There is no disputing the fact that coconut oil has a long history of safe use as a skin treatment, sun protector and all-round good guy but as I discussed in my article – Would Coconut Oil make a good sunscreen for me – that doesn’t mean that it will suit everyone.

With that in mind I thought it would be wise to look into the chemistry of this oil a little more and find out what (if any) protection coconut oil could offer me.

Oh and I also wanted to find out if the benefits are best gained by slopping it on or eating it as I’m sure there is a difference!

So, here we go!

The Chemistry.

Coconut oil is classed as a saturated fat because of its chemistry. ┬áSaturation (in terms of fat terminology) relates to double bonds and hydrogen which might sound like TOO MUCH INFORMATION for some so I’ll leave it in favour of what the oil looks like and how good or bad it is to eat.

Saturated fats are usually harder than their unsaturated brothers and sisters and were given a bad wrap in the 80’s and onwards after a blanket labelling of them as ‘artery clogging’ – a statement that is partly true.

Commonly used saturated fats include beef tallow, butter, lard, ghee, cream, cottonseed oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and suet.

The ‘artery clogging’ message was endorsed by manufacturer of unsaturated edible fats who were developing and selling alternatives such as your synthetic spreads, margarines, butter replacements and cooking oils.

The only problem with that being that not all saturated fats are created equal.

In recent years coconut oil has had a revival as the saturated fats it contains have been found to be […]