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What does coconut oil do for you?

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Coconut oil can reduce hunger because it contains medium length triglycerides, according to Authority Nutrition. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that the ingestion of the medium-length triglycerides found in coconut oil reduces daily caloric intake by 250 calories.

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In addition, a similar study of 14 men in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who eat medium-length triglycerides at breakfast consume significantly fewer calories at lunch. Coconut oil may be able to do this by increasing energy expenditure up to 5 percent. The human body converts coconut oil directly into ketones when it enters the bloodstream. These molecules have positive effects on many disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Cholesterol levels may improve with regular ingestion of coconut oil; a 2009 study of 40 women found coconut oil reduced LDL and total cholesterol.

Coconut oil can fight fungal infections as well, as the oil contains lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up roughly 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil and is an effective treatment against bacteria, viruses and fungi, including Staph and Candida. Coconut oil can act as sunscreen as well, as it blocks around 20 percent of the sun's UV rays. Coconut oil can clean teeth in a process called oil pulling, and the oil can improve the lipid content of skin.

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