E-Mail Edition  Volume 8   Number 3

Published Summer, 2011

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

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

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  • Ask Dr. Coconut

  • Senior Bodybuilding Champion Credits Coconut Oil

  • Nature's All Purpose Skin Cream and Healing Ointment

  • Coconut Oil: Nature's Suntan Lotion

  • Sunlight and Skin Cancer

  • Coconut Wraps

  • Recipes with Coconut





Ask Dr. Coconut


Where can a person find coconut flour that is affordable? Our budget is such that most of the coconut flour advertised online (the only place I know to find it) is more expensive than we can "invest" in. Do you have any suggestions?



The cost of coconut flour is actually deceiving. It costs much less than you might think. Instead of looking at the dry product and comparing it to wheat flour, you should look at how much product it makes in comparison. For example, to make 6 muffins it only takes ¼ cup of coconut flour. However, it takes a full cup of wheat flour to make the same amount. This is basically true for all baked goods. So in essence, you get four times as much from coconut flour as you do from wheat flour. When comparing cost you need to factor this in. So the cost of the coconut flour, in comparison to wheat flour, is only a fourth. If a package of coconut flour costs $5 per pound, divide that by 4 and you get $1.25 per pound. This price compares very well with wheat flour.

I did a brief search on the Internet and found whole wheat flour selling for $1-2 per pound and organic whole wheat flour selling from $3-6. Most coconut flour available is organic. So it is actually cheaper than organic whole wheat flour and about the same as non-organic wheat flour.

Also you can find coconut flour at most health food stores so you don't have to pay for shipping. 










Senior Bodybuilding Champion Credits Coconut Oil


At the age of 72, Morjorie Newlin won her first bodybuilding contest. Since then she has won more than 40 trophies in her late-blooming career. She didn't start out by trying to make a name for herself in the bodybuilding world. At age 71, before she began lifting weights, she struggled to carry a 50-pound bag of kitty litter she had purchased from the grocery store. Then and there she decided she had to do something about her lack of strength and soon took out a gym membership.

"I chuckled when I saw this little old lady walk inside the gym," says Richard Brown, a personal trainer at Rivers Gym in Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania where Newlin began her training. "I was a little leery. I was just training young athletes at the time."

This "little old lady" quickly showed him what an older athlete could do.


"She kept coming in day after day, week after week, and month after month," Brown remembers. "She didn't want to do 'girly' workouts. She wanted to train with us fellows."

"After a few months of training, I looked at her physique and knew she was ready for a [bodybuilding] show," he continues. "She definitely had something to show."

The bodybuilding competitions are broken into two divisions. Newlin's first competition was in the Amateur Athletic Union, which is open to the public.

Newlin recalls being a little reluctant when she saw the string bikini she would have to wear in front of the bodybuilding audience. "I knew the contest meant a lot to my trainer," said Morjorie, "so I thought, 'I'll do this once, but I'm not going to do it again!'"

 To everyone's surprise, Newlin won. The crowd went crazy on hearing she was 72 years old. Some folks thought it was a hoax, she couldn't possibly be that old. She looked at least 20 years younger.

"I was always the oldest in all my competitions," says Newlin. She began her competition career in that AAU's Master's Division, which splits contestants into two categories: under and over a certain age limit, usually 35 or 45 years old. Newlin obviously fell way over the dividing line, wherever it was set, but was competing and winning against women half her age.

Newlin was born in North Philadelphia in 1920 to immigrant parents from Barbados. She had always had an interest in health. She earned a nursing degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor's in healthcare administration from St. Joseph's College in Maine. She is the mother of four children.

In 2002 at the age of 81, Newlin appeared on Oprah. The show was about women defying age. Among the stunning guests Morjorie Newlin stood out. In addition to a lean, muscled body, she had smooth toned skin that glowed with youthfulness. Oprah asked the women what they did to remain so youthful looking. Newlin explained that she exercised regularly, ate healthfully, and—this is the interesting part—used coconut oil on her skin every day. She didn't use commercial cosmetics or facial creams, didn't use Botox or have surgery—she used coconut oil.

Besides muscle definition, one of the things bodybuilding judges look at is skin tone and appearance. Coconut oil is an excellent skin conditioner and youth enhancer. It gave her an edge over her competition.






Head lice.


















Nature's All Purpose Skin Cream and Healing Ointment


In the islands of the Pacific it is a tradition first thing in the morning to lather coconut oil over the entire body. It is a daily ritual that starts the day a child is born and continues into adulthood and throughout life. Through generations of use, these people have discovered the many benefits of using coconut oil on their skin and do it religiously.

Applied topically, the oil softens the skin, protects it from the burning rays of the tropical sun, helps ward off mosquitoes and other insects, kills potentially harmful skin fungus and bacteria, helps prevent warts, moles, and other blemishes, and preserves underlying tissues maintaining a youthful, healthy appearance.

Research is now verifying many of the health benefits of coconut oil that islanders have known about for thousands of years. The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of the medium chain fatty acids that make up coconut oil are well documented in the medical literature. This characteristic of coconut oil has made it popular among indigenous peoples as an ointment for treating superficial wounds and skin infections. In an era before antibiotics, coconut oil was the remedy of choice. It is still useful for this purpose.

Coconut oil applied to the skin helps to keep disease-causing skin infections at bay. Acne which is one of the plagues of modern civilization, is unheard of among the islanders who use coconut oil every day. Acne vulgaris (the official term for acne) is a skin disease that is most common during adolescence, afflicting more than 85 percent of teenagers in the United States. Acne is an inflammatory infection caused by the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes which colonizes the hair follicles and feeds on the natural oils (sebum) of the skin. Besides acne, the overgrowth of P. acnes in humans can cause many other diseases such as endocarditis and toxic shock syndrome.

Antimicrobial agents and antibiotics have been used to treat acne for several decades and are still widely prescribed for this condition. Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) has been one of the most frequently used medications for treating patients suffering from mild to moderate acne. However, several side effects have been reported including redness, inflammation, scaling, and burning. In The Journal of Investigative Dermatology a study was published that showed that lauric acid, the primary fatty acid in coconut oil, demonstrated antimicrobial activity that was 15 times stronger than BPO, while not inducing any unpleasant side effects.1

Acne is often associated with oily skin. Since P. acnes feeds on the oil, the more oil produced, the greater the risk of infection. Some doctors may recommend eating less fatty foods in the belief that this will reduce sebum production. But reducing fat intake has little effect on the skin's production of sebum. Putting more oil on the skin seems counterintuitive. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, like lauric acid, kill P. acnes.

After washing your face, put a thin layer of oil on the infected area once or twice daily. Some people notice an immediate improvement. Others have a lot of infection deep in their skin and acne may flare up for a week or two, before dying down and clearing up.

"Coconut oil has changed my life!" says A. G. "I had red, oily, sensitive acne prone skin with large pores for a long time. After two months of using coconut oil on my skin I cannot believe the change. I feel like I have new skin! My skin has undergone such a transformation that it is hard to believe. No more makeup to cove the redness and acne, no more expensive skin products, just healthy coconut oil!"

In a study published in the journal Dermatitis, coconut oil was shown to be effective in treating eczema, which is commonly infected by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Coconut oil was able to eliminate the infection in 19 out of 20 patients, and in the process sooth and moisten the otherwise dry, flaky skin.2

Parasites are also vanquished with the use of coconut oil. Head lice are a common cause of infection in many parts of the world. Lice are tiny parasites that usually infect the scalp. Children are most susceptible. The most widely used medication is permethrin lotion—a neurotoxic drug. In a clinical trial published in the European Journal of Pediatrics a coconut oil based spray was shown to be "significantly more effective" than permethrin and considerably less toxic to the patient. The study involved 100 patients with active lice infections. The coconut oil spray cured 82 percent of the patients as opposed to 42 percent using permethrin.3

Coconut oil is an excellent wound healer. The primary purpose of most ointments used to treat wounds is to prevent infection. Coconut oil not only prevents infection but can sooth the injury and alleviate further injury whether it is topical or systemic. A study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology demonstrated that coconut oil possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain reducing), and antipyretic (fever reducing) properties.4

All of these properties make coconut oil a useful aid in relieving skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis and similar conditions. "I was desperate to find something to help my son Jayden's severe atopic eczema (also diagnosed with dermographia/urticaria)," says Heidi Carolan. "After months of trying the creams given to me by doctors, nothing worked. Many of the creams seemed to make the condition even worse! Apparently, he is sensitive to some of the chemicals in the creams. Every week the doctor would give him another cream, followed by an angry reaction of weeping and inflammation that would eventually scab over. The following week the doctor would prescribe yet another cream and the cycle would happen all over again!




Jayden's severe atopic eczema before coconut oil treatment.



"Since the medicines didn't work, I began searching for something natural, without harmful chemicals, to treat his skin condition. I found information about organic virgin coconut oil and decided to give it a try. To my amazement, after using it for only a short time, his skin showed  a huge improvement! After months of failure, virgin coconut oil is the only thing that has worked for him. I have been using it on him every day since and am please with the results. His skin is now normal again." See Jayden's before and after pictures.



        Jayden after coconut oil treatment.



Coconut oil has long been used as a topical ointment for treating cuts, burns, and other wounds. It speeds up tissue repair and shortens recovery time after an injury. A study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology evaluated the effect of the topical application of virgin coconut oil on wound healing in young rats. Treating the wounds with coconut oil dramatically improved the rate at which wounds healed by stimulating collagen production, skin regeneration, and the growth of new blood vessels in the injured tissue. Antioxidant status was also higher in the coconut oil treated skin.5


Anse Source d' Argent: Seychelles.

"My first encounter with a sea urchin, was a painful one," says Bernard Adeline. "I was about 14 years old and lived on the Seychelles Islands off the coast of central Africa. I was walking along the beach. As a kid I was always curious and would pick up seashells and bring them along with me. This day as I was wading in the shallow water, my curious foot felt its way deep in the sand only to land right on top of a hidden sea urchin. The urchin's spines shot deep into the bottom of my right foot. At first, I thought I had stabbed my foot on some sharp shells. I limped out of the water and up onto the beach. Before I got to too far I could feel a stinging sensation in my foot and the pain grew more intense. I sat down on the beach and examined the wound.

Sea urchin.



Seychellois people after fishing.

Source: Wikipedia


I had nine black punctures peppered under my foot. The urchin had hit the jackpot on me. The local fishermen who were around and handling their fishing nets came to look and told me that it would heal eventually. Nevertheless, they took some coconut husk from around the trees and one of them had some coconut oil in the boat, they rubbed my foot with the oil and then took a lighter and lit the husk. They then applied the flame to my foot! I felt that I was on fire, but slowly the needles melted away. The only ones left were buried in the deeper punctures. The coconut oil apparently protected the bottom of my foot from the flames of the fire because there was no blistering or ill effect from the ordeal. The oil may have also have had an antiseptic effect as well because there was never any infection afterwards. It was very painful but I chose to suck it up without showing too much emotion. When I got home I soaked it with hot water. It hurt for about 15 minutes followed by some mild stinging for about 2 hours and then the pain slowly vanished. For three days I was still hobbling around with tiny black dots still visible in my foot. I tried to use tweezers to remove the spines but was unable to get a single one out. After a week the pain was gone and the black dots vanished. I believe coconut oil was essential in my recovery."

The higher antioxidant status in the skin after coconut oil treatment is important because antioxidants protect the skin from destructive free radicals in the body and the environment. Free radicals are generated by such things as paints, varnishes, lacquer, formaldehyde (common in bedding, drapes, rugs, etc.), detergents, cosmetics, solvents, smog, bacteria, viruses, fungi, cuts and abrasions, X rays, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Dry, cracked, rough, sagging, and wrinkled skin are signs of free-radical damage to the collagen underlying and supporting the skin. The greater your exposure to free radicals, the more damage your skin receives and the older it looks. Antioxidants block the destructive action of free radicals. Coconut oil protects the skin from free radicals and preserves antioxidant status, thus preventing the effects of premature aging.

Coconut oil is perhaps the best treatment for rough, dry, scaly, itchy skin. It works like a skin tonic, moisturizing the skin, making it smooth, soft, and youthful looking. Just using the oil for a few days can demonstrate its effectiveness. This was actually demonstrated in a double-blind controlled study published in the journal Dermatitis. The study was conducted on 34 patients with xerosis—the medical term for dry, scaly skin. The researchers reported that the patients showed "significant improvement in skin hydration and increase in skin surface lipid levels."6 



Skin before using coconut oil.

After using coconut oil for a couple of weeks.



The best time to apply coconut oil is after taking a bath. Bathing washes off the skins' natural protective layer of oils and leaves it vulnerable to infection and injury. A thin coat of coconut oil will quickly restore this protective coat. Don't use too much, just enough to lightly dampen the skin. The oil should soak into the skin within a few minutes. If it isn't absorbed after 5-10 minutes you've applied too much. Any excess can be wiped off so it doesn't get onto your clothing.

Exceptionally dry or flaky skin will benefit from repeated applications. If possible, apply at least twice a day. For cuts, burns, abrasions, insect bites, and other injuries, apply coconut oil more often, ideally soak a bandage and keep the oil in contact with the injured tissue 12-24 hours a day until healed. The longer the coconut oil can remain in contact with the skin, the faster the healing.




1. Nakatsuji, T., et al. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol 2009;129:2480-2488.

2. Verallo-Rowell, V.M., et al. Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis 2008;19:308-315.

3 .Burgess, I.F., et al. Clinical trial showing superiority of a coconut and anise spray over permethrin 0.43% lotion for head louse infestation, ISRCTN96469780. Eur J Pediatr 2010;169:55-62.

4. Intahphuak, S., et al. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Pharm Biol 2010;48:151-157.

5. Nevin, K.G. and Rajamohan, T. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2010;23:290-297.

6. Agero, A.L. and Verallo-Rowell, V.M. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermatitis 2004;15:109-116.










Coconut Oil: Nature's Suntan Lotion


Coconut oil is the original suntan/sunscreen lotion. Islanders have been using it for this purpose for generations. When sunscreen lotions were first sold commercially the main ingredient was coconut oil. Over time, however, coconut oil was replaced with chemical sun blocking agents.


Sunscreens are rated by their sun protection factor or SPF, which is a measure of how much UV radiation is blocked. SPF numbers usually range from 15 to 100. The higher the SPF number, the greater the effect. You might think that an SPF of 30 to be twice as good as an SPF of 15 and that an SPF of 60 is twice as good as SPF 30, and so on. But that is not how it works. An SPF of 15 blocks about 94 percent of the UV radiation, an SPF or 30 blocks 97 percent, and an SPF of 45 blocks about 98 percent. SPF values above this are really meaningless.

Coconut oil is a proven sunscreen that is still used by millions of people in the tropics as their sole source of protection from sunburn

and skin cancer. How does it compare to commercial lotions? In India the oil is a popular lotion used for this and other purposes. A group of Indian researchers set out to find the answer to this question. They measured and compared the ability of various edible oils in absorbing or blocking the transmission of UV radiation. The oils they tested included coconut, peanut, castor, sunflower, sesame, olive, cod liver, and neem seed oils. The oils that blocked the most UV radiation (40 percent or more) were neem seed, sunflower, sesame, and cod liver oils. Cod liver oil was the most effective, blocking up to 90 percent. In contrast, the other four oils blocked less than 40 percent. Next to castor oil, coconut oil allowed the greatest penetration, blocking only about 20 percent of the UV light.1

Judging from this study, the SPF of coconut oil would probably be rated very low. At least lower than most other oils and especially lower than sunscreen lotions. While at first glance this study seems to question the usefulness of coconut oil as an effective sunscreen lotion, but in reality it shows its superiority.

SPF essentially measures how much UV radiation is blocked. When you block these natural wavelengths you can cause more harm than good. Getting adequate natural sunlight is beneficial and healing. Sunlight helps balance hormones and is necessary for the production of vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been gaining a lot of attention in the scientific community in recent years and for good reason. Vitamin D is necessary for the formation of healthy, strong bones and for the prevention of osteoporosis, rickets, and osteomalacia. It is essential for proper immune function and is needed to help fight off infections, inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases (diabetes, lupus, MS, etc.), and block the formation of cancer. In addition, vitamin D helps regulate blood sugar levels, moderate blood pressure, ease chronic inflammation, helps prevent dementia, and can even ease risks associated with exposure to radiation.

Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is produced by the action of UV rays from sunlight interacting with cholesterol in our skin. There are very few good dietary sources of vitamin D. The best sources are organ meats, particularly liver. If you don't eat liver or fish liver oils then you must get your vitamin D from sunlight. Unless you regularly eat organ meats, it is impossible to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Dietary supplements are a poor substitute for natural sources of vitamin D, and usually do not provide an adequate amount to satisfy needs. Therefore, sunlight is your best option.

Consequently, most of us are vitamin D deficient. Many of the health problems people battle with nowadays are either caused by or at least intensified by a vitamin D deficiency. Simply getting more exposure to sunlight could make a very significant difference in many people's health.

Unfortunately, if you live at a latitude of 35 degrees or more, you do not get enough sunlight during the winter to produce the needed vitamin D. This includes anywhere in North America above of the state of Alabama, all of Europe, and everywhere south of New South Wales in Australia. Since vitamin D is fat soluble, it can be stored to some extent. So if you get enough sun exposure during the summer, it can last for most of the winter. However, during the summer months when you can get adequate vitamin D from the sun, most of us stay indoors, under the shade, or lather on a thick layer of sunscreen to block out the sun and prevent any useful vitamin D production. It's not surprising that vitamin D deficiency is a major health problem today.


This problem has been compounded by an obsessive fear of skin cancer which has been drilled into us by the medical community and sunscreen marketers. We are continually warned to avoid getting too much sun and always put on protection when we do. It is wise to avoid getting sunburned, but not to avoid the sun altogether as many people seem to do. If you put on sunscreen, you block out the UV rays needed for vitamin D formation. With sunscreen covering your body, you can bask in the sunshine for hours and produce little vitamin D.











Despite the awareness of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and the routine use of sunscreens, the incidence of skin cancer has been steadily rising over the past few decades. Some studies have suggested that the chemicals in sunscreen themselves can promote cancer. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide used in sunscreens to block ultraviolet rays can create free radicals in the presence of sunlight, leading to cell damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Coconut oil protects the body from sunburn and skin cancer without blocking the beneficial UV radiation. Coconut oil doesn't rely on blocking out the sun's rays, it works by preventing free-radical reactions which lead to all the consequences caused by overexposure to the sun. So the SPF number of coconut oil is meaningless.

I am very fare skinned and if I am in the bright sun for more than 15 minutes I burn. The only sun protection I ever use is coconut oil. With a thin coat of coconut oil on my skin I can stay out under the hot tropical sun for hours without any problem. I don't burn with coconut oil. All I get is a light tan.

In the above study, the oils that blocked the most UV radiation were highly polyunsaturated and the most vulnerable to creating free radicals when exposed to sunlight. The most protective, cod liver oil, is the most polyunsaturated and the most vulnerable to damage by the sun. These oils are the worse ones to use as a skin lotion or sunblock and will cause the greatest amount of skin damage.

One summer I went to Fiji and planned to spend some time on the beach in the sun. I had not taken any coconut oil from home with me, thinking I could buy it there. I found a bottle of coconut oil plus vitamin E. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects against free radicals, so I thought this product would make an excellent sunscreen lotion. When I spread it over my body I immediately knew something wasn't right. The oil didn't feel like coconut oil. It felt too greasy and did not absorb into my skin like coconut oil normally does. Regardless, I went out on the beach anyway. It wasn't long before the sun's rays started to burn my skin. At first I tried to ignore it thinking the oil would protect me as it always has. But after about 30 minutes my skin became so painful I had to take cover in the shade and there I stayed. My skin was already a dark red and the pain grew worse as time passed. I experienced one of the worst sunburns I have ever had in my entire life. Later, on investigation, I learned that the coconut oil with vitamin E I had used was mostly soybean oil. Soybean oil is often sold as vitamin E oil because it contains the vitamin. Soybean oil is a polyunsaturated oil that is very vulnerable to sunlight and easily oxidizes and produces free radicals. Even though it was supposed to contain vitamin E, the vitamin did nothing to protect me. In fact, I was like a piece of greased chicken in a frying pan. It was a horrible experience. Never use polyunsaturated vegetable oils as a sunblock!

If you live in a climate that is cool during the winter, you probably do not get much exposure to sunlight for a good part of the year. If you've been indoors for six months and immediately go out in your swimsuit on a sunny day, your skin will be very sensitive to the sun even if you put coconut oil on. You need to "season" your skin before spending too much time in the sun at the beginning of summer. The way you season your skin is to rub a thin layer of coconut oil over all your uncovered skin, go in to the sun for 15-30 minutes, just long enough for your skin to become faintly pink, but no longer. Repeat this process in the next day or two, staying out five or 10 minutes longer. Repeat again staying out a little longer each time. After about two weeks or so, your skin will be seasoned enough to stay outdoors for hours with a single coating of coconut oil.

Replacing all polyunsaturated vegetables oils in your diet with coconut oil will also help protect you from sunburn. The fats and oils in your diet find their way into your skin tissues. If you eat polyunsaturated oils, your skin will be enriched in these vulnerable oils making you much more sensitive to the sun. If coconut oil is the main fat in your diet, your skin will have an added layer of protection against sunburn.



1. Sobhana, T., et al. Ultraviolet transmission through a few edible oils in the context of changing solar insolation. J Ind Geophys Union 2004;8:267-271.





































Sunlight and Skin Cancer













We are constantly being told to avoid overexposure to the sun because it can cause skin cancer, melanoma being the most dangerous kind. Ironically, a lack of sunlight can increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year. Almost as many cases as for all of other cancers combined.1 

The incidence of these cancers is increasing every year. Most people blame the sun for causing skin cancer. Yet, as a whole we get less sun exposure now than we have at any time in the past. We spend most of our time in our homes and offices. A century ago most people worked outdoors, exposed to the sun, without any protection from sunscreens. Yet, skin cancers were relatively rare. So why the big increase now? One reason may be because we get too little sun exposure, not too much.

A number of studies have found that appropriate sun exposure can help prevent skin cancer. The incidence of melanoma has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure and can increase with the use of sunscreen lotions.

For example, one study revealed that among cancer patients who had melanoma, those who got the most sun exposure were less likely to die from the disease than those who got less sun exposure.2

In another study, it was found that greater sun exposure prior to diagnosis of melanoma was associated with an improved chance of survival. The researchers also found that working outdoors in the sun was not associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer.3

Normal sun exposure is not harmful. But when sun exposure repeatedly results in sunburn, there is a definite increase risk of skin cancer. A meta-analysis study which combined the data from 57 previously published studies of cancer risk and sun exposure revealed that people who work outdoors under the sun have lower rates of skin cancer than those who spend most of their time indoors. Intermittent exposure, that often results in sunburn, showed the highest rate of cancer.4

What we learn from the above studies is that getting adequate sunlight is protective against cancer and getting occasional sun exposure, especially if accompanied by sunburns, increases the risk.

Sun exposure increases vitamin D production, which is important for a healthy immune system. It's our immune system that protects us from cancer. Cancer cells are developing in our bodies all the time, you have them and I have them, they are just a part of life. However, we all don't develop cancer because our immune systems spot these rogue cells and eliminates them before they can cause trouble. When the immune system is compromised, these cancer cells are allowed to grow unrestrained and develop into tumors. Adequate vitamin D levels are necessary to keep cancer cells in check. So it makes sense that those people who get regular sun exposure are less likely to develop cancer of any type.

Another reason why weekend sunbathers are more prone to develop cancer is that they are more likely to use commercial sunscreen lotions. In addition to contributing to vitamin D deficiency, sunscreens contain ingredients that may sensitize the skin, increasing cancer risk. Sunscreens contain a number of chemicals, not all of which have been adequately tested for safety. Some are known to trigger the generation of free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which in turn damages cellular DNA, increasing the risk of cancer.5-7

Reading the label is no guarantee the product is safe. Most people don't know the difference between padimate-O and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) or any of dozens of other chemicals found in sunscreens. Even if you did know which chemicals were the most troublesome, you would have no guarantee these products weren't present. A chemical analysis of several commercially available sunscreen lotions consistently revealed the presence of ingredients not listed on the labels.8 Since sunscreens are not intended to be eaten, there is no law requiring full disclosure of the contents.

Keep in mind, that what goes onto the skin also goes into the body. Your skin is your largest organ. It is also the thinnest, less than 1/10th of an inch thick. Many substances, especially if they are fat soluble, are easily absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Do you really want to put chemicals such as phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid, octyl salicylate, and isopentenyl-4-methoxycinnamate in your bloodstream?

Although sunscreens are useful in preventing sunburn, there has never been any epidemiological or laboratory evidence showing that they prevent skin cancer.9 In fact, there are a number of studies that show they increase cancer risk.10-16

Worldwide, the countries where chemical sunscreens have been recommended and adopted have experienced the greatest rise in malignant melanoma. In the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Scandinavian countries, melanoma rates have risen steeply in recent decades, with the greatest increase occurring after the introduction of sunscreens.17-21 Death rates in the United States from melanoma doubled in women and tripled in men between the 1950s and the 1990s.22  The rise in melanoma has been unusually steep in Queensland, Australia, where sunscreens were earliest and most strongly promoted by the medical community.23 Queensland now has the highest incidence rate of melanoma in the world.24 In contrast, the rise in melanoma rates was notably delayed everywhere else in Australia, where sunscreens were not promoted until later.

What you put on your skin after sunbathing can also affect your risk of skin cancer.

Using moisturizing creams after sunbathing may be worse than getting a sunburn. Cancer researchers from Rutgers University accidentally discovered that some common moisturizers can cause cancer.

The researchers did not intend to study the possible dangers of moisturizing creams. Their study was initially designed to investigate the effectiveness of caffeine as a topical agent for inhibiting sunlight-induced skin cancer. The moisturizer, Dermabase, was randomly selected to act as a carrier for the caffeine.








Moisturizing creams are usually tested for safety by determining if they cause irritation or an immune reaction, but they are not tested for carcinogenic activity. Before doing an extensive human study, the researchers felt it would be prudent to test the moisturizer first to make sure it did not possess any carcinogenic activity that could influence the outcome of the planned study.

The test was performed on hairless mice that had first been exposed to UV light twice a day for 20 weeks. This exposure was designed to increase their risk for developing skin cancer over the following several months. Dermabase was then applied topically on mice once a day, five days a week, for 17 weeks. The risk that the mice would develop cancer from just the UV exposure was small. Adding a moisturizer should not have changed this. Yet, to their amazement the risk increased by 69 percent!

An earlier study by other investigators had revealed that mineral oil, a common ingredient in many creams and lotions, became carcinogenic when exposed to UV light.25 So if you put the lotion on your arms and hands and went outdoors, the sunlight will activate cancer activity inherent in the lotion.

Curious, the investigators decided to repeat their test using three other common moisturizing creams (Dermovan, Eucerin, and Vanicream), each of which contained mineral oil. These creams were compared to a custom blended cream that did not contain mineral oil or any other suspect ingredient.

Each one of the commercial moisturizes displayed active carcinogenic activity. The number and size of the tumors increased by 95 percent with Dermovan, 24 percent with Eucerin, and 58 percent with Vanicream. There was no carcinogenic activity associated with the custom blended cream.26

While it was not determined if mineral oil was the only ingredient in these moisturizers that affected the incidence of cancer, it was the only one specifically identified. Mineral oil is derived from petrole-


Ingredients of

Each Moisturizer Evaluated


Percent increase in skin cancers indicated in parentheses.

Dermabase (69):

Purified Water, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Cetostearyl Alcohol

Dermovan (95):

Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearamidoethyl Diethylamine, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Eucerine (24):

Water, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Ceresin, Lanolin Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Vanicream (58):

Purified Water, White Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth-20, Sorbitol Solution, Propylene Glycol, Simethicone, Glyceryl Monostearate, Polyethylene Glycol Monostearate, Sorbic Acid, BHT

Custom Blend (0):

Purified Water, Propylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Isopropyl Myristate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide.


Ingredients listed for Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerine, and Vanicream are only those identified on the product label and may not be complete. The custom blend lists every ingredient.












um, just like the motor oil you put into your car's engine. It is very slippery allowing the lotion to be spread easily over the skin. It is a primary ingredient in over 1,700 body care products. Mineral oil is known by several different names so if the ingredient label doesn't list "mineral oil," that is no guarantee it isn't there. Other names for mineral oil include:


Adepsine oil 

Lignite oil



Liquid paraffin

Paraffin oil

White oil


Mineral seal oil

Mineral spirits

Baby oil


Note that baby oil is 100 percent mineral oil, which is definitely something you do not want to be putting on your baby.

Time spent under the sun and what we put on our skin aren't the only factors that influences skin cancer risk. What you eat also has an impact. The foods we eat supply the building blocks for our bodies. This is especially true for fats and oils. So the types of oils we eat can have a significant effect on our health. When we eat fat, some of it is incorporated into our skin tissues. If we eat a lot of polyunsaturated oils, our skin will be saturated with this type of fat. If we eat mostly saturated fats, our skin will contain a higher proportion of these fats. This can have a very dramatic effect on skin health.

Polyunsaturated fats are very delicate and highly vulnerable to oxidation and free-radical generation. When polyunsaturated fats are exposed to oxygen, heat, or sunlight, they spontaneously oxidize, that is they degrade or go rancid. In this process they form destructive free radicals. When polyunsaturated vegetable oils are incorporated into skin tissues they are placed in an environment that is warm and close to oxygen and sunlight, making them highly susceptible to oxidation. UV rays from the sun will react with the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your cells accelerating the oxidative process, increasing the intensity of sunburn and spurring DNA damage that can promote skin cancer. A person who eats a lot of polyunsaturated vegetable oils (corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, peanut, canola, etc.) will burn easier, burn deeper, and be at greater risk of skin cancer.

Monounsaturated and saturated fats are the skin's preferred fats. They are much more stable than polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats are particularly stable in the skin's environment and do not easily oxidize, thus reducing the risk of skin cancer. A good source of saturated fat is coconut oil.

Coconut oil not only helps prevent oxidization and free-radical generation, but it also protects against cancer. A number of studies have demonstrated the anti-cancer effects of consuming coconut oil. Even the topical application of coconut oil on the skin can block tumor development. For instance, when researchers applied cancer-causing chemicals on the skin of mice, tumors developed within 20 weeks. However, when coconut oil was applied along with the chemicals, there was a complete absence of tumor development.27

Coconut oil not only prevents cancer, but can fight active cancers as well. Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada have proposed the use of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) from coconut oil as a means to treat skin and other cancers. They are in the process of developing a topical MCFA-based ointment specifically for cancer treatment.

Consuming coconut oil in place of polyunsaturated oils and using it as a topical ointment can provide far more protection from skin cancer than any commercial sunscreen. Coconut oil is also much better at soothing and healing dry, flaky skin than moisturizers and is far safer.  Read ingredient labels on commercially produced creams and lotions, avoid putting anything on your skin that contains mineral oil or polyunsaturated vegetable oils. It would probably be wise to also avoid any product that contains unfamiliar or long multisyllable chemical names.




1. Jemal, A., et al. Cancer statistics. CA Cancer J Clin 2008;58:71-96.

2. Berwick, M., et al. Sun exposure and mortality from melanoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:195-199.

3. Rosso, S., et al. Sun exposure prior to diagnosis is associated with improved survival in melanoma patients: results from a long-term follow-up study of Italian patients. Eur J Cancer 2008:44:1275-1281.

4. Gandini, S., et al. Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: II. Sun exposure. Eur J Cancer 2005;41:45-60.

5. Xu, C., et al. Photosensitization of the sunscreen Octyl p-Dimethylaminobenzoate by UVA in human melanocytes but not in keratinocytes. Photochemistry and Photobiology 2001;73:600-604.

6. Knowland, J., et al. Sunlight-induced mutagenicity of a common sunscreen ingredient. FEBS Letters 1993;324:309-313.

7. Damiani, E., et al. Nitroxide radicals protect DNA from damage when illuminated in vitro in the presence of dibenzoylmethane and a common sunscreen ingredient. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1999;26:809-816.

8. http://www.spectroscopynow.com/coi/cda/detail.cda?id=22103&type=Feature& chId=1&page=1.

9. Vainio, H. and Bianchini, F. Cancer-preventive effects of sunscreens are uncertain. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health 2000;26:529-531.]

10. Westerdahl, J., et al. Sunscreen use and malignant melanoma. Int J Cancer 2000;87:145-150.

11. Graham. S., et al. An enquiry into the epidemiology of melanoma. Am J Epidemiol 1985;122:606-619.

12. Autier, P., et al. Melanoma and use of sunscreens: An EORTC case-control study in Germany, Belgium and France. Int J Cancer 1995;61:749-755.

13. Hunter, D.J., et al. Risk factors for basal cell carcinoma in a prospective cohort of women. Ann Epidemiol 1990;1:13-23.

14. Weinstock, M.A. Do sunscreens increase or decrease melanoma risk: an epidemiologic evaluation. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc 1999;4:97-100.

15. Wolf, P., et al. Phenotypic markers, sunlight-related factors and sunscreen use in patients with cutaneous melanoma: an Austrian case-control study. Melanoma Res 1998;8:370-378.

16. Beitner, H., et al. Malignant melanoma: aetiological importance of individual pigmentation and sun exposure. Br J Dermatol 1990;122:43-51.

17. Lee, J.A.H. The relationship between malignant melanoma of the skin and exposure to sunlight. Photochem Photobiol 1989;50:493-496.

18. Jensen, O.M. and Bolander, A.M. Trends in malignant melanoma of the skin. WHO Stat Q 1980;33:2-26.

19. Magnus, K. Incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin in 5 Nordic countries: significance of solar radiation. Int J Cancer 1977;20:477.

20. Magnus, K. Malignant melanoma in Norway. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1986;106:2309-2313.

21. Gallagher, R.P., et al. Risk factors for cutaneous malignant melanoma: the Western Canada Melanoma Study. Rec Res Cancer Res 1986;102:38-55.

22. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics of the United States: Mortality. Washington, DC:US Government Printing Office; 1955-1987.

23. Armstrong, B.K. and Howell, C.M. Trends in mortality from melanoma in Australia. Med J Austral 1987;147:150.

24. Muir, C., Waterhouse J, Mack T., et al. eds. Cancer Incidence in Five Continents Vol 5. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer: 1987.

25. Kligman, L.H. and Kligman, A.M. Petrolatum and other hydrophobic emollients reduce UVB-induced damage. J Dermatolog Treat 1992;3:3-7.

26. Lu, Y.P., et al. Tumorigenic effect of some commonly used moisturizing creams when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2009;129:468-475.

27. Nolasco, N.A., et al. Effect of coconut oil, trilaurin and tripalmitin on the promotion stage of carcinogenesis. Philipp J Sci 1994;123(1):161-169.








Coconut Wraps


People have often asked me if there is a recipe for coconut flour tortillas. Unfortunately, I've had to tell them no. All of my attempts to make tortillas using coconut flour have failed. No one else has been successfully either.


Recently, however, I was contacted by Todd Fitts the owner of company called Improv'eat. He said he developed a tortilla using nothing but coconut, coconut water, and salt. It had no fillers, binders, thickeners, gluten, preservatives, or added ingredients of any kind and was 100 percent raw. I had to see it. He sent me some samples. I was amazed.

The coconut wraps look very much like wonton or rice paper wrappers used to make spring rolls.







Vermicelli noodles are very thin noodles made from rice flour.

 They are flexible, yet sturdy enough to hold a filling. You don't want to deep fry them, as they don't cook well, but they can be filled with just about any type of filling, cooked or raw.

I could tell they weren't made from coconut flour or coconut meal, as one might imagine, but from the meat of the young coconut. Young coconut meat, unlike the hard mature meat, is very soft and pliable. The meat is removed from the shell, ground into a paste, and then dried into sheets. The result is a soft, flexible coconut tortilla or wrap.

 Coconut wraps make a perfect alternative to rice paper or egg roll wrappers for making spring rolls (see the recipe below). But you can also stuff them with a variety of fillings.

Fillings can be made ahead of time for a quick snack or light meal or a side dish. Here are some filling suggestions:


  • Avocado, sliced tomato, and diced green onions

  • Egg salad

  •  Cooked turkey, Gouda cheese, and Caesar salad dressing

  •  Avocado and hummus

  •  Waldorf salad

  •  Sliced bananas and peanut butter

  •  Peanut butter and berries

  •  Shredded meat and melted cheese

  •  Refried beans and cheese

  •  Baked beans


Many more ideas and recipes can be found on the Internet, just look for "spring roll" or "rice paper roll" fillings.

Since they are gluten-free, those with gluten sensitivities or wheat allergies can enjoy them.

My wife and I began telling others about them. One of the people we told is a very imaginative cook. She tried to purchase some, but found that they were not sold in her area. So she decided to try to make them herself! Amazingly, she was successful. She shared her recipe with us, which is reproduced below.

The recipe is simple, but time consuming. It takes a good 17-18 hours! Most of this is time is spent in drying the wraps. If you don't have the time or the will to make them yourself, you can buy them readymade. They're called Coconut Wraps. If your local store doesn't carry them, ask them to order this product or you can go online and order them through Sunfood.com. They are manufactured and distributed by Improv'eat, www.improveat.com.




Traditional Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce



These coconut wrap spring rolls are not deep fried, but served cold with a dipping sauce.



1 ounce (30g) dried vermicelli noodles

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup Chinese or regular cabbage, finely shredded

1 carrot, grated

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Precooked shrimp


Soak vermicelli noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes. While the noodles are soaking, mix together rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and crushed garlic in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Rinse the noodles under cold water, drain well, then cut into 3-inch lengths. Combine the noodles, prepared dressing, and vegetables together in a bowl until thoroughly mixed.







Grain Free Wraps: Raw Coconut Wrap

Created by Tiffany - The Coconut Mama


These are very easy to make. You do need to have a food processor and dehydrator to make them, though you may be able to use your oven to dehydrate them too. This recipe will make one large coconut wrap or you can make a few small, corn tortilla size wraps!

2 cups raw young coconut meat (3 coconuts)

1-2 tablespoons of raw coconut water

1/2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt




Process the young coconut meat and sea salt in food processor until it becomes mush. Add raw coconut water until it reaches a spreadable consistency.

Spread coconut batter on dehydrator sheet (or you can use parchment paper). Do not spread too thin or you will end up with holes in your wrap, 1/4 inch (.6cm) thick is about right.

Place in dehydrator at 105 degrees F (40 C). Check it every few hours. Once it is dry and solid on top, flip it and dehydrate for a few more hours. I left mine in the dehydrator for 8 hours, flipped it, and dried it for another 8 hours (overnight). In the morning I had a very pliable wrap, which I used to make this delicious raw crepe!





This crepe is filled with raw yogurt cheese, 1 raw egg yolk, vanilla and stevia. I then topped it with frozen raspberries and raspberry sauce. For the raspberry sauce, I used the whey left over from making the cheese and blended it with a handful of raspberries.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy this recipe!


Source: thecoconutmama.blogspot.com







Recipes with Coconut

Created By Mirko Albrecht, NC and Chef


Quinoa Salad with Orange, Salmon, and Coconut



2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled off

1 orange or 2 tangerines, finely diced

½ small onion, finely diced

½ cup orange or pineapple juice

½ cup pure yoghurt (unsweetened)

A few squirts of lemon or lime juice (according to taste)

200 to 250 grams (1/2 lb) cooked salmon filet in coconut oil (let it cool completely, then cut in thick dices)

4 to 6 tsp fresh or dried coconut, finely shredded or flakes

Sea salt and pepper to taste



Mix all ingredients in a bowl together. Put it in refrigerator. Serve chilled.


Comment: If you want roast a few slices ginger and some lemon grass, very finely chopped (or shredded in a small powerful blender) in a pan with coconut oil. Let it cool up and add it to the other ingredients in the bowl. This is an interesting taste.


Instead of Quinoa you can use cooked brown rice, millet or amaranth. Instead of orange you can take pineapple, peach, star fruit or mango.






Fruit-Sticks with Coconut



Fresh fruit of your choice (pineapple, papaya, banana, peach, strawberry, apple) thickly sliced/diced

Shashlik sticks (for the fruit sticks)

A small amount lemon, lime, or orange juice

Plain yoghurt

Natural sweetener

Dried coconut flakes or coconut flour 



Place fruit slices in a bowl and mix it in lemon, lime or orange juice. Put the fruit on the Shashlik sticks. Mix a small amount of natural sweetener with yoghurt. Brush or coat fruit sticks with yoghurt. Roll fruit sticks in coconut flakes or coconut flour. Put it in the refrigerator and serve chilled.





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Copyright © 2011,  Bruce Fife. All rights reserved.