A Review Of The Coconut Oil Miracle By Bruce Fife, C.n., N.d.


Solid or Not: A Review of The Coconut Oil Miracle
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 by Swanson Vitamins

By Julie Larson

My personal remembrance of coconut oil begins in the late 1980s. I was in junior high and vastly concerned about three things: boys, body image and food. As ignorant as I was in most of what went on in the news, I was an avid movie-goer, as were most of my friends, and we’d heard that (gasp!) the coconut and palm oil in popcorn was making us fat and unhealthy. I remember being happy that they, whoever “they” were, had caught this nefarious oil. I wanted my movie theater popcorn, but I didn’t want to be fat.

Little did I know that the wives of soybean farmers (probably my grandma) were at their farmhouse tables writing letters to government policymakers that would indeed affect my image of what makes something healthy, and of my own health, as I’m an avid user of oils.

The tropical oils debate centered on the fact that they are saturated fats; coconut oil is highly saturated. It “contains as much as 92 percent saturated fat—more than any other oil, including beef fat and lard” (20), says Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle, and the guy who says this saturation is part of the miracle of coconut oil.

Fife aims to re-educate oil eaters everywhere by setting some facts straight on saturated fats, and showing how these fats stack up against the purported healthy fats: polyunsaturated fats found in many vegetable oils. Much of what he says, which is clearly backed up by scientific evidence (in the “references” section in the back of the book, in case you’d like to slog your way through articles from journals like the American Medical News and the Journal of Infectious Diseases). His thorough explanations of how things work are scientific, although with easy enough prose to not be turned off or confused.

Coconut oil contains three medium-chain fatty acids—lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid—in a combination that’s beneficial to human health because they are highly (although not completely) saturated.

Fife argues that “because saturated fats have no double-carbon bonds—the weak links that are easily broken to form free radicals—they are much more stable under a variety of conditions” (30). Alternately, exposure to heat, light or oxygen can damage polyunsaturated oils. Non-saturated oils that have been oxidized, like olive oil, can oxidize the food you add these oils to. The resulting free radicals have been linked to numerous health ills.

That’s not to say Fife has nothing good to say about polyunsaturated fats, but he states that they must be virgin, unrefined and cold-pressed. And they’re simply not as good as coconut oil. The reason coconut oil is superior to other saturated fats, he explains, is that its medium-chain structure does not raise blood cholesterol levels, or promote “blood stickiness” that can lead to blood clots.

Cardiovascular benefits are just one of coconut oil’s health properties. “When coconut oil is eaten, the body transforms its unique fatty acids into powerful antimicrobial powerhouses capable of defeating some of the most notorious disease-causing microorganisms,” says Fife. “The unique properties of coconut oil make it, in essence, a natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal food” (64).

The book is a veritable homage to coconut oil, touting its uses from food to medicine to beauty products. To help get started using coconut oil, it also comes with 50 delicious-looking recipes.

Admittedly, Fife’s combination of scientifically-backed ideas combined with logical advice swayed me. I recommend The Coconut Oil Miracle. You will find plenty of new ways to think about coconut oil, and plenty of new ways to use it. Parents, older folks, or those with immune system issues may especially want to take a look at this book due to coconut oil’s protective benefits.

As the author of nearly 10 books dealing almost exclusively with coconut, The Coconut Oil Miracle is Bruce Fife’s (C.N., N.D.) introductory book on coconut oil. As with most of these take-one-miracle-ingredient-and-change-your-life books, Fife warns that a lifestyle change is necessary to obtain and retain any lasting benefits from coconut oil.

You’re also free to pursue health through one food as much as you want, and the book is a great guide to get started. While the repetition to stress the importance of certain aspects may cause readers to start skimming and miss little bits of new information, the book is overall a great reference for your natural health library, and is a great reminder to educate yourself before you believe the hype.

Conceptualclarity : See the review at its original URL for a number of comments by coconut oil users.
conceptualclarity conceptualclarity
51-55, M
7 Responses Jan 10, 2013

I discovered coconut oil when growing my hair very long. Not only was it a wonderful moisturizer for the hair, but the body as well. The more I read about this, the more I discovered its numerous benefits for overall health. The final clincher for me was as a sun tan oil. It was fantastic; not only did it smell amazing and fresh, but it did act as a mild sun-screen and produced a marvelous tan.
In my book, it's a great "essential" oil. The quotes are meant for emphasis as I haven't found where coconut isn't a solver for any food or bodily health issues.

Just a couple brief comments. Not all Coconut Oil is made equal. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil contains far more of the long chain molecules that provide the benefits of the saturated oil. Additionally, the smoking point, the point at which oils break down, creating free radicals, is very high in coconut oils compared to many others. Thus, coconut oil does not break down at high cooking temperatures. This is in fact the reason coconut oils were used for popping popcorn in movie theaters.

Commercially available coconut oils are pressed from Copra, which is dried coconut meat that is cut from the husk and nut and left in the sun to dry the water from out of the meat. Extra Virgin coconut oil is derived from pressing coconut milk from fresh coconut (First Pressing). This liquid is then heated and stirred to separate the oil from the water-soluble liquids. The down side to Extra Virgin coconut oils is that it has a strong coconut flavor whereas the commercial coconut oil does not. If you do not care for coconut, this can be a serious drawback to its use in cooking. However, Extra Virgin has a good enough taste that eating a raw tablespoon a day as a dietary supplement is not an onerous thing to do.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not generally recommended for most cooking because the oil has a relatively low smoke point. At high temperatures, the oil breaks down and can impart a bad, bitter flavor, and loses much of its positive attributes from a health perspective. If you want to use Extra Virgin in cooking, add it to a sauce after you have added the liquids and reduced the heat, or mix it with an oil that has a higher heat tolerance.

Thanks for that great information. I think those idiots at the left-wing "Center for Science in the Public Interest" forced theaters to move away from coconut oil by whipping up ignorant hysteria in the media.

Yep. I concur. By the way, this was a great article on your part. Thanks for posting it.

Haven't tried that. I use butter from the cow.

conceptualclarity, how are you sir?
I have a question. When you use the oil for the cooking, and it meets up with the hear, does that make the coconut oil loose some of it's nutritional properties?

Doing OK. I'm not well-versed on that, but I would guess that it doesn't lose most of its nutritional properties. It's my understanding that olive oil doesn't, so I suppose coconut oil is probably the same. You might come up with something if you google that question.

Thank you conceptualclarity. I truly appreciate your response. I will google that question as you say and look it up. :)

I bet that I am eating something that could be making me sick as well. I get indigestion every now and again, and maybe it could be the oil for me as well, or maybe I could have an intolerance to some gluten. Whatever I am eating gives me the feeling of something toxic in my body as well.

I use Nature's Way e.v. coconut oil, which is standardized for a higher level of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). I spoon some out and eat it off the spoon during breakfast, and divide it up into chunks on my spinach salad for supper.

1 More Response

Snowlover, I believe that is because your doctors are in thrall to the falsehoods against saturated fat that have been conventional wisdom for decades. Coconut oil raises HDL, which is important for cardiovascular health. When HDL goes up, total cholesterol goes up necessarily, but total cholesterol is an insignificant meaningless statistic.

Please see the video at my story at http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Into-Natural-Health/2179556.

I urge you to read up on the internet on coconut oil and make up your own mind. It is noteworthy that the populations in the other hemisphere that consume a lot of coconut and palm oil have far less cardiovascular problems than Americans. The real culprit in cardiovascular ills is high glycemic foods. And when people eat low fat food they are generally going to be eating higher glycemic food.

Coconut oil boosts metabolism, which aids weight loss.

It's not good for 'the heart if you have had heart surgery. I have had 3 different heart specialist tell me not to touch it with a very firm NO.

You're welcome. I think it's good for adding flavor to my spinach salads. I will be posting a story on the neurological benefits of coconut oil, especially for Alzheimer's.

Completely agree, coconut oil is our staple oil in my household.
Beyond its health benefits it also adds a wonderful flavour to many foods.
Thank you for drawing attention to this wonderful oil.