Coconut Oil, The Wonders

1. “Several years ago I met an old couple, who were only a few years apart in age, but the wife looked many years younger than her doddering old husband. She was from the Philippines, and she remarked that she always had to cook two meals at the same time, because her husband couldn’t adapt to her traditional food. Three times every day, she still prepared her food in coconut oil. Her apparent youth increased my interest in the effects of coconut oil.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Coconut Oil

2. “Coconut oil serves several purposes. Its butyric acid is known to increase T3 uptake by glial cells. It has a general pro-thyroid action, for example by diluting and displacing antithyroid unsaturated oils, its short-and medium-chain fatty acids sustain blood sugar and have anti-allergic actions, and it protects mitochondria against stress injury.” Raymond Peat, PhD

3. “The shorter chain fatty acids of coconut oil are more easily oxidized for energy than long chain fatty acids, and their saturation makes them resistant to the random oxidation produced by inflammation, so they don’t support their production of acrolein or age pigment; along with their reported antiinflammatory effect, these properties might be responsible for their beneficial effects that have been seen in Alzheimer’s disease.” Raymond Peat, PhD

4. “The polyunsaturated oils interact closely with serotonin and tryptophan, and the short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have antihistamine and antiserotonin actions. Serotonin liberates free fatty acids from the tissues, especially the polyunsaturated fats, and these in turn liberate serotonin from cells such as the platelets, and liberate tryptophan from serum albumin, increasing its uptake and the formation of serotonin in the brain. Saturated fats don’t liberate serotonin, and some of them, such as capric acid found in coconut oil, relax blood vessels, while linoleic acid constricts blood vessels and promotes hypertension. Stress, exercise, and darkness, increase the release of free fatty acids, and so promote the liberation of tryptophan and formation of serotonin. Increased serum linoleic acid is specifically associated with serotonin-dependent disorders such as migraine.

Coconut oil, because of its saturated fatty acids of varied chain length, and its low linoleic acid content, should be considered as part of a protective diet.” Raymond Peat, PhD

5. “When added to a balanced diet, coconut oil slightly lowers the cholesterol level, which is exactly what is expected when a dietary change raises thyroid function. This same increase in thyroid function and metabolic rate explains why people and animals that regularly eat coconut oil are lean, and remarkably free of heart disease and cancer.
Although I don’t recommend “palm oil” as a food, because I think it is less stable than coconut oil, some studies show that it contains valuable nutrients. For example, it contains antioxidants similar to vitamin E, which lowers both LDL cholesterol and a platelet clotting factor. [B. A. Bradlow, University of Illinois, Chicago; Science News 139, 268, 1991.] Coconut oil and other tropical oils also contain some hormones that are related to pregnenolone or progesterone.” Raymond Peat, PhD

6. “Immunosuppression was observed in patients who were being “nourished” by intravenous emulsions of “essential fatty acids,” and as a result coconut oil is used as the basis for intravenous fat feeding, except in organ-transplant patients. For those patients, emulsions of unsaturated oils are used specifically for their immunosuppressive effects.” Raymond Peat, PhD

7. “I have already discussed the many toxic effects of the unsaturated oils, and I have frequently mentioned that coconut oil doesn’t have those toxic effects, though it does contain a small amount of the unsaturated oils. Many people have asked me to write something on coconut oil. I thought I might write a small book on it, but I realize that there are no suitable channels for distributing such a book–if the seed-oil industry can eliminate major corporate food products that have used coconut oil for a hundred years, they certainly have the power to prevent dealers from selling a book that would affect their market more seriously. For the present, I will just outline some of the virtues of coconut oil.” Raymond Peat, PhD

8. “It is very likely that cancer patients lack carbon dioxide, because tumors produce significant amounts of lactic acid, which tends to displace carbon dioxide. It would be interesting to see whether supplemented carbon dioxide would decrease the cancer’s production of lactic acid. Short-chain fats are very soluble, and are quickly metabolized, so it is likely that coconut oil, which is rich in short and medium-chain fatty acids, will tend to decrease the production of lactic acid.” Raymond Peat, PhD

9. “I think Drost-Hansen’s reasoning suggests that the short-chain fatty acids might also increase the solubility of oxygen in cell water. If this is true, it suggests that coconut oil might have a very important antistress effect, sustaining efficient respiration during demanding situations.” Raymond Peat, PhD

10. “Metchnikof’s model that I have discussed elsewhere might give us a picture of how those factors relate in growth, physiology, and aging.) Unsaturated fats are slightly more water-soluble than fully saturated fats, and so they do have a greater tendency to concentrate at interfaces between water and fats or proteins, but there are relatively few places where these interfaces can be usefully and harmlessly occupied by unsaturated fats, and at a certain point, an excess becomes harmful. We don’t want “membranes” forming where there shouldn’t be membranes. The fluidity or viscosity of cell surfaces is an extremely complex subject, and the degree of viscosity has to be appropriate for the function of the cell. Interestingly, in some cells, such as the cells that line the air sacs of the lungs, cholesterol and one of the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil can increase the fluidity of the cell surface.” Raymond Peat, PhD

11. “Although I had stopped using the unsaturated seed oils years ago, and supposed that I wasn’t heavily saturated with toxic unsaturated fat, when I first used coconut oil I saw an immediate response, that convinced me my metabolism was chronically inhibited by something that was easily alleviated by “dilution” or molecular competition. I had put a tablespoonful of coconut oil on some rice I had for supper, and half an hour later while I was reading, I noticed I was breathing more deeply than normal. I saw that my skin was pink, and I found that my pulse was faster than normal–about 98, I think. After an hour or two, my pulse and breathing returned to normal. Every day for a couple of weeks I noticed the same response while I was digesting a small amount of coconut oil, but gradually it didn’t happen any more, and I increased my daily consumption of the oil to about an ounce. I kept eating the same foods as before (including a quart of ice cream every day), except that I added about 200 or 250 calories per day as coconut oil. Apparently the metabolic surges that happened at first were an indication that my body was compensating for an anti-thyroid substance by producing more thyroid hormone; when the coconut oil relieved the inhibition, I experienced a moment of slight hyperthyroidism, but after a time the inhibitor became less effective, and my body adjusted by producing slightly less thyroid hormone. But over the next few months, I saw that my weight was slowly and consistently decreasing. It had been steady at 185 pounds for 25 years, but over a period of six months it dropped to about 175 pounds. I found that eating more coconut oil lowered my weight another few pounds, and eating less caused it to increase.
The anti-obesity effect of coconut oil is clear in all of the animal studies, and in my friends who eat it regularly. It is now hard to get it in health food stores, since Hain stopped selling it. The Spectrum product looks and feels a little different to me, and I suppose the particular type of tree, region, and method of preparation can account for variations in the consistency and composition of the product. The unmodified natural oil is called “76 degree melt,” since that is its natural melting temperature. One bottle from a health food store was labeled “natural coconut oil, 92% unsaturated oil,” and it had the greasy consistency of old lard. I suspect that someone had confused palm oil (or something worse) with coconut oil, because it should be about 96% saturated fatty acids.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut oil added to the diet can increase the metabolic rate. Small frequent feedings, each combining some carbohydrate and some protein, such as fruit and cheese, often help to keep the metabolic rate higher. Eating raw carrots can prevent the absorption of estrogen from the intestine, allowing the liver to more effectively regulate metabolism. If a person doesn’t lose excess weight on a moderately low calorie diet with adequate protein, it’s clear that the metabolic rate is low. The number of calories burned is a good indicator of the metabolic rate. The amount of water lost by evaporation is another rough indicator: For each liter of water evaporated, about 1000 calories are burned.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut and olive oil are the only vegetable oils that are really safe, but butter and lamb fat, which are highly saturated, are generally very safe (except when the animals have been poisoned). Coconut oil is unique in its ability to prevent weight-gain or cure obesity, by stimulating metabolism. It is quickly metabolized, and functions in some ways as an antioxidant.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Thyroid hormone, palmitic acid, and light activate a crucial respiratory enzyme, suppressing the formation of lactic acid. Palmitic acid occurs in coconut oil, and is formed naturally in animal tissues. Unsaturated oils have the opposite effect.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Therapeutically, even powerful toxins that block the glycolytic enzymes can improve functions in a variety of organic disturbances “associated with” (caused by) excessive production of lactic acid. Unfortunately, the toxin that has become standard treatment for lactic acidosis–dichloroacetic acid–is a carcinogen, and eventually produces liver damage and acidosis. But several nontoxic therapies can do the same things: Palmitate (formed from sugar under the influence of thyroid hormone, and found in coconut oil), vitamin B1, biotin, lipoic acid, carbon dioxide, thyroid, naloxone, acetazolamide, for example. Progesterone, by blocking estrogen’s disruptive effects on the mitochondria, ranks along with thyroid and a diet free of polyunsaturate fats, for importance in mitochondrial maintenance.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut oil is the least fattening of all the oils. Pig farmers tried to use it to fatten their animals, but when it was added to the animal feed, coconut oil made the pigs lean [See Encycl. Brit. Book of the Year, 1946].” Raymond Peat, PhD

“In the 1940s, farmers attempted to use cheap coconut oil for fattening their animals, but they found that it made them lean, active and hungry. For a few years, an antithyroid drug was found to make the livestock get fat while eating less food, but then it was found to be a strong carcinogen, and it also probably produced hypothyroidism in the people who ate the meat. By the late l940s, it was found that the same antithyroid effect, causing animals to get fat without eating much food, could be achieved by using soy beans and corn as feed.
Later, an animal experiment fed diets that were low or high in total fat, and in different groups the fat was provided by pure coconut oil, or a pure unsaturated oil, or by various mixtures of the two oils. At the end of their lives, the animals’ obesity increased directly in proportion to the ratio of unsaturated oil to coconut oil in their diet, and was not related to the total amount of fat they had consumed. That is, animals which ate just a little pure unsaturated oil were fat, and animals which ate a lot of coconut oil were lean.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“An important function of coconut oil is that it supports mitochondrial respiration, increasing energy production that has been blocked by the unsaturated fatty acids. Since the polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit thyroid function at many levels, coconut oil can promote thyroid function simply by reducing those toxic effects. It allows normal mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, without producing the toxic lipid peroxidation that is promoted by unsaturated fats.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The unsaturated oils have been identified as a major factor in skin aging. For example, two groups of rabbits were fed diets containing either corn oil or coconut oil, and their backs were shaved, so sunlight could fall directly onto their skin. The animals that ate corn oil developed prematurely wrinkled skin, while the animals that ate coconut oil didn’t show any harm from the sun exposure. In a study at the University of California, photographs of two groups of people were selected, pairing people of the same age, one who had eaten an unsaturated fat rich diet, the other who had eaten a diet low in unsaturated fats. A panel of judges was asked to sort them by their apparent ages, and the subjects who consumed larger amounts of the unsaturated oils were consistently judged to be older than those who ate less, showing the same age-accelerating effects of the unsaturated oils that were demonstrated by the rabbit experiments.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut oil has been used for generations in ” suntan lotions, ” and whether it is absorbed through the skin or eaten as a food, it clearly has a protective antioxidant function.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut oil is very resistant to radiation damage and, like vitamin E, tends to stop the chain reactions that occur in unsaturated fats. The old formula for suntan oil, coconut oil with iodine, might turn out to be a safe sunscreen, since the brown iodine absorbs light, as other ” U.V. blockers ” do, but iodine is also an effective chain breaker that inactivates free radicals, and it can’t be absorbed into cells in its brown form. It doesn’t have the potential for causing cancer that the popular sunscreens do.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Decrease the use of unsaturated oils in the diet, and use coconut oil as food and also on the skin during exposure to direct sunlight.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The presence of palmitate in the lung surfactant phospholipids suggests that maternal overload with unsaturated fats might interfere with the formation of these important substances, causing breathing problems in the newborn. The bone-calcium mobilizing effect of prostaglandins suggests that dietary fats might affect osteoporosis; the absence of osteoporosis in some tropical populations might relate to their consumption of coconut oil and other saturated tropical oils.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The unsaturated oils in some cooked foods become rancid in just a few hours, even at refrigerator temperatures, and are responsible for the stale taste of left-over foods. (Eating slightly stale food isn’t particularly harmful, since the same oils, even when eaten absolutely fresh, will oxidize at a much higher rate once they are in the body, where they are heated and thoroughly mixed with an abundance of oxygen.) Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since we would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have an antioxidative effect: I suspect that the dilution keeps the unstable unsaturated fat molecules spatially separated from each other, so they can’t interact in the destructive chain reactions that occur in other oils. To interrupt chain-reactions of oxidation is one of the functions of antioxidants, and it is possible that a sufficient quantity of coconut oil in the body has this function. It is well established that dietary coconut oil reduces our need for vitamin E, but I think its antioxidant role is more general than that, and that it has both direct and indirect antioxidant activities.
Coconut oil is unusually rich in short and medium chain fatty acids. Shorter chain length allows fatty acids to be metabolized without use of the carnitine transport system.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Coconut Oil

“While the toxic unsaturated paint-stock oils, especially safflower, soy, corn and linseed (flaxseed) oils, have been sold to the public precisely for their drug effects, all of their claimed benefits were false. When people become interested in coconut oil as a “health food,” the huge seed-oil industry–operating through their shills–are going to attack it as an “unproved drug.” Raymond Peat, PhD

While components of coconut oil have been found to have remarkable physiological effects (as antihistamines, antiinfectives/antiseptics, promoters of immunity, glucocorticoid antagonist, nontoxic anticancer agents, for example), I think it is important to avoid making any such claims for the natural coconut oil, because it very easily could be banned from the import market as a “new drug” which isn’t “approved by the FDA.” We have already seen how money and propaganda from the soy oil industry eliminated long-established products from the U.S. market. I saw people lose weight stably when they had the habit of eating large amounts of tortilla chips fried in coconut oil, but those chips disappeared when their producers were pressured into switching to other oils, in spite of the short shelf life that resulted in the need to add large amounts of preservatives. Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, potato chip producers, and movie theater popcorn makers have experienced similar pressures. ” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Just as metabolism is “activated” by consumption of coconut oil, which prevents the inhibiting effect of unsaturated oils, other inhibited processes, such as clot removal and phagocytosis, will probably tend to be restored by continuing use of coconut oil.
Brain tissue is very rich in complex forms of fats. The experiment (around 1978) in which pregnant mice were given diets containing either coconut oil or unsaturated oil showed that brain development was superior in the young mice whose mothers ate coconut oil. Because coconut oil supports thyroid function, and thyroid governs brain development, including myelination, the result might simply reflect the difference between normal and hypothyroid individuals. However, in 1980, experimenters demonstrated that young rats fed milk containing soy oil incorporated the oil directly into their brain cells, and had structurally abnormal brain cells as a result.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Various fractions of coconut oil are coming into use as “drugs,” meaning that they are advertised as treatments for diseases. Butyric acid is used to treat cancer, lauric and myristic acids to treat virus infections, and mixtures of medium-chain fats are sold for weight loss.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“As far as the evidence goes, it suggests that coconut oil, added regularly to a balanced diet, lowers cholesterol to normal by promoting its conversion into pregnenolone. (The coconut family contains steroids that resemble pregnenolone, but these are probably mostly removed when the fresh oil is washed with water to remove the enzymes which would digest the oil.) Coconut-eating cultures in the tropics have consistently lower cholesterol than people in the U.S. Everyone that I know who uses coconut oil regularly happens to have cholesterol levels of about 160, while eating mainly cholesterol rich foods (eggs, milk, cheese, meat, shellfish). I encourage people to eat sweet fruits, rather than starches, if they want to increase their production of cholesterol, since fructose has that effect.
Many people see coconut oil in its hard, white state, and–as a result of their training watching television or going to medical school–associate it with the cholesterol-rich plaques in blood vessels. Those lesions in blood vessels are caused mostly by lipid peroxidation of unsaturated fats, and relate to stress, because adrenaline liberates fats from storage, and the lining of blood vessels is exposed to high concentrations of the blood-borne material. In the body, incidentally, the oil can’t exist as a solid, since it liquefies at 76 degrees. (Incidentally, the viscosity of complex materials isn’t a simple matter of averaging the viscosity of its component materials; cholesterol and saturated fats sometimes lower the viscosity of cell components.)
Most of the images and metaphors relating to coconut oil and cholesterol that circulate in our culture are false and misleading. I offer a counter-image, which is metaphorical, but it is true in that it relates to lipid peroxidation, which is profoundly important in our bodies. After a bottle of safflower oil has been opened a few times, a few drops that get smeared onto the outside of the bottle begin to get very sticky, and hard to wash off. This property is why it is a valued base for paints and varnishes, but this varnish is chemically closely related to the age pigment that forms “liver spots” on the skin, and similar lesions in the brain, heart, blood vessels, lenses of the eyes, etc. The image of “hard, white saturated coconut oil” isn’t relevant to the oil’s biological action, but the image of “sticky varnish-like easily oxidized unsaturated seed oils” is highly relevant to their toxicity.
The ability of some of the medium chain saturated fatty acids to inhibit the liver’s formation of fat very likely synergizes with the pro-thyroid effect, in allowing energy to be used, rather than stored. When fat isn’t formed from carbohydrate, the sugar is available for use, or for storage as glycogen. Therefore, shifting from unsaturated fats in foods to coconut oil involves several anti-stress processes, reducing our need for the adrenal hormones. Decreased blood sugar is a basic signal for the release of adrenal hormones. Unsaturated oil tends to lower the blood sugar in at least three basic ways. It damages mitochondria, causing respiration to be uncoupled from energy production, meaning that fuel is burned without useful effect. It suppresses the activity of the respiratory enzyme (directly, and through its anti-thyroid actions), decreasing the respiratory production of energy. And it tends to direct carbohydrate into fat production, making both stress and obesity more probable. For those of us who use coconut oil consistently, one of the most noticeable changes is the ability to go for several hours without eating, and to feel hungry without having symptoms of hypoglycemia.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The fact that saturated fats are dominant in tropical plants and in warm-blooded animals relates to the stability of these oils at high temperatures. Coconut oil which had been stored at room temperature for a year was found to have no measurable rancidity. Since growing coconuts often experience temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, ordinary room temperature isn’t an oxidative challenge. Fish oil or safflower oil, though, can’t be stored long at room temperature, and at 98 degrees F, the spontaneous oxidation is very fast.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“In 1927, it was observed that a diet lacking fats prevented the development of spontaneous tumors. Many subsequent investigators have observed that the unsaturated fats are essential for the development of tumors. Tumors secrete a factor which mobilizes fats from storage, presumably guaranteeing their supply in abundance until the adipose tissues are depleted. Saturated fats–coconut oil and butter, for example–do not promote tumor growth.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Butter and coconut oil contain significant amounts of the short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, which are very easily metabolized, inhibit the release of histamine, promote differentiation of cancer cells, tend to counteract the stress-induced proteins, decrease the expression of prolactin receptors, and promote the expression of the T3 (thyroid) receptor.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The short-chain saturated fatty acids of coconut oil have been reported to have antihistamine actions.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“When pregnant mice were fed either coconut oil or unsaturated seed oil, the mice that got coconut oil had babies with normal brains and intelligence, but the mice exposed to the unsaturated oil had smaller brains, and had inferior intelligence.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“For many years studies have been demonstrating that dietary coconut oil causes decreased fat synthesis and storage, when compared with diets containing unsaturated fats. More recently, this effect has been discussed as a possible treatment for obesity. The short-chain fats in coconut oil probably improve tissue response to the thyroid hormone (T3), and its low content of unsaturated fats might allow a more nearly optimal function of the thyroid gland and of mitochondria. A survey of other tropical fruits’ content of short and medium chain fatty acids might be useful, to find lower calorie foods which contain significant amounts of the shorter-chain fats.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“People with a significant amount of fat in their body, who have in the past eaten foods containing vegetable oils, are likely to draw unsaturated fats out of storage, with toxic effects unless vitamin E, thyroid, and coconut oil are used protectively until tissue stores of unsaturated fats are depleted. Typically, body stores of fat take four years to completely reflect the change to a different type of dietary fat.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is being discussed lately as an anti-viral agent. Lauric acid inhibits glycolysis, so coconut oil will tend to prevent hypoglycemia, which providing non-glycolytic calories directly to the respiratory system.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“G.W. Crile found that the basal metabolism of the people of the Yucatan, where coconuts are a staple food, is 125% of that of the people of the United States. Animal experiments show that coconut oil added to a normal diet can lower serum cholesterol levels. There is a very reliable inverse relationship between the level of serum cholesterol and thyroid hormone action. A major effect of thyroid is to control the conversion of cholesterol into steroid hormones and bile salts.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“There are many directly anti-thyroid substances, but the only directly thyroid-activating substances I know of are coconut oil, progesterone, and pregnenolone. The saturated fatty acids, especially the highly soluble smaller molecules found in coconut oil, probably tend to simply dilute and weaken the inhibition that is chronically exerted by the polyunsaturated fatty acids, but butyric acid seems to have some specific effects, such as facilitating the uptake of T3 by nerve cells and shifting cells away from the expression of the stress-related proteins.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“As little as one or two teaspoons of coconut oil per day appears to have a strong protective effect against obesity and cancer.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Since the unsaturated oils (and their prostaglandin derivatives) decrease respiration, cause stress to be more harmful, and have some specific effects that promote aging of skin, bones, and other tissues, the use of coconut oil is especially important. I think its use is one of the factors that prevents osteoporosis in tropical countries.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The high metabolic rate of animals fed coconut oil simply reflects the fact that coconut oil doesn’t contain a toxic amount of the anti-thyroid, anti-respiratory unsaturated fatty acids.
Americans have a lower metabolic rate than some other cultures, and the result is that obesity is a major problem in this country. Since farmers had demonstrated that coconut oil was not good for fattening their animals-it made them lean and hungry and since cancer researchers showed it could lower the incidence of cancer, I began adding it to my diet. At first I noticed that I felt wanner after eating it, as if I had taken a thyroid supplement. Then I noticed that I was losing weight, while eating more calories than normal because of adding about an ounce of coconut oil to my usual diet. After several months, I leveled off at a weight about 15 pounds lower than my “normal” weight of the previous 26 years. As some of friends learned what I was doing, they began eating coconut oil, with the same results. The biochemical basis seems clear: The easily oxidized short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids of coconut oil provide a source of energy that protects our tissues against the toxic inhibitory effects of the unsaturated fatty acids, and reduces their anti-thyroid effects. The animal studies of the last 60 years suggest that these effects also provide protection against cancer, heart disease, and premature aging. Other effects that can be expected include protection against excessive blood clotting, protection of the fetal brain, protection against various stress-induced problems including epilepsy, and some degree of protection against sun-damage of the skin.
While the use of coconut oil makes it possible to go longer without eating, because its pro-thyroid effect increases the liver’s ability to store glycogen, frequent snacks are still important for helping to lose weight or to prevent weight-gain. The mechanism is partly that smaller meals cause less insulin to be secreted, and insulin turns on the fat storage process, and increases appetite.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Several years ago, the death of a young physician from blood clots, while she was using a linseed oil supplement, caused me to realize the urgency of getting more information on the toxicity of unsaturated oils into an easily understandable form. While I was writing my dissertation, more than 20 years ago, I saw that there was already abundant research on their toxicity, but commercial propaganda for the “health benefits” of the “good unsaturated oils” (from seeds, nuts, and fish) had caused many people to overlook their hannful effects. At that time, it was clear that they promoted cancer, heart disease, and various degenerative diseases, and even premature aging. Agricultural research had demonstrated that they promoted obesity, and biochemists could demonstrate a specific interest with our most essential respiratory enzymes. Although I knew of experiments in which rats grew fat according to the degree of unsaturation of the fats in their diet, regardless of quantity, and grew lean in proportion to the percentage of (relatively saturated) coconut oil in their diet, again regardless of quantity, I didn’t get around to making practical use of these facts until I had spent several months reading the whole history of research on the biological effects of dietary fats.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Medium chain fatty acids, found in coconut oil, are effective in turning off fat synthesis in the liver.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Structural integrity of the mitochondria is essential for functional respiration and steroid synthesis. Coconut oil, thyroid hormone, pregnenolone, and progesterone stabilize mitochondrial structure.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The saturated fats, in themselves, seem to have no “signalling” functions, and when they are naturally modified by our desaturating enzymes, the substances produced behave very differently from the plant-derived ”eicosanoids.” As far as their effects have been observed, it seems that they are adaptive, rather than dysadaptive.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The polyunsaturated oils interact closely with serotonin and tryptophan, and the short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have antihistamine and antiserotonin actions. Serotonin liberates free fatty acids from the tissues, especially the polyunsaturated fats, and these in turn liberate serotonin from cells such as the platelets, and liberate tryptophan from serum albumin, increasing its uptake and the formation of serotonin in the brain. Saturated fats don’t liberate serotonin, and some of them, such as capric acid found in coconut oil, relax blood vessels, while linoleic acid constricts blood vessels and promotes hypertension. Stress, exercise, and darkness, increase the release of free fatty acids, and so promote the liberation of tryptophan and formation of serotonin. Increased serum linoleic acid is specifically associated with serotonin-dependent disorders such as migraine.
Coconut oil, because of its saturated fatty acids of varied chain length, and its low linoleic acid content, should be considered as part of a protective diet.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The absence of cancer on a diet lacking unsaturated fats, the increased rate of metabolism, decreased free radical production, resistance to stress and poisoning by iron, alcohol, endotoxin, alloxan and streptozotocin, etc., improvement of brain structure and function, decreased susceptibility to blood clots, and lack of obesity and age pigment on a diet using coconut oil rather than unsaturated fats, indicates that something very simple can be done to reduce the suffering from the major degenerative diseases, and that it is very likely acting by reducing the aging process itself at its physiological core.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The relatively few studies of fish oil and linoleic acid that compare them with palmitic acid or coconut oil have produced some very important results. For example, pigs exposed to endotoxin developed severe lung problems (resembling “shock lung”) when they had been on a diet with either fish oil or Intralipid (which is mostly linoleic acid, used for intravenous feeding in hospitals), but not after palmitic acid (Wolfe, et al., 2002).” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Chronic constipation, and anxiety which decreases blood circulation in the intestine, can increase the liver’s exposure to endotoxin. Endotoxin (like intense physical activity) causes the estrogen concentration of the blood to rise. Diets that speed intestinal peristalsis might be expected to postpone menopause. Penicillin treatment, probably by lowering endotoxin production, is known to decrease estrogen and cortisone, while increasing progesterone. The same effect can be achieved by eating raw carrots (especially with coconut oil/olive oil dressing) every day, to reduce the amount of bacterial toxins absorbed, and to help in the excretion of estrogen. Finally, long hours of daylight are known to increase progesterone production, and long hours of darkness are stressful. Annually, our total hours of day and night are the same regardless of latitude, but different ways of living, levels of artificial illumination, etc., have a strong influence on our hormones. In some animal experiments, prolonged exposure to light has delayed some aspects of aging.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Endotoxin or other material absorbed from intestinal bacteria contributes to a variety of autoimmune problems, including thyroiditis (Penhale and Young, 1988). Combining an indigestible fiber, such as raw carrot, with mild germicides, such as vinegar and coconut oil, can improve the hormonal environment, while reducing the immunological burden.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“The saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil inhibit the formation of histamine (Mimura, et al., 1980), as does glucose (Kaneko, et al., 1997), and prevent leakiness of the intestine, protecting the liver from endotoxin (Kono, et al., 2003). Progesterone and testosterone protect against histamine, while estrogen increases its formation and actions. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) protects the liver and other organs from various toxins, and from the toxic effects of histamine.” Raymond Peat, PhD

“One of the roles of fat in the food is to stimulate the secretion of bile by the gall bladder. Besides that important function, saturated fats have a variety of protective, antiinflammatory effects, including the reduction of endotoxemia and lipid peroxidation (Nanji, et al., 1997). “Coconut oil completely abolished the responses to endotoxin” (Wan and Grimble, 1987).” Raymond Peat, PhD

“Another cheap food additive, coconut oil, was found to increase feed consumption while slowing weight gain, so it wasn’t popular in the meat industry. The highly unsaturated seed oils had the opposite effect, of producing a rapid fattening of the animal, while decreasing feed consumption, so by 1950 corn and soybeans were widely considered to be optimal feeds for maximizing profits in the production of meat animals. It was at this time that the industry found that it could market the liquid oils directly to consumers, as health-promoting foods, without bothering to turn them into solid shortening or margarine. Somehow, few physiologists continued to think about the implications of metabolic slowing, obesity, and the related degenerative diseases.” Raymond Peat, PhD

Arch Tierernahr. 1984 Jan;34(1):19-33.
[Nutritional-physiological effects of dietary fats in rations for growing pigs. 4. Effects of sunflower oil and coconut oil on protein and fat retention, fatty acid pattern of back fat and blood parameters in piglets].
[Article in German]
Berschauer F, Rupp J, Ehrensvärd U.
Rations containing 12% sunflower oil (Ration II) and 12% coconut fat (Ration III) were compared with a control ration (Ration I) in a 34 day experiment with growing boars of the German Landrace breed (12-30 kg body weight). The relationships between DP and ME were held constant for all 3 rations, and because of the higher ME contents of the two fat rations, this was achieved by reducing the feed intake, relative to that of the control ration. Parameters measured were growth, composition at slaughter, the apparent digestibility of the crude nutrients and energy, the N-balance and the concentrations of urea, insulin, glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol in the blood. In comparison to Ration I, the apparent digestibilities of crude protein in Rations II and III were 5 and 4% (p less than 0,05) higher, respectively. There was little difference in the apparent digestibility of crude fat between the Rations II and III. However, large differences in the values were determined depending upon method of extraction. There were little differences in the productive performance of the animals fed the fat diets. The control animals had, however, a 13% lower growth rate (p less than 0,05) when compared at similar ME-intakes. As the energy concentration and the growth rate were higher in groups II and III, the feed conversion efficiency and the ME required per kg growth were approximately 30 and 13% lower than that of the control animals. The efficiency of protein utilization of the animals in group III was 4% higher (p greater than 0.05) and the blood urea concentration 20% lower (p less than 0.05) than that in group II. The values for the control animals were intermediate. A similar result was obtained concerning the fat content of the animals. The fat content of the animals in group III was 15.9% and this was significantly lower (p less than 0.001) than that of 21.1% measured in group II. That of the control animals, 18.6%, was not significantly different from the above values. The differences in feeding over the relatively short period of 34 days lead to marked differences in the fatty acid pattern of the backfat. The contents of myristic acid and linoleic acid were significantly different between group II and III; for the former values of 0.8% and 16.9% were determined, respectively, with corresponding values of 48.7 and 11.3% for the latter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Lucas Cranach the Elder The Old Man in Love
Image: Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Old Man in Love

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