The growing popularity of oil pulling may be undeniable, but the actual benefits of coconut oil continue to be a topic of debate. Some experts like Dr. Oz swear by its superpower properties, but others like Dr. Weil feel that the research isn't ready to make these claims. With that said, there are a number of studies and promised benefits worth considering.
- It soothes persistent skin conditions: Instead of relying on heavily medicated creams, coconut oil can do wonders for dry and irritated skin. Many tout regular use of coconut oil for helping improve symptoms of both eczema and psoriasis. Lauric acid, one of the saturated fats in coconut oil, has also been shown to fight off fungal infections.
- It raises HDL: Coconut oil got a bad rap over the years, but previous studies were performed on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, rather than raw, virgin coconut oil. While many hydrogenated saturated fats raise bad cholesterol levels, raw coconut oil has been shown to increase levels of good cholesterol. As long as you buy virgin coconut oil, you'll be able to reap this healthy benefit.
- It combats tooth decay: A recent study out of Ireland showed that coconut oil can even prevent tooth decay. The research revealed that coconut oil stopped the growth of most strains of S. mutans bacteria — the strain responsible for tooth decay. While many mouthwashes wipe out all the bacteria in your mouth, coconut oil could be the key to creating a mouthwash that only targets the bad bacteria.
- It can improve your complexion: One of the most touted beauty benefits of oil pulling is the detoxifying effects it can have on your complexion. Some doctors believe that when you remove the bacteria and toxins from your mouth, which can affect the rest of your body, it can have profound effects on your complexion, namely improving brightness or acne issues.