Q. I want to tell you my success story about using coconut for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I have suffered with debilitating IBS for 20 long years.
I could never make any appointments in the morning, because I never knew if I would be sick that morning or not. I was often sick five days out of seven.
Then I saw your column on eating shredded coconut to quell diarrhea. I love coconut, so I decided to try it. I made it especially enjoyable by using macaroon cookies or Mounds bars in place of plain shredded coconut.
I was shocked when I realized that it was working! It’s been three weeks, and I’ve not had a single sick day. This is like a miracle for me, and I want to tell everyone who is suffering with IBS so that they can also start living again, like me.
A. We first heard about using coconut for difficult-to-treat diarrhea in 1998. A reader discovered that two Archway Coconut Macaroon cookies helped control this symptom of Crohn’s disease. Over the years, we have heard from others who have found that shredded coconut is helpful against diarrhea. Here are a few of their stories:
“Yesterday one of my elderly gardening clients came to the door very ill. He had gone to the ER for severe diarrhea and vomiting. The Rx meds had not stopped the diarrhea. I went to the store and got him some coconut macaroons. He called me 4 hours later and said they worked great. They stopped the diarrhea in its tracks! “
“I thought the following information interesting to pass along as a piece to the medicinal coconut puzzle. I found the following coconut information while researching other related issues and I remembered the coconut questions and comments in People’s Pharmacy. It appears no one answered the question “why” coconut works – this is always the first question I ask.
“Coconut oil contains 48-50% LAURIC ACID, a fat (the only other good source of LAURIC ACID is mother’s milk). Lauric acid is broken down by saliva or skin bacteria to make MONOLAURIN. MONOLAURIN is an amazing anti-microbial that acts like a secret agent.
“Viruses and bacteria cleverly wrap themselves in fatty acids (monolaurin is a fatty acid) so they can get in the body without being destroyed by our bodies chemical environment. When monolaurin is present, the microbes just see it as another fat and use it to wrap themselves. But, secret agent monolaurin rapidly dissolves, disintegrating the microbes protective coating, exposing it to the bodies chemical environment, where it is then destroyed.
“From what I have read, the coconut that contains LAURIC ACID, which the body uses to make the MONOLAURIN that kills bacteria/viruses, is the reason it is effective treatment for diarrhea and other intestinal issues. Everything I read referred to coconut oil, but I am assuming the same applies to coconut flakes etc, just to a lesser extent because it’s not as concentrated as the coconut oil. Much more fascinating health information about coconuts on the net or look for books by Bruce Fife on the issue. I don’t have any serious intestinal issues, but after stumbling on coconut facts and researching them myself, I am definitely going to incorporate coconut oil in my diet for immune support!! Hope this helps!”