Many Americans suffer from symptoms such as cold hands and feet, low body temperature, sensitivity to cold, a feeling of always being chilled, headaches, insomnia, dry skin, puffy eyes, hair loss, brittle nails, joint aches, constipation, mental dullness, fatigue, frequent infections, hoarse voice, ringing in the ears, dizziness, loss of libido, and weight gain, which is sometimes uncontrollable.
Approximately 65 percent of the U.S. population is overweight; 27 percent is clinically obese. Research is pointing to the fact that an underactive thyroid might be the number one cause of weight problems, especially among women.
Because coconut oil is saturated and very stable (unrefined coconut oil has a shelf life of about three to five years at room temperature), the body is not burdened with oxidative stress as it is with the vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not require the enzyme stress that vegetable oils do, preventing T4 to T3 hormone conversion, not only because it is a stable oil, but also because it is processed differently in the body and does not need to be broken down by enzyme dependent processes as do long-chain fatty acids.
Also, since the liver is the main place where damage occurs from oxidized and rancid oils that cause cell membrane damage, and since the liver is where much of the conversion of T4 to T3 takes place, eliminating long-chain fatty acids from the diet and replacing them with medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can, in time, help in rebuilding cell membranes and increasing enzyme production that will assist in promoting the conversion of T4 to T3 hormones.
More research in this area is necessary. In the meantime, those switching from polyunsaturated oils to coconut oil are reporting many positive results. For example, Donna has experienced encouraging improvements in her thyroid health. She writes:
“I’ve been on coconut oil since September 2002 and, although, that doesn’t seem like long, it has changed my life and the lives of my family and friends. My weight actually went UP when I started on coconut oil but I felt so GREAT! Being hypothyroid, I was on Synthroid and Cytomel and had been for years, but with inconsistent results and feeling worse. Other changes besides the addition of coconut oil were the complete removal of soy (and that is a major challenge in itself!), all trans fatty acids, no refined sugar, and organ cleanses seasonally.
My thyroid meds were discontinued with my doctor’s knowledge as I was getting too energetic and having trouble sleeping! [Imagine], from being a ‘sleepaholic’ couch potato that was cold! My weight stayed steady until the last three weeks and it has now started the downward move. My goal was health and just believed the weight would come off when I found the right diet and exercise routine that my life was comfortable with. I’ve tried removing the coconut oil but my energy drops and I don’t feel as good. Donna”