Coco da Bahia, Coco da Praia, Coconut Palm, Cocos nucifera, Cocotero, Cocotier, Copra, Coqueiro, Coqueiro da Bahia, Coqueiro da Praia, Kokosnuss, Kokospalm, Kokospalme, Mnazi.
Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. It can be eaten as food or used as medicine.
In foods, coconut is used in various preparations.
How does it work?
Coconut flour, which is prepared from the byproducts of coconut after removal of coconut milk, contains high amounts of dietary fiber. These fibers are believed to help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels.
Coconuts contain a high amount of a saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides. These fats work differently than other types of saturated fat in the body. They might increase fat burning and reduce fat storage.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- High cholesterol. Some early research suggests that eating foods prepared with coconut flour can lower levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol compared to baseline in people with slightly high cholesterol levels. However, other early research shows that people who eat large amounts of coconut have higher cholesterol levels than people who eat lower amounts. The differences may be due to the type of coconut that is eaten. Coconut contains coconut oil, which might increase cholesterol levels. Coconut flour is prepared from the byproducts of coconut after the removal of coconut milk. These byproducts are defatted and contain a high percentage of dietary fiber.
- Bladder stones.
- Weight loss.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
There is not enough scientific information available to know if coconut is safe to use as medicine. In some people, eating coconuts might cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include skin rashes and difficulty breathing.
Allergy to coconut oil or related plants: Coconut might cause serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to coconut oil, coconut palm pollen, components of coconut, or other members of the Arecaceae plant family.
High cholesterol: There is concern that eating coconuts might increase cholesterol levels. But there is contradictory evidence that shows that eating foods containing coconut flour, which is prepared from coconut that has had the milk removed, might actually decrease total and "bad" cholesterol levels.
The appropriate dose of coconut depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for coconut. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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