How Much Coconut Oil Should You Consume Daily?

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CoconutOilCover

How Much Coconut Oil to Consume Daily?

Coconut oil is one of nature’s most powerful forms of nutrition. Mothers’ milk is considered the most perfect food on the planet for human consumption due to its ideal nutritional content and immune boosting compounds. The closest match in nature to mothers’ milk is found within the coconut. This tropical staple is loaded with many powerful fatty acids that give it a unique taste and an abundance of health enhancing benefits.  So how much coconut oil should you consume daily?

Coconut oil enhances every bodily system. It is most renowned for its ability to dramatically boost immunity through the presence of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) like lauric acid (12).   When the body consumes lauric acid it is metabolized into a monoglyceride called monolaurin.

Monolaurin liquefies microbial fatty cell membranes causing them to disintegrate.  It is quite possibly one of nature’s most powerful anti-microbial agents (3, 4, 5).

CoconutOil_HealthBenefits

Coconut Oil Balances Hormones:

Coconut oil also helps to balance hormones, stabilize blood sugar levels and boost the cellular healing process (678).  It is also known to stimulate the thyroid and reduce stress on the liver, pancreas and digestive system. This increases metabolism which helps us burn fat far more effectively while stimulating clean sources of energy that make us feel terrific.

The minimal daily dose of MCT’s in coconut oil you should consume should be equivalent to what an infant will receive through human breast milk.  The amount that infants consume helps to build their natural immune response to protect them from infectious illness while providing the nutritional support to help them grow and mature correctly.

Based on body size, an average adult of 150 lbs should consume about 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily.  This amount also includes coconut oil derivatives such as coconut milk, coconut butter and MCT oil.  I explain the translation of these at the bottom of this article.

CoconutOil_HowMuchToDrink

The Optimal Amount of MCTs

Taking this amount of coconut oil for your body weight should be enough to benefit from the MCT’s. Fortunately, the immune boosting and anti-microbial effects of MCT’s are accumulative (9). This means that in many cases more is better.

You can easily take twice the maintenance dose and do great.  Many natural health doctors who understand the health benefits of coconut will recommend a tablespoon of coconut oil every 2-3 hours for their very sick patients.  This coconut oil could be delivered transdermally by applying it on their skin or orally through their mouth.

Put Coconut Oil on Your Skin:

Many very sick patients gag when anything is put into their mouth…so expect to rub it into their skin.  Try to cover as much of their body as possible and especially over major areas where sickness exists. If someone has a respiratory infection, rub the coconut oil over their throat and chest regions so it will affect these regions first.

Because coconut oil is a super food and not a drug there is no danger of overdosing on coconut oil.  Many tropical populations have consumed twice as much as the maintenance dose on a daily basis throughout their lives with no side effects.  Dr. Bruce Fife, N.D. claims to have taken up to 14 tablespoons a day with no problems.

Coconut Milk, Flour and Butter

Coconut milk is another incredible way to add the MCT benefits into your daily life.  Coconut milk is very rich and creamy.  It is fantastic in a berry shake, mixed into hummus, guacamole, rice dishes, and soups.  Be sure to get the regular or full fat milk in a glass container or can and not the light or carton based varieties.  Look for organic varieties without preservatives.

Coconut Milk Conversion:  3oz of coconut milk = 1 Tbsp of coconut oil

One full can supplies roughly 12 oz of coconut milk which is equivalent to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil.

MCT Oil Conversion:   2 tbsp of MCT oil = 3 tbsp of coconut oil

If you are using MCT oil than it is a 2:3 ratio.  Coconut oil is 2/3rds MCT so the MCT is simply a more concentrated form.

Coconut Butter:  1 tbsp of coconut butter = 1 tbsp of coconut oil

If you are using coconut butter than it is a simple 1:1 ratio, so if you use 1 tbsp of coconut butter daily than that replaces 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

Coconut Flour Conversion:  1 cup of coconut flour is equivalent to 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

Coconut Flakes Conversion:  1/2 cup of coconut flakes is equivalent to 1 tbsp of coconut oil

So if you are baking with coconut flour or snacking on coconut flakes than you are getting more of these powerful fats into your diet.

How do you prefer to get your coconut oil in each day?  If you are looking for more options, here are some great coconut based, fat burning recipes to try out!

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Sources For This Article Include:

1. Huang WC, Tsai TH, Chuang LT, Li YY, Zouboulis CC, Tsai PJ. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of capric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: a comparative study with lauric acid. J Dermatol Sci. 2014 Mar;73(3):232-40. PMID: 24284257
2. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Fang JY, Zouboulis CC, Zhang L, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct;129(10):2480-8. PMID: 19387482
3. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Zhang L, Zouboulis CC, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Sebum free fatty acids enhance the innate immune defense of human sebocytes by upregulating beta-defensin-2 expression. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):985-94. PMID: 20032992
4. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Fang JY, Zouboulis CC, Zhang L, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct;129(10):2480-8. PMID: 19387482
5. Witcher KJ, Novick RP, Schlievert PM. Modulation of immune cell proliferation by glycerol monolaurate. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1996 Jan;3(1):10-3. PMID: 8770497
6. Eckel RH, Hanson AS, Chen AY, Berman JN, Yost TJ, Brass EP. Dietary substitution of medium-chain triglycerides improves insulin-mediated glucose metabolism in NIDDM subjects. Diabetes. 1992 May;41(5):641-7. PMID: 1568535
7. Kochikuzhyil BM, Devi K, Fattepur SR. Effect of saturated fatty acid-rich dietary vegetable oils on lipid profile, antioxidant enzymes and glucose tolerance in diabetic rats. Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Jun;42(3):142-5 PMID: 20871763
8. Barbera R, Peracchi M, Brighenti F, Cesana B, Bianchi PA, Basilisco G. Sensations induced by medium and long chain triglycerides: role of gastric tone and hormones. Gut. 2000 Jan;46(1):32-6. PMID: 10601051

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Comments

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Comments

  1. Dr Jockers thank you for your very informative website.It is to bad that more doctors would not take the time to learn the power of virgin coconut oil and more importantly the power of a ketogenic diet and the power of 24hr fasting.I realize that most doctors are influenced by big pharma.which is leading a lot of people to do their own research online.We have been taught our whole lives to stay away from fat and to eat a diet of at least 60% carb.Often being told to eat every 3 hrs to keep our blood sugar up!I ate that way my whole life not knowing any better what did it get me at the age of 46 was diagnosed type 2 with a fasting blood sugar of 300 and a a1c of 11.8.also blood pressure of 200 over 110.My doctor told me welcome to the club put me on Avandia and met formin and told me that I would most probably need to take insulin down the road.Also put me on 2 meds for blood pressure.Now don’t get me wrong when I say I ate carbs I ate a lot of nonfiber carbs mostly all junk food.I put myself in that position.I weighed 330 lbs and smoked 3 packs of cigs a day.Today I am a 54 year old male weigh 182 am 6foot 1 inch.I lost most of the weight before I learned of a keto diet.I was diagnosed with a fatal autoimmune liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis.The body attacks the bile ducts of the liver eventually plugging up the bile ducts and causes total liver failure.Most people live 10 years after being diagnosed.I was diagnosed in nov of 2010.And I am not most people.I started the ketogenic diet in nov of 2012.Today my fasting blood sugar is anywhere from 70-81 my a1c is 4.6 and my fasting insulin is 2.2 .I learned from websites and books.Dr ron rosedale got it started for me then dr. jockers steve phinney and jeff voleck jimmy moore peter attia and many more.The human body was built to run on fat.Once a person can convert the body to being able to burn fat and most importantly the brain to run mostly on ketone bodies which can cross the bbb the brain can get up to 80% of its energy from ketones.And the feeling is hard to explain unlike anything I have ever experienced before.It totally blunts all hunger and your brain is so much sharper and clearer.My liver is running I believe for the first time in my life the way it was designed to run from birth.When I was diagnosed in noc of 2010 my total bilirubin was 2.4. Jaundice is at 3.0.In nov of 2013 my total bilirubin was 1.5 1.0 is normal.I go for blood work in june and am hoping for 1.0.Also since swithing to a ketogenic diet my hdl went from 55 innov of 2012 to 105 in nov of 2013.My ldl is 74 and my trigs are 60.And just to let you know dr.jockers I have taken up to 20 tablespoons of virgin coco oil per day with no problems.My average is 10-15 per day .I now do 24hr fasts 2-3 days per week in hopes it will help with my liver.When I don’t do 24hr fasts I eat 2 meals per day lunch and supper.I eat no more than 20 grams net of carb from mostly radishes celery broccoli spinach.80-100 grams of protein the rest from vir olive oil and virgin coconut oil.Well thank you for everything you do dr.jockers and keep up the good work!Sincerly Jeff Cyr

  2. While I have heard of the wonderous health benefits of Coconut oil and have been consuming such – my husband read Nutrition Action Newsletter, written by medical docs with PHD’s, that stated that the human body only needs a small amount of Saturated Fat and it gave a graph of all the oils and their fat contents. Of course, coconut oil was the worst and at the very bottom for Saturated Fat – so now he refuses to eat it because of the saturated fat content and what Sat fats do to the heart, etc.
    How do I explain to him about the Saturated fats in coconut oil and it’s benefits?
    thanks so much for your help!!
    Sincerely,
    tamara

  3. Tamara,

    Hey, you could show him all the articles I have on this website or just google search coconut oil and you will find tons of amazing information. Unfortunately, those MD’s are quite outdated and not current on their literature or they would recognize the fantastic benefits of saturated fats – especially the small and medium chain in coconut oil!

  4. I just started a ketogenic diet with 70/25/5 ratio of fat/protein/carbs and 1,200 calories. My question is do I count the MCT oil calories if I start to consume 3½ Tbs =350 calories?

  5. Yes those are real calories, but I wouldn’t be concerned about them from a weight gain perspective. Weight loss is much more about hormone signaling then calorie deficits.

  6. Any suggestions for help with dry eye. I don’t have enough oil coming out of the oil glands though my eye doctor says I do have tears.

    1. I had dry eye for about 4 yrs. It was miserable. I am 66yrs old, so the eye Dr. said it was age. I read all the health articles I can, so I wasn’t buying that. I am gluten & dairy free. Had blood test to find my sensitivities. Eliminating these cured digestive problems I had for 28yrs. I read book called “Diet Wise”,real eye opener. One sentence in the book said if you have dry, red eyes it could be a sensitivity. I thought, I quit dairy but I switched to goats milk. So I quit the goats milk & have not had one problem for over a yr. It was causing inflammation. You just have to find out what your sensitivity is. Hope this helps.

    1. Dave there is nothing wrong with cartons, the coconut milk is very thin though and doesn’t contain much coconut fats. Many of the cans do have BPA, Native Forest is one brand that is BPA free.

  7. That was an amazingly quick response for early sat. am.

    My carton says it’s comprised of 60%MCFAs

    is guar and xanthan gum safe

    aren’t there others beside BPA that are also in lings of cans that aren’t talked about much?
    thank you

    1. Yes aluminum cans are not the best. But I think the benefits of coconut milk outweigh the negatives of the can.

      The carton variety does provide some MCT’s but it is watered down so it dosn’t have as much of the MCT’s per volume as the canned. Still a good product. Xanthum and guar gum are fiber based fillers. Most people do well with them but some individuals with digestive issues may struggle. If you notice gas and bloating with the coconut milk it may be due to the guar and xanthum gum being used as fuel by bad microbes.

    1. Hey Sue,

      I would recommend reducing fruit content in your smoothie and try just a tablespoon of coconut oil. Coconut oil won’t make you gain weight but it could be too much at once for your GI system. Lots of fruit (fructose) will cause problems with blood sugar stability and negatively effect your hormones and liver which could lead to issues with weight gain.

      1. What a great article. Thank you! I am working on gaining weight and starting to eat coconut oil to help with hormones. Will eating the coconut oil cause me to lose weight?

  8. Very interesting article. I prefer raw coconut meat to the oil. Is there any difference from eating the raw meat on a daily basis compared to the oil?

      1. Very controversial subject–Quite an article just came out about plant based diets and cancer–avoid meats-eggs-etc. I get it that though a sat fat, different than animal fat.

        1. Oh–and look at those references–talk about weak–Check out Jeff Novick
          if you want the “real” skinny on coconut oil, with many “”credible””
          references.

  9. I was reading that coconut oil if not good if you have A and O type blood. Is this true as I love coconut but not sure whether or not to use it now?
    Thanks

  10. Dr.Jockers. I was wondering if you get any of the same benefits with coconut flour. I use it in my baking. Also where is the best absorption of the oil on the skin to receive the mct and lauric acid?

  11. Dr. Jockers I have been told that coconut products slow down the metabolism. Is that outdated thinking as well? I would love to use more coconut oil but sure don’t want my metabolism to be any slower.

  12. I have been wondering for quite some time how much Coconut oil is healthy to consume. Thank you, as this is very helpful. I appreciate your posts very much. Great recipes too!
    Blessings
    Jeanne

  13. Hello Dr David
    Incredible information about coconut oil. Apart from the other benefits coconut oil helps in controlling hormone level of body. Benign prostate hypertrophy is definitely a pathology of hormonal imbalance. Does coconut oil will help in Benign Prostate problem by balancing hormones levels? What is your expert opinion?
    Kind regards,
    Dr Prakash Chhajed

  14. Will your body absorb the calories in coconut oil if it is applied to the skin?
    Is this the same as orally taking it?
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Carol, yes the body will absorb some of the calories transdermally (through the skin and directly to the blood stream) where it will be brought to the liver and cells for energy.

  15. Will coconut oil oil affect triglycerides and LDL in a negative way if they are already high?very scared they will get higher with consuming 3 tablespoons a day. Pluses total cholesteral. Or, is this just for people with normal cholesterol levels to begin with?

    1. I don’t agree with the blood type diet. I happen to be a blood type O and I thrive on coconut oil, avocados and other things that O types aren’t supposed to do well with. So I do not teach the blood type program.

  16. Dr. Jockers,,,I just had to get this out. I feel that in this climate of “fake news”, simple intelligence has not only taken a back seat, but has gone the way of the T-Rex. I was born in the British West Indies and for all my life coconut and coconut oil and all the other products have been a major part of my life and my diet. Why, please tell me WHY would anyone think that all the generations from Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka,Thialand, The Philippines, Malaysia, Brazil and South America in general, Fuji, Samoa Vietnam, Mexico, Ghana, China, CotedIvorie ( just to name a few) have no knowledge of the benefits of Coconut? These countries supercede America in knowledge, experience and i happen to know first hand,…Cuisine! I expect the AMA to soon try to ban Avacados! The very real worry is their financial bottom line, they are petrified that people will not need as many medications, their out of pocket will cease.
    Thank you for your website, Intelligence makes a difference if people wiill just NOT beleive the hype.

    1. Hey Elizabeth! I actually just wrote about the AHA’s recent statement on saturated fats. I agree, it doesn’t seem logical that we are seeing these kinds of statements against healthy fats. There are definitely some overlooked factors! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  17. I have started making my own oil, I blend the flesh than wash it in a bowl of water let it sit overnight than spoon the top layer off. That is than heated over a low heat removing the solid bits that settle on the bottom, once reduce the oil is strain through mutton cloth and there you have it. Would this be term as extra virgin oil ?

    1. Awesome Ivan! I am not sure what this would be considered. Not quite refined yet slightly heated. I know many companies use a cold-pressure technique to produce their virgin coconut oil. I would imagine your technique would fit the definition of virgin more than it would refined. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  18. Hello, is there any difference in nutrition between cold pressed coconut oil a d expeller pressed? Is one better than the other for us?

    Also, does one taste more like coconut than the other? And are they both safe to cook with?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Kerri! From my understanding expeller pressed oils are exposed to a higher processing temperature which gives it more of a “toasted” taste whereas cold-pressed taste more like pure coconut and are processed at lower temperatures. I would generally recommend sticking with the least processed form which in this case would be cold pressed. Both are still great alternatives to vegetable oils and are safe for cooking!

  19. Hello Dr.Jockers,

    i have buy a coconut oil 100% pure, non GMO and non hydrogenated, but its not organic.

    you think its good?

    thanks.

  20. I use refined/filtered coconut oil in cooking when I don’t want the coconut flavor. Does refined have the same nutritional benefits?

  21. Hello there
    I was reading a bit about the coconut oil and weight loss. I would like to try it but I’m a bit confuse. I’ve bought a virgin coconut oil and on it is written bio-organic. So is it good? I use it on my skin also for hair treatment. How much and how many times you suggest I should drink per day? It won’t give me diarrhea as I will be at work hence that will be uncomfortable :-).I am 35 years old, female and weigh 78kg. I love to reduce some fat around my waist, not a lot though. I read its good for belly fat and the waist. Please advise me on the intake, etc… Thank you. I hope to read from you soon

  22. Hey dr. Jockers nice seeing you here , Awesome article very informitive ,you know your stuff,i just learned how to make coconut butter an i Love it i was worried about gaining weigh if i eat 4 tbs a day , i weigh about 145 lbs,but you pretty much answered my doubts thank you

  23. Thanks Dr Jockers, so at the end of the day, it’s still moderation that’s really important. hello from the coconut-producing country of the Philippines.

  24. So I’m confused should I take the maintenance dose or try to get to 14 tbsp a day of oil? Which is better or should I take more? It sounded to me like more is better.

  25. Great article Dr Jockers
    Please can you advise if the benefits of coconut milk and oil are the same?
    Thanks in advance

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