วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 22 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552

How To Plant and Grow A Coconut

How To Plant and Grow A Coconut


To start a coconut from the seed, it is best to have the outer fibrous husk intact

Get a 3-gallon pot. Use high quality nursery soil mixed with 40% coarse sand. Add drainage rocks to the bottom of the pot

Lay your coconut husk on the ground and see what way it wants to rest. Plant your coconut husk 1/2 way into the soil in the same position

You can leave the pot in the sun or the shade. Water lightly to keep very lightly moist. Partial shade will likely be more successful

Be patient. The first time we started a coconut from seed it took 9 nine months to sprout. It is common for many palms to take many months to sprout. Don't over water as you'll rot them out.

Your coconut will first split its husk at the bottom and send down some roots. It may take several months before your coconut also splits the top of the husk pushing up its first fronds. In other words, your coconut will be growing and you won't even know it until it splits the top.

After your coconut spouts, your coconut can live in your 3-gallon pot for about 3-6 months. After that, plant it out or in another larger pot or directly into the soil. Incorporate lots of manure. Fertilize properly starting after sprouting 3 fronds.

Growing
If you plan to grow coconuts, better have patience, seven years of patience before you can expect to see any coconuts. The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is considered a "three generation tree," supporting a farmer, his children, and his grandchildren. Some trees, which can grow to a height of 60 to 100 feet, even survive all three generations. Cocos nucifera, nucifera meaning nut-bearing, has only one species that includes both the tall and the dwarf coconut tree, but many varieties exist within the species.

Though the coconut is commonly considered a nut, botanically it is classified as a drupe and is the largest of all fruit seeds. The coconut consists of the thin, strong outer layer or skin called the epicarp, the thick fibrous layer called mesocarp, and the dark brown hard shell called the endocarp that encases the coconut flesh. Just beneath the endocarp is the testa, the thin deep brown layer that clings to the white coconut meat.














The coconut palm is a striking tree with a tall slender trunk that keeps its same diameter from the base to the top. Beautiful, lacy fronds, about 25 to 35 of them, form an umbrella-like structure at the tree's zenith. The tree grows taller by forming new fronds that sprout from the top of the tree as the lower fronds die off.

Coconuts grow from the center of the fronds, close to the trunk. Unique to the coconut palm, each tree blooms thirteen times a year and produces all stages of growth at the same time, from tiny new green nuts to fully ripened brown nuts that are ready to fall from the tree.

Coconuts are persnickity about where they live. They cannot survive cold climates, and do poorly in temperate zones. Coconuts require the hot, humid weather of the tropical regions that stretch 25 degrees north to 25 degrees south of the equator all around the globe. There the sun shines steadily with plenty of rainfall to nurture the slow-growing coconut palm.

To begin the growing process, purchase a coconut with its husk completely intact. Just like sprouting any seeds and legumes, the coconut must be soaked in water, only longer, two or three days.

Next, prepare a pot that is large enough and deep enough for the coconut by putting big pieces of gravel or stones in the bottom to allow for good drainage. Add about two inches of sandy soil, then set the coconut on the soil with the pointed or bud end up. Add more soil until it covers about half the coconut. Then set the pot in a warm place such as a sunny window, near a warm oven, or on a radiator.

The next step requires patience and diligence. Pour warm water over the coconut husk every day, making sure it does not dry out. The sprouting process is very slow, sometimes taking six months or longer. Until the sprout appears, the coconut is receiving its nourishment from the white meat inside. The coconut water within provides the nut with all of its moisture requirements.

For a sprout to appear it must first pierce through one of the soft spots, often called eyes, of the coconut's hard inner shell and finally emerge from the large fibrous outer shell. When white roots begin to grow out, in about a year, the coconut can be planted in a large tub.

Coconuts planted at home are unlikely to thrive or produce a coconut. Today the nuts are a highly cultivated crop, where once they were a source of survival for natives of the tropics, providing the family's support with only a few trees.

Since commercially planted coconut palms are grown for maximum yield, some farmers use commercial fertilizer while others use a different method. With intercropping, an effective method of fertilization and land use, the farmer plants banana trees or other large crops among the coconut trees. After producing its crop, the banana trees are left to disintegrate, producing ideal compost to fertilize the soil.

Coconuts come in many varieties. Some are grown for their higher oil content, while others are favored for their higher sugar content. Many growers prefer the dwarf varieties. Though they lack the dramatic appearance of the tall trees, they are far easier to harvest. The dwarfs, which have a shorter lifespan, about 40 to 60 years, are also less vulnerable to a yellowing disease that kills many of the tall trees.

In agriculture, nothing is without its challenges. With all its advantages, the dwarf coconut palm also faces destruction from rodents. The creatures climb up the tree trunks and form communities under the protection of the feathery fronds, often putting a considerable dent in a farmer's crop. The farmers have tried to outwit the rats by putting metal bands around the tree trunks, but these have no effect on the rats that are already colonized in the trees.


How a farmer harvests the coconuts is a matter of choice. On the average, trees produce about 60 mature coconuts a year, though some will produce two or three times as many. The easiest method of harvesting and one that assures fully ripened coconuts, is to simply allow the ripe nuts to fall to the ground.

Alternatively, the farmer employs nimble skilled men to literally climb up to the top of the tree with a machete and cut the ripe nuts down. Still another method, one that requires considerable skill, is to attach a machete to a long bamboo pole and reach for the ripe nuts while standing on the ground. This last method often fails to provide accuracy and frequently brings down unripe nuts as well. In some countries, farmers have been able to train monkeys to gather the ripe coconuts.

Before the farmer sends his coconuts to market, he removes the thick, fibrous outer husks, making the coconuts easier for the consumer to open. The exception is young coconuts, which reach market with their outer husk partly cut away. To remove the husk, the farmer pounds the coconut against a spiked wooden post that is firmly secured in the ground.

วันอาทิตย์ที่ 4 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

The health benefits of olive oil have been recognised by many ancient physicians like Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and Diocles. In recent years, modern doctors and nutritionists have realised that extra virgin olive oil, particularly, contributes significant nutritional value to human health.

You should not be too surprised if you read that people in the Mediterranean region, where the bulk of olive oil is produced and enthusiastically consumed, have reaped immense health benefits from olive oil.

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Olive Oil and Cholesterol

  • Researchers at the University of Minnesota, for one, have discovered that while Greek, Cretan and other Mediterranean men consumed almost as much dietary fat as Americans, they had much lower rates of heart disease. The difference was attributed to the Mediterranean’s consumption of extra virgin olive oil, which is largely monounsaturated fat.
  • Researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain found in a study that a diet rich in extra virgin olive oil helped to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and, perhaps more importantly, stimulated an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Researchers at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands discovered that simply following a low fat diet reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol also declined; in contrast, a high fat diet based on extra virgin olive oil also reduced total cholesterol but HDL cholesterol actually increased.

This is all very good for those concerned about their cholesterol levels, especially the good HDL cholesterol, and the effects on the human circulatory system.

About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is not a water-soluble substance: it floats around in our bodies, attaching itself to proteins and making them lipoproteins. Two types of cholesterol are formed. LDL or low density lipoproteins, is the so-called “bad” cholesterol; it accumulates in bodily tissues and sticks to artery walls as plaque, causing arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) if left unchecked. The other type is HDL or high density lipoproteins, the “good” cholesterol, which helps prevent artery-clogging deposits. The levels of these two cholesterols are affected by the types of fat that we take in daily.

The structures of different fats are described as saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated. Saturated fats come primarily from animal meats. They are thought the greatest damage to our health, because they increase levels of LDL resulting in arteriosclerosis.

Poly-unsaturated fats come mainly from vegetables, seeds, nuts, and grains. They lower the body’s overall cholesterol level, but to do so they reduce both LDL and HDL. You may want LDL lowered, but you would want HDL increased. There are also tests indicating that in higher doses polyunsaturated fats may do more damage than good, increasing the risk of nervous system problems, brain synapse connectivity, gall bladder stones, and perhaps even cancer, unless their action is controlled by antioxidants.

Monounsaturated fats are found in varying amounts in all fats. They lower LDL but promote increases in HDL. Thus, the best oil you can use is that has little saturated and polyunsaturated fats content but has plenty of monounsaturated fats.

Fortunately, such an oil exists: olive oil. In olive oil you find some of the lowest levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fats, averaging only 10 to 15% for saturated and 8 to 9% for polyunsaturated. More significantly, olive oil has by far the highest level of monounsaturated fat among all oils, about 75% to 80%.
Effect of Dietary Fats on Cholesterol Levels
Fat
Found in
State at Room Temperature
Effect on Cholesterol Levels
Monounsaturated
Olives; olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil; cashews, almonds, peanuts, and most other nuts; avocados
Liquid
Lowers LDL; raises HDL
Polyunsaturated
Corn, soybean, safflower, and cottonseed oils; fish
Liquid
Lowers both LDL and HDL
Saturated
Whole milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream; red meat; chocolate; coconut milk, and coconut oil
Solid
Raises both LDL and HDL
Trans
Most margarines; vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; deep-fried chips; many fast foods; most commercial baked goods
Solid or
semi-solid

Raises LDL; lowers HDL

Olive Oil and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A study in Greece showed that people who had the lowest lifetime consumption of extra virgin olive oil had two and a half times greater probability of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those with the highest lifetime consumption. If you know somebody who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, you must be familiar with the pain and inconvenience it can cause. A rheumatologist of the Arthritis Foundation, which did the research, cites that adding olive oil to your diet could help you protect yourself against rheumatoid arthritis. And, the spokesperson added, since the type of oil consumed in Greece is extra virgin olive oil, that offers additional protection.

Olive Oil and Antioxidants

Among the major components of extra virgin olive oil are antioxidants. Olive oil provides beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) which are excellent buffers of acids produced in the gastrointestinal tract and those resulting from body metabolism. Extra virgin olive oil contains 88% of its vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which is easily synthesised by the body. These are very important antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of LDLs. Such oxidation can cause damage to ordinary cells, nerve cells and arteries and lead to arteriosclerosis, coronary heart disease, or even cancer.

Olive Oil and Aging

Medical studies have indicated that diets which are deficient in vitamin E accelerate the breakdown of certain fatty acids, a process which invariably leads to aging. The vitamin E content in olive oil is thought to provide a defence against such effects, and thus help maintain mental faculties and muscular control longer and better. Among other benefits, the vitamin A helps prevent and minimise the development of skin wrinkles.

As we get older, our digestive capacity becomes markedly reduced resulting in more difficulty to absorb nutrients from food, especially vitamins and minerals. Olive oil is very digestible and its nutrients are easier to digest. It also has beneficent effects in aiding digestion and stimulating the appetite.

Another problem associated with aging – bone calcification – can be rectified by olive oil consumption. Studies have shown that a diet containing enough oleates as well as a moderate supply of essential fatty acids is needed for healthy bone mineralisation – a process that aids the developing bones in children and prevents calcium loss in adults.

Olive Oil, good for every body function

Olive oil is nature’s storehouse of many healthful nutrients like vitamins A, E, D and K. Other nutrients found in olive oil are:

  • Magnesium-rich chlorophyll encourages formation of healthy red blood cells.
  • Squalene, a precursor to phytoesterols, helps reduce acidity.
  • Phytoesterols (in the form of beta-sitosterol) assists in preventing cholesterol absorption.
  • Caffeic and gallic nutrients stimulate the flow of bile which helps alkalise food coming out of the stomach, reducing stress on the pancreas.
  • Phenolic compounds protect against fermentation of fats and cholesterol, and may promote higher production of fat-digesting enzymes in the pancreas.
  • Cycloartenol lowers the amount of cholesterol in free circulation and increases excretion of bile to mop up excess acidity and increase alkalinity of the food coming out of the stomach.

Olive Oil has been shown to have beneficial effects on virtually every aspect of body function, development and maintenance, including brain development, bone structure, digestion, aging process, the condition of skin and hair, metabolism, and on plaque formation in the blood vessels.

There is so much scientific evidence now that establishes the health benefits of olive oil. You will be hard put to find any other food that has so many positive effects on so many different parts of the body and their functions.

These health benefits can be derived from all forms of olive oil; however, refined oils undergo a lot of high temperatures during processing which destroys or alters the antioxidants, and thus have very little, if any, vitamins left. In order to gain the maximum medicinal benefit, you should use only Extra Virgin olive oil.

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The Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil Page 1





About the Authors

Dr Bruce Fife N D is a certified nutritionist and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. He has written 18 books and serves as the publisher of Piccadily Books/Health Wise Publications.


Dr Jon J Kabara, Ph D Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacology Michigan Sate University.


He was one of the first researchers to discover the anti- microbial properties of medium-chain fatty acids. He has been awarded 16 patents and has authored more that 200 scientific publications including eight books. He is considered by many to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on dietary fats.


Dr Conrado Dayrit Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology University of the Philippines and Past President of the National Academy of Science and Technology. Dr Dayrit’s clinical study on coconut oil was the first which led to the breakthrough discovery that medium-chain fatty acids (lauric and capric) were effective in killing HIV in lad cultures.


Highlights of the Reference Materials


• Why Coconut Oil is Different


• Lauric Acid-Major ingredient from mother’s milk is found in Coconut Oil

• Metabolism of MCFA


• Nature’s Marvelous Germ Fighter


• Coconut Oil as Medicine


• Coconut Oil and Weight Problems


• Health Benefits of Coconut oil – Summary


• How to make Virgin Coconut Oil


• Additional References



COMPOSITION OF DIETARY FATS


Fat===========Saturated==========Mono===========Poly

Canola Oil=========6===============62============32


Safflower Oil ======10===============13============77


Sunflower Oil ======11==============20============69


Soybean Oil =======13 ==============25============62


Olive Oil==========14==============77=============9


Chicken Fat======= 31==============47=============22


Lard=============41==============47============12


Beef Fat ==========52==============44 ============4


Palm Oil ==========51==============39============10


Butter============66=============30=============4


Coconut Oil ========92==============6 =============2



Called “monounsaturated” because it is predominantly monounsaturated, but like all vegetable oils, it also contains some polyunsaturated and saturated fat as well. Animal fats are generally the highest in saturated fat.


Vegetable oils contain saturated fat as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Most vegetable oils are high in saturated fat.

Coconut oil contains as much as 92 percent saturated fat-more than any other oil including beef fat and lard.





SATURATION AND SIZE We hear the terms saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated all the time, but what do they mean?


What is saturated fat saturated with?


All fatty acids consist primarily of a chain of carbon atoms with varying number of hydrogen atoms attached to them. A molecule that has two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon is said to “saturated” with hydrogen because it is holding all the hydrogen atoms it possibly can. This type of fatty acid is called a saturated fat.


A fatty acid that is missing a paid of hydrogen atoms on one of its carbons is called a monounsaturated fat. If more than two hydrogen atoms are missing, it’s called a polyunsaturated fat.


Wherever a paid of hydrogen atoms is missing, the adjoining carbon atoms must form a double bond(see examples on the following page). This is important because this double bond produces a weak link in the carbon chain which, as we will see in the next chapter, can have a dramatic influence on health.


The concept of saturation can be described by using an analogy with a school bus full of kids. The bus could represent the carbon chain and the students the hydrogen atoms. Each scat on the bus can hold two students just as each carbon can hold two hydrogen atoms.


A bus filled to capacity so there are no empty scats would be analogous to a saturated fat. No more


Saturated Fatty Acid


HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHO

…………………………………


H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-O-


…………………………………


HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH



Saturated fats are loaded, or saturated, with all the hydrogen(H) atoms they can carry. The example shown above is stearic acids an 18-carbon saturated fat commonly found in beef fat.


Monounsaturated Fatty Acid


HHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHO
…………….. ……………….



H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-O-H

……………………………………….


HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH







If one paid of hydrogen’s were to be removed from the saturated fat, the carbon atoms would form double bond’s with one another in order to satisfy their bonding requirements. The result would be unsaturated fat.



In this case it would form a monounsaturated fatty acid. The example shown is oleic acid, an 18-chain monounsaturated fatty acid which is found predominantly in olive oil.




Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid



HHHHH H HHHHHHHO

………………… ………………

H-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-O-H

……………………………………….

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH



If two or more pairs of hydrogen atoms are missing and more than one double carbon bond is present, it is referred to as a polyunsaturated oil. The example illustrated is linoleic acid an 18-chain polyunsaturated acid.


The fats found in animal tissue, as well as our own bodies, are mainly the trilycerides of stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat. Stearic and palmitic acids are saturated fats.

The saturated fat found in food consists of a mixture of the different types. Milk for example, contains palmitic, myristic, stearic, lauric, butyric. As far back as 1966 Dr. Jon J. Kabara, a professor of pharmacology and researcher at Michigan State University, reported on the antimicrobial activity of lauric acid, because of concerns about viral contamination in foods, early research focused on the antiviral effects of lauric acid.

It was soon discovered that lauric acid also exhibited antibacterial and antifungal effects as well. In fact, all the MCFA seem to share this characteristic. Most bacteria and viruses are encased in a coat of lipids (fats).

The fatty acids that make up this outer membrane or skin hold together the organism’s DNA and other cellular materials. But unlike our skin, which is relatively tough, the membrane of these microorganisms is nearly fluid.

The fatty acids in the membrane are loosely attached, giving the membrane remarkable degree of mobility and flexibility. This unique property allows these organisms to move, bend, and squeeze through the tiniest openings. Lipid-coated viruses and bacteria are easily killed by MCFA, which primarily destroy these organisms by disrupting their lipid membranes. Medium-chain fatty acids, being similar to those in the microorganism’s membrane, MCFA are much smaller and, therefore, weaken the already nearly fluid membrane to such a degree that is disintegrates.

The membrane literally splits open, spilling its insides and killing the organism.


Our white blood cells quickly clean up and dispose of the cellular debris. MCFA kill invading organisms without causing any known harm to human tissues. Our bodies have many ways of protecting us from microorganisms that can cause us harm.

The strong acid excreted in our stomachs, for example, kills most organisms that we may eat with our foods.

In our bloodstream, microorganisms are attached and killed by our white blood cells. Our first line of defence against any harmful organism, however, is our skin. In order to inflict harm, microorganisms must first penetrate the skin’s protective barrier.

While the skin is permeable to some degree, it is also equipped with chemical weapons to help it ward off attach. One of these weapons is the oil secreted by our sebaceous(oil)glands. Sebaceous glands are found near the root of every hair. This oil is secreted along the hair shaft to lubricate the hair and skin. Some have described this oil as “nature’s skin cream” because it prevents drying and cracking of the skin it also has another very important function. It contains medium-chain fatty acids to fight invading microorganisms.

A thin layer of oil on the skin helps protect us from the multitude of harmful germs our skin comes into contract with each day. The antimicrobial power of MCFA are utilized naturally by our own bodies.




They are found in mother’s milk to protect and nourish her babies; LIPID COATED MICROORGANISMS KILLED BY LAURIC ACID

Below are some of the pathogenic organisms reported to be inactivated by lauric acid

Lipid Coated Viruses
Visna virus
Cytomegalo virus
Epstein-barr virus
Influenza virus Leukemia virus
Pneumono virus
Hepatitis C virus

Lipid Coated Bacteria
Listeria monocytogenes
Helicobacter pylori
Hemophilus influenzae
Staphylococcus aureus
Streptococcus agalactiae
Groups A, B, F, & G streptococci
Gram-positive organisms
Gram-negative organisms (if pretreated with chelator)

Numerous laboratory studies have shown that lauric acid effectively kills many disease- causing microorganisms. They are also utilized on our skin to shield us from infectious intruders. They are non- toxic to us and create no toxic by-products.

They are completely safe and natural. Lipid researcher Jon J Kabara, Ph D., speaking of the safety of using fatty acids for medicinal purposes says, “Fatty acids and derivatives tend to be the least toxic chemicals known to man.

Not only are these agents nontoxic to man but are actual foods and in the case of unsaturated fatty acids are essential to growth, development, and health. LAURIC ACID Technical speaking, coconut oil as it is found in fresh coconuts has little, if any, antimicrobial properties. Coconuts cam be attached by fungi and bacteria like any other fruit or nut.

I know this sounds contrary to what I’ve stated above, but the beauty of this is that when we eat oil, our bodies convert it into a form that is deadly to troublesome microbes, yet remains harmless to us.

All dietary oils, including coconut, are composed of triglycerides. Triglycerides are nothing more than three fatty acids hooked together by a glycerol molecule. When oil is eaten the triglycerides break apart into diglycerides (two fatty acids joined by a glycerol), monoglycerides (a single fatty acid attached to a glycerol), and free fatty acids. It is the monoglyderides and free fatty acids that have the antimicrobial properties.

The most active are lauric acid and capric acid and their monoglyderides-monolaurin and monocaprin. In regards to their antimicrobial properties, the monoglyderides and free fatty acids are active and the diglycerides and triglycerides are inactive. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil (which consists of triglyderides).

Therefore, become active only when ingested or otherwise converted into free fatty acids or monoglyderides. The medium-chain fatty acids that appears to have greatest overall antimicrobial effect is lauric acid (and monolaurin). This is the largest of the MCFA consisting of a string of 12 carbon atoms.

Coconut and palm kernel oils are by far richest natural sources of this super nutrient, comprising nearly 50 percent of their fat content. Milk fat and butter are a distant second consisting of about 3 percent. These are the only food sources we have that contain significant amounts of lauric acid. Unlike the tropical oils, all vegetables oils are completely deficient in this and other MCFA. Neisseria meningitis, gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory Diseases Chlamydia genital infections, lympho granuloma venereum,conjunctivitis, parrot fever pneumonia, periodontitis Helicobacter pyloris stomach ulcers Gram positive organisms anthrax, gastroenteritis, botulism, tetanus Antibiotic properties that have been used for generations with some degree of success. One of these is coconut oil.

The fatty acids found in coconut are powerful antibiotics. They are known to kill bacteria which can cause throat and sinus infections, pneumonia, ear infections, stomach ulcers, venereal diseases, and dental cavities, to name just a few.


The standard treatment for all these bacteria infections is to use antibiotics, and this may be necessary in life-threatening situations. It is conceivable that instead of taking a drug for every single infection, we may simply eat foods that will kill these organisms. Onions, garlic, and Echinacea are credible plants that are commonly used for this purpose already.


Coconut living in their digestive tract. Normally, competition from friendly bacteria and the cleansing action of our immune system keep candida numbers low and prevent them from causing any diverse health problems.


But when the immune system is compromised or friendly bacteria in our gut are killed by taking antibiotics, a candida infection can quickly flare up. A single course of antibiotics can lead to a raging candida infection.

Approximately 75 percent of women experience vaginal yeast infections at one time or another. Vaginal yeast infections are typically treated as if they were only localized in one are of the body.

Many people, however, have systemic infections in which candida grows out of control overrunning the digestive tract and affecting the entire body, including the reproductive system. Systemic yeast infections call candidiasis (or yeast syndrome) affect the entire body and can afflict men as well as women.

Symptoms are numerous and varied (see table below) and even doctors have difficult identifying the problem. Because it is not easy to identify, hundreds of thousands of women and men are plagued with candidiasis without even realizing it. Vaginal yeast infection or oral yeast infections (thrush) can be identified by the white discharge they produce.

Recurring vaginal yeast infections are one of the signs of a systemic infection. But you can have candidiasis without an active vaginal yeast infection. Anyone who has taken antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, or immunosuppressive drugs is at high risk of having a systemic yeast infection, even if no noticeable symptoms are evident.


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PROBLEMS COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH SYSTEMIC CANDIDA INFECTIONS
General: fatigue, headache, digestive problems, joint pains, depression, memory loss, irritability, allergies

Women: persistent vaginitis, menstrual irregularities, recurrent bladder problems

Men: persistent or recurrent jock itch of athlete’s foot, prostatitis impotence

Children: ear infections, hyperactive, behavior and learning problems

Source: Crook, W, 1985, The Yeast Connection

Typical symptoms also include fatigue, depression, allergy symptoms, and recurring fungal skin infections (athlete’s foot, jock itch, ringworm, etc).

Skin fungus can afflict any part of the body from the head to the toed. Dry flaky skin that persists despite the use of hand lotion and skin creams could very well be a fungal infection. Often what people call psoriasis is really a fungal infection. Dandruff is caused, in part, by skin fungus. Preadolescent children are the primary victims of scalp ringworm(tinea capitis), a skin fungus similar to athlete’s foot. Not until puberty do glands secrete oil containing medium-chain fatty acids that help protect the scalp from skin fungus (see Chapter 11 for more information on skin health).

One of the most potent non-drug or natural yeast-fighting substances is caprylic acid, a medium-chain fatty acid derived from coconut oil. Caprylic acid in capsule form is commonly sold as a dietary supplement in health food stores. It is very effective against candida and other forms of fungi. It is even effective mixed with a little coconut oil or vitamin E oil as a topical application for fungal skin infections. I’ve seen fungal infections that have lasted for months clear up in a matter of days using caprylic acid and a little coconut oil. It works just a effectively inside the body, killing fungi without the least bit of harm. Polynesian women who eat their traditional coconut-based diet rarely if ever get yeast infections. Eating coconut oil on a regular basis, as the Polynesians do, would help to keep candida and other harmful microorganisms at bay.

The efficiency of caprylic acid is reportedly so favorable that many supplement manufacturers put it in their products used to fight systemic and vaginal yeast infections John P Trowbrodge, MD, President of the American college of Advancement of Medicine, and author of the book The Yeast Syndrome, highly recommends caprylic acid as an aid to fight systemic candida infections.

William Crook, MD., the author of The Yeast Connection and recognized authority on yeast infections, also recommends it. He reports that many physicians have used it successfully and that it works especially well for those patients who have adverse reactions to antifungal drugs. It is reported that caprylic acid is just as effective as nystatin, the most popular antifungal prescription drug, but without the side effects.

The only effective cure for candidiasis has been dietary changes and medications. Caprylic acid is a natural yeast fighter that has been used very successfully in place of the drugs. Caprylic acid is often sold in combination with anti-fungal herbs in dietary supplements designed to help those with yeast infections. Caprylic (Nature’s way), Capricin (Professional Specialties), Mycostat (P&D Nutrition), and Caprystatin (Ecological Formulas) are the names of some of the anit-candida supplements available.

AIDS PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

After two decades of research, the AIDS epidemic is still going strong. Drugs have been developed to help slow down the progress of the disease but like other viruses, there is yet no cure.

One of the most exciting and active areas of research with MCFA is in the treatment of those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV, like many other microorganisms, has a lipid membrane which is vulnerable to MCFA.

In the 1980s researchers discovered that the medium-chain fatty acids lauric and capric acids were effective in killing HIV in lab cultures. This opened the door to a possible treatment for HIV/AIDS that was far safer than the drugs currently being used.

One of the problems with antiviral drugs used to fight HIV is that they have undesirable side effects including muscle wasting, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, bone marrow suppression, ulcerations, hemorrhaging, skin rash, anemia, fatigue, and altered mental function. Another problem is that the AIDS virus can grow resistant to the drugs, often becoming invulnerable to them. The specific combination of viral resistance varies from patient to patient. To fight these resistant strains of super viruses doctors use a hit-and- miss approach by brewing potent AIDS drug cocktails. The more drugs used, the greater the risk of undesirable side effects.

Unlike the standard drugs used to treat HIV which attack the virus’s genetic material, medium-chain fatty acids simply break the virus apart. The MCFA are much like the other fatty acids that make up the virus’s lipid membrane and are absorbed by the virus, which weakens the membrane until it breaks apart, killing the virus. It is unlikely that the virus can develop and immunity to this mechanism, so MCFA can attack and kill any of the strains of HIV, even the genetically drug-resistant superviruses.

Over the years many HIV infected individuals have reported a decrease in their viral load (the number of viruses in the blood) and an improvement in overall health after eating coconut or drinking milk. Some have reported lowering their viral loads to non- detectable levels after eating coconut for only a few weeks.

The first clinical study on the effectiveness of coconut oil to treat HIV patients was reported by Conrado Dayrit, M.D., emeritus professor of pharmacology, University of the Philippines and former President of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines. In this study 14 patients ages 22 to 38 with HIV were separated into three groups. None of the patients have ever received any anti-HIV treatment. The treatment they were testing compared monolaurin (the monoglyceride of lauric acid found in coconut oil (see page 62) and pure coconut oil. One group (four patients) was given 22 grams of monolaurin a day. The second group (five patients was given 7.2 grams of monolaurin. The third group (five patients) was given 31/2 tablespoons of coconut oil. The amount of coconut oil in the third group contained about the same quantity of lauric acid as supplied by the monolaurin in the first group. After three months of treatment the
viral load had decreased in seven of the patients. After six months when the study as completed nine out of the 14 patients had a decreased viral count (two in the first group, four in the second, and three in the third). Eleven of the patients had regained weight and appeared to be improving. This study confirmed the anecdotal reports that coconut oil has anti-HIV effects and has provided solid clinical evidence that both monolaurin and coconut oil are effective in fighting HIV. Additional research is currently underway to further study the use of monolaurin and coconut oil to treat HIV/AIDS.

Unfortunately, the ready availability and low cost of coconut oil and its derivative fatty is one reason why research into its use as a treatment for AIDS and other viral illnesses has been slow. There is little monetary incentive for pharmaceutical companies to fund research of a natural, readily available substance that they cannot protect with a patent and charge exorbitant prices for. Currently the cost standard medications for one person to control the virus can reach over $15,000 a year. If all the hundreds of thousand of people who are infected by HIV spend anywhere near this amount you can easily see the enormous amount of money the pharmaceutical companies pull in. It is no wonder they are reluctant to support a treatment that threatens to end this flood of cash.

HIV-infected individuals often suffer from nutritional deficiencies and recurrent infections. Resistance to infectious illness decreases as the disease progresses. Opportunities microorganisms such as cytomegalovirus, candida, cryptosporidium, and others quickly take root. In time the body is devastated so greatly by infection that survival is impossible. The fatty acids in coconut oil not only offer the possibility of reducing HIV load, but kill other harmful organisms as well. Combined with the fact that lauric acid and other MCFA improve digestion and energy production, the result is better overall health.

Current research suggest that individuals infected with HIV progress more rapidly to AIDS when they have a higher viral load. Reducing the viral load to undetectable levels greatly increases the patient’s chances of avoiding the disease and reduces the chance of infecting others.

A recent study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University showed that the number of individual viruses in the person determines the degree to which the virus can be passed on to others. They found that someone with 200,000 virus copies (individual viruses per mm of blood) is 2.5 times more likely to spread HIV than is someone with on 2,000 copies. The researchers found no transmission of the virus at all by infected people who carried less that 1,500 copies of the virus.

Currently some researches recommended that HIV-infected individuals consume the equivalent of 24-28 grams of lauric acid a day in order to significantly reduce their viral load. This would amount to about 31/1 tablespoons (50 grams) of coconut oil.

What does all this mean to you and me? A lot. While it is not yet known if lauric acid may one day be a cure for AIDS, is has been proved to reduce the HIV load in those individuals who are infected by the virus, thus allowing them to live more normal lives and greatly reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. It may just as well be able to protect and possibly prevent infection in the first place if a person has sufficient lauric acid in his or her daily diet and exposure to HIV is low.

Currently the AIDS epidemic has spread worldwide. Millions of people are affected by HIV. The numbers who become infected are increasing daily. As yet there has not been effective means to stop this plague. With coconut oil and lauric acid now there is hope. Many people fear picking up the virus, even those who are not involved in high risk activities. The simple act of using coconut oil in your ordinary food preparation may provide you with a substantial degree of protection not only against HIV but against measles, herpes, flu, as well as dozens of other of disease-causing viruses.

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Coconut oil may be one of the best solutions to chronic fatigue syndrome currently available. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), once considered to be an imaginary ailment, is now recognized as a bona fide illness. While its cause is still pretty much a mystery, it has become a problem of growing concern. It is estimated that some three million Americans and 90 million people worldwide are affected by it.

CFS is characterized by a relatively sudden onset of extreme fatigue, often following an infectious illness. Symptoms may include any of the following: muscle weakness, headache, memory loss, mental confusion, recurring infections, low-grade fever, swollen lymph glands, severe exhaustion following moderate physical activity, depression, anxiety attacks, dizziness, rashes, allergies, and autoimmune reactions. Symptoms that persist for six months or more are a strong indications of CFS.

Coconut oil provides a quick source of energy and stimulates metabolism. This boost in energy not only lifts the spirit but promotes faster healing. The higher the body’s metabolism the more efficient the immune system and the quicker the body can heal and repair itself.

It’s like a carpenter doing some repairs on your house. If he is tired and slow, it will take a long time to do the job, but if he is energetic and anxious to complete the task it will take a fraction of the time. When metabolism is functioning at a higher level or cells are like an energized carpenter anxious to complete the repairs while depressed metabolism causes the cells to work slower, and consequently healing and repair progress slower.

I believe coconut oil used regularly can be one of the best natural treatments for chronic fatigue there is. Here is what one 46-year old man experienced:

“I never thought I was trouble with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was healthy. I ate what I considered a good diet-low in fats, lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But I noticed as I was approaching my mid-forties my level was decreasing rapidly. Even modest amount of yard work became a drudgery. After a couple of hours I came in exhausted and it took me two days to recover. By 8:00 pm every day I was exhausted, even though I have a desk job. I found myself going to bed earlier. Life was slowing down and I missed the energy I once had. I assumed that what I was experiencing was just the consequence of growing older and left it at that. But then I began to wonder. I saw other people, much older than I, who were more physically active and had much more energy. I then suspected something was wrong. I began to seek ways to improve my health. I learned about coconut and began to eat it in place of other oils. I did this
not to cure any illness but simply to improve my overall health. It was several months later when I noticed that the energy I used to have had returned. I no longer wanted to go to sleep at 8:00 p.m but stayed up till 11:00 without problem. I got less sleep but had more energy. Improvement came so gradually that I didn’t notice the change until after several months. And it wasn’t until later that I even thought it might be related to coconut oil. Since I’ve been using coconut oil I have not been lethargic during the day, as I was in the past: I have more energy and accomplish more. I feel really good.

PROSTATE ENLARGEMENT

If you are male, chances are you will suffer some type of prostate problem during your
lifetime. The most common prostate problem is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP) or
prostate enlargement. Nearly half of all men between the ages of 40 and 59 and as many
as 90 percent of those in their 70s and 80s have some symptoms of BPH. It has become
so bad that it’s almost an invariable consequence of aging. Prostate enlargement,
however, is not simply a result of aging, lifestyle and diet play and important role. BPH
is only a major problem in westernized countries. Those men who live in less prosperous
localities of the world where local foods are produces and consumed don’t appear to be
troubled by it as much.

The exact cause of BPH is unknown. The most popular theory focuses on the male
hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as the culprit. It is believed that as we age more
testosterone is converted into DHT which accumulates in the prostate gland. DHT
encourages the growth of prostate cells. This causes the prostate to enlarge, as it does so
it pinches off the urethra, the tube through which urine flows from the bladder. This
causes frequent and impaired urinations, especially at night. And is often associated with
inflammation of the gland. While not normally cancerous, it sets the stage for such a
condition to exist.

A logical treatment for BPH is to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. The
drug finasteride works on this principle and has been effective. A popular herbal remedy
which also appears to block the toxic effect of excess DHT formations is saw palmetto.
This subtropical plant is found in the southeastern part of the United States.

Native Indians of Florida and early settlers used the berries from this plant as a folk
medicine to treat reproductive disorders, urinary diseases, and colds. In women it has
been used to increase the supply of mother’s milk and to relieve painful periods.

Studies show saw palmetto berries are very effective at reducing the effects of BPH and are remarkably safe. Compared with Proscar (a much –prescribed BPH drug), saw palmetto is more effective in reducing prostate symptoms. Numerous studies have shown saw palmetto extract to be effective in nearly 90 percent of patients usually in a period of four to six weeks. In contrast, Proscar is effective in reducing the symptoms in less than 37 percent after the drug for a full year. Saw palmetto has no adverse side effects.

Proscar, on the other hand, may cause impotence, decreased libido, and birth defects. Saw palmetto has gained a reputation among both alternative and conventional health care professionals as an effective treatment for BPH. It is one herb that even conventional medicine recognizes as safe and effective.

The medicinal effects of saw palmetto are derived primarily from fatty acids in the berries. It is interesting to note that saw palmetto is a member of the palm family and the berries are relatives to the coconut. Many of the fatty acids in saw palmetto berries are MCFA similar to those in coconut. Dr Jon Kabara, an expert in lipid (fat) biochemistry, suggests that since the fatty acids in saw palmetto berries inhibit the formation of DHT hormone so should the fatty acids in coconut oil. The conclusion we can derive from this is that coconut oil should be just as effective or even more so in preventing and treating BPH as saw palmetto extract.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL

Research and clinical observation have shown that medium-chain fatty acids, like those found in coconut oil, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are
summarized below:

• Kills viruses that cause mononucleosis, influenza, hepatitis C, measles, herpes,
AIDS and other illness
• Kills bacteria that cause pneumonia, carache, throat infections, dental cavaties,
food poisoning, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and dozens of
other diseases
• Kills fungi and yeast that cause candida, jock itch, ringworm, athlete’s foot,
thrush, diaper rash and other infections
• Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites
• Provides a nutritional source of quick energy
• Boosts energy and endurance enhancing physical and athletic performance
• Improves digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids
• Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose
• Relieves stress on pancrease and enzyme systems of the body
• Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis
• Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes
• Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis
• Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of
strong bones and teeth
• Helps protect against osteoporosis
• Helps relieve symptoms of gallbladder disease
• Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and
stomach ulcers
• Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids
• Reduces chronic inflammation
• Supports tissue healing and repair
• Supports and aids immune system function
• Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers
• Is heart healthy; does not increase blood cholesterol or platelet stickiness • Helps prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke
• Helps prevent high blood pressure
• Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay
• Functions as a protective antioxidant
• Helps to protect the body from harmful free-radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease
• Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserve like other oils do
• Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation
• Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome
• Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement)
• Reduces epileptic seizures
• Helps protect against kidneys disease and bladder infections
• Helps prevent liver disease
• Is lower in calories than all other fats
• Supports thyroid function
• Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate
• Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
• Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems
• Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection
• Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
• Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin
• Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking
• Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots
• Promotes healthy-looking hair and complexion
• Provides protection from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the
sun
• Controls dandruff
• Helps you look and feel younger
• Is resistant to oxidation, so has a long shelf life
• Does not from harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperatures like other vegetable oils do
• Has no harmful or discomforting side effects
• Is completely non-toxic to humans

CONCLUSION

Coconut oil is classified as a “functional food” – a food that provides health benefits beyond its nutritional contents.

Scientific research is uncovering an impressive list of dietary and medicinal benefits of coconut oil.

For this reason, coconut oil is becoming known as “The Healthiest Oil on Earth”

NUTRITIOUS ways of getting your daily requirements of immune system booster natural coconut oil: virgin coconut oil, desiccated coconut on pastries; fresh young coconut dessert; dehydrated shredded coconut crackers; coconut noodles and coconut milk (gata) for entrees, and fresh buko juice.

WHY FILIPINOS ARE LAST TO KNOW ABOUT WONDER FOOD

IF COCONUT oil is a wonder food, how come Filipinos who live in a veritable coconut paradise are the last to know?

Whatever scientific studies on coconuts there are have been drowned by “Big Business-created anti-saturated fat hype” to push their soybean oil product that was losing out to coconut oil and singled out the latter as containing cholesterol associated with heart disease.

Secondly, lack of research funding has reduced the truths about coconut oil as “indigenous food traits” unsubstantiated by scientific evidence. At the height of the anti-saturated fat campaign, the country could not muster a counter information drive even as the industry was then awash with funds from the coconut levy.

While Dr. Conrado Dayrit’s own study in the 1980s operated on private funding by the Philippine Coconut Research Development Foundation of which he was a director; it was hampered by lack of concerted action from the industry, the government and the scientific.

Thirdly, the indigenous natural process that produces non-hydrogenated, non-refined, non-bleached and non-deodorized virgin coconut oil lost out to commerce. The few precious liters of healthy virgin coconut oil does not have a price in the market to compete with mass-produced cooking oil.

The SARS scare has triggered renewed interest on traditional and indigenous health products. Virgin coconut oil, albeit being a potent. Healing food in abundance, is just one of many from nature overlooked by the age of technology. It should be deemed as only a part of a total health care picture. Virgin coconut oil should be viewed not as the answer to SARS but as a question of living in sync with nature.

HOW TO MAKE VIRGIN COCONUT OIL

1. Select about 8 mature coconuts. Make sure dehusked shell is intact and has not breakage and that there is water inside the nut. To test, shake it.

2. Split the shell into halves, take out the meat from the shelf with a sharp knife, a scraper or shredder (kudkuran). You can have this done in the neighborhood market.

3. Collect the shredded meat together to be cold-pressed into coconut milk. Press the bunch of shredded meat with the coconut water by any means that does not require heat. The first cocomilk called “kakana gata” comes out. Strain this “first” milk through a cheese cloth (katsa) to separate the sediments. There are cold-pressing machines available in the bigger wet markets like Marikina, Sta.

Ana, Nepa-Q-Mart in Cubao, to cold-pressed your shredded cocomeat.

4. Your 8 nuts will make about 4 glasses of coco milk or half a litre. Let the filtered coco milk in the pitcher settle overnight. The coco milk will separate into three parts: 1/3 oil will rise to the top and the shredded meat will settle at the bottom, with coconut water in between.

5. To separate the oil, refrigerate until the oil turns into coconut butter form. Skim the coco butter and separate into another container. Let stand at room temperature to become virgin coconut oil ready to take. Avoid direct sunlight for the oil to stay clear. Shell life is good for 90 days.

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