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?

  • 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
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 0:59
  • Note that HIV is a virus, not a bacterium, so there are really two separate claims here: having antibacterial properties, specifically against antibiotic-resisting bacteria and having antiviral properties, specifically against HIV.
    – nico
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 15:42
  • @nico The fact that the original article does not seem to be able to understand the difference tells you all you need to know about its scientific credibility. Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 18:32
  • @Shadur sure, although it does not tell you anything about the veridicity of the claim ;-)
    – nico
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


That paper you quote from by Tayag et al is listed as For Publication where coconut oil was administered to 15 HIV positive patients. 3 of the 15 HIV positive patients developed clinical AIDs on this treatment and 1 died just after 3 months of treatment. If you look on Pubmed, this paper can not be found, and presumably was such poor quality that it was never actually published in a peer-reviewed journal. Shame on Coconutoil.com for promoting such claims.

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