Coconut oil has been proven to boost metabolism because its primarily made up of medium-chain fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) speed up metabolism because they are easily digested and converted into energy unlike long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) that need to pass by the gallbladder to be broken down into simpler chains for it to be utilized for energy.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that MCFAs were three times more effective at raising the metabolism than LCFAs. Another study from the same journal again showed that eating MCFAs supports a healthy metabolism.
Coconut Oil Has a Thermogenic or Calorie Burning Effect
When humans replace the traditional fats they are eating with foods rich with MCFAs, they are better supporting a healthy body. MCFAs in coconut oil have been shown to support energy levels; potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term. (5)
- One study found that 15-30 grams of medium-chain triglyceride (MCTs) per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day. (6)
- A 2009 study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat, a type of fat that is difficult to lose, and contributes to more heart problems. (7)
- Two researchers at McGill University in Quebec, Marie-Pierre St.-Onge and Peter J. H. Jones, published a review of the literature in the March 2002 issue of the Journal of Nutrition. Animal trials show that substituting MCTs for LCTs over long periods could produce weight loss. From these preliminary studies they concluded that these types of oils produced an increase in energy expenditure and resulted in a decrease in food intake, suggesting the potential for weight control. (8)