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The traditional diets of Pacific Islanders contains several grams per day or more of lauric acid from coconut products, which would require at least one tablespoon per day of coconut oil. Research has not established a recommended intake for coconut oil.
Coconut oil can also be used topically, as in the treatment of head lice.
Coconut oil may be found in many types of processed foods, including fried foods, crackers, desserts, candies, whipped topping, and non-dairy creamers. It is also available in some grocery stores for use in cooking.
There is no human requirement for coconut oil or the shorter-length fatty acids it contains, so no deficiency is possible.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2017.