We’ve all heard about ultra-processed oils and their high risk of causing cancer. But what oil can you use if you want to protect your body against cancer?
My favorite, and that of numerous natural health doctors, is coconut oil. This health food has grown in popularity over the last decade mostly because a growing heap of scientific evidence supports its astounding health benefits.
This is a genuine wonder food that not only prevents cancer, but it can help you treat it, too.
Keep reading for more…
The “wonder food” is coconut oil, and it’s been called the cure-all for everything, which isn’t far from the truth.
I first caught on to it when we published our book Awakening From Alzheimer’s. Some people have completely reversed dementia thanks to coconut oil.
Today it lines grocery store shelves in multiple forms, from large bottles containing pure oil to nutritional supplements to a variety of foods, like coconut-infused cereals and yogurt made from coconut milk. I want to share how coconut oil can help protect you against cancer while supporting your body’s key health processes.
Why coconut oil originally got a bad rap
In tropical areas and south Asia in particular, coconut oil has been a key cooking ingredient for the last several thousand years. It has a nutty flavor with a touch of sweetness and is used in everything from baked goods to sautéed entrees.
Coconut oil comes from matured coconuts. Once harvested, it can sit for up to two years without spoiling, thanks to high levels of saturated fat that make it slow to oxidize. But it’s these same high levels of saturated fat that, in the past, caused many health groups to caution against eating too much.
Some years ago, health activists attacked movie theaters for making their popcorn with coconut oil. They claimed the saturated fat posed a heart risk. In this case, the alarmists were wrong. (By the way, the coconut oil in the popcorn is the reason theater lobbies smell so wonderful. The scent is almost irresistible.)
Readers of this newsletter know that tropical oils are good for you, and mainstream medicine’s war against saturated fat was nonsense. Researchers now realize coconut oil’s reputation for being unhealthy is undeserved.
For starters, much of its saturated fat is in the form of lauric acid, which is a better alternative than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. It’s no coincidence that the only other place you’ll find lauric acid is in human breast milk. Some studies even show that lauric acid can help increase your HDL cholesterol (the “healthy” cholesterol), and lauric acid is believed to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, fungus, yeast, and viruses.
Virgin coconut oil in particular lacks whatever risks may be found in other saturated fats because it is mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides. Most of the saturated and unsaturated fats we eat are long-chain triglyceride fats.
The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil are easier for your body to metabolize than long-chain triglycerides. That’s because long-chain triglycerides can’t go directly into your bloodstream from your intestinal tract. They require bile acids, secreted by the liver, to convert them to water-soluble fat molecules. Once converted, they can enter your bloodstream through your lymphatic system.
But medium-chain triglycerides can enter the bloodstream without the help of bile acids, and they don’t need to go through the lymphatic system first. This process is similar to the way glucose enters your bloodstream, and it’s why medium-chain triglycerides are easier to metabolize.
Coconut oil and ketones
I often talk about how cancer cells thrive on glucose. That’s why it’s always a good idea to limit your sugar intake (to zero, if you can). Impressively, your body can adapt easily to such a change. Neurons, for example, which use glucose as fuel, will switch to using ketone bodies as a source of energy when glucose is limited.
Ketone bodies are a byproduct of fat metabolism. Back in the 1920s, ketones were highly recommended by Dr. R.M. Wilder as part of a diet to treat seizures in epileptic children.
Building on Dr. Wilder’s original findings, more and more studies now indicate that a ketogenic diet not only stops epilepsy, it can also halt the growth of cancer. In fact, since 2007, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Würzburg Hospital in Germany has used the ketogenic diet as treatment for patients battling advanced stage cancer.
Most ketogenic diets include a large percentage of medium-chain triglycerides, which is why coconut oil could play a key role. The diet drastically limits carbohydrates and replaces them with healthy fats and small amounts of high-quality protein.
The theory is that cutting carbohydrates starves the cancer cells because cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and can’t metabolize the ketones (which, to repeat, are a byproduct of fats). Meanwhile, healthy cells do just fine on a diet of metabolized oils including ketones.
This ketogenic diet is at the heart of what may be the most important revolution ever in the history of mainstream cancer care. A low-carb, high-healthy-fat strategy is not new to those of us who know about alternative cancer treatments. But it’s a world turned upside down for conventional cancer doctors who are slowly being forced to see their theory of cancer treatment is wrong.
Just as many alternative experts have said for decades, you can annihilate cancer by cutting out nearly all carbs.
Reduces chemotherapy side effects, too
Clinical studies also show that a ketogenic diet reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and prevents weight loss — and especially muscle loss. Weight loss is a major problem for cancer patients, made worse by chemotherapy treatments that make them too sick to eat.
Also worth noting is one other anti-cancer benefit to coconut oil: It potentially helps prevent cancer from developing in the first place, because saturated fats, when digested, are much less likely than unsaturated fats to create cancer-inducing chemicals.
As I mentioned earlier, coconut oil even reduces and prevents the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, which is how it first came to my attention. Glucose is the brain’s primary fuel, but brains afflicted with Alzheimer’s have trouble metabolizing glucose, so they starve.
Ketones, a fat byproduct, are a back-up source of high-energy brain fuel. That’s the reason many dementia patients show amazing improvement when they’re fed coconut oil. Similarly, cancer patients on the strictest form of the ketogenic diet may develop such low levels of blood sugar (glucose), their brain health could be impaired. But at the same time, they’re eating a great deal of healthy saturated fat, which replaces the missing glucose and keeps the brain healthy. The lack of glucose starves the cancer cells, but the healthy cells, including the brain’s neurons, can thrive on ketones.
How to shop for coconut oil
When you go to buy coconut oil, choose a brand that is non-hydrogenated and has no trans-fat. The least expensive options will be labeled refined, RBD, or all natural. The more expensive options are labeled organic, virgin, or unrefined, and are more likely to smell like coconut.
MCT oil is another option you can buy (MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which are part of coconut oil). Other good sources of coconut oil include fresh coconut, flaked or grated coconut, or coconut milk (just be aware that conventional grated coconut, like you see on cakes, is loaded with extra sugar). Coconut oil is also a terrific substitute for butter and other spreads, which is one reason vegans love it.
Don’t start cooking with hydrogenated coconut oil—that’s the version of this food that could potentially raise your LDL “bad” cholesterol levels while lowering your “good” HDL levels. Stick with the un-hydrogenated forms—in fact, you can use them in just about any recipe.
Note that coconut oil has between 117 and 120 calories per tablespoon, and about 12 grams of saturated fat per teaspoon, so keep this in mind if you’re watching your weight. Eat it in place of and not in addition to other high-calorie foods, and consult with your doctor (hopefully an alternative or integrative doctor).
Coconut oil won’t solve all your health problems all by itself, but you should take advantage of its many benefits if you’re trying to prevent or heal cancer.
- “A comparison of long-chain triglycerides and medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and tumour size in a cachexia model.” By M.J. Tisdale and R.A. Brennan, British Journal of Cancer, 1988 Nov;58(5):580-3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3219268
- Awakening from Alzheimer’s: How 9 Maverick Doctors are Reversing Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Memory Loss. By Peggy Sarlin, Published by Online Publishing & Marketing, LLC, 2012.
- “Coconut Oil Benefits: 12 Facts About This Wonderful Ingredient.” By Terri Coles, The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/10/25/coconut-oil-benefits_n_4164278.html
- “Coconut oil ketogenic cleanse for cancer.” By: Dr. David Jockers, Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/040468_coconut_oil_cancer_ketogenic_effect.html
- “Information on a ketogenic (low carbohydrate / high fat + protein) diet for cancer patients.” Universitaetsklinikum Wurzburg, Ketogenic Information. http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ketogenic_en-1-cancer.pdf
- “The Truth About Coconut Oil.” By Kathleet M. Zelman, Web MD. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/coconut-oil-and-health