An under-active thyroid results in what is known as hypothyroidism. It occurs when the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running properly, causing the body’s functions to slow down, including the metabolism.
Coconut Oil and Hypothyroidism
So where does coconut oil come in? The benefits of coconut oil for thyroid problems come from its unique medium-chain fatty acids. Lauric acid, a type of medium-chain triglyceride found in coconut oil, has excellent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Capric acid has potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties, and caprylic acid boasts a number of health benefits, thanks to its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
How to Use Coconut Oil
For hypothyroid related problems, use extra virgin coconut oil. About 1 tablespoon can be consumed each day. Try adding extra virgin coconut oil to hot tea, coffee or milk, using it in your daily cooking, adding it to smoothies or drizzling it over a salad.
Coconut oil can help treat these problems, often related to an under-active thyroid:
1. Aids in Weight Loss
Unexplained weight gain is one of the most common, and perhaps one of the most frustrating symptoms of low thyroid hormones. Weight loss becomes a much harder task for those suffering from an underactive thyroid, because thyroid hormones have a direct impact on the body’s metabolism. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that medium-chain triglycerides have a greater satiating effect, which can help facilitate weight loss.
2. Boosts Metabolism
An underactive thyroid can cause constant fatigue, leaving the body with no energy. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are able to enter the mitochondria to help fats convert to energy and boost the metabolism. When ingested, the lauric acid in coconut oil converts to monolaurin, which improves the metabolism as well as the immune system.
3. Fights Inflammation
Those suffering from a thyroid disorder often experience muscle and joint pain due to inflammation from unbalanced hormone levels. Coconut oil naturally suppresses inflammation and helps to repair tissues, making it highly effective in the treatment of hypothyroidism to reduce inflammation and fight pain.
4. Relieves Constipation
Low thyroid hormones slow down the body’s functions, including the digestive tract, the small intestine and the large intestine. This condition also weakens the contraction of muscles that line the digestive tract, leading to constipation. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil provide the energy needed by the intestinal cells to stimulate bowel movements, and coconut oil works as a natural laxative to help things run more smoothly.
5. Treats Dry, Flaky Skin
Low thyroid hormones in the body can cause dry skin. When applied topically, the fatty acids in coconut oil help to restore the lost moisture and improve skin health.
6. Prevents Hair Loss
A thyroid disorder can effect many parts of the body, including the hair follicles. The lauric acid in coconut oil is able to provide hair with the proteins it needs to stay healthy and strong, to reduce hair loss.