December 3, 2009

Virgin Coconut Oil for Treating Thyroid Disorders

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut kernel and does not go through much processing thus retaining almost all of its original nutritional benefits, aroma and flavor. The lauric acid present in coconut oil changes into monolaurin – an antiprotozoal, antibacterial and antiviral monoglyceride in the human body, thus destroying germs that cause illness. It helps to boost the immune system, speeds the body’s metabolism rate, enhances the overall texture of skin, improves the digestion process and reduces the risk of degenerative conditions like heart disease and cancer. It is also known to be beneficial in the treatment of thyroid related conditions. Being resistant to heat, coconut oil is considered to be the healthiest oil used in cooking as none of its nutritional benefits are lost in the process.

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two main conditions affecting the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is a disorder wherein the thyroid gland is unable to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormone. The sluggish thyroid gland results in a reduced metabolic rate, causing a chain reaction. It leads to a fall in energy levels accompanied by unwanted weight gain, in turn resulting in an increased risk of a number of conditions like obesity, osteoporosis and heart diseases. Any pre-existing illness worsens as the cells are unable to heal or repair themselves quickly because of the slow rate of metabolism. Virgin coconut oil is beneficial in preventing these problems as it is known to speed up the metabolic rate. With an increase in the production of the thyroid hormone and the rate of metabolism, the linked conditions are also kept in check. Besides, the fats in virgin coconut oil do not accumulate in fat cells thus minimizing the chances of weight gain and formation of cellulite. The medium chain fatty acids present in virgin coconut oil are easily absorbed by the body without causing much strain on any organ. It utilizes less energy and enzymes while nourishing the body and strengthening the body’s ability to fight illness. Other oils are sources of fat whereas virgin coconut oil produces energy instantly instead, and increases endurance, hence it reduces fatigue.

However, an excessive intake of coconut oil is also believed to lead to hyperthyroidism which is caused by an overactive thyroid gland, resulting in conditions like excessive weight loss, palpitations, increased heart rate, and anxiety. Some researchers do believe that coconut oil has a balancing effect on hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, but its benefits for hyperthyroidism are not documented.