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Virgin Coconut Oil: What Are Its Health Benefits?

Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Dec 19, 2022

Virgin Coconut Oil: What Are Its Health Benefits?

For most people, coconuts are thought to be just mere fruits that could bring delight to a person through its meat or quench one’s thirst with its juice during hot and humid days. However, they are more than just that. As the ‘tree of life’, they provide so much for the people to utilize — from its tall tree that provides shade, its meat and water for food consumption, husk as part of house fixtures, and even down to the virgin coconut oil that can be extracted from it. 

Coconuts in the Philippines 

Coconuts are not very hard to grow and maintain, especially in a tropical setting such as Asian countries. In fact, the Philippines ranks as the second largest coconut-producing country in the world, after Indonesia.

According to the acting secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Dr. William Dar, coconut tops the charts as one of the two agricultural commodities which yield good billion-dollar revenues from annual exportation.

Not only that, based on the reports made by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA),  it also provides different ways of livelihood for nearly one-third of the total population due to the coconut landscape domination of  68 out of 81 total provinces in the country.

virgin coconut oil

What’s with Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)?

Recently, people have been raving about the popularity and notability of virgin coconut oil in terms of its benefits. Several companies and manufacturers are already infusing it as an ingredient to the products they try to put out in the market. Consumers may even find their hair and skin products with this ingredient listed in the labels found in the bottles. 

Virgin coconut oil is known to be one of the most effective oils. Most scientists hold its potency to be the key benefit of it all. It is a natural oil that doesn’t require anything other than heat to extract and juice it out. Hence, the inclusion of the term “virgin.”

Uses of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

You can take advantage of this one-of-a-kind oil in many ways from health, beauty, and everything in between.

Weight Loss Management

Virgin coconut oil is both a cholesterol-free and a fiber-free ingredient that can be found in your very kitchen. It only contains and weighs vitamins, minerals, and plant sterols. Plant sterols are known to have a similar chemical structure with that of blood cholesterol. It aids to prevent cholesterol absorption in the body. 

Moreover, it is also an alternative for many ingredients such as but not limited to the following:

  • ½ cup of coconut oil in exchange for a half stick of butter 
  • A tablespoon of coconut oil in replacement of an egg
  • ¾ cups of coconut oil to switch a half-cup of shortening baking agent

Increase in Good Cholesterol (HDL) Levels

HDL or high-density lipoprotein refers to the good cholesterol that accepts and finds its way back to transport it back to the liver. A study revealed that virgin coconut oil can significantly improve this lipid profile found in the body as compared to regular olive oil and butter.

However, based on studies by Papamandjaris AA, et al in 2021, if given for long periods of time like 2 weeks, it doesn’t have any beneficial effect on the good cholesterol or HDL.

A Good Ingredient for Your Skincare Stash

Virgin coconut oil is proven to have antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a good product to consider when looking for skincare products.

It can be a good moisturizer that you can apply either to your skin or your hair. Applying an adequate amount to your hair can help untangle the frizz.  You may also use VCO as a lip balm to avoid your lips from chapping. 

It can be used as well as a topical antibiotic for wounds because of the component of the lauric acid present in VCO.

Key Takeaways

It entails a lot of benefits to using something natural and organic like virgin coconut oil. Whether you use it to supplement your diet or your skincare routine, it is necessary to use only the required amount as oils also can have their own effects.  

Check out other Herbals and Alternatives here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD


Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Dec 19, 2022

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