Coconut oil is a member of the family of tropical oils, which also include palm, palm kernel, cocoa, and shea nut oils. These oils have been used for centuries in the traditional diets of people living in tropical regions such as the Polynesian islands. Because these populations experience less of the diseases, such as heart disease, that are common in Western countries, some people believe that tropical oils such as coconut oil, especially in their natural state, can be part of a healthful diet.1, 2 Currently, these oils are used in Western countries in small amounts, primarily in the production of processed foods.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.