Coconut oil is one of nature’s most abundant sources of medium-chain fatty acids, and these nifty little triglycerides can work wonders for a sluggish metabolism.
If your metabolism has been damaged by dieting or stress, a daily dose of coconut oil is the key to getting it back on the right track. Long-chain fatty acids, like those in polyunsaturated oils, are more difficult for the body to break down and use for energy. Instead, long-chain fatty acids are usually stored as body fat.
Numerous studies have shown that coconut oil clearly has an effect in men and women very analogous to what has been demonstrated in other mammalian animal models: it increases metabolism and decreases overall body fat. For example, healthy men and women were administered either medium chain fatty acids or long chain fatty acids in addition to a diet similar in fat, protein, and carbohydrates for 12 weeks.
Throughout the 12 weeks, individuals that took medium chain fatty acids had significantly less body weight and, specifically, body fat. Studies have also shown that medium chain fatty acids also increase the oxidation of long chain fatty acids that are already in your body, tucked away in your love handles.
Similar to the animal studies, medium chain fatty acids also boost energy production by increasing thermogenesis, which speeds up metabolism in humans as well. In another study, people with high triglyceride levels were given medium chain fatty acids for eight weeks.
In addition to decreasing body fat, their triglyceride levels were lowered by 14.5%. So just a quick refresher for those of you that lost focus:
- Coconut oil is metabolized by a different process than long chain fatty acids altogether, this process expedites use as energy instead of storage.
- Because the body has to preferentially burn the fat off, it ramps up the metabolism by increasing thermogenesis.
- This ramping up of the metabolism then proceeds to not only burn off coconut oil, but long chain fatty acids pre-existing the consumption of coconut oil.
- These effects have been demonstrated both in animal studies, and more importantly, human studies as well.