Coconut Oil
Natural Remedies

Coconut Oil Side Effects

| Modified on Feb 17, 2023
Side Effects
Posted by Ray (Calgary, Alberts) on 12/29/2012
0 out of 5 stars

Belle of the south, sorry but I agree with Violet of Chicago about coconut oil. Coconut oil is a marvelous thing but you have to be very careful about how you use it (as with all things. ) It is not saturated fat but it does have mid chain fatty acids. I started taking it for my thyroid and immediately had paralyzed arms and numbness. I stopped the COil and it went away. A few days later I tried again and the numbness returned. Now I take the coconut oil in much reduced amounts. Too much of a good thing is bad. I had also recommended the cononut oil to my wife.. Same sort of numbness reaction. Use coconut oil... like I do, but as Violet of Chicago says, go easy on the amounts.

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Posted by JUAN (PHILIPPINES) on 10/31/2021

The diarrhea effect of VCO is what you would expect for first time users. It has the effect of cleaning out your guts. Maybe you should lower the dosage to 1 tsp. a day.

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Posted by Anon (Usa) on 06/24/2018

That does not happen to me and I eat it tablespoonsfull daily. Maybe you got fake coconut oil? Are you smelling coconutty or just sweet? Hm. Maybe try a different brand. From what I read diabetes is the likely cause of a sweet smell. Brewer's yeast contains chromium and selenium among other goodies, I would take a few tablespoons of that each day and avoid adding excess calories to your diet for a while. Raw eggs and kefir would probably benefit you, as well. Leafy greens juice like cilantro, parsley, arugula, spinach, etc. would probably be a good thing to drink first thing each morning. Aloe juice. Fresh lemon juice. Especially avoid milk and ice cream for a while, too. That is what I would do.

You may benefit from eating raw garlic with your meals. You can mince it and swallow it with some water.

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Posted by Lilaki (Nashville, Tn) on 06/20/2018
0 out of 5 stars

Coconut Oil Causing Skin and Urine to Smell Excessively Sweet

Hi, when I take 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil for a few days my skin and urine started to get a sweet smell. This happened before and I stopped taking the oil. I started taking it again and the skin for a few hours had a sweet smell. Does the oil stir something with possible diabetes and ketosis? I was still eating carbs and sugars. I am not diagnosed with diabetes but have eaten my share of sweets and then some.

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Posted by Prioris (Fl) on 05/14/2017
0 out of 5 stars

One of the reported side effects with coconut oil is Liver problems. For a long time, that baffled me. I came to realize that the saturated fat can cause NA fatty liver disease, NA hepatic steatosis and worse. There is a build up in liver. I was eating a lot of butter and coconut oil. Standard liver tests didn't give me any warning. This is likely the cause of most type 2 diabetes and many other things.

It can be treated with PolyenthylPhosphatidylCholine (most important), SiliPhos, L-carnitine and lowering saturated fats/raising Omega 3 can heal and cleanse the liver.

I was doing GallBladder Cleanse for a month before I discovered it.

The bottom line is that saturated fat like coconut oil is healthy for you but you need to be aware that your liver can get overloaded with it. People who have side effects from it should suspect a fatty liver or worse and be proactive in cleaning up their liver. Probably should do an annual cleanse as part of your annual body tune up to remove any built up gunk.

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Posted by Moonie (Quebec City) on 01/18/2017
0 out of 5 stars

Preparing gradual changes in my eating habits to a ketogenic diet. After 3 days using coconut oil more then I usually did before I noticed in the evening heart palpitations... is there a reason for this. Should I replace for another oil?

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Posted by Robert (Ca) on 10/03/2015

For your brain I would advise non-gmo lecithin, 1-tbsp daily up to a max of 4-tbsps. Personally I use about 2-tbsps. & find it enhances brain function. I place the granules in warmed water until softened into a gel & mix into a smoothie. Sunflower lecithin is non-gmo but more expensive than non-gmo soy. This contains phospholipids & other nutrients which are excellent for brain & cardiovascular system. Include with omega-3 fish oils &/or DHA/EPA supplements.Co-enzyme B-complex is also helpful along with the lecithin.

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Posted by Beryl (Nottingham, Uk) on 10/02/2015
0 out of 5 stars

I'm in my seventies and have always tried to eat healthily, and it has paid off dividends because I do keep well. However, recently I have found that occasionally I have problems remembering the odd word, which worries me, and so decided to take virgin coconut oil in the belief that the brain needs 'fat' to keep healthy.

I began having pains in my stomach, and then the most awful diarrhea, but did not connect it with the coconut oil. It was after a severe bout of diarrhea yesterday that I decided to cut it out and very quickly all the symptoms disappeared and I felt well again.

Reading about coconut oil it does seem like the panacea for lots of health problems, but to me it hasn't been. I would advise anyone thinking of using it to approach it with caution. It may suit you, it may not!

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Posted by Rosina (De Army, Fl) on 04/16/2015

I would try iodine and magnesium supplementation. Magnesium - dose to loose stool formation. Iodine is trickier, but I know Bill talks about iodine for candida. If not on here, is a good resource.

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Posted by Rc Hoppy (Winamac, Indiana Usa) on 06/03/2014

Gordon, I have not used CC for my cholesterol, but do use it. What my wife and I have found to be fantastic for our cholesterol is "oat straw tea". It's just like it sounds. It is literally oat straw, chopped up and steeped in hot water. It has no taste to it, so we usually add a bag or two of 'apple / cinnamon spice' tea to the pot, and drink it either hot or chilled down on hot days. My cholesterol dropped 40 points and my wife's dropped 30, just from drinking a cup or two every evening. The number system in the US seems to be different than what you are using in the UK, but the results should be similar, as far as lowering the LDL. It also raised the HDL and lowered triglycerides. If you know a farmer who grows oats, just ask for a small bag full. It goes a long way, and even if you have to buy it, it's much cheaper and safer than statin drugs. Good luck.

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Posted by Gordon (North East Uk) on 06/03/2014
1 out of 5 stars

I am 64 years old. I used coconut oil and it increased my cholesterol from 5.2 to 6.2 in three months. I stopped using it and my cholesterol reduced back down to 5.1 within three months.

Would not recommend it.

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Posted by Sunny (Ca, Usa) on 09/13/2013
0 out of 5 stars

I have been talking coconut oil for about a month I take Virgin Cocout oil, ( good brand)( Organic) cold pressed, unrefined, 1000 mgs per 3 softgels. Softgels, started w 3 w meals, then stayed at 5 for a month 2 morn., 1 midday, 2 dinner. I took this for an infection I have been having. I have had a strange side effect of like cloudy eyes. I get these clouds on my eyes, where I see blurry and I have to blink my eyes a lot till it takes off. ( maybe my eye mucus got thick???? dry??) I was wondering if this has been a side effect for any of you?

I am only taking this so it cannot be other things.. Have been eating the same, and my infection is not on my eyes ok.

The positive that I did notice is not much constipation. But not much difference with my infection either :(

I plan on decreasing the dose, to see how I feel. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!!!

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Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 06/26/2013

Art, it seems that specifically Coconut Oil, does the opposite. Other saturated fats, like animal fats do build up plaque if taken in excess.

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Posted by Sara (The Beach, Canada) on 06/25/2013

Coconut oil is among the few plant-based foods that contains saturated fat, yet unlike the saturated fat found in meat and dairy that increases your LDL cholesterol and builds up plaque, the saturated fat found in coconut oil differs in chemical composition and protects against cardiovascular disease. Consult your doctor about the benefits of including coconut oil in your diet.

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Posted by Art. (Vancouver Bc., Canada) on 06/25/2013

Dear Dee, I don't know about your condition but I do know that Coconut Oil can cause a plaque build up in your arteries causing a heart attack.


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Posted by Dee (Mel, Australia) on 06/23/2013

Hi am a big fan of this amazing site. Recently I came up with a strep throat and I was in pain. Tried apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper but no relief this time. So I thought it must be bacterial then. Went to the doctor and she said it bacterial infection so had no choice but to take antibiotics which I hate taking them.. Am on pencillin for 12 days. Hate it but now I have already started so have it finish the whole course..

My question is that I had just started taking two teaspoon of coconut oil everyday and after a week I got sick with this throat infection.. Can it be related? And can I continue taking coconut oil while on antibiotic or is not safe to take it together??? Please help me am confused.

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Posted by Natali (Moncton, Nb) on 03/28/2013
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I am trying to put coconut oil in daily cooking. But as soon as I made tortilla with coconut oil instead of crisco, my husband complains of having heartburn. Will this heartburn go away or should I look for other alternatives beside coconut oil? Thanks.

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Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 02/21/2013

Nicole, you can try sage tea twice a day. Yep, sage the spice. Just put a teaspoon or less in boiling water and let steep a bit.

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Posted by Nicole (Melbourne, Australia) on 02/21/2013
0 out of 5 stars

Hi everyone, I have been taking 1 tsp of extra virgin coconut oil organic cold pressed about 3 days before my menses and I also drank coconut water on those days as well.

On the first day of my menses I drank 2 bottles of coconut water and about 4 tsp of VCO it was really light and the pan wasn't so severe, I was happy because nothing else seemed to work for me, not the ACV with mother, not the unsulphured BSM or the cayenne pepper, they all just made my period heavier for some strange reason.

I had hope for once but then that night I started to bleed like crazy and clotting more than usual, I don't understand why this keeps happening to me. Please if Ted or anyone could help me, did I take too much VCO? Is the VCO and coconut water making my menses worse?

I'm on my second day now and it's still heavy I'm lying in bed trying not to move, I'm drinking some coconut water but I haven't had anything else for today please help me I would like some answers. Thank you.

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Posted by Shesgg (Sandusky, Oh) on 12/11/2012

"I've cut my carbohydrate intake to 15 grams of sugar total per day. I eat cottage cheese blended with flax seed oil in the morning, one whole wheat bagel with organic cream cheese for lunch, and a lettuce/cucumber/carrot salad for dinner. My fasting blood sugar is 75, down from 98 after adding proteolytic enzymes to my supplement regimen."

Sorry to break the news but all of that food is much more than 15 grams of carbs per day. 1 slice of bread can be up to 12 grams.

Side Effects
Posted by Erin (Western, Pennsylvania) on 10/14/2012

You have to be really careful with which symptoms you blame as "die off. " I have also read that if you are deficient in saturated fats, which your heart needs, the Virgin Coconut Oil will cause it to overact. That person recommended continuing taking the vco, but if it is making you unable to sleep after a month of taking it, I would just stop.

Anyone that is sensitive to heart rate increases is going to have difficulty dealing with these symptoms. It will become both a mental and physical illness. Please do not blame everything on this "die off" process that I have yet to even be able to find actual scientific evidence of. I am not saying it is not real, but people can have negative reactions to foods for a number of reasons; some that could be dangerous.

I have anxiety as well and have been trying Virgin Coconut Oil (very good, highly recommended brand) for three days now. I experience about 5 hours of heart palpitations, dizziness, the shakes, etc. All the symptoms of panic attacks. This is after 1 tablespoon in the morning. I am going to try cutting way down because the antifungal/bacterial aspect of Virgin Coconut Oil _is_ medically proven, but if this persists I am going to have to stop.

Not all negative side effects are "die off."

I understand the distrust in modern medicine, but please be careful with these kinds of sites. Going natural is great, but I have yet to read a medical professional on this site comment on anything and there is a certain amount of biological knowledge that comes with a medical degree that we as laymen just do not have.

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Posted by Brezilda (Cebu, Philippines) on 10/07/2012
0 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

Hi! My husband has been taking 2 tablespoon of VCO and oil pulling with VCO for about 3 weeks. I have just been oil pulling with VCO for 3 weeks. We both seem to have lost weight, teeth seem whiter. However, the side effcets have kicked in. I started with excrutiating headaches for 2 days and then loose bowel movements. My husband felt tired, then had very runny bowel movement over 2 days, fever, and exhaustion. As of now, we are experiencing loose bowel movement still.

Question : is this the die-off effect?

Do we continue after this diahrea calms down?

Do we lower the dosage of VCO taken and number of oil pulling?

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Posted by Jorge (Beltsville, Maryland Usa) on 05/25/2012

Well, I been using coconut oil for cooking, drinking it for more than 6 months with no side effects. The only effects that I feel is that I do not feel the pains, high blood pressure, no more high blood sugar levels, no headaches, no more fears about the consequences of DIABETES this coconut oil WORKS FOR ME adjusting my blood/sugar ratios.

Coconut oil works for 70 people that I recommended. All I can said it may not cure diabetes completely but soothes the metabolic failure avoiding the dangerous side effects.

If your system is dirty and full of toxics you will feel the side effects as when you take Fish oil. The side effects you feel is because it's getting rid of all the toxics containing in your system. If I were you I should look from the proper advise of Dr Bruce Fife who knows all the aspects of the coconut oil. thank you

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Posted by Chris (Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Usa) on 05/03/2012

On my jar of oil it says to refrigerate after opening. Could these cases of nausea, etc. be from leaving it out and it has spoiled? I have taken fish oil tablets that went bad after about a year.

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Posted by K (Mobile, Al) on 04/25/2012

The "C" shape is usually indicative of hives, which means your body is treating the coconut as an allergen, and releases histamine which form in little raised formations. The hives can go away in one spot, then come back in another spot. Try taking an antihistamine for symptoms and get an allergy test done before further use.

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Posted by Arcticlee (Anchorage, Alaska) on 04/19/2012

Hello Ted. I have been taking different protocols over the last two years to rebuild my health. Recently I found your post on coconut oil and added it to my supplement regimen five days ago.

Today I woke up with a huge red rash completely covering the front of my neck. The rash is hot to the touch and burns a little at the bottom, but other than that, there is no pain or itching. Otherwise I feel very good.

I have a long history of antibiotics, candida, and arthritis which is why I liked the idea of the coconut oil. Please tell me I'm not allergic to this because it has relieved my joint and muscle pain better than anything I've ever taken. I'm hoping it's a candida die off.

In the five days I've been taking coconut oil and the Budwig shake, my pain has decreased significantly, my night sweats around my spinal injury have stopped, my red gums are looking more pink, my blackened teeth near the gum line are getting whiter, and the white coating on my tongue is not as bad. I have much improved memory and energy levels are good. I do not want to stop taking this but I have a tendency toward food allergies and anaphylactic shock.

I have underactive thyroid, spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, 3 herniated discs, and a spinal fusion at cervical level 5-6. Since surgery, I've been in constant pain.

To combat the arthritis and thyroid problem, I've been taking bone meal calcium with vitamin k2, knox gelatine, New Chapter multivitamin/mineral and probiotic, and 2 kelp tablets. On the day I started oil pulling with coconut oil (5 days ago using your instructions) I had bad acid reflux and could no longer tolerate the Knox gelatine, but my constant level 7 pain (that I just live with) was gone the same day. I also started the Budwig shake that morning as well.

I've cut my carbohydrate intake to 15 grams of sugar total per day. I eat cottage cheese blended with flax seed oil in the morning, one whole wheat bagel with organic cream cheese for lunch, and a lettuce/cucumber/carrot salad for dinner. My fasting blood sugar is 75, down from 98 after adding proteolytic enzymes to my supplement regimen.

Should I stop taking the coconut oil?

Side Effects
Posted by Robinlhood (Los Altos, Ca/usa) on 03/21/2012

Don't leave on your head for hours and by the way, a side affect is not catching the flu. If you are going to write about side effects be a little more credible please.

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Posted by Candi (Newalla, Ok) on 03/19/2012

You said applying coconut oil will go into the bloodstream doing its magic able to bypass a possibly clogged liver? I alway thought that everything in the bloodstream ad a common path... One bing the Liver. Is that no correct?? So o my way of thinking applying on the skin would not get around a clogged liver problem. Of course I may be wrong.

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Posted by Brannonby (Eatonville, Wa, USA) on 03/03/2012

Hi sheila, We got around the shampoo problem by using baking soda and vinegar for shampoo. Mixing a Tblsp of baking soda in a cup of warm water for the shampoo and then a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of warm water for the rinse. Then rinsing with hot water as normal. It took a week for our hair to adjust but now it works great.

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Posted by Gigi (Camino, Ca, Usa) on 02/10/2012
0 out of 5 stars

I first took coconut oil about 2 years ago. I noticed an alarming pressure behind my sternum. I took it a couple weeks later, same thing. So, I quit. A few weeks ago I decided to try again since my skin is getting dry due to our lack of winter. The chest pressure returned, I broke out with hives (itching and wheals), esophygeal spasms, bronchial restrictions.... A classic histamine reaction. (BTW, I was checked for heart issues and PNA and cleared the tests. ) Benadryl is alleviating the symptoms. I have to wait for the histamine cascade to conclude its course before I return to homeostasis. CO sounds great.... however, I don't think it's for me.

Being sensitive to foods is not an anomaly. Each person has a genotype-by-environment component to their health. If you can draw an association between a bad response and a known allergen, you are far ahead!!! I concur - - Listen to your body!

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Posted by Faith (Forest Park, Ohio) on 12/24/2011

Those SYMPTOMS are DIE OFF so in that case decrease the amount that you are taking to a dose low enough that you an handle the detoxification symptoms. THYROID problems are mostly an INFECTION and the coconut oil kills the infection over time. If you can't take it orally at first, then use it on your skin and hair. Then after a few weeks try a small amount orally and use that amount until you have no more reaction, then build up over time. This will benefit your body greatly, so don't be afraid of it. In the long-run your body will be better for it and all of the microbes that were making you ill will be under control... As long as you use it for life!

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Posted by Tonya (Leicester, England) on 07/10/2011
0 out of 5 stars

Last week after reading about VCO on here last week I took a tablespoon of oil before bed as a treatment for Candida. I had a terrible time that night unable to sleep because I was very hyperactive and then my heart began to race, it continued to race for a few days. In 24hrs I lost 4lbs in weight, in a week I have lost half a stone. I am already very slim and can't really afford to lose this much weight. This surprised me as I have used it in cooking previously and as a replacement for butter without these drastic effects. Today I used a tablespoon for roasting some parsnips and so far it hasn't had the same effects. Does the oil or the way in which our bodies use the oil change when it is heated to a high temperature?

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Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 05/01/2011

Hi Sheila, I looked for glycerin free toothpaste for a while but never found any. One manufacturer told me that it is actually not bad for your health but can one trust them? I don't know. I have just looked into the "natural" shampoos I have at home and they either have glycerin or glyceril. The snail stuff I haven't tried yet because what I found was all rather expensive!

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Posted by Sheila (San Diego, Ca, Usa) on 05/01/2011

Hi Francisca, I forgot to ask earlier; have you found any glycerin-free hair care and soap products? I'm looking up "saponified" right now to see if that process involved glycerin. So far, I haven't had any luck finding glycerin-free, except for oils and a product using slug/snail mucus coming out of South America(?) as a lotion.

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Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 04/30/2011

Hi Sheila, it is interesting that I experienced the same drying effect after using VCO on my skin for a while. I thought that I was the only one as some of my books do recommend it highly. It is hard to know what to use..... Glycerine dries the skin and is in almost all beauty products, VCO seems to do the same at least for some people..... And me thinking that I had found the perfect beauty product. Maybe if one wets the skin before applying it will be better?

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Posted by Sheila (San Diego, Ca, Usa) on 04/30/2011
0 out of 5 stars

I love coconut oil, and I use it sparingly, on occasion. It dried my skin when using it consistently, daily. This surprised me, so I researched a bit online about drying effects since none of the resources I had about VCO mentioned a drying effect. I found a blog and one site that mentioned a drying effect. If you live somewhere humid and warm, you won't experience the drying effect if used consistently is what I gleaned from the sources. VCO will sit on the skin. This didn't explain the drying effect though. I'm assuming it has to do with the lack of deep skin absorption and being in a dryer climate.

Anyhow, I still use VCO to condition my hair on occasion as a warm oil treatment before washing; treating yeast flare ups digestively; with desiccated coconut shreds as a parasite cleanse.

I've recommended consuming it to my mom for a preventative to Alzheimer's.

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Posted by Louise (Orlando, Fl) on 04/29/2011

Thanks so much for the response. I will try the allergy test and the liver boosting suggestions. The bladder control problem was the thing that really freaked me out but from what you're saying, sounds like that may have been herx reaction as well. Thanks again.

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Posted by Mocha (Troy, Ny) on 04/28/2011
0 out of 5 stars

About a year ago, I read about the different health benefits of taking coconut oil & so I took a teaspoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil, and I immediately felt hot & my heart starting racing for about a minute, which was really scary & I said I would never eat it again. Since I keep reading about the many benefits of coconut oil, I just started using it on my hair & skin. Just wondering if anyone knows if using it externally will eventually cause racing heartrate or palpitations after taking it for like a week or something. Thanks for your help.