My name is Pat White and I am very excited to be writing this column on Healthy Living. I have been in the healthcare field for over 30 years and have seen so many studies which seem to contradict each other. A person often does not know what to believe. I hope to provide my readers with information which is sound and backed by research. I am currently in my PhD program at Saybrook University studying Mind-Body medicine. One of the first things I realized in my research was the need to assess my sources. Anyone can write a blog, however, the information may not be correct. The information I present will also have references where you may refer for further reading.
I am sure you have heard about coconut oil. It is the all amazing, can do everything oil. I could write an entire research paper on the fatty acids in coconuts. Lauric acid is found in the fat of the coconut. Known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, it is useful in soaps and skin care products. Have you seen fractionated coconut oil and unsure what this meant? To create fractionated coconut oil, the oil goes through a process of hydrolysis. It is then passed through steam distillation. This type of coconut oil is high in capric acids. Capric acid is known for its antimicrobial benefits.
So which type of coconut oil do you buy, virgin or fractionated? This is another area of great debate. Fractionated coconut oil is refined and processed and has a high amount of capric acids. It has a long shelf life and is resistant to rancidity. Virgin coconut oil generally means it is unprocessed. But to add further confusion, there is no industry standard for the meaning of virgin coconut oil. There is also cold processed coconut oil which generally means a mechanical method of expressing the oil has been utilized, thus avoiding outside heat sources.
In skin care products coconut oil is a wonderful emollient and helps to prevent water evaporation from your skin. If not highly processed coconut oil has a sweet coconut aroma. It should be stored in a cool, dark location and generally used within 24 months.
Thank you for reading my first column of Healthy Living.
Pat White MSN PMh NP-BC
Make sure to visit Essential Body Pleasures - Skin Care Nature's Way
Enig, M. G. (2001). The health benefits of coconuts & coconut oil. Retrieved from http://www.spiritofhealthkc.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/COCONUT-OIL10-The-Health-Benefits-of-Coconuts-part-1.pdf
Shutes, J. (n.d.). Vegetable oils A through C. Retrieved from https://courses.theida.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Vegetable-oils-A-C1.pdf
WebMD (n.d.). Coconut oil. Retrieved November 4, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1092-COCONUT%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=1092&activeIngredientName=COCONUT%20OIL