The Truth Behind Using Coconut Oil for Thyroid Health

medical diagram of thyroid gland and coconut oil

Can you really use coconut oil for thyroid health?

There’s a popular rumor circulating around that you can use this tropical oil to naturally treat various thyroid conditions such as Graves Disease and Hashimotos Thyroiditis.

Some people claim to have experienced positive health benefits from this natural thyroid treatment. However, similar to using coconut oil for fibromyalgia, there’s ongoing debate between natural health advocates and mainstream medicine on whether it’s a viable treatment for these specific health conditions.

Here we’ll take a look at both side of this controversial health topic….

Why is Thyroid Health Important?

Your thyroid is an important gland that produces thyroid hormones. These hormones are essential for life and have many effects on your body’s metabolism, development and growth.

Thyroid hormones have the ability to increase or decrease your body temperature.

They also play a role in how your body absorbs calcium, a mineral that plays an important role in releasing hormones, transmitting nerve messages and how well your muscles can contract.

The 2 main causes of thyroid disease are Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism

1. Hyperthyroidism

With hyperthyroidism, your body will produce too much thyroid hormone. This overload of thyroid hormone can cause symptoms such as increased weight loss, muscle weakness, fast heart rate, trembling hands, and even hair loss.

The most common condition of hyperthyroidism is called Graves’ Disease; this is a condition where an antibody causes your thyroid to produce too much hormone.

2. Hypothyroidism

People with hypothyroidism will usually suffer with low thyroid hormones.

Symptoms of this health condition includes increased weight gain, fatigue, abnormal menstrual cycles, decreased libido, and the inability to tolerate cold environments.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is one of the most common conditions of hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when a build-up of white blood cells and inflammation destroys your thyroid cells which leads to decreased thyroid production.

Can Coconut Oil cure Thyroid Disease?

dr. bruce fife on coconut oil research

Dr. Bruce Fife

Some natural health advocates believe coconut oil enhances your thyroid function and it may be useful for treating hypothyroidism.

Dr. Bruce Fife is a one of the more outspoken proponents on the benefits of coconut oil. Dr. Fife is a Naturopathic Doctor and director of The Coconut Research Center.

He believes there are many benefits from using coconut oil for thyroid health and he’s written many books on the subject, including The Coconut Oil Miracle, The Palm Oil Miracle, Coconut Lover’s Cookbook, and Eat Fat, Look Thin.

Dr. Fife points to a study in the Journal of Nutrition showing fats found in coconut oil (called medium chain fatty acids) can stimulate your metabolism, give you more energy, and promote weight loss.

He’s reported that people have lost up to 60 pounds of fat while on a coconut oil diet. He also claims that people who’ve have used this coconut oil thyroid treatment have reduced their thyroid medications or have stopped taking them all together.

The premise behind this theory is that coconut oil is a natural source of medium chain triglycerides. Your body digests these longer chain fatty acids more efficiently than shorter chain fatty acids which can lead to an increase in your metabolism.

Dr. Fife doesn’t believe this coconut oil thyroid treatment it’s a cure by itself; but he thinks that coconut oil can help stimulate the metabolism in people with low thyroid function.

Coconut Oil Thyroid Health Claims are Disputed by Some Mainstream Doctors

coconut oil thyroid doctor woliner

Dr. Ken Woliner

Dr. Ken Woliner, a board-certified Family Physician that specializes in the primary treatment of common conditions with natural means, doesn’t agree with the use of coconut oil for thyroid health.

He’s published an article on Coconut Oil and Thyroid Cures at pointing to a number of discrepancies in the use of coconut oil for treating thyroid conditions.

He specifically cites the lack of medical case studies in any peer-reviewed medical literature.

He believes unpublished case histories and testimonials of patients losing up to 60 pounds of fat are an unreliable source of evidence and therefore, can’t be trusted until proven.

Editor’s Comments on Using Coconut Oil for Thyroid Conditions:

While there’s little published evidence in medical journals about using coconut oil for thyroid health, some people claim to have experienced positive results such as increased energy and weight loss.

There are also many people who reported experiencing no significant benefits at all.

Maintaining proper thyroid function is important to living a healthy life.

If you are diagnosed with a thyroid condition and are under medical supervision, it’s recommended you follow your doctor or health care provider’s treatment plans.

If you decide to try using coconut oil or any other natural health treatment, remember to consult with your physician. Please don’t discontinue taking any medication without the approval of your doctor.

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