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Coconut Oil: From Diet to Therapy

Coconut Oil: From Diet to Therapy

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Coconut Oil: From Diet to Therapy

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320 pagine
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Sep 21, 2017


“Today, people are returning to natural diets in order to live healthier and happier lives—the hallmarks of ‘wellness’—and science has been validating the benefits. One of the natural foods being rediscovered is the coconut. Although vilified as a cause of heart disease, coconut oil has always shown itself to be a healthy and curative oil. Numerous studies using the tools of modern science are finally revealing—and validating—the beneficial effects of coconut oil.”

— From the Prologue

Sep 21, 2017

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Coconut Oil - Conrado S. Dayrit

Coconut Oil: From Diet to Therapy

by Conrado S. Dayrit and Fabian M. Dayrit

Copyright to this digital edition © 2013 by

Conrado S. Dayrit and Fabian M. Dayrit

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owners and the publisher.

Published and exclusively distributed by


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Cover and book design by R. Jordan P. Santos

ISBN 9789712728952 (e-book)

Version 1.0.1

FOREWORD (2005 Edition)

FOREWORD (2013 Edition)



CHAPTER 1 The Hidden Studies on Coconut Oil

CHAPTER 2 A Brief History of the Coconut

CHAPTER 3 Essential Facts about Fats and Oils

CHAPTER 4 Heart Disease in America and the American Diet

CHAPTER 5 Lipids and Cholesterol: A Tutorial

CHAPTER 6 Atherosclerosis: The Silent Disease

CHAPTER 7 Coconut Oil: Dietary Fats, Energy, and Obesity

CHAPTER 8 Coconut Oil and Coronary Heart Disease

CHAPTER 9 Coconut Oil: Nature’s Antimicrobial

CHAPTER 10 Coconut Oil: Cures Inflammatory Dysfunction, Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease

EPILOGUE The Good Fats and the Bad Fats



Foreword (2005 Edition)


Coconut oil is one of the most misunderstood fats. It has been portrayed by some as an artery-clogging saturated fat that causes heart disease, while others hail it as the healthiest oil on earth. Because of greed, misconceptions, and political correctness, coconut oil has not received the recognition it deserves. For years I had believed that it should be avoided because, being primarily a saturated fat, it raises cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease, until I had an experience that changed my view of fats and oils, particularly of coconut oil.

Some years ago, a colleague of mine told me that coconut oil does not cause heart disease and is, in fact, one of the good fats. I was shocked. My friend cited several studies in medical journals that show that, instead of contributing to heart disease, coconut oil actually has the potential to protect against it and help people with a variety of health problems. I was intrigued.

This revelation led me on a journey in search of the truth about coconut oil. What I found was a wealth of information on the benefits of coconut that lay buried in the medical journals and was completely unknown by the general public. I learned that coconut oil is composed predominately of a special group of saturated fats, called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Unlike the long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) that are found in meats and other vegetable oils, these MCFA possess unique properties with important nutritional and medical applications. I learned that coconut oil could help people suffering from a variety of digestive problems, improve nutrient absorption, protect against infections, boost energy and metabolism, and even protect against serious health problems, such as cancer and diabetes. I also learned that, contrary to popular opinion, coconut oil does not have a negative impact on blood cholesterol or promote heart disease. In fact, all the evidence I found indicated that it protects against heart disease.

Many of these studies were published as far back as the 1950s. As the lipid theory of heart disease gained wider acceptance in the 1970s and 1980s, studies on the beneficial uses of coconut oil began to dwindle. Coconut oil, a highly saturated fat, was incorrectly viewed as one of the bad fats and, therefore, of little value. Researchers found it increasingly difficult to find funding for studies on it.

Researchers, however, found a way around this prejudice. Carefully, avoiding the term coconut oil, they instead focused their studies on MCFA, which as we have already mentioned, is mostly what coconut oil is made up of, and is thus virtually another term for the oil. The general ignorance of funding institutions and editors of medical journals about the source of MCFA allowed research to continue and to be published. Over the ensuing years, hundreds of studies were published on MCFA. Many health care professionals who criticized saturated fats unknowingly accepted MCFA as beneficial. Few people ever suspected that these studies were establishing the groundwork for evidence of the beneficial nature of coconut oil.

Meanwhile, as I continued my research, I found a wealth of information on the benefits of both coconut oil and MCFA. The benefits were overwhelming, yet few people outside the research community were aware of them. I felt an obligation to share this knowledge with others. This led me to write the book The Coconut Oil Miracle. It was this book that finally revealed to the public and the medical community in general the connection between MCFA and coconut oil. The evidence by this time in favor of MCFA was so overwhelming that people began to recognize that coconut oil is different from other saturated fats and that it should be correctly considered as one of the good fats, if not the healthiest of all dietary fats.

During my research, I ran across several articles written by Conrado S. Dayrit, MD, a man I learned to admire and respect greatly for his untiring diligence in revealing the true nature of coconut oil. Although he is a cardiologist, Dr. Dayrit was unshaken by the general acceptance of the Diet- Lipid-Heart Disease Theory and campaigned for the use of coconut oil at a time when everyone else was condemning it. In his writings, he skillfully demonstrated that coconut oil is not atherogenic and does not cause heart disease. If anything, it protects against it. He was not afraid to speak what he believed was the truth even if it was not politically correct.

Now for the first time, Dr. Conrado Dayrit’s research is gathered together into one source. In this book, the evidences supporting the use of coconut oil in protecting against heart disease, as well as a variety of other health problems, are presented. He provides details on the physiology and mechanism that characterize the differences between coconut oil and other fats, complete with references to medical studies, which back up every statement. Personal testimonies are also included to add support and demonstrate the practical use of the oil in everyday life.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of MCFA in coconut oil is their ability to protect the body from infectious illnesses. Four decades of research have shown that MCFA possess potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties. Numerous in vitro studies have demonstrated that they are very effective in killing a variety of disease-causing organisms. Now that the connection between MCFA and coconut oil has been made known, the question many ask is: Can coconut oil itself protect against infectious illnesses? Anecdotal evidence says yes. Recent clinical studies also support this view.

One of the organisms that is affected by MCFA is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since the 1980s, in vitro studies have shown the effectiveness of MCFA in killing HIV. Since that time, many HIV-infected individuals have used coconut and coconut oil to successfully reduce their viral load and improve their health. Dr. Conrado Dayrit was the first to demonstrate under controlled clinical conditions that coconut oil could be of benefit to HIV-infected individuals. Dr. Dayrit’s landmark 1998 study established the fact that coconut oil alone could lower the viral load of HIV-infected patients and improve their overall health. This study provided proof that coconut oil does have antiviral properties in vivo and can be used successfully in the treatment of HIV.

Dr. Conrado Dayrit should be congratulated for his perseverance despite years of opposition and for his contributions to our understanding of the healing properties of coconut oil. This book, written from a medical perspective, will help educate the medical community, as well as the public in general, about this remarkable oil.

Foreword (2013 Edition)


When Dr. Fabian Dayrit asked me to write a new foreword to this updated edition of the book, I was excited to read what new information he had gathered and how it would be presented. I was not disappointed. This new edition is very well researched and documented. It provides the health care professional and knowledgeable layman a firm scientific understanding of the differences between coconut oil and other dietary fats. As the authors state, this book has been written to tell the medical practitioners, nutritionists and peoples of Asia in particular, the true story of coconut oil, its numerous health benefits, and why it has been maligned all these years.

The authors explain in detail why coconut oil, which is rich in healthp romoting medium-chain fatty acids, is not harmful to cardiovascular health, but actually protects the heart and arteries from disease. There should no longer be any controversy as to coconut oil’s effect on heart health. Drs. Conrado and Fabian Dayrit have clearly and expertly laid out the facts and dispelled the myths that have distorted the public’s view of coconut oil for the past three decades.

A brief history of the use of coconut oil is also covered, explaining how certain competitive industries were successful in giving the coconut a bad name solely for the sake of profit.

The authors don’t stop there. They address many other important health issues such as exposing the shortcomings of the now outdated, but often repeated, Diet-Lipid-Heart Disease Theory. They expose the errors in previous flawed studies that initially cast doubt on the wisdom of consuming coconut oil. Epidemiological studies are cited to provide further proof of the safety and benefits of coconut oil use. Coconut oil has been used as both food and medicine by numerous populations from around the world for generations with no adverse effects.

Populations that consume coconut as a part of their daily diets have remarkably low rates of coronary heart disease. For example, the Philippines has far lower rates of heart disease than those seen in non-coconut-eating populations. The Bicol region, which consumes the largest amount of coconut in the Philippines, has the lowest incidence of heart disease in the country. Data such as these provide strong evidence that coconut is a health-promoting food, as it has been observed among these populations for generations.

The authors give an overview of basic fatty acid chemistry explaining the differences between saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats as well as identifying important differences between the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil and the long-chain fatty acids more commonly found in our foods. Included is a discussion of the importance of healthy fats, including coconut oil, in our diet and the positive effects of coconut oil on blood cholesterol.

They go on to describe the results and findings of many studies involving coconut oil and medium-chain fatty acids that have lain buried deep in the medical literature and have gone unnoticed by many medical professionals. More recent studies are also cited demonstrating clear health benefits to coconut oil usage. Among the many benefits of coconut oil touched on by the authors are its positive influence on metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and weight loss. Also covered are its impressive antimicrobial effects including its ability to successfully treat HIV-AIDS. Details on Dr. Conrado’s landmark 1998 HIV-AIDS study are included.

This is an extremely well-written and extensively referenced text on the uses and benefits of coconut oil. After reading this book, any open-minded skeptic will become a believer.



The first edition of this book was published in 2005 and has sold more than 10,000 copies. It generated a lot of interest and became a national best seller because it provided the science to explain the benefits of coconut oil. In no small measure, the success of the first edition was due to the credibility of its author, Dr. Conrado S. Dayrit, a renowned cardiologist, pharmacologist and academician (and two-time president) of the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology. That book elevated coconut oil from folk medicine to science. Sadly, Dr. Conrado Dayrit passed away in 2007.

Dr. Conrado Dayrit wrote the first edition of this book primarily for the medical practitioner, but it found an avid audience among the general public that wanted to deepen their understanding regarding coconut oil. Many things have happened since he wrote the first edition in 2005. This revised and updated edition does not aim to replace the first edition. It uses the same basic philosophy and structure of the first edition to argue a very strong case for coconut oil. It will refer to points that were raised in the first edition, but will not repeat them. Recent scientific research has been added to bolster the claims on coconut oil. Like its predecessor, this second edition emphasizes the technical information on coconut oil which hopefully the medical practitioner and thoughtful public will find enlightening and useful. To this end, this book is extensively referenced to scientific journals and authoritative sources. Hopefully this book will spur further interest and research on coconut oil.

My basic training is in chemistry. I have been studying coconut oil and virgin coconut oil from the standpoint of its chemical aspects. As this book will show, the detailed molecular aspects of coconut oil, including the structure of compounds, their biochemistry and metabolism, are at the heart of its beneficial effects.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the many individuals who worked with my father directly and indirectly with ideas and research projects on various aspects of coconut oil. They undoubtedly inspired my father to continue his campaign on coconut oil. Many of their names appear as authors of papers cited in this book, while others were co-travelers. The list includes (in alphabetical order): Dr. Aida Aguinaldo, Prof. Vigen Babayan, Prof. George Blackburn, Dr. Solita Camara-Besa, Emil Carandang, Jose Eleazar, Dr. Mary Enig, Dr. Bruce Fife, Dr. Rodolfo Florentino, Prof. Jon Kabara, Prof. Hans Kaunitz, Dr. Quintin L. Kintanar, Dr. Pilar Lim-Navarro, Dr. Clara Lim-Sylianco, Delia Ontengco, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, Dr. Vermen Verallo-Rowell, and many others who shared his passion for coconut.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions to the completion of this book:

•  Dr. Bruce Fife, for writing the Foreword to the original and second editions of the book, and for reviewing the manuscript and suggesting improvements;

•  My brothers, Dr. Manuel M. Dayrit and Dr. Francis M. Dayrit, for sharing the belief in the many benefits of coconut oil and assisting in the revisions on this manuscript;

•  Dr. Mary Newport, for sharing their personal story regarding the use of VCO for Alzheimer’s disease; and

•  My wife Maricor, for improving the manuscript and for her tireless support and encouragement.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the inspiration of this book: Dr. Conrado S. Dayrit. He led the effort to rediscover coconut oil and wrote the first edition of this book.

I would like to dedicate this second edition to the memory of my late parents, Conrado and Milagros Dayrit.


Modern science and technology have brought us many, many wonderful things. These have improved our lives immeasurably and enabled us to live longer. But modern science and technology have also tended to make us think that the basic things that Nature has provided for us are inferior. It is part of human pride that makes us think that what is modern is always better than what Nature gives us.

Modern science and technology, which we date from the start of the 20th century, was marked with rapid progress, but also by its immature and reckless use. This immaturity can be seen in the Western world’s braggadocio that modernity is always better than what Nature can provide; the recklessness can be seen in the destruction of Nature everywhere.

However, some things changed as we reached the 21st century. People slowly realized that modernity is not always better than Nature. Ironically, it is from modern scientific studies themselves that we have rediscovered Nature’s wisdom. Nowhere is this more true than in health and nutrition where we are rediscovering that many traditional diets are superior to the modern foods that we are eating. That people are living longer is a tribute to sanitation and our successes with infectious disease; unfortunately for many, this longer life is burdened with the modern diseases of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory dysfunctions, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. Are we living longer only to be sick?

Today, people are returning to natural diets in order to live healthier and happier lives—the hallmarks of wellness—and science has been validating the benefits. One of the natural foods being rediscovered is the coconut. Although vilified as a cause of heart disease, coconut oil has always shown itself to be a healthy and curative oil. Numerous studies using the tools of modern science are finally revealing—and validating—the beneficial effects of coconut oil.

A Healthy Dietary Oil

Starting in the 1950s, the avoidance of saturated fat was proclaimed as one of the guidelines for a healthy diet. It was so widely repeated that it was accepted by doctors and nutritionists as one of the paradigms of the modern healthy diet. Today, the limits of this paradigm and the limited data on which this paradigm was formulated have been exposed. While we still do not have all of the answers today, we know that the truth about fats and oils is bigger than the partial models and biases that we were told about coconut oil. As this book will show, coconut oil is a healthy—if not the healthiest—dietary oil.

Functional Food

Coconut oil can be considered as a functional food. This is consistent with the definition of the Nutritionist-Dieticians Association of the Philippines of a functional food as a food that has been traditionally used for curing or preventing diseases.¹ According to the European Community, a functional food is a food that beneficially affects one or more target functions in the body beyond adequate nutritional effects in a way that is relevant to either an improved state of health and well-being and/or reduction of risk of disease. It is consumed as part of a normal food pattern. It is not a pill, a capsule, or any form of dietary supplement. Drugs have narrow therapeutic tolerances. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is well accepted to be nontoxic.

On Scientific Evidence

Hard evidence: Building a hypothesis

There are many types and levels of scientific evidence. This book will cite many research papers to support or refute specific issues. Science is a dynamic search for better evidence and deeper understanding. The current theory only represents the best explanation at the present time. If there are competing theories, all proponents are expected to provide the evidence to refute other positions and strengthen their own. Usually, this requires well-crafted experiments and analysis, and not just argumentation.

You might wonder then: What does it take to get a hypothesis accepted? The short answer is: It depends on the complexity and the significance of the topic.

The complexity of the health effects of coconut oil requires scientific evidence of the following types:

•  Physico-chemical: These experiments investigate physical and chemical phenomena, such as solubility and oxidation reactions. These experiments provide the most basic information and are usually needed before the other experiments are performed.

•  Biological: The experiments can be in vitro or in vivo. In vitro (Latin meaning in glass) experiments refer to test tube-type experiments involving isolated cells, enzymes, pure bacteria growing in a Petri dish, and the like. In vivo (Latin meaning in a living organism) experiments usually involve live whole animals, which are used as models. In both cases, one important question is whether the experimental protocol, such as a culture or an animal, is an accurate model.

•  Medicinal/Clinical study: This applies to studies involving human subjects performed under careful clinical conditions to prove the safety and efficacy of drugs. There are stringent requirements for drugs, which are usually synthetic or semi-synthetic, with high potency, and narrow therapeutic range (that is, its toxicity relative to its effective concentration). The so-called gold standard for drugs involves human trials which are double-blind (sometimes, tripleblind), placebo-controlled, random assignment with cross-over experiments. Unfortunately, it is usually only the pharmaceutical companies that have enough gold to perform such studies.

Less stringent requirements are usually required for medicinal plants and traditional products, as long

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