Using Coconut Oil for Fibromyalgia: Natural Cure or Scam?
Virgin coconut oil has many benefits. It can be used as a natural conditioning ingredient for many skin, hair and body care products and you can also cook and fry with it.
A highly debated topic in the natural health segment is using coconut oil for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. Can you use coconut oil for inflammation, migraines, fatigue and joint or body pain?
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose as there is no specific diagnostic test for it.
The Mayo Clinic states that the symptoms can often mimic other conditions which could make diagnosis more difficult.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
According to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience a variety of symptoms:
pain and swelling in your joints and muscles
difficulty maintaining restful sleep
headaches or migraines
difficulty concentrating or memory issues
tingling or numbness in hands or feet
increased pain sensitivity
Possible Health Benefits from Using Coconut Oil for Fibromyalgia
Some natural health websites claim coconut oil contains a special blend of fatty acids that may help lessen certain symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Some of these health claims include:
1. Coconut Oil’s Fatty Acids May Enhance Energy Levels:
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). These are healthy saturated fats that are digested differently than ‘regular’ longer chain saturated fats found in fatty meat and dairy products. Studies show medium chain triglycerides can boost fat burning which may provide your body with increased energy.
2. Coconut Oil May Optimize the Immune System:
Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid. It provides the building blocks for a powerful antimicrobial called monolaurin. Numerous studies on monolaurin show it can kill virus, bacteria, fungi and parasitic protozoas. Although reports are unsubstantiated, it’s believed that lauric acid may help boost the immune system by fighting off pathogens.
Doctor Believes Coconut Oil Can Help Fibromylagia Symptoms
In the ground-breaking book, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and Lyme Disease (Alternative Medicine Guides), Dr. Lita Lee, Ph.D., of Lowell, Oregon believes coconut oil can be used to treat chronic fatigue patients by stating:
“Medical research on the use of coconut oil for chronic fatigue patients shows it to have an antiviral effect,” she reports. In addition, it is anti-allergenic and antiseptic, promotes thyroid function, regulates blood sugar, and protects mitochondria (the cells’ “energy factories”) against stress injuries. “Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap,” Dr. Lee adds. “It is actually one of the healthiest saturated fats.”
At this point, there’s currently no documented medical research on using coconut oil for treating chronic fatigue syndromes or fibromyalgia.
If you search the web for information, you may find natural health websites with anecdotal reports made by people claiming they experienced positive health benefits from using coconut oil.
For example, on Prohealth.com forum and Healingwell.com Community Boards some people claimed to experience improved energy levels, reduce inflammation and lower pain levels. The average reported coconut oil dosage used was 1 – 4 tablespoons per day. However, these results are not scientifically verified and you may not experience the same results.
Although this is a controversial health topic, the use of natural ingredients to treat and reduce many health conditions is a growing trend.
Please seek the advice of your doctor or health care provider before using any nutritional or natural health products that may affect your treatment.