The possible dangers of coconut oil include higher LDL cholesterol and its unclear effects on breastfeeding or pregnant women if used in large quantities, WebMD notes. In regular food amounts, coconut oil is generally safe.
Some studies indicate coconut oil may have health benefits, Everyday Health states. A 2009 weight loss study showed that subjects who kept to a diet and used coconut oil as a supplement lost more weight than subjects who used soy bean oil as a supplement instead. Testing on mice cells has shown coconut oil to increase the likelihood of survival for cortical neurons. However, there is currently no clear evidence of the effects of coconut oil on human neurons.
Numerous studies evaluating the use of coconut oil as a form of treatment for various conditions, including dry skin, heart disease and psoriasis, report no or negligible effect, WebMD states. No improvement has been shown from using coconut oil as part of treatment for psoriasis or heart disease. The evidence for the effects of coconut oil on blood cholesterol levels and diarrhea is conflicting. Coconut oil has been shown to have a positive effect on newborn weight gain; weight loss in adults who took 10 milliliters of coconut oil thrice daily; and improving skin moisture.