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Health benefits of coconut oil

coconut 1501334 640Popular SSRI pharmaceuticals, like Paxil and Prozac, are not the only way to battle depression. While pharmaceutical anti depressants are rampantly prescribed, natural solutions can be just as effective without the nasty side effects.
A recent study in Malaysia looked at the effects of a diet high in virgin coconut oil and it’s effects on mental health. This study is the first of it’s kind, looking at the effects of coconut oil on mice with stress-induced injuries. Coconut oil was particularly evaluated for it’s anti stress and anti oxidant effects.
The researchers performed stress tests on several groups of mice, using coconut oil versus the psychiatrically prescribed drug Diazepam. The study results suggested that high quality virgin coconut oil rivals the effects of Diazepam on stressed out mice.
The reason coconut oil is so effective at battling stress is the high antioxidant content mixed with saturated fats and medium chain fatty acids, which are good for the brain. Higher quality oil has more of these benefits than highly processed coconut oil.
While pharmaceutical anti depressants work by increasing the neurotransmitter serotonin, coconut oil works through different pathways by supporting the brain with fatty nutrients that tame inflammation. Other studies have shown coconut oil to be effective at preventing Alzheimer’s.
Coconut oil has added benefits to its effect on anxiety and depression. It also increases energy production.
One of the more interesting tests in the study was done after a forced swim test for the mice. The stressed mice that were not treated with coconut oil had longer immobility times after swimming than mice that were given oil. Medium chain fatty acids are thought to be responsible for increasing the production of heat and energy in the body.
Coconut oil really seems to outperform Diazepam in the area of oxidation and the elimination of free radicals. Stress is known to increase oxidation and create free radicals, which leads to neuron damage and death. Antioxidants, on the other hand, do the opposite in helping prevent neuron damage. These antioxidants help decrease inflammation. Most likely attributed to the polyphenols and medium chain fatty acids in the virgin coconut oil.
So what’s the difference between virgin and regular coconut oil? Virgin coconut oil is made from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without the addition of chemicals. It is derived through a "wet-milling" process, were the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meal without drying first. The coconut milk is first expressed by pressing it out of the wet coconut meat. The oil is then further separated from the water.
Psychiatrist Kelly Brogan suggests that the efficacy of SSRIs and anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals work mostly due to their placebo effect and may only have 10 percent efficacy chemically. The mind is extremely powerful, and the expectation of relief of symptoms may be responsible for the efficacy of pharmaceutical treatments. She also points out that there have been no medical studies in humans to validate the theory that low serotonin causes depression.
In Dr. Brogan’s opinion, it’s inflammation in the brain that’s responsible for depression symptoms. The likely causes of brain inflammation are excessive sugary food and drinks, food intolerances (gluten, dairy, corn or soy) or conditions like autoimmunity.
Before going on antidepressants, Dr. Brogan suggests a 30-day dietary overhaul that mirrors the food list of the 21-Day Body Makeover. She suggests giving up processed sugar, corn, soy, grains/gluten, dairy and legumes. And if that doesn’t help, taking out eggs, nightshades and nuts.
Dr. Brogan also suggests using coconut oil to combat inflammation by introducing 1 to 2 tablespoons to start with. Virgin coconut oil can provide fuel to an inflamed brain. When sugar is out of balance the brain is starved for nutrients to make energy. Coconut oil provides quick, easy to digest fuel. Read more about Dr. Brogan’s findings here: http://kellybroganmd.com/confessions-of-a-renegade-psychiatrist/

The 21-Day Body Makeover includes many anti inflammatory herbs in its supplements such as green tea and turmeric. Customers can also find our recommendations on how to use coconut oil in cleanse instructions.
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