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I've heard lots of extraordinary claims about coconut oil, but I've seen very littleresearch to back it up. Most of what I've heard is based on anecdotal evidence, so that's not really convincing.

Some of the claims I've heard from CoconutOil.com include:

The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s. Research has shown that microorganisms that are inactivated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.

By the 3rd month, 7 of the patients (50%) showed reduced viral load and by the 6th month 8 patients (2 receiving 7.2h ML, 4 receiving 2.4 g ML and 3 receiving, coconut oil had a lowered viral count. The CD4/CD8 counts showed a favorable increase in 5 patients. There were no serious side effects observed.

So, my question is: is there any research from independent organizations that backs up these claims?

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You're right. So far there's just been unsubstantiated anecdotal claims, most of it originating with Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network which has been touting the story that Dr. Mary Newport has been promoting in book sales and elsewhere about feeding coconut oil to her Alzheimer's afflicted husband. The Alzheimer's Association has noted that these claims have been circulating for several years and, no doubt, thousands, if not millions, of people have tried coconut oil. If there were anything to the claims, we'd all be dancing in the streets on our way to buy coconut oil. But final –  user11241 Jan 25 '13 at 0:59
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