What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil Good For?
It's rich in several medium-chain fatty acids that can have powerful effects on your metabolism.
Fractionated coconut oil is made from coconut oil and mainly consists of two medium-chain fatty acids.
It has been marketed as a coconut oil that can stay in liquid form in the fridge.
This is a detailed review of fractionated coconut oil and its health effects.
What is Fractionated Coconut Oil?
Fractionated coconut oil is an oil made from regular coconut oil.
Both regular and fractionated coconut oils are great sources of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), providing fatty acids that contain 6 to 12 carbon atoms.
However, their fatty acid composition is vastly different.
While the main fatty acid in coconut oil is the 12-carbon lauric acid (C12), most or all of this fatty acid has been removed from fractionated coconut oil.
The long-chain fatty acids present in coconut oil have also been eliminated.
Thus, the main medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in fractionated coconut oil are:
- C8: caprylic acid or octanoic acid
- C10: capric acid or decanoic acid
MCFAs are metabolized differently than other fats.
They're transported directly to the liver from the digestive tract, where they may be used as a quick source of energy. They can also be turned into ketone bodies, which are compounds that may have therapeutic effects in those with epilepsy (1Trusted Source).
Fractionated coconut oil is tasteless, odorless, and usually more expensive than regular coconut oil.
It's very similar or even identical to MCT oil.
Fractionated coconut oil is made from regular coconut oil and mainly consists of the medium-chain fatty acids caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10).
How is Fractionated Coconut Oil Made?
Fractionated coconut oil is produced via a process called fractionation.
The different melting points of various fats make fractionation possible.
For example, lauric acid and long-chain fatty acids have higher melting points than caprylic acid and capric acid. Therefore, they will become solid sooner when cooled.
The fractionation of coconut oil is carried out by heating the oil above its melting point. Then, it's left to cool, and the solid fraction of the oil is separated from the liquid.
The whole process of fractionation can take several hours.
A process called fractionation is used to produce fractionated coconut oil. This method uses the different melting points of fats to separate them.
Fractionated Coconut Oil May Help You Lose Weight
A diet high in MCTs, the main component of fractionated coconut oil, may aid weight loss.
Most studies on this effect replaced other fats in the diet with MCTs.
MCTs may help you lose weight because they:
- reduce hunger and calorie intake (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source)
- help you burn more fat and calories (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source)
- are less likely to be stored as fat (9Trusted Source)
However, the amount of weight lost is generally quite modest.
One review of 13 studies found that MCTs reduced body weight by an average of 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg) over three weeks, compared with other fats (10Trusted Source).
The authors also noted that about half of these studies were funded by MCT oil producers. Therefore, there is a high risk of bias.
Eating a diet rich in MCTs may lead to modest weight loss by helping you eat less and burn more fat. MCTs are also lesslikely to be stored as fat.
Other Potential Health Benefits
The MCTs in fractionated coconut oil have been associated with several other health benefits, including:
- Reduced insulin resistance: One small study found that taking MCTs may reduce insulin resistance and improve other risk factors in people with diabetes and excess weight. More studies are needed to confirm this effect (11Trusted Source).
- Epilepsy treatment: Children with epilepsy may benefit from a ketogenic diet enriched with MCTs. Adding the MCTs may allow them to eat more carbs and protein, making the diet easier to stick to (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
- Improved brain function: One study reported that in some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, MCTs may improve brain function. However, further studies are needed (14Trusted Source ).
The MCTs in fractionated coconut oil have been suggested to enhance exercise performance and improve various health conditions. However, more research is needed.
Most Fractionated Coconut Oils Don't Contain Lauric Acid
Lauric acid is a major component of coconut oil. In fact, the oil comprises about 50% lauric acid and is one of the world's richest dietary sources of this saturated fat.
Most fractionated coconut oils do not contain any lauric acid, or only very small amounts of it.
Thus, fractionated coconut oil doesn't offer all of the health effects that regular coconut oil does.
Fractionated coconut oil is able to stay in liquid form because its lauric acid has been removed. Thus, the oil does not offer lauric acid's many health benefits.
How Is It Used?
Fractionated coconut oil has been marketed under three different names.
You may know it as:
- Fractionated coconut oil: This oil is mainly used for various household and personal care purposes, such as a moisturizer, hair conditioner, and massage oil.
- MCT oil: It's often used as a dietary supplement, with 1–3 tablespoons per day being a common dosage recommendation.
- Liquid coconut oil: This oil is advertised as an edible cooking oil.
Ultimately, these are the same product that has been marketed for different consumer uses.
Fractionated coconut oil is also marketed as MCT oil and liquid coconut oil, but fundamentally, these are all the same product. Its uses include skin care and cooking.
Safety and Side Effects
Consuming fractionated coconut oil appears to be safe for most people.
However, there have been reports of people experiencing digestive symptoms.
These include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, and they seem particularly common in children on an MCT-enriched ketogenic diet (18Trusted Source).
These people may experience adverse reactions when consuming fractionated coconut oil.
Fractionated coconut oil is well tolerated by most people. However, it may cause digestive problems in some cases, as well as adverse symptoms in people who are allergic to coconut products.
The Bottom Line
Fractionated coconut oil is made by separating the different types of fats in regular coconut oil.
What remains are two medium-chain fatty acids that may lead to modest weight loss and several other health benefits.
While fractionated coconut oil may offer some benefits, it's more processed than the regular kind. Plus, lauric acid, one of the most beneficial fats, has been removed.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zahida Sherman
Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.
Falling in Love With Food All Over Again<p>Slowly, through my most intimate relationships with friends and partners, I began to see the beauty — and rewards — of cooking.</p><p>I got tired of giving in to defeat and always bringing chips or paper products to social gatherings. I started asking my mom to send me her Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes. I even volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my place.</p><p>Each time I heard my loved ones sing the praises of the foods I prepared for them, I felt a tinge more confident that I could carry out our traditions my way.</p><p>In reaching out to other relatives for their favorite recipes, I learned that they had a little help of their own. They didn't rely solely on their ancestral cooking instincts. They turned to Black chefs for guidance.</p><p>These 7 cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired my family and fed us in nutrients, joy, and spiritual sustenance. They're also helping me overcome my personal fears of cooking.</p>
Get CookingWhether you're in recovery from cooking fears like me, or are just looking to expand your culinary confidence with dishes honoring Black heritage, these Black chefs are here to support you on your journey.Turn on some music, give yourself permission to make mistakes, and throw down for yourself or your loved ones. Glorious flavors await you.
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By Tara Lohan
The conclusion to decades of work to remove a dam on the Middle Fork Nooksack River east of Bellingham, Washington began with a bang yesterday as crews breached the dam with a carefully planned detonation. This explosive denouement is also a beginning.
The History<p>The Middle Fork Nooksack drains glacier-fed headwater streams that run off the icy summit of 10,778-foot Mt. Baker. The Middle Fork joins the North Fork and then the mainstem of the Nooksack River, which travels to Bellingham Bay and Puget Sound. The entire Nooksack watershed stretches 830 square miles across Washington and into British Columbia.</p>
A Plan Comes Together<p>The Middle Fork dam is not a pool dam built for water storage. Much of the time, water flows over the top until dam operators drop a floodgate to divert water to new locations. That water travels about 14 miles through tunnel and pipeline to Mirror Lake, then Anderson Creek, and to Lake Whatcom before finally being delivered to residents' taps.</p><p>Before removing the dam, engineers had to move the water intake 700 feet upstream and situate it at an elevation that still enabled city water withdrawals throughout the year, regardless of flow conditions.</p><p>They also needed to make sure that the rushing water didn't sweep up fish and accidentally send them through the water-supply system.</p><p>"The solution required a fairly complex design in the intake structure, including a fish exit pipe out of that structure to put fish back into the river in a way that meets current environmental permit standards," explains LaCroix.</p>
Project layout for the removal of the Middle Fork Nooksack diversion dam and rebuilding of water intake. City of Bellingham<p>Despite the cost and the work, she says, being able to continue to meet their municipal water obligations while opening up habitat for threatened species has been a win-win.</p><p>"I think there's a lot of benefits to having a dam removal versus fish passage — the main one being that you get a free-flowing river that can be a dynamic ecosystem and change over time," she says. "A static fish ladder just can't provide that same level of ecosystem benefit."</p>
Restoration Success<p>Despite local authorities' championing dam removal on the Middle Fork, the project has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed in the Pacific Northwest by heated discussions about a much larger potential project — removing <a href="https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/feds-reject-removal-of-4-snake-river-dams-in-key-report/" target="_blank">four federal hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River</a>, a major tributary of the Columbia River.</p><p>Proponents of dam removal there see it as the best chance for recovering threatened salmon populations, including Chinook, which could help starving Southern Resident killer whales. Those dams also provide irrigation water, barge navigation and hydropower, so there's been more pushback against removal efforts.</p><p>Previous dam removals around the country, however, have proved successful at aiding fish recovery and river restoration.</p><p>Most notably the 1999 demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/edwards-dam-removal/" target="_blank">Edwards Dam on Maine's Kennebec River</a> restored the annual run of alewives, a type of herring essential to the food web. The fish run has gone from zero to 5 million in the two decades since dam removal. Blueback herring, striped bass, sturgeon and shad have also extended their reach. And the resurgence has brought back osprey, bald eagles and other wildlife, too.</p><p>The overwhelming success of river restoration on the Kennebec helped to spur a nationwide dam removal movement that's now seen 1,200 dams come down since 1999. Last year a record <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/conservation-resource/a-record-26-states-removed-dams-in-2019/" target="_blank">90 dams</a> were removed in 26 states, including <a href="https://therevelator.org/cleveland-forest-dam-removal/" target="_blank">20 dams in California's Cleveland National Forest</a>.</p>
Spider excavators remove on dam on San Juan Creek in California's Cleveland National Forest. Julie Donnell, USFS<p>The results have been seen in the Pacific Northwest, as well, which boasts the largest dam removal thus far in the country. In 2011 and 2014, the demolition of <a href="https://therevelator.org/elwha-dam-removal/" target="_blank">two dams</a> on Elwha River, which runs through Washington's Olympic National Park, opened up 70 miles of habitat that had been blocked for a century. Scientists have started seeing all five species of salmon native to the river coming back, particularly Chinook and coho. Bull trout, they've observed, have increased in size since the dams were removal.</p>
Benefits on the Middle Fork Nooksack<p>McEwan hopes to see a similar outcome on the Middle Fork.</p><p>Like the Elwha the Middle Fork Nooksack is a relatively pristine river with little development, and dam removal is expected to provide a big boost to fish. The additional miles of spawning habitat are important, but so is the temperature of that water.</p><p>The dam removal will open access to cold upstream waters, which are ideal for salmon and getting harder to come by as climate change warms waters and reduces mountain runoff.</p><p>"This is really great for the climate change resiliency for these species," says McEwan.</p><p>Steelhead will get back 45% of their historic habitat in the river, and scientists expect Chinook populations to increase in abundance by 31%.</p><p>That <em>could</em> help Southern Resident killer whales.</p><p>"When you get to the ocean, it's a little bit of a black box in terms of what you can model and say definitively is going to help, but more fish is better for orcas," McEwan says.</p><p>Upstream habitat will see benefits, too.</p><p>Oceangoing fish like salmon enrich their bodies with carbon and nitrogen while at sea. When they return to their natal rivers to spawn and die, the marine-derived nutrients they carry back upriver become important food and fertilizer for both riverine and terrestrial ecosystems — aiding everything from trees to birds to bears.</p><p>"Once the fish start making their way back, it will start changing the whole ecological system," says Delgado.</p><p><span></span>But any ecological benefit from salmon restoration, either in the ocean or the upper watershed, won't be immediate.<br></p><p>"The population of salmon on the Middle Fork is so low that we expect it's going to take quite a while to rebound," she says. "But the big picture is that what's good for salmon is good for the region — our history and our destiny are intricately intertwined."</p><p>After decades of work, that process of restoration has finally begun.</p>
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A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Created by the Johns Hopkins' Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and offers it as a public good.
By Manuela Callari
It can grow to a maximum of six inches (16 centimeters), change color depending on mood and habitat, and, like all seahorses, the White's seahorse male gestates its young. But this tiny snouted fish is under threat.
Building an Ocean Seahorse Destination<p>Seahorses are found in tropical and temperate coastal water worldwide, but are most abundant around Australia, China and the Philippines. </p><p>Trade in the tiny creatures is strictly regulated because of their use in traditional medicine, aquariums and their sale as dried curios. But because they are poor swimmers and cannot easily move elsewhere, habitat loss is a particular threat for these curious animals. </p><p>Seahorses wrap their tails around seagrass and corals to avoid being carried away on currents. They use the habitat to spawn and hide from predators such as crabs, while also feeding on riches of plankton and small crustaceans living in the reef.</p><p><span></span>Where corals aren't available, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aqc.1217" target="_blank">scientists</a> found seahorses taking up residence in fishing nets and old crab traps abandoned at the bottom of the ocean. </p>
Mixing With the Locals<p>Baby seahorse mortality is high in the wild because they are easily caught, so those bred in the protected environment of the aquarium weren't ready to be released into the wild until early May.</p><p>The team released 90 new arrivals into Sydney Harbor, placing some directly into the purpose-built hotels, and others onto a net that wild seahorses had already settled on.</p><p>Before setting them free, the researchers marked each young seahorse with a fluorescent tag with unique IDs inserted just beneath the skin to track how they get on in the different environments. </p><p>"The most exciting part was being able to put these animals into the wild and then go back a month later and still see them surviving and growing," said McCracken. </p><p>The seahorses will be old enough to mate and reproduce around October or November 2020. And researchers hope that by then, they will be able to breed with the wild population. </p>
Building a Global Seahorse Hotel Chain<p>With seahorses everywhere facing the loss of their coral reef homes, similar projects have sprung up in places like Greece and South Africa, home to the world's most endangered seahorse, the Knysna seahorse. </p><p>"The endangered South African seahorse is benefiting from something quite similar, even though it wasn't intentional," said Peter Teske, professor at the Department of Zoology, University of Johannesburg.</p><p>In the South African <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322649251_An_endangered_seahorse_selectively_chooses_an_artificial_structure" target="_blank">case</a>, seahorses have bedded down in "Reno mattresses" — wire cages filled with rocks — that were used to build a new marina. Researchers from NGO Knysna Basin Project found the structures acted as a refuge for the animals.<span></span></p><p><span></span>While Teske describes the seahorse hotels as "a positive news story" and a great way to create public awareness of conservation, he added that establishing artificial habitats in some areas will only prevent the extinction of local populations.</p><p>"For a complete recovery, it is necessary to give the natural habitat a chance to regenerate," said the seahorse expert. </p>
Underwater Mascot<p>In Australia, the researchers hope the project could provide an opportunity to raise awareness not only of the plight of the Sydney seahorses but the other animals with which it shares its ocean habitat.</p><p>The waters around Sydney and the east coast are rich in biodiversity and include several threatened species like the weedy seadragon — a relative of the seahorse — and the grey nurse shark. Like the seahorse, they're also under pressure from pollution, ocean traffic and habitat loss through storms and coastal construction. </p><p>"It's a good thing to get people's support and interest. The seahorses are a useful vehicle to get people concerned if the harbor is in trouble," said David Booth, professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology Sydney who is also working on the project. </p><p>The hotels have become an attraction for divers hoping to catch a glimpse of these small but near mythical creatures. </p><p>"Everyone loves seahorses," added Booth, "they are so popular." </p>
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