I began researching coconut oil because of this here study, I wanted to use it as a conditioning oil for the horses dry tails. The oil actually absorbs into the hair rather than coating it like most other oils and petroleum based or silicone based products.... THEN I learn about the amazing health benefits... During World War II, the Japanese military occupied the Philippines and other South Pacific islands, where bloody battles were being fought. The once-plentiful supply of coconut oil was effectively cut off from the United States. Although coconut oil had been popular both as a cooking oil and ingredient in numerous food products, the occupation continued to interrupt the supply for several long years as the war slowly dragged on. Enter good old American ingenuity (in this case, not so good for your health). Manufacturers began to develop alternative sources of cooking oils, and the polyunsaturated oils phase was born. By the time the war was over, there was a lot of money at stake in the promotion of these polyunsaturated vegetable oils. By the end of the 1950’s, public opinion had turned totally against saturated fats like butter (and coconut oil). Saturated fats were blamed for raising cholesterol, and cholesterol was now viewed as the evil enemy, the culprit responsible for the steep rise in heart disease. Butter, eggs and coconut oil were out. The new vegetable oils were in... and erroneously touted as "heart-healthy." Coconut oil continued to be demonized by the vegetable oil industry throughout the ensuing decades. Adding insult to injury, the soybean industry began to condemn the use of tropical oils, particularly coconut oil. And I'm sure you realize the reason why — competition... and millions and millions of dollars. Unfortunately, the tropical oil industry, centered in poorer nations like the Philippines and Indonesia, could not afford to counter the negative propaganda spread by rich American industrial conglomerates. Science and good health took a back seat to profits, as they have on more than one occasion... So, now that you have heard the history behind coconut oil's unfortunate "fall from grace", you should also know today's good news: coconut oil is finally beginning to get the respect it deserves as a smart alternative to other oils. The many benefits of coconut oil are finally reaching the mainstream. Benefits like: Promoting your heart health Promoting weight loss when and if you need it Supporting your immune system health Supporting a healthy metabolism Providing you with an immediate energy source Helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland All fats are not equal. And just so we're clear, the terms "fats" and "oils" are often used interchangeably, but fat is more correctly considered solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid. But what's really important is the structure. The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains. Coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. There are several reasons to explain why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil: LCFAs are difficult for the body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion. LCFAs put more strain on the pancreas, the liver and the entire digestive system. LCFAs are predominantly stored in the body as fat. (That's why most people buy into the myth that fats are automatically "fattening".) LCFAs can be deposited within arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol. On the other hand, however, the MCFAs in coconut oil are more health-promoting, because: MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body. MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns. MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat. MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body's metabolism, leading to weight loss. Coconut Oil Is the Dieter's Best Friend If you live in the United States, you have a 55% chance of being overweight. And, by now, I'm sure you're aware that obesity affects your quality of life and is linked to many health concerns. One of the best benefits of coconut oil lies in its ability to help stimulate your metabolism. Back in the 1940s, farmers found out about this effect by accident when they tried using inexpensive coconut oil to fatten their livestock. It didn't work! Instead, coconut oil made the animals lean, active and hungry. Now, I'm certainly not comparing you to a farm animal... However, many animal and human research studies have demonstrated that replacing LCFAs with MCFAs results in both decreased body weight and reduced fat deposition. So, by changing the fats in your diet from the unsaturated long-chain fatty acids found in vegetable or seed oils to the MCFAs in coconut oil, along with following an exercise plan, you may find yourself gradually losing those unnecessary pounds. The reasons are simple: The long-chain fats nearly always go to fat storage, while the MCFAs are burned for energy Since coconut oil helps to stimulate your metabolism, you may burn more calories each day, helping to accelerate weight loss (and probably your activity and energy level, too) Read more here - http://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/ http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cocgood.html http://www.mnwelldir.org/docs/nutrition/coconut.htm Let’s take a look at the healing properties of coconut oil: Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal (kills yeast too) and antibacterial. It attacks and kills viruses that have a lipid (fatty) coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, the flu, and mononucleosis. It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many, many more bacterial infections. It kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause candida, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more. Coconut oil is called the "low fat" fat. It actually acts like a carbohydrate in that it is quickly broken down in the liver and used as quick energy. It is NOT stored like other fats. It boosts one’s energy and endurance. Many athletes use it blended into their drinks. It also supports thyroid function and increases your metabolism (great if you want to lose weight). Coconut oil improves digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), and amino acids. It improves the body’s use of blood glucose and improves insulin secretion and absorption (great for type II diabetes). In fact, many diabetics (type I and type II) use it to reduce their symptoms. One’s risk of diabetes decreases with regular use of coconuts and coconut oil. And as we already mentioned, cooking with coconut oil does not create any harmful byproducts. Coconut oil helps the body heal and repair faster. It aids and supports immune function, protecting us from a variety of cancers. Coconut oil, contrary to much hubbub, is good for your heart. It keeps our blood platelets from sticking together (and causing dangerous clots). Regular users of coconut oils have a much lower chance of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and strokes. Coconut oil can lower your blood pressure. Coconut oil is a natural antioxidant. It protects the body from free radical damage and prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases. Finally, coconut oil is the best massage oil on the planet. What it does to your skin, you simply have to witness. It forms a barrier against infections, softens and moisturizes your skin, and prevents wrinkling, sagging, and age spots. It promotes healthy hair and complexion, protects from any damaging UV rays.