Virgin Coconut Oil and Thyroid Health
The thyroid is an important gland that produces thyroid hormones. These hormones are essential for life and have many effects on your body's metabolism, development and growth.
The 2 main thyroid diseases are Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism:
Your body produces too much thyroid hormones. Symptoms can include weight loss, muscle weakness, fast heart rate, trembling hands, and hair loss.
The most common condition of hyperthyroidism is Graves' Disease, a condition where an antibody causes your thyroid to produce too much hormone.
Your body isn't producing enough thyroid hormones. Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, abnormal menstrual cycles, decrease libido, and the inability to tolerate cold environments.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is one of the most common conditions of hypothyroidism. It occurs when a build-up of white blood cells and inflammation destroys your thyroid cells, leading to decreased thyroid production.
There are some experts who believe coconut oil helps thyroid function and is beneficial for treating hypo-thyroidism. Dr. Bruce Fife is a one of the more outspoken proponents on the benefits of coconut oil.
Dr. Fife is a Naturopathic Doctor and director of The Coconu Research Center. He believes there are many benefits from using coconut oil for thyroid health. He has written many books on the subject, including The Coconut Oil Miracle, The Palm Oil Miracle, Coconut Lover's Cookbook, and Eat Fat, Look Thin.
Dr. Fife points to a study in the Journal of Nutrition showing fats found in coconut oil (medium chain fatty acids) can stimulate your metabolism, give you more energy, and promote weight loss.
He's reported that people have lost up to 60 pounds of fat while on a coconut oil diet. He also states that people using coconut oil for thyroid conditions have reduced their thyroid medications, or stopped taking them all together.
Dr. Fife doesn't believe it's a cure by itself; but he thinks coconut oil can help people with a low thyroid function by stimulating the metabolism and giving you an energy boost.
Dr. Ken Woliner, a board-certified Family Physician that specializes in the primary treatment of common conditions (including thyroid conditions) with natural means, doesn't agree with the use of coconut oil for thyroid health.
He's published an article on Coconut Oil and Thyroid Cures at Thyroid-Info.com pointing to a number of discrepancies in the use of coconut oil for treating thyroid conditions, including the lack of case studies in any peer-reviewed medical literature.
Dr. Woliner believes unpublished case histories and testimonials of patients losing up to 60 pounds of fat with coconut oil are an unreliable source of evidence and therefore, cannot be trusted until proven.
Can you use coconut oil for thyroid health?
While there's little published evidence in medical journals, some people have had positive experiences using coconut oil for hypothyroidism, including an increase in energy and weight loss.
If you decide to try using coconut oil, remember to consult with your physician, especially if you're taking thyroid medication. Please don't discontinue taking any medication without the approval of your doctor