There is no other oil besides coconut oil that provides the satisfying texture we enjoy in so many foods, while supporting so many diverse systems in our bodies — and our dog’s!
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but as witnessed by its presence in so many shopping baskets these days, it offers numerous health benefits – never mind that we are spooning it into our coffee in the morning and smoothing it into our skin at night! Most saturated fats found in meats and dairy butter are comprised of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs); coconut oil is comprised mainly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Our bodies metabolize medium-chain fatty acids differently, and the nutritional results prove equally diverse.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid that, once in the body, converts to monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound with numerous benefits. These include anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic healing abilities. Lauric acid is reported to destroy lipid-coated bacteria, fungus and many viruses.
SMCTs such as those found in high-fibre coconut oil provide a quick form of non-carbohydrate energy. They increase metabolism and sends satiety signals to the brain so we don’t overindulge. MCTs enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and improve digestion. And as much as coconut oil nourishes our skin, it can benefit our pet’s skin and coat. But of all these effects, the most compelling is coconut oil’s capacity to improve brain function in older dogs; these are findings that have implication for animals and people.
In one study, 24 older Beagles consumed a diet supplemented with 5.5% MCTs. Within a single month, the Beagles showed a marked improvement in cognitive ability. The study’s authors concluded that the MCTs, as contained in coconut oil, provided the senior dogs with a beneficial source of brain energy.