it is still a saturated fat and meaningful weight loss is unlikely to be achieved simply by adding coconut oil to the diet. However, alongside lifestyle and dietary changes, replacing LCT-rich saturated fats with MCT-rich saturated fats like coconut oil may aid marginally in metabolic improvement and weight loss.
In a 1991 study published by the journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, researchers with the American Heart Association observed the mechanisms by which diets containing various fats, including coconut oil, affected high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apoporotein (apo) A-I levels, apo A-I kinetics, and hepatic apo A-I mRNA concentrations in cebus monkeys. They found that diets containing coconut oil increased HDL apo A-I metabolism in comparison to corn-fed animals. In a later 1998 study published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers studied alterations in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in laboratory rats fed a diet rich in coconut oil. They found that rats fed a diet high in coconut oil underwent numerous adaptive changes in carbohydrate metabolism. However, they also observed some negative effects, such as an overall increase in liver weight due to hypercholesterolemia.
In humans, there is some evidence to indicate that coconut oil increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas. A very early (1954) study from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland supports this idea. Researchers found that coconut oil has the capacity to interact with lipoproteins to form a lipide-protein complex, which can in turn act as an enzyme that supports normalized fat metabolism and transport in the pancreas.
Research directly addressing coconut oil’s energy balance is largely restricted to animal studies as well. In a study published by the journal of Animal Feed Science and Technology, researchers fed growing lambs hay and concentrates either with or without coconut oil. They found that the efficiencies of metabolizable energy utilization in lambs fed the control diet tended to be marginally lower than the animals fed coconut oil. However, a human study of MCTs vs. LCTs (in general, not specifically related to coconut oil) published by the International Journal of Obesity did find that long-term consumption of MCT enhanced fat oxidation and energy expenditure in obese women in comparison to overweight women who engaged in LCT consumption instead. However, the difference in weight and body composition was not statistically differentiated. It was hypothesized then that consuming MCT fats like coconut oil in replacement of LCT fats might help prevent long-term weight gain, while not significantly reducing weight.
In a study published by the Journal of Dairy Science, researchers at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa examined the impact of coconut oil in the immune function of growing calves. They found that there were no major changes in the function of mononuclear leukocyte populations in calves, though this may have been a result of the immaturity of the young animals’ immune systems. Still there is presently no existing research to support the idea that coconut oil has a beneficial effect on the human immune system. However, it is worth noting that coconut oil is partly composed of lauric acid, which contains antimicrobial properties and can be utilized in various forms to treat viral infections. Further, there is some evidence to indicate that caffeine is largely anti-inflammatory in composition and may have immunomodulatory effects via the metabolite paraxanthine, which is known to at least partially suppress lymphocytosis (excess numbers of white blood cells that can contribute to leukemia).
There is some evidence that points to coconut oil as having potential as an additional treatment against age-related cognitive impairment. In a study examining coconut oil MCTs and their possible neuronal impact in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia, researchers at various universities throughout Spain alongside Hospital Universitario Morales Meseguer observed a statistically significant increase in the cognitive performance of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals who were administered 40 milliliters per day of extra virgin coconut oil, particularly female patients, performed statistically better on several cognitive examinations. The researchers recommended further testing, taking into consideration degrees of dementia and biological sex.
Further, researchers at the University of California San Diego found that cognitive function (assessed via twelve standardized tests) was improved in women aged eighty or older who engaged in moderate lifetime coffee intake. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition yielded similar results with the opposite sex, finding that coffee consumption was inversely associated with cognitive decline in elderly European men. The aforementioned study was conducted over a period of ten years.
As a result of these data, the hypothesis is that coconut oil and coffee collectively have the potential to improve mental function, particularly in relationship to age-related cognitive decline.
Coconut oil in Coffee Side Effects
Researchers at the American Heart Association have long asserted that the primary dietary cause of high cholesterol in the Western world is the consumption of too much saturated fat. Though coconut oil possesses compositional properties that set it apart from other fatty oils and make it more easily metabolized, it still qualifies as a saturated fat. Therefore over-consumption is liable to result in cholesterol increase, which can cause reduced blood flow, stroke, angina, and/or heart attack.
Coconut oil is believed to have some antiviral and antibacterial properties, which are beneficial but if taken in excess the oil has been known to cause intestinal distress. Diarrhea is the most commonly cited side effect. There is also the potential of allergic reaction to coconut oil, though coconut and coconut oil allergies are considered fairly rare.
Coffee is known to have several beneficial capabilities, including the ability to combat Parkinson’s disease, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and gallstones. However, it can also cause insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting, and irregular heartbeat if ingested in excess. Drinking unfiltered coffee also has the potential to raise LDL cholesterol, so it is important to be mindful of this when blending coffee with coconut oil. It is inadvisable to drink five or more cups of coffee daily.
Not a fan of Coconut Oil in Coffee? Maybe you’ll be interested in Mushroom Coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much coconut oil should I add to coffee?
Typically, consumers will simply brew a cup of coffee with water as usual, pour the beverage into a blender and add a tablespoon of coconut oil into the mix.
Should I add MCT oil with coconut oil to Coffee?
Coconut oil contains several strains of medium-chain triglycerides, not all of which are conducive to metabolic efficiency and/or fat loss. Among these triglycerides are caproic acid, caprylic acid (valuable for its antimicrobial properties), capric acid, and lauric acid (also valuable for its antimicrobial properties, but possibly detrimental given its propensity to raise cholesterol and liver fat). If pure, caprylic and capric acids are the most bioactive MCTs, but they typically only comprise 6-9% of the coconut oil product. For this reason some coffee drinkers have opted to either blend pure MCT oil in with coconut oil or substitute the product altogether. MCT oils are considered safe for consumption (if acquired from a clean, legitimate, honest source), but ingesting too much too quickly can upset the stomach.
Do I need a blender to add coconut oil to coffee?
It is possible to mix coconut oil with coffee without a blender, but the resulting product will likely have a film of oil coating the top of the beverage.
What is the best kind of coconut oil to use in coffee?
Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil is the most preferable type. Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the meat or the milk of the fruit, whereas refined coconut oil is heavily chemically processed.
Will adding coconut oil to coffee increase cholesterol?
Coconut oil is classified as a saturated fat. There is some contention among researchers regarding its function in producing and managing cholesterol. While it is primarily composed of medium-chain triglycerides, which are known to raise HDL (good) cholesterol, as opposed to long-chain triglycerides, which are known to raise LDL (or bad) cholesterol, if consumed in excess MCTs can still raise overall cholesterol. There have been some physician reports of dramatically elevated hypercholesterolemia in patients who replaced breakfast or other meals with coffee and coconut oil/MCT oil daily. Further, coconut oil is also very high in calories. However, the product is considered a safer saturated fat when compared to its LCT-laden counterparts.