E-Mail Edition  Volume 2   Number 3

Originally published Summer, 2005

Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com.

Bruce Fife, N.D., Publisher, www.coconutresearchcenter.org

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  • Ask Dr. Coconut

  • Study Shows Coconut Oil Protects Against Environmental Toxins

  • Coconut Cures



Ask Dr. Coconut TM 

Dr. Bruce Fife a.k.a. "Dr. Coconut" answers two of the most often asked questions about coconut oil.


When I use coconut oil for baking and frying, sometimes foods stick to the pan.  Is coconut oil good for cooking?

 This is a very important question. Cooking can significantly affect many fats and oils, causing the formation of toxic compounds. Some fats are more resistant to heat than other fats. Some of the most common cooking oils are the most likely to break down during heating. Which fats are the most vulnerable to heat? Polyunsaturated fats. Let me explain why. 

Fats and oils are composed of molecules known as fatty acids. Fatty acids can be classified into three general categories—saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Simply stated, fatty acids are composed of long chains of carbon atoms linked to each other; each of these carbon atoms are attached to a pair of hydrogen atoms. A fat is considered saturated when it holds all the hydrogen atoms it possibly can. In other words, it is saturated with hydrogen atoms. If, however, one pair of hydrogen atoms are missing, it forms a monounsaturated fatty acid. If two or more pairs of hydrogen atoms are missing you have a polyunsaturated fatty acid.

Fatty acids are most stable when they are bonded to all the hydrogen atoms they can hold. When hydrogen atoms are missing, as in the case of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, they become less stable or more chemically reactive. The more hydrogen atoms that are missing, the more chemically unstable the fatty acid becomes. Therefore, saturated fatty acids are stable, monounsaturated fatty acids are less stable, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are the least stable.

When fats are heated, these unstable fatty acids are easily transformed into harmful compounds such as trans fatty acids, free radicals, and 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (HNE).  When you cook with polyunsaturated oils, you create these toxic substances.

HNE is particularly insidious. Over the past 20 years an increasing number of studies have found links between HNE and increased risks for cardiovascular disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, liver problems, and cancer. Researcher A. Saari Csallany, a professor of food chemistry and nutritional biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, calls it, "a very toxic compound." Based on her studies presented recently at the American Oil Chemists Society annual meeting, she recommends that people avoid all foods fried in polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

Polyunsaturated oils include soybean, corn, sunflower, and safflower oils among others. Monounsaturated oils like olive oil and canola oil are less vulnerable than polyunsaturated fats, but they too are degraded under heat. It is best to use monounsaturated oils for salads or low temperature cooking.

Saturated fats are the most heat stable. You can cook them at high temperatures without creating these toxic compounds. Dr. Csallany recommends saturated fats as a healthier choice for use in cooking.

No oil is 100 percent all saturated or polyunsaturated. Fats and oils are composed of a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Soybean oil, for example, contains all three. It is called a polyunsaturated oil because it is predominately made of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Likewise, olive oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids. It is called a monounsaturated oil because it is composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids.

The more polyunsaturated fatty acids an oil contains, the more likely it will create toxic substances when heated. So the best oil to cook with is one that has the least amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the highest amount of saturated fatty acids. The oil with the largest amount of saturated fatty acids and the least amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids is coconut oil. Ninety-two percent is saturated and only 1.5 percent is polyunsaturated. You can use coconut oil for cooking without having to worry about it harming your health. It is so stable you can reheat the oil and use it several times without damaging it. Not only does coconut not form harmful toxins when heated, but it also has many health benefits. This makes coconut oil the ideal cooking oil as far as health is concerned. There is no better cooking oil.


 Dr. Fife's Non-Stick Cooking Oil

Oils are added to foods to improve taste and texture. Another very important reason for using oil is for its non-stick properties. Oil keeps food from sticking to cookware. Whether you're baking or frying, oil helps prevent food from burning onto the pans and helps make cleanup easier.

The primary drawback with using coconut oil in cooking is that it is not as good a lubricant as most other oils. Foods cooked in coconut oil often have a tendency to stick somewhat. If you've ever fried an egg in coconut oil you know what I mean. You have to scrub the pan afterwards to remove all the egg. The same is true with baking. Baked goods like to cling to the sides of the pan even when coconut oil is used.

This caused me a lot of frustration when I was developing recipes for my cookbooks because I didn't want to use other, less healthy oils to coat my pans. I, however, found a solution to this problem. As I was developing recipes for my book Cooking with Coconut Flour, I discovered how to make coconut oil become a completely non-stick cooking oil and improve its nutritional content at the same time.

I am totally amazed at how well it works. With this oil, you have all the health benefits of coconut oil combined with the anti-sticking properties of the best non-stick cooking sprays. In my opinion, it is absolutely the best cooking oil available. It can be used for baking or frying. Foods don't stick at all. They easily slide out of the pan. Even breads seem to slide out of the pans with ease.

Since I've been using this new oil I've never had to scrub another pan. Because foods don't stick, pans are incredibly easy to clean. With a little soap and water you simply wipe them clean in a matter of seconds. I've never used an oil that makes clean up so easy.

This non-stick cooking oil is made from a combination of organic coconut oil and unbleached liquid lecithin. Unbleached lecithin has a dark amber color and when combined with coconut oil produces a rich buttery color. In fact, it looks just like butter. It could appropriately be called coconut butter.

Lecithin is a common food ingredient used as an emulsifier. Lecithin, also known as phosphatidylcholine, is gaining much recognition as a valuable dietary supplement. Because of lecithin's potential as a dietary supplement it has been extensively studied. Even in relatively large amounts it has shown to have no harmful side effects. All commercial sources of lecithin are derived from soy. Soy lecithin, however, does not contain the phytoestrogens or goitrogens associated with soy that have been scrutinized in recent years. It is completely harmless with many healthy benefits.

Lecithin is a source of choline, which is one of the B vitamins important to human health, particularly brain health. It has gained a reputation as a natural means of preserving and improving mental function. Choline is one of the few substances able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. It goes directly into the brain cells to produce a chemical, acetylcholine, that aids memory. A number of studies have shown a positive effect of phosphocholine on preventing dementia and improving cognitive function. Dietary supplements of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) are sold specifically for this purpose. Evidence shows that it may be of help with patients with advanced Alzheimer's disease by improving orientation, learning, and memory. For these reasons, it is finding use among Alzheimer's patients and those who are concerned about preserving their mental function as they go older.

Studies have shown that lecithin provides many additional benefits.

  • Improves fat digestion.

  • Increases absorption of fat-soluble nutrients (e.g., vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene, etc.).

  • May help to slow the deterioration of the myelin (nerve covering), which is depleted in multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers.

  • May help prevent the development of hypertension.

  • Aids the liver and helps protect it from toxins, such as alcohol.

  • Increases the capacity of bile to dissolve and remove cholesterol and prevent gallstones.

The combination of the numerous health benefits of coconut oil with those of lecithin makes this one of the healthiest cooking oils you could use.

However, unless you were in my home you could not enjoy the benefits of this remarkable oil. But it's far too good to be kept a secret. So I'm going to give you the recipe here. It's very simple. All you need to do is mix ¼ cup of melted coconut oil with ½ teaspoon of liquid lecithin. Use what you need and store the rest in the refrigerator. It will last for months. In fact, I made a large batch two years ago that I am still using.  ■




Study Shows Coconut Oil Protects Against Environmental Toxins

 In the largest study of chemical exposure ever conducted on human beings, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported recently that most American children and adults are carrying in their bodies dozens of pesticides and toxic compounds used in consumer products, many of them linked to potential health threats.

The report documented that children carry bigger doses of many chemicals than adults, including some pyrethroids that are ingredients of virtually every household pesticide and phthalates found in nail polish and other beauty products as well as in soft plastics.

The study looked for 148 toxic compounds in the urine and blood of about 2,400 people over age 5. CDC director Julie Gerberding called the national exposure report, "the largest and most comprehensive report of its kind ever released anywhere by anyone." Environmental health experts say the discovery of more than 100 chemicals in human bodies is of great concern because we don't know what effect they can have on the body. Many environmental health experts believe the rise in cancer and other chronic diseases over the past several decades is due, in part, to the accumulation of these chemicals in our bodies.

However, removing pesticides, plastic bottles, make-up, and other items won't be happening anytime soon. The best solution to the problem is to remove the toxins from our bodies. Certain foods such as cilantro, wheat bran, and coconut have detoxifying effects that can absorb or neutralize environmental chemicals that collect in our bodies. Simply adding these detoxifying foods into the diet can help eliminate many of the toxins we are exposed to each day.

Coconut oil is of particular interest because it has been shown to be highly effective in neutralizing many environmental toxins.

A recent study published in the journal Human and Experimental Toxicology (August 2005) revealed the effectiveness of coconut oil in neutralizing aluminum phosphide, a poison used in rodent control. A case study reported a 28-year-old man ingested a lethal amount of the chemical in an attempt to commit suicide. There is no known antidote for aluminum phosphide poisoning. Doctors had little hope of saving him. He was given the standard treatment for acute poisoning as well as the oral administration of coconut oil. To the surprise of the medical staff, the patient survived. The authors of the study recommend that coconut oil be added to the treatment protocol in acute poisoning cases.

Using coconut oil to help nullify the effects of a poison is not as strange as it may sound. Researchers have known for over a decade about the detoxifying effects of coconut oil. In my new book Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut, I cite several studies where coconut oil has been shown to neutralize a variety of toxins, including the deadly aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin is a very potent poison that comes from a fungus that often infests grains, especially corn. In Asia and Africa, aflatoxin is a serious problem. Corn has been found to be the most aflatoxin-contaminated food eaten in the Philippines. In certain areas of that country, corn consumption is high. A correlation exists between the incidence of liver cancer caused by aflatoxin and the amount of corn consumed. Those people who eat the most corn also have the highest rates of liver cancer. Coconut oil consumption appears to protect the liver from the cancer-causing effect of aflatoxin. The population of Bicol, in the Philippines, has an unusually high intake of aflatoxin-infested corn, yet they have a low incidence of liver cancer. The reason for the low cancer rate is believed to be due to the high coconut consumption in the area.

Using coconut oil in your daily diet can help protect you from a variety of environmental toxins. An easy way to add coconut oil to your diet is to use it in your cooking in place of other fats and oils. If you don't use much oil in food preparation you can take it by the spoonful like a dietary supplement. A quality brand of coconut oil tastes very good and is even pleasant to eat straight from a spoon. I often put a spoonful of hardened coconut oil in my mouth and let it slowly melt. It's an easy way to get my daily dose



You've heard about the healing power of coconut oil, but did you know that the entire coconut is a virtual medicine chest? Coconut meat, milk, and water all have medicinal as well as nutritional value. The health benefits of the entire coconut—the meat, milk, water, as well as the oil—are described in my book Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut.


This book describes why coconut water can and is used as an IV solution for sick patients. Coconut water has a chemical composition similar to human plasma and can be injected directly into the bloodstream. Recent research has shown that it can be just as effective as commercial IV solutions. Coconut water is a delicious beverage loaded with vitamins and minerals. For this reason, it is fast gaining a reputation as an effective natural sports drink, superior to commercial beverages and lower in sugar. Its healing properties are most evident in the urinary and reproductive system.


 In Asia it is taken orally to dissolve kidney stones and restore libido. It has a restorative effect on the kidneys and some patients have been able to reduce or eliminate dialysis treatments simply by drinking coconut water.

Coconut meat is a virtual powerhouse of health. It can help balance blood sugar and control diabetes, protect against cancer, ease the pain and discomfort of colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, aid in weight loss, expel intestinal parasites, improve digestive function, help eliminate hemorrhoids and varicose veins—the list goes on an on.

This book contains new information about the wonders of coconut oil not contained in any of my other books. Some of this information is so incredible you wouldn't believe it unless I supplied the proof, and I do that. Every health claim made in this book is backed by medical science. References to published studies are provided along with dozens of case studies and success stores.

In this book you will learn about a medical doctor who struggled for years with numerous health problems and chronic high blood pressure and how she cured herself using nothing but coconut. She now uses coconut to treat her own patients. You will read about a woman who had breast cancer so severe that it spread to her skull. Doctors gave up on her and sent her home to die. She discovered the healing power of coconut and cured herself of the cancer that would have surely killed her. You will also read the story of a medical doctor who, after years of failure using traditional treatments, cured himself of Crohn's disease using the coconut detox program described in the book.

This book isn't just a discussion of the benefits of coconut, it provides step-by-step instructions on how to use coconut to treat many common health problems. It includes an extensive A to Z listing of health problems and how to treat each one using various forms of coconut. You will learn about the Coconut Oil Detox program and the Parasite Purge. You will learn how to make the Anti-Candida Tonic, the Colon Cleansing Formula, and others. You will learn how to use coconut to heal burns and cuts, remove warts and moles, kill skin fungus, and improve the appearance of your skin and hair.

To learn more about this book, go to www.piccadillybooks.com.




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 Copyright © 2007, 2005, Bruce Fife. All rights reserved.