Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the US, which is one of the most difficult to treat. Often, patients are unaware of the early signs of this cancer type, and when is diagnosed (usually with colonoscopy), it is well-advanced and leaves the patients with only a few options.
However, there are natural ways to prevent colon cancer, which include maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a diet rich in fiber and antioxidants, and keeping your body well hydrated.
The new research
In this newly published lab study scientists studied the effects of lauric acid from coconut oil (which contains around 50 percent lauric acid) on colon cancer cells. The results of the study showed that lauric acid killed 93 percent of human colon cancer cells, after 48 hours of treatment. The lauric acid killed cancer cells in two different ways. At first, it decreased levels of glutathione in the cells, then increased their oxidative stress, which the cancer cells were more susceptible too after their glutathione levels were lowered.
However, more studies need to be done on lauric acid, with a view to developing a nature-based cancer treatment.
More on the health benefits of coconut oil
While new studies are just discovering coconut oil full antioxidant potential, its many health benefits have already been well established through medical research. Coconut oil naturally kills many viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Also, it supports digestion and liver metabolism, reduces inflammation, and promotes healthier skin and faster wound healing when applied topically. It is great for heart health, lower LDL while raising HDL cholesterol levels to improve the overall cholesterol ratio. Coconut oil is now being used in clinical trials for improving cholesterol in patients with chronic heart disease, in fighting Alzheimer’s, and for improving blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, a medium chained triglyceride, which is very hard to find in our diets. Also, palm kernel oil is about 50% lauric acid. Interestingly, lauric acid makes up about 2% of the fat in cow’s milk but 6% of the fat in human milk, implying that humans may have a naturally higher need for this fatty acid.
These studies don’t necessarily mean coconut is the panacea of cancer, but it certainly comes close. More studies on the anti-cancer effects of lauric acid should be conducted in order to give patients more information on what natural therapies are available, not only for cancer but for neurological and cardiac conditions as well.