E-Mail Edition  Volume 11   Number 3

Published Summer, 2014

Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd., www.piccadillybooks.com.

Bruce Fife, N.D., Publisher, www.coconutresearchcenter.org

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  • The Dr. Oz Controversy

  • Do You Have a Fat Belly?

  • Coconut Oil Reduces Gingival Diseases

  • Ask Dr. Coconut TM: Do You Need to Oil Pull for 20 Minutes?

  • El Milagro Del Aceite De Coco














The Dr. Oz Controversy


From time to time I've mentioned Dr. Oz and his gradual acceptance of coconut oil and other saturated fats. Dr. Oz is the most recognized doctor in America. He was introduced to the public as one of the medical experts on the Opera Winfrey show. Since 2009 he has hosted his own TV show which reaches millions of viewers every day. He, along with coauthor Michael Roizen, MD, writes health columns that appear regularly in the newspaper. In association with Roizen, Oz has written 11 bestselling books.  Dr. Oz, is more than just a television host or writer: he is an accomplished, and still active, cardiac surgeon, an academic, and a research scientist, with over 300 scientific publications to his credit.1 The reason I mention him is because he is a practicing health professional with the highest credentials. What he says is taken seriously by millions of people. So what he says, whether it is correct or not, has tremendous influence. When he gets something right, like the fact that coconut oil and saturated fats can actually be beneficial, I like to let people know about it.

 Unfortunately, being an extremely busy surgeon, researcher, TV host, author, and celebrity, he has received his share of criticism—some deserved and some not. For years he advised viewers and readers to avoid foods high in saturated fats and made other recommendations that many, particularly those who are into natural health and healing, may not totally agree with.

 In some cases, statements attributed to Dr. Oz have come across as being contradictory. Critics have used this to try to discredit him, saying that you can't trust him because his opinions or advice keeps changing. However, if he comes across new information that changes his beliefs, he is not afraid to admit he was wrong and tell it like he sees it. For example, admitting he was wrong about saturated fats. This is actually a positive attribute because it shows he is seeking facts and not trying to support some pet theory, regardless of how well it is accepted by the medical community or the public in general.

 Occasionally, someone will tell me that Dr. Oz says coconut oil is unhealthy and to avoid it. They base this information on an article they had just read. However, when I look at the article I see that it was written years ago, before Dr Oz learned the truth about coconut oil. With the Internet, many old, outdated articles are still passed around as if they were current news.

 Recently I was sent a newspaper article attributed to Oz and Roizen titled "Is Your Brain Obese?"2 (See the discussion of this topic in the following article.) The authors talk about a new study that shows excess belly fat causes the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can trigger inflammation in the brain. As a result, excess belly fat increases the risk of dementia. The study was interesting because it links obesity with dementia. The study said nothing about dietary fats or diets in general, it just reported the link between abdominal fat and brain inflammation.

 At the end of the article, however, the authors give some of their own dietary advice to avoid building belly fat. One of the things mentioned is to avoid coconut and palm oils as they are harmful saturated fats that promote weight gain and abdominal fat (which by the way they don't, but actually reduce belly fat3).

 This statement is completely contrary to what Dr. Oz has stated on his TV show and in articles posted on his website. I went to his website and found information extolling the benefits of coconut oil, including its positive effect on weight loss.4 This was totally contradictory to the newspaper article. The newspaper column was published just three weeks earlier, so it wasn't an old recycled article. Another curious fact, was that only two weeks earlier Dr. Oz announced on his TV show that he no longer believed that saturated fats were harmful and that we can add them back into our diets.5 Again, this was a direct contradiction to the article he supposedly wrote just a few days earlier.

 I've heard people complain about Dr. Oz giving conflicting advice before. Some months ago he told his TV show viewers that organic foods were superior to conventionally grown foods and then in an article, which was written later, he and Roizen state that organically raised produce is not any better. What's going on here, why the contradictions?

 I can tell you exactly what is happening. The conflict occurs because Dr. Oz doesn't write the articles that are published in the newspaper. They may be written by Dr. Roizen, but more likely they are produced by staff writers (i.e. ghost writers) who work for King Features Syndicate, the news organization that distributes the articles. The name "Dr. Oz" has become a marketable brand. Dr. Oz receives a royalty for the use of his name. He personally does not write any of the columns, and apparently, doesn't even see them before publication. This type of thing is done all the time. Many of your favorite newspaper columnists have a staff of researchers and writers who actually produce the newspaper articles you read.

 Dr. Mercola does the same thing. He does not write the articles that appear in his online newsletter. The articles are written by staff writers. The writers write as if Mercola were actually writing them, using the words "I" and "me". Dr. Mercola may read the articles before publication, but I doubt he reads them all because I've seen some contradictory information in his articles as well. Just like with Dr. Oz, the "Dr. Mercola" brand is licensed and he receives royalties for the use of his name.

 If you read Dr. Oz's articles in the newspaper, keep in mind that he does not write these and the viewpoint expressed is that of some staff writer working for the news syndicate and not necessarily that of Dr. Oz.



  1. http://asp.cumc.columbia.edu/facdb/profile_list.asp?uni=mco2&DepAffil=Surgery

  2. http://www.buffalonews.com/columns/drs-oz-and-roizen/drs-oz-and-roizen-is-your-brain-obese-20140419

  3. Assuncao, M.L., et al. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids 2009;44:593-601.

  4. http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/go-nuts-coconut-oil

  5. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/government-out-undermine-your-health?video_id=3479158688001.









Do You Have a Fat Belly?

The latest research shows a big belly is bad for the brain. Can coconut oil help?


Measuring tape





 Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have found that people with excessive belly fat are three-and-a half times more likely to develop memory loss and dementia when they get older. The study showed that people with more fat around their bellies have a smaller amount of an important protein in the bodies that is necessary for memory and learning.1

 Over the past few years a number of studies have shown that excess body fat, particularly around the belly, at midlife increases the risk of getting dementia, including Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. Having a fat belly, is already associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart problems, and stroke, and it now appears to increase the risk of developing dementia as well. At first, researchers did not consider obesity to be an independent risk factor for dementia but in the early 2000s, researchers began to turn their attention to obesity itself as an independent threat to the brain.

 For example, in 2004 Dr. Deborah Gustafson, Associate Professor, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and her colleagues analyzed data on dementia incidence in 290 Swedish women who were age 70 at the beginning of the study. Women who developed dementia in their 80s had an average body mass index (BMI) at age 70 that was 2 units (kg/m2) higher than that of women in their 80s who did not develop dementia. Imaging studies of women in another population study in Gothenburg showed that those with atrophy in their brains' temporal lobes were likely to have higher BMIs.2

 Since then, imaging studies have "convincingly demonstrated both generalized and regional brain atrophy and changes in white matter in association with obesity," writes Dr. William Jagust, a neurologist at the University of California, Berkeley, in the special issue on obesity and dementia of Current Alzheimer Research.3

 Research on the biology of fat has shown that there are several types of adipose (fat) tissue. Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is the most damaging type. It wraps itself around organs, makes the abdomen protrude, and produces molecules that can pass through the blood-brain barrier and interact with the brain. Compared with generalized obesity, excess visceral fat is a bigger risk factor for type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, stroke, and premature death, studies show. The fat that coats the hips and thighs, called subcutaneous fat, lies just below the skin and is benign in comparison.

 In 2008, a study funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) found that middle-aged people with large bellies are more likely than are their flat-bellied contemporaries to develop Alzheimer's later in life.4 Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel A. Whitmer, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, CA, and her co-investigators analyzed data collected on 6,583 Kaiser members, ages 40 to 45. Almost 16 percent of the entire group developed dementia.

 Study participants in the top third for belly size had a threefold greater risk of dementia than participants in the bottom third, even after researchers controlled for other factors, like diabetes, which is known to increase a person's risk for developing Alzheimer's. Some participants had a normal BMI and a large belly. They probably weighed less because they had little muscle in their arms and legs or had low bone density, Dr. Whitmer explains. But, they too were more likely than the flat-bellied participants were to develop dementia.

The more we understand about adipose tissue, the clearer it becomes that belly fat is its own disease-generating organism. "Your fat is a very active endocrine organ that has a life of its own," Dr. Suzana Petanceska from the NIA explains. As part of that life, it interacts with many other systems in the body. "How it interacts with the brain may profoundly inform us about brain aging and Alzheimer's," she adds.

 We normally associate the changes that belly fat initiates with aging, so some researchers suggest that fat may accelerate the aging process. For example, visceral fat increases a person's risk of developing insulin resistance, to which older people are more prone than are younger people. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body cannot use insulin properly. This condition typically leads to high levels of insulin in the blood, yet low levels of insulin activity in the brain. NIA-funded studies, including work by Dr. Suzanne Craft, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System and the University of Washington, Seattle, indicate a correlation between insulin resistance and the risk of age-related memory impairment and Alzheimer's disease.5

Belly fat churns out a host of hormones, including cortisol and glucocorticoids known as stress hormones, which normally increase with age as well as during stress and are believed to affect cognition. The hippocampus, one of the main areas of the brain affected in Alzheimer's, is rich in receptors for glucocorticoids. An elevated level of cortisol "has been linked to hippocampal atrophy in humans," writes Dr. Jagust.

 The brains of Alzheimer's patients show many signs of chronic inflammation. In addition, elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the blood have been associated with a greater degree of age-related cognitive decline. Many of the substances produced by adipose tissue, known as adipokines, serve as mediators of inflammation (i.e., cytokines). The white adipose tissue that makes belly fat secretes cytokines that fuel and maintain a state of chronic inflammation, which is harmful to the body and may be one of the ways by which belly fat can accelerate brain aging and cause brain dysfunction.


The Coconut Ketogenic Diet book cover


The Coconut Ketogenic Diet

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Available from Piccadilly Books, Ltd.

click here


Can Coconut Oil Help?

How do you fight belly obesity? Obviously a good weight loss diet is essential. My book The Coconut Ketogenic Diet provides an excellent way to lose weight, especially visceral fat that wraps itself around your organs and wreaks havoc with your hormones and causes brain tissue to degenerate.

How can coconut oil help? Consuming coconut oil has been shown to stimulate metabolism, which causes the increased burning of calories. As more calories are burned, fewer are left over to contribute to weight gain. For this reason, coconut oil has been recommended by researchers as a means to fight obesity and help control body weight.

Coconut oil not only can help a person slim down but it promotes the burning of visceral fat—the type that causes our bellies to bulge and promotes mental decline, heart disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes. For example, in a study published in the journal

measuring belly fat


How to Measure Your Belly Fat


Standing erect, wrap a tape measure around your belly and over your navel. Make sure the tape measure is parallel to the floor. Central obesity, or excessive belly fat, is defined as more than 35 inches (88 cm) for women and more than 40 inches (102 cm) for men, but anything over 31.5 inches (80 cm) for women and over 37 inches (94 cm) for men may be a red flag of future health problems.























Stop Alzheimer's Now book cover


Stop Alzheimer's Now

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Available from Piccadilly Books, Ltd.

click here


Lipids,  researchers discovered that dietary supplementation with coconut oil resulted in significant reduction in belly fat. Forty women ages 20-40 years with abdominal obesity (>88 cm) participated in the study. Half received a daily dietary supplement consisting of 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of soybean oil and half received a supplement with the same amount of coconut oil. The subjects made no deliberate changes to their regular diets. After 12 weeks the group that consumed soybean oil had an increase in waist measurement, while the coconut oil group had a reduction in waist size.6

Simply adding a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil into their normal diet caused the visceral fat to start melting off and their bellies to shrink. What an easy way to lose unwanted fat and reduce the risk of dementia, heart disease, diabetes and related conditions. This study also suggests that if you want to increase your risk of dementia and all these other diseases, you should be eating soybean oil and other similar types of vegetable oils (e.g., corn, safflower, sunflower, etc.).

 One of the distinguishing features of Alzheimer's disease is chronic inflammation. Calming inflammation can help reduce the detrimental effects inflammation has on brain health. Coconut oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore, can help ease Alzheimer's symptoms.7

 Coconut oil also promotes the production of ketones. Ketones are known as "superfuel for the brain" because they provide more energy than glucose and are readily absorbed and used in brain tissues. One of the features of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia is insulin resistance of the brain cells. Brain cells in Alzheimer's patients cannot effectively absorb glucose. As a consequence, the brain cells become starved for energy and begin to degenerate and die, leading to the symptoms of dementia. Ketones are not affected by insulin resistance so brain cells can easily absorb them and maintain the energy levels they need to function and survive. This process is described in detail in my book Stop Alzheimer's Now!  Ketones derived from eating coconut oil stimulate brain healing, other dietary fats don't do this.

 Because of the effect coconut oil has on reducing overall body weight, visceral fat, waist circumference, and inflammation and its effect in providing the brain with ketones—a superfuel for the brain, it makes an excellent aid in preventing dementia when used as a regular addition into one's diet.




  1. Roy, A., et al. Regulation of cyclic AMP response element binding and hippocampal plasticity-related genes by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor a. Cell Rep 2013;4:724-737.

  2. Gustafson, D, et al. A 24-year follow-up of body mass index and cerebral atrophy. Neurology 2004;63:1876-1881.

  3. Jagust, W. What can imaging reveal about obesity and the brain? Curr Alzheimer Res. 2007;2:135-9.

  4. Whitmer, R.A., et al. Central obesity and increased risk kof dementia more than three decades later. Neurology 2008;71:1057-1064.

  5. Craft, S. Insulin resistance and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis: potential mechanisms and implications for treatment. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2007 Apr;4(2):147-52.

  6. Assunçäo ML, et al. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids 2009;44:593-601.

  7. Zakaria, ZA, et al. In vivo antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of dried and fermented processed virgin coconut oil. Med Princ Pract 2011;20:231-236.







Coconut Oil Reduces Gingival Diseases


Research conducted at Kannur Dental College, Anjarakandy, Kerala, India has shown that oil pulling with coconut oil can reduce dental infections, especially plaque related gingivitis. The findings of the research were presented by Dr. Faizal C. Peedikayil at the Asia Pacific Dental Conference held at Dubai on June 19, 2014.

 Researchers at Kannur Dental College studied 60 patients with plaque related gingivitis. The patients were asked to oil pull with coconut oil each morning after their normal oral hygiene procedures. The patients were examined after 7 days, 15 days, and 30 days. The results showed that plaque accumulation over the tooth surface was drastically reduced after the first week and that gingival infection significantly subsided within 15 days.

 Plaque is the most common factor for tooth decay and gingival diseases. Bacteria attaches to the tooth forming the plaque. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is an anaerobic, gram-positive, bacterium that commonly inhabits the human oral cavity and is the leading cause of tooth decay. The bacterium sticks to the surface of the teeth. As it metabolizes sugars and starches, it produces an acid that damages teeth. Virtually all humans have S. mutans in their mouths.

 The results of this study are summarized below.






at Dubai on 19/6/14


A study was conducted at Kannur Dental College, Anjarakandy, Kannur to evaluate the effects of coconut oil pulling (oil gargling) on plaque formation and its effect on plaque related gingivitis.


Chief Investigator: Dr. Faizal C. Peedikayil   

Co-Investigators: Dr. Prathima Sumal and Dr. Arun Narayanan


Need for the study:

  • Coconut oil has a proven anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and proven benefits in general health.

  • Other edible oils like sesame oil have been proven to have good benefits on oral health.

  • Sufficient research has not been carried out to evaluate the benefits of coconut oil on oral health.


To evaluate the effect of coconut oil pulling on plaque formation and to evaluate the effect on plaque induced gingivitis.



Type of study

Prospective interventional study.

Number of subjects: 60 age-matched adolescent boys and girls.

Informed consent of the patient was taken for inclusion in the study.


Inclusion criteria

Adolescent boys and girls in the age group 16-18 years with plaque induced gingivitis.


Exclusion criteria

Use of antibiotics in past 1 month.

History of dental treatment for past 3 months.



All subjects were asked to routinely perform oil pulling with coconut oil everyday in the morning before brushing. Plaque and gingival indices were measured at baseline on day 1 and on day 7, day 15, and day 30.


Statistical analysis

Students paired 't' test is used to compare the plaque and gingivitis scores.



Chart 1: Effects of Coconut Oil on Oral Health



Chart1: Plaque Index



Chart 2: Effects of coconut oil on oral health




Chart 3: Effects of coconut oil on oral health



Chart 4: Effects of coconut oil on oral health



Chart 2: Plaque Index





Three basic conclusions can be drawn from this study:

  1. Coconut oil pulling can reduce plaque.

  2. Coconut oil pulling can reduce plaque related gingivitis.

  3. Coconut oil pulling can be an effective adjuvant to oral hygiene practices in reducing plaque formation.

You can contact Dr. Peedikayil here:

Dr. Faizal C. Peedikayil

Professor and Director of PG Studies

Kannur Dental College

Anjarakandy, Kannur

Kerala, India

Email: drfaizalcp@gmail.com

Phone: 91 9746975730







Ask Dr. Coconut TM

Do You Need to Oil Pull for 20 Minutes?


In a recent TV newscast reporters were discussing the new tread of oil pulling—putting a spoonful of coconut oil into the mouth, swishing it around, and then spitting it out. One of the reporters mentioned that "experts" recommend that this be done every day for 15-20 minutes at a time. The other reporters gasped in disbelief, "20 minutes!" they bellowed, "how can anyone do it for so long?"

 One of the reporters demonstrated the process by shoving a heaping tablespoon of oil into her mouth and began chewing with obvious elaboration to evoke laughter. The amount of oil she used was 2-3 times the amount a person should use and filled her mouth so full she could hardly move the muscles in her mouth to actually do any useful swishing. After about 20 seconds of various strained facial contortions she spit it out. Obviously, she didn't have time to continue it any longer because the news segment was coming to a close. She admitted that it wasn't quite as bad as it may seem, but she still would not be able to bring herself to do it for 20 minutes.

 Twenty minutes seems like an enormous amount of time to spend swishing oil, especially if you force in a full tablespoon (15 ml) or more. However, keep in mind that you don't have to sit motionless in the lotus position and meditate while you are oil pulling, you can do other things at the same time. I recommend oil pulling first thing in the morning. Put a spoonful (about 8-10 ml) of coconut oil in your mouth and then go about your daily activities as you normally would. You can dress, shower, make breakfast, read the newspaper, surf the Internet, drive to work, or whatever while you oil pull. When you focus on other activities, you forget that you are swishing oil in your mouth and time flies by rather quickly. It can go by so quickly that 20 minutes will be over before you know it. I often forget that I'm oil pulling until 30 or more minutes have passed.

 Is it really necessary to oil pull for a full 20 minutes? Let me say that any amount of oil pulling is better than none at all. Ten minutes is better than 5, and 15 is better than 10. It's like brushing your teeth. We normally brush for only a couple of minutes. However, brushing for 1 minute is surely better than 30 seconds and in 2 minutes you can do a more thorough job than you can in 1. So the longer you oil pull the better, with 20 minutes being considered sufficient.

 The effects of oil pulling actually improve as you oil pull. You get rid of more bacteria at the end of your 20 minutes than you do at the beginning. This effect was demonstrated by researchers at the Athlone Institue of Technology, Ireland, in 2012. Dr. Damien Brady and his team set out to determine whether coconut oil might have antibacterial qualities at combating various strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which commonly inhibit the human mouth and cause tooth decay. They tested coconut oil in both its natural and semi-digested states. They found that the semi-digested coconut oil had the greatest capacity to destroy potentially harmful microorganisms.

 The binding of Streptococcus mutans to tooth enamel was significantly reduced when teeth were exposed to the coconut oil. When coconut oil is swished in the mouth during oil pulling, oral digestive enzymes transform it into the active antimicrobial state that makes it such an effective medium for oil pulling. The longer the coconut oil remains in the mouth, the more it is converted into the active state that has the greatest antibacterial action, so the more effective it becomes.

 Coconut oil not only kills potentially harmful microorganisms, but pulls them out of hiding along with other toxic substances. Coconut oil acts kind of like a sponge, soaking up bacteria and other fat-soluble substances from around the teeth and gums. Like scrubbing a dirty food-encrusted pan, the more you scrub, the more grease and grim you remove. The longer you oil pull, the more toxic debris you remove, and the more effective the process becomes.







¿Habla español?

Muy importante informacion. Todo mundo deberia de leerlo para conocer lo que el aceite de coco puede hacer para mantenernos saludables.




Aceite Virgen De Coco

(Virgin Coconut Oil)

by Dr. Bruce Fife


"Muy interesante el contenido del libro, especialmente porque revela las características y propiedades del aceite de coco. Muy recomendable la lectura, para un primer acercamiento sobre este tema."

Maricarmen Cantú


Available at Piccadilly Books here



Aceite Virgen De Coco by Bruce Fife



El Milagro Del Aceite De Coco

(The Coconut Oil Miracle)

by Dr. Bruce Fife


Available from the publisher here


El Milagro Del Aceite De Coco by Bruce Fife





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