Is Coconut Oil Healthy and What about Lycopene – The Renegade Health Show Episode #286

Tuesday Apr 14 | BY |
| Comments (62)

I had a chance to hang with Rick and Karin Dina in Santa Rosa right after John Kohler…

Told you it was an awesome potluck!

Rick and Karin in this interview explain if coconut oil is really healthy and they talk about how you can get your lycopene on a raw food diet… if you really need it…

Take a look…

Your question of the day: What do you think about coconut oil?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

You can check out more information about Rick and Karin Dina at their website

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Janet says:

    So Kevin, what about Roma tomatoes and lycopene concentration? They are rather pastey and don’t have a lot of water in them. Cooking them just tenderizes them and there should be minimal water loss so I question the theory that it is simply water loss that concentrates the lycopene. Heat tends to break apart bonds. This is a basic fact in chemistry. My parents are both organic chemists. I disagree at least partially with the assessment the good doctor describes regarding lycopene concentration as being due solely to loss of water.

    And regarding coconut oil. There are studies that show that coconut oil is preferrable to olive oil for the fact that it does not oxidize as much in the body. Olive oil is better than most oils in terms of oxidation, but it is not better than coconut oil in the oxidation realm. You want an oil that does not “burn up” completely by body heat as this makes your body parts more supple.

  2. Kim says:

    Dr. Rick said that coconut oil’s melting point is 111 degrees. Any raw unrefined coconut oil I have ever purchased is liquid on my counter in the jar at 76 degrees. I’m wondering why the discrepancy?

  3. Betty says:

    In the summer, My coconut oil melts at room temp, so then it wouldn’t solidify in my body? Meaning its still good? 🙂

    Love yea guys! HOPE U FIND J5!

  4. Dewey Fish says:

    Well if you like Popped Corn… It’s definitely GOOD…

  5. Katie says:

    It is so weird that you guys posted a video blog on this subject…it’s actually blowing my mind. Just about an hour ago I was contemplating whether I should continue to add coconut oil to my green smoothie. Lately something has not been agreeing with me and I’ve eliminated possibilities to either my digestive enzymes being low quality or the increased coconut oil I’ve been consuming. For some reason my body has been telling me that coconut oil wasn’t the best thing for me at the moment (although my skin LOVES it!), so I got on the computer to investigate the health factors of the oil. Just as I did so I received an email from you guys about the subject. Anyway, just thought it was crazy, and I think that the body and the universe say wonderful things if you listen. Send thanks to Rick and Karen, their knowledge is inspiring!

  6. ida margrethe says:

    I have a feeling that what Karen meant about when the tomato loses water the lycopene gets more concentrated on a weight to lycopene conc ratio.

    I have no idea about coconut oil atm, we’ve heard so many good things about it recently and now this..
    I think its really hard to judge when your not a chemist or a doctor yourself, cause you always have to rely on facts from others, and facts from a secondary source is always questionable.
    We’ll see..

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Coconut Oil: feels good, smells good, tastes good, comes from very far away (not so good). I love it when my assumptions are challenged! I would love to hear more about it.

  8. cole says:

    Ive been saving up some questions so here they are…
    What do you think about sun gazing? It sounds great but I couldn’t find a reliable source on the topic.

    I bought some kelp powder to get some iodine in my diet, but have a hard time being able to eat it. Tried it in smoothies and everything but it just tastes bad. any suggestions?

  9. Glad to hear about the lycopene thing…good to hear its not worth being concerned about…My wife and I have been eating more tomatoes lately ’cause we make nice raw tomato sauce in our blender that pour over spiralized zuchini…really good.

    On the Coconut Oil…I got the feeling Rick is into the low fat thing…i.e. which is good to hear…i.e. ’cause I’ve been on that path for the last month and I think I’m feeling some improvements around my skin…not totally certain as my skin issues haven’t totally gone away. I’ve had a little concern over whether I’m getting enough in terms of EFAs…occasionally I take the odd overt fat such as walnuts or chia seed so I’m thinking these are very good sources of short chain EFAs which my body can convert etc. so I’m thinking I should be okay…i.e. even though I’m eating way less of these kinds of foods lately etc.

  10. Bob says:

    Any good coconut oil will liquefy at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Where did Rick come up with the 111 degrees?

  11. Christina says:

    My observation (your experiences may be different):

    raw people who eat raw fats=beautiful and glowing

    raw people who stay away from raw fats=usually scrawny, pale, and unhealthy looking

  12. natalya says:

    If process of cooking tomatoes does more harm to the body and if it doesn’t matter much if we get lycopene or not into our body, then it’s better for us to eat tomatoes raw and get more important nutrients from that for ourselves by doing that. I like coconut oil no matter what science says today, they come up with different ideas almost every day.

  13. Kristina says:

    What about Flax oil I assume it falls into the Olive type category since it does not solidify even in the fridge? I also would like to know what about coconut oil as a moisturizer for the skin? Our daughter gets exczema from various food allergies and although we are dilligent about keeping her away from things she has such a list and is only 2 so it is a challenge when sharing with other toddlers and when she breaks out with a skin irritation coconut oil seems to really help with itching and healing.

    Thanks for the vid very intersting although since I am pregnant and raising toddlers I know they need more fats than adults I would like to know more of what are the healthiest fats for them.

    Keep up the good work and feel free to visit Bellingham if you make it up to the Seattle WA area.

    Also let us all know when Jonny 5 is back at home on the RV


  14. don says:

    how do you get your woman to salute you like that?

  15. Beatriz says:

    i like coconut oil in my hair and in my morning smoothies… i also give my dog a teaspoon of it when he’s not going potty regularly, seems to help a lot, soooo good? bad? well, it was awesome until rick busted my bubble ;(

  16. Almamater says:

    My experience has also been that coconut liquifies at around 80 degrees F. I don’t know where Dr. Rick got his information, but it is incorrect.

    Coconut oil is one of the oils that I smooth on my face at night as moisturizer. And it’s the best one I use (although I rotate through several). After wearing it at night, in the morning it makes my face feel like it did when I was younger, more plump or something.

    I also eat coconut oil. If I didn’t get some veggie fat in my diet, I would be too skinny.

  17. Gudni says:

    Three days ago I thought that coconut oil was not good for me. It was just a intuitive thought. So I guess it might be right.

  18. deb says:

    Kevin would you guys do a thing on rejuvelac??? I am confused . Brian Clements says it has bad bacteria in it, and doesn’t use it. and Jim Carey of CHI says it is good. I know we need some good and bad bacteria in a balancein the colon.(but is the bad Bacteria that Brian Is talking about , the good -bad bacteria or the bad bad bacteria or what???? (am I confusing you???? Ha Ha Ha could you get to the bottom of this????


  19. Leslie says:

    I imagine that the amount of refinement of coconut oil changes it’s melting point. I’ve never had any raw or unrefined coconut oil that doesn’t change to liquid at about 74 to 78 degrees. Even the brand name Organic Fiji, which is pure organic oil is always liquid in our air conditioned store (76 degrees) in the summer. Perhaps if one buys some of the more refined oil, it may change it to where it melts at 111 degrees.

  20. Dr. Rick says:

    Dear Kim, Bob, and Almamater,
    Please go back and listen carefully to the interview. Never once did I say that the melting point of cocount oil is 111 degrees. I said that the melting point of Lauric Acid was 111 degrees. Of the numerous fatty acids that compose coconut oil, the most abundant is Lauric Acid. 54% of the fatty acid content of coconut oil is Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid is solid at body temperature. The reason that the melting point of coconut oil as a whole is around 76 degrees is that some of the fatty acids it contains are shorter chain saturated fats than lauric acid (i.e. capric acid, caprylic acid) which have lower melting points, and that coconut oil also contains some omega 6 polyunsaturated fats, which have much lower melting points. The point is that when you consume coconut oil, you are consuming a concentrated source of Lauric Acid and longer chain saturated fats (such as myristic acid and palmitic acid) that are all solid at body temperature. Whether or not you consume coconut oil is entirely your choice. I do like it, however, when people can make informed decisions, based on accurate information, instead of the many other reasons that all too often go into decistion making, such as heresay, emotion, or addiction. Not that any of you are doing that, but some certainly are. By the way, I am not against whole young coconuts in any way nutritionally. I don’t consume them often anymore because they are not local to my area. My source of information about the Lauric Acid melting point is from Udo Erasmus, Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry, who is arguably the worlds leading authority on fats and oils, and the author of the book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. I have no problem being challenged about anything I say, as I have been “doing my homework” on many levels, for many years now. I don’t appreciate being misquoted though, so once again, please listen carefully. I think coconut oil is great on the skin also. I am by no means against veggie fat, I eat plenty of avocado’s (probably 4 to 6) per week and some soaked nuts and seeds. About 30% of my calories come from fat, which is all raw veggie type fat, with a few whole young coconuts here and there. Please keep in mind also that in a few minutes there is only so much one can share. Fats and oils is one of my favorite topics, and the discussion about all of the aspects of it lasts for many many hours. Best wishes to everyone for health and vitality!

    Dr. Rick

  21. Chris Busck says: an Australian company that developed a village-scale cold press process for Pacific Island people state in their FAQ; “It goes solid at about 24°C (75°F). As it cools from the liquid state, (26°C and above) it forms small “pearls” which join together until the whole product is solid at 24°C. When cooling faster in a fridge the pearls are much larger and the oil can appear more translucent.”

    This is an important discrepancy and I’d appreciate it if you (Kevin) could check it out.

  22. Bethanne says:

    I love coconut oil and use it both internally (in smoothies & raw desserts) and externally. I based my entire raw organic superfood skincare line on coconut oil after researching the amazing benefits of this oil! Natural oils & butters are ideal for eczema, psoriasis, any skin conditions & quick results will follow!

    Kristina – I’m in Seattle too!

  23. Parviz says:

    Guys, he said the lauric acid which comprises a large part of the coconut oil has a melting point of 111 degrees Fahrenheit.

  24. mary kay says:

    I can’t quite believe Rick due the the 111 degree thing….LOL, I make my own raw butter and mix it with coconut oil…..and as far as the lycopene thing, Honestly, I’m not a doc, but I surmised this just recently before hearing this vid. Makes sense. To me, anyway. I just love the flavor that dehydrated tomatoes lend to many dishes…..

    Thanks for the interview!

  25. William says:

    Coconut oil is only 44% Lauric acid (which he said BTW) which has a melting point of 110 degrees, it also has some 6 other fatty acids some with even higher melting points some with lower. And 8-10% of coconut oil isn’t fatty acids. AND Lauric acid gets metabolized by the body into Glyceryl Laurate or Monoluarin. Which is a gentle (surfactant) which is speculated to have natural anti-bacterial properties. Too much of anything is bad, but I think coconut oil has been shown to be easier on the body and the environment than many other fats and oils out there. Anyways my point is that Coconut oil is a mix of oils and other stuff and that’s why its still ‘liquid’ at 80 degrees.

  26. Pamela W says:

    Makes a great skin moisturizer.
    Hard to hear all this after Charlotte Gerson (only flax oil prevented the regrowth of cancerous tumours).
    Mine is liquid at room temp (spring in Texas, about 75)
    Would like to know more about treating eczema in the very young–could coconut oil help? Internally and/or externally???

  27. linda says:

    where is Bellingham …i am going to Sammamish WA
    for a few weeks on may….it is near Seattle.
    i keep a jar of coconut oil in the bathroom for after shower body moisturizer..i rub it into my legs and feet and arms and hands and face…………….
    better then any oil or cream i have ever used.
    from my research coconut oil is much better to cook
    with the olive oil……….that is when i am
    eating vegan and not raw.

  28. Jayne Eubanks says:

    I use it for my hair and skin. I wonder if that can effect my health in a negative way since everything that goes on the skin can absorb into the body Jayne

  29. Altinay says:

    I’m all over raw and low fat. I have raw unfiltered coconut oil in my kitchen cabinet and it is liquid most of the time. I live in NJ and it gets mighty cold here. I would say it starts melting upwards of 60 degrees. With that said, I don’t understand in any way how it could harden in my body. I’m not ice woman lol.

  30. marijana pontoni says:

    Really funny that you discussed that subject right now!

    In town near me there was a lecture where I participated as translator and lecturer was dr. John Fielder ( We talked about coconut oil and he told me that he is against it because it is always somehow processed. And, in addition, that whole campaign around coconut oil has mission to make money to certain people. He believes in eating coconut, but not in consuming coconut oil.

    I’m personally using coconut oil as moisturizer for skin at morning and before going to bed. Sometimes I put it in some dish but not very often and I was thinking to ask you, Kevin and Annmarie, to investigate some more that subject. I think that it would be a great.

    As for tomato theory – it is so logical! If you reduce amount of water in something, than solid parts of that food will be in higher percentage that in fresh food. How often we discover that only we must do is to use our brain. 😉

  31. Didiydi says:

    Hi all,
    -let’s not forget the important factor of CHANGE. We all go through different phases, and our bodies would need something for a while for a good reason, and when that’s fixed it won’t need it anymore. So I think there is no definite YES or NO
    – coconut oil is antifungal, and since I have candida I was eating few spoons a day for several months. Now I don’t need it anymore. Also, since in the meanwhile I switched to raw diet my body starts to need a lot less fats. I find myself putting a lot less oil on salads than when I begin going raw
    – fats help body expel toxins, and I remember Kevin you said when your skin stinks it means you consume too much fat- to me it was a sign that your body needed more fat for a while to detoxify. Although too much will burden your liver. It’s the same thing, and I loved what you guys said about nuts- eat too much at the beginning when starting raw, eventually your body will start cravings salads and green juices- so true!
    But again- clean your liver afterwards.
    – coconut oil melts on my skin, so there is no way it can stay solid inside the body where it’s warmer.

    Kevin thank you for all the great videos, I watch with great interest. Did you find your cat?

  32. Carole Arecchi says:

    Forgot to say – after lst 1-2 nights, leave food and water inside open door or window (with something outside window so cat can climb up). May come back in, especially in rainy weather. Good luck. Hoping for the best.

  33. Jean says:

    Kevin, I used coconut oil for an anti bacterial substances for candida. It worked great. Now are you saying it is BAD. I am also confused.

  34. David says:

    What oil or oils do you recommend then?
    Thank you so much Keven. Or should I say fats?

  35. Dawn B says:

    I have had a lot of good experiences with coconut oil – it is staying on my good list.

  36. Charlotte says:

    umm, I ‘m pretty sure that my coconut oil is super liquidly in the summer at a room temp of right below 80. Therefore I’m pretty confident that it’s a liquid in my body. i’m also a little tired about hearing the whole fat issue. The mediteranneans have a high (good) fat diet and they are some of the healthiest people on earth.. I think you should just eat a balanced diet without overdoing anything and enjoy life and not constantly worry about many calories form fat you’re getting in a day.
    I really hope you find Jonny 5 soon!

  37. Donna says:

    I use coconut oil and find it is liquid at room temoerature that being much lower than 111 degrees. What is the reality of liquid vs solid for it?

  38. Karen Jackson says:

    I’ve done some research on coconut oil and am now using it daily – both internally and externally.

  39. Rhonda D says:

    Yes i have coconut oil and use it in my smoothies at times. I also find it to turn into a liquid state at about 76 degrees. I think over use of anything is not good. One must keep a balance in life in general.

    Hoping the best for you and annmarie in finding Jonny5.

    Rhonda D.

  40. Julia says:

    I love coconut oil. I use it internally and externally. From experience, I have found that CO is wonderful for me, and I have experienced many benefits from Baby Coconuts and Coconut Butter/Oil.
    I blogged about some of the research and my experience with it. See my link 🙂

    Coconut LOVE!


  41. Jenn says:

    In the last year plus I have found I LOVE coconut oil, because my body does have a good reaction to it and it has helped fix various skin issues. I do use it in some recipes, raw or cooked) but much more often I use it for my skin where I have seen the most results(Ok eating, more obvious resulst on skin). I even have a jar at school and my students know I use it over lotion, and I’ve had much better healing results(makes a great scrub mixed with brown sugar, and has healed excema that 4 other dr’s creams never helped).

  42. Toni says:

    Great show! How refreshing to hear Rick speak out accurately on coconut oil! I think it’s teriffic as an external moisterizer and as a “treat” as an ingredient in food, but it’s not a “healthy” food, per se, that should be consumed on a regular basis.

  43. Bob says:

    I am a runner. I wake at 4:30am and drive 45 minutes to the gym across the street from my work. A table spoon of raw coconut oil when I wake up has me geeked up with energy for my interval training on the treadmill. Thanks for your show!!!

  44. Wayne says:

    Udo Erasmus makes his money selling his own oils, and is hardly a recognized expert on the subject in the scientific community. His degree is in zoology and Psychology, and anyone who says that specific chains in coconut oil remain solid in the body is out to lunch. The most world renown lipid expert still alive today is Dr. Mary Enig, a Ph.D. biochemist and nutritionist who was the first one to sound the alarm on trans fats, the replacement oils for healthy traditional saturated fats back in the 1970s, and considered “healthy” for many years, but now known as toxic. You can read the truth about saturated fats, and all fats, here:

  45. Pat says:

    I love and adore Drs. Rick and Karen Dina. I’ve attended many of their lectures…lucky me…and am so delighted when I see them at event. BTW, this is the best interview you’ve had to date, Kevin…packed with great info and virtually no no no chit chat…thank you. Oh, I love Fred Bisci, too.

  46. Mindy says:

    I use coconut oil sparingly. I’m guessing that the amount I eat is not enough to be harmful. I occasionally use it on my face during winter dryness.

  47. Sara says:

    Funny to read the dicussion here…
    Coconut oil is good AND bad! Just as Dr. Dina says!
    Depending on where you stand on your fat scale.
    Nothing is ever eather one or the other… it all depends.

  48. ken says:

    I love reading comments, it restores
    my faith in “the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy”.
    People, don’t be afraid to watch the video twice, in fact I insist. :o) If you’ve left a comment containing the word BAD go back and re-watch NOW, I’ll wait here for u.
    My research findings are that olive oil is 1 of the best oils when not heated and coconut is best for heated. other oils (fish,flax,etc) are
    awesome as supplements but should not be heated and should be fresh. Oils can go rancid quickly and that can actually be BAD for you. Check many sources and make sure the studies are relevent to your useage/needs. popcorn is cooked with palm oil Not coconut. very diferent and very bad. try and buy fair trade, stop f@#ng the poor people so you can get your sales at walmart. Peace, love, TRY
    –“If your going to be a “tool” at least try an be a sharp one.” (overheard an old man say it to)
    a cnbc anchor on tv.

  49. Carole says:

    What about irish moss? Do you and Ann Marie use this as a thickener in, say, raw ice cream?

  50. Cindy (Sydney, Australia) says:

    I have heard that coconut oil is anti bacterial, antifungal and is processed directly by the liver for energy and not stored as fat? I would appreciate your thoughts and any further info on this as I was just thinking about buying and starting to use it as what I had read to date seems to back it as a great oil, especially in cooking for its high temperature tolerance.
    Thank you

  51. Chris Busck says:

    Thank you Dr Rick for clearing up the question of the melting point of coconut oil. I appreciate the thoroughness with which you’ve gone into this. Best wishes Chris

  52. weavermomo says:

    What’s up with Karen’s hair, looks like she may be lacking in healthy fats?

  53. Sara says:

    I agree with Rick that there is definitely good, better, and best types of foods to eat. However, coconut oil has more pros than Rick mentioned. I see that some fellow raw foodies hit on a couple points- one being that it is anti-fungal. Two- when it comes to live-food preparation- it has a rather neutral flavor and perfect for smoothies. There is no cholesterol contained in it. I would not advocate it for topical use despite popular regard- especially in the case of acne/rosacea skin- I have seen a holistic esthetician here in nyc for sometime now whom insists this type of skin cannot handle oils of any kinds as it further feeds the bacteria- and usually the ability to break down these fats in the body is very weak in these individuals.

    Bottom line- I think it the key is moderation- just like any fats- nothing in excess.

  54. Guango says:

    Kevin, I think this interview has opened up a very big discussion about coconut oil. You should definitely do another one on this topic. Dr. Rick’s point about the Lauric Acid (higher melting point) is something I did not know. However, it was dissapointing that he did not say anything about why is Lauric Acid a bad thing to have inside your body. He just said Lauric Acid is solid at body temperature and therefore is bad. This is misleading specially since he said coconut oil is good to use on the skin. The question not been discussed is: how is Lauric Acid (and coconut oil in general) used/metabolized by the body? If it is good for the skin, it is being metabolized into something useful. Is the mechanism so different when you ingest it that it could be bad? Furthermore, if the Lauric Acid is being metabolized, there should be no problem with ingesting it, at least not in terms of having a solid floating around in your system which was his argument. That is of course, if you are not abusing it, which you should not do with anything.

  55. ida margrethe says:

    I’m reading David Wolfe’s book Eating for Beauty these days, and theres a couple pages on coconut oil, he loves that stuff.

    I think all it comes down to tho, is what you want to achieve by eating it – it might not help with the things you want it to do for you..
    And even tho something works for one person, dosnt mean it works for the next person. Thats the beauty of life isnt it.
    And also, i think the quality of the oil is really important – you cant expect miracles when your not getting top notch products.
    Im currently using the coconut oil that Chris Busck talked about ( – niulife coconut oil) and its excellent; ‘Our own Direct Micro Expelling (DME®) process takes less than an hour to turn selected mature coconuts into delicious hand-pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.’
    And its fairtrade, organic and raw – what more could you ask for :]

  56. Julie says:

    Coconut oil…good, bad or ugly? Definitely bad, even possibly ugly!
    I say this because I had been on a raw food diet for several months in a search for better health. Then I heard about coconut oil being so great and causing weight loss as well. So I tried. I was taking a couple of tablespoons a day (as suggested in a coconut-oil-for-your-health book) and I gained 12 pounds!
    I agree with Dr. Rick, it’s better than the SAD diet fats, but if you’re already doing raw then adding coconut oil is a little worse.
    Now I only consume the coconut oil when my body requires more heat (winter, cold, rainy days) because the coconut oil warms the body up.

  57. MARY THOMAS says:


  58. Dar says:

    If you have a Type A blood Type I don’t believe Coconut oil is beneficial for you. It doesn’t work with your body chemistry.

  59. Stella says:

    And… if you are taking flax seed for the EFA’s coconut oil makes them more available to the body.

  60. Connie says:

    I have coconut oil in the fridge where I was told to keep it. Trying to get it out of the container is a pain so I seldom use it, and I forgot about it until I saw this video. Maybe I’ll dig it out this afternoon…

    I am about to put in my garden, with lots of tomatoes. If I have a large harvest I’d like to perhaps dry some of them. I do not want to buy a dehydrator–please tell me how to dry them without one.

    Thanks for an excellent show.


  61. Kim says:

    Hi Dr. Rick,

    It was not my intention to misquote you, please forgive. I misunderstood your statement. Thank you for the clarification. What can you tell me (briefly of course) about macadamia nut oil? I really like to use this oil in dressings, mostly with lime juice and a wee bit of maple syrup.

    Thank you,

  62. Paige says:

    Hello there everyone ,

    I am just writing to know if i can place the virgin organic coconut oil in my fridge without going bad, if it lose all the nutrients and benefits of the oil ?


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