Virgin coconut oil is derived from fresh, mature coconut kernel without the use of heat and without a refining process. The purpose is to retain the biologically active components in the oil vital for antioxidant vitamins and phenolic compounds. These compound are effective in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintain blood coagulation factors, prevent oxidation of low-density lipoprotein lipids, have anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties and reduce and reverse the effects of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a metabolic disorder which results in deterioration of bone tissue and loss of bone mass with a consequent increased risk of fracture and is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans.
A recent study examined the effect of virgin coconut oil dietary supplementation in rats over a six week period by investigating the bone microarchitecture in rats. The results of the study revealed that the oil reverses the effects of estrogen deficiency and the resulting loss of bone density. Estrogen is essential for normal skeletal development and maintenance of bone health in both men and women. Estrogen deficiency causes osteoblasts to release interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) which stimulate the differentiation and activation of osteoclasts, leading to increased bone resorption. Other than exerting its endocrine function, estrogen has been found to have antioxidant property. As a consequence, lack of estrogen will increase lipid peroxidation and free radical formation, which will hinder the functions of bone cells particularly the osteoblasts and the osteoclasts. Oxidative stress damages the osteoblasts and accelerates bone loss by increasing osteoclastogenesis.
The study demonstrates that virgin olive oil reverses and prevents bone loss due to osteoporosis in post menopausal rat models.
Zil Hayatullina, Norliza Muhammad, Norazlina Mohamed, and Ima-Nirwana Soelaiman. Virgin Coconut Oil Supplementation Prevents Bone Loss in Osteoporosis Rat Model. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 237236.