Evidence-Based Studies On Coconut Products To Help Women Look Younger At Any Age


Vermin M. Verallo-Rowell, Skin and Cancer Foundation, VMV Skin Research Center + Clinics, No. 15 Talisay Street North Forbes Manila, Philippines


Proceedings of the Women's Health And Asian Traditional (WHAT) Medicine II Conference




Coconut products, traditional medicine, antioxidants, antiageing, antiwrinkle, Monolaurin, cosmetic ingredients, skin care


Coconut products have long been used in traditional medicine (l).Its benefits and usage, including those for improving the look of skin and hair, are passed on in anecdotal tales. Often, these have become accepted as medical claims, but, until recently, no proper clinical studies have documented these claims. Starting in 1998, the author began to use evidence-based research methods to study products from the coconut. The results of these studies have been presented at scientific forums, or published in respected journals, and in a book (2). These studies show that the coconut's oil and water can be used to help retard the process, or improve on the effects of aging. So too do its medium-chain monoglycerides especially monolaurin (Lauricidin®) from lauric acid, the main fatty acid from coconut oil. One major cause for the aged look is from volume loss of bone, cartilage, and fat support of the skin. Obesity, cancer, infections, either as a result of the diseases themselves, or from the secondary conditions due to them, contribute to weight fluctuations and an earlier appearance of volume loss. Coconuts as part of one's daily diet can help retard this by helping: avoid obesity(3), and protect against cancer(4). Monolaurin the natural antibiotic from coconut oil, can be used as a nutritional supplement to help protect against infections (5). Skin changes contribute to the aged look. Dryness is a result of loss of the barrier function in sensitive skin. Coconut oil, which contains fatty acids that are "native" to the skin, helps restore this barrier, which is made up of water and oil(6). Photoaging, seen as wrinkling, dullness, discolorations, dilated vessels, and large pores of skin as it ages can be prevented and treated by the regular use of sunscreens, together with coconut oil, which has antioxidant effects (7). Growth factors (e.g.kinetin) from coconut water, have been shown to reverse these photoaging skin changes (8). Monolaurin is a basic cosmetic ingredient, that by its antiseptic effect can make skin care and cosmetic products "preservative-free" and more hypoallergenic. This is especially good for women with sensitive skin at any age (9).