Coconut Oil Has Potential To Treat Disease - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Coconut Oil Has Potential To Treat Disease

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Studies are being done right now to see if Coconut Oil could help Alzheimer's patients Studies are being done right now to see if Coconut Oil could help Alzheimer's patients
Erin Meagher, CEO of Kelapo Coconut Erin Meagher, CEO of Kelapo Coconut
One of the benefits of coconuts One of the benefits of coconuts

From pina coladas to pies and candy bars, coconut tastes good and can be good for you. But this tropical treat is known for something else. Demand is growing for oil pressed from the fruit.

"Coconuts, in general, are a super food," says Erin Meagher. "Mix it in your oatmeal like I did this morning,"

Erin Meagher calls herself chief coconut. She founded Kelapo Coconut in 2009. The Tampa-based company produces coconut oil.

"I started looking into it more and found that it was also helping with immunity and metabolism, and I was convinced that we should be using coconut oil instead of butter or margarine or other processed oils in our diet," she says.

Meagher says there are other benefits besides oil boosting immunity. Coconut oil, according to her, also builds lean muscle, staves off hunger and fights the signs of aging.

"I'm extremely excited," says Jill Smith.

That's because there could be another superpower tied to this superfood.

"We're going to do a full blown clinical trial to see if coconut oil can help Alzheimer's patients," says Jill Smith, of the Byrd Institute in USF.

The Byrd Alzheimer Institute at the University of South Florida is investigating whether coconut oil gives dementia patients a brain boost.

"They may be able to do something that they haven't done in a long time, they may recall information that they haven't been able to recall for quite some time. Essentially it's an extra fuel source," says Smith.

Researcher believe patients get the greatest benefit when coconut oil is consumed, uncooked. Their study could mean big business for companies like Kelapo.

"Hmm, could a food we eat really drastically effect our health that much?" Meagher asks.

Meagher hopes the answer will be yes. Helping boost the health of both body and mind.

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