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Not just one of Nature's most refreshing beverages, coconut water is a powerhouse of deep, evidence-based health benefits.
Few beverages on this planet are as biocompatible to the human body and its hydration needs as coconut water. Indeed, coconut water has been reported to have been used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world for over half a century. It is also an excellent preserving medium for avulsed teeth (and semen!), besting even Hank's balanced salt solution, a commonly used medical solution.
While some are concerned about the sugar content of this slightly sweet beverage, recent research shows it actually exhibits blood sugar lowering properties in an experimental model of diabetes. Additional animal research shows coconut water prevents and reverses high blood pressure associated with fructose feeding-induced hypertension, as well being able to reduce oxidative stress and insulin resistance.
Perhaps one of the most amazing properties of coconut water is its superior lipid modulating activity in the animal model vis-à-vis the cholesterol-lowering statin drug known as lovastatin. Which means we can, in clear conscience, modify Hippocrates’ famous saying to: "Let What You Drink Be Your Medicine."
Other medicinal properties of coconut water include
- Anti-Ulcer Properties: Both coconut milk and coconut water exhibit potent anti-ulcer activity against chemicals such as indomethacin, a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID).
- Blood-Pressuring Lowering Properties: When human subjects consumed coconut water for two weeks, it was found to lower blood pressure in 74% of the experimental group, reducing it by up to 24 points (mmHg) systolic and 15 points (mmHq) diastolic.
- Anti-Alzheimer’s Properties: in an animal model of ovariectomy-induced menopausal changes, coconut water appeared to prevent the decline of brain estrogen (estradiol) levels, as well as the associated accumulation of Alzheimer’s disease associated β-amyloid (Aβ) plaque in their brains.
- Anti-Bacterial Properties: Three novel antimicrobial peptides have been identified in coconut water which exhibited inhibitory activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
- Anti-Gastroenteritis Agent: When sodium is added (ideally sea salt) coconut water has been determined to be an ideal rehydrating agent in countries where medical supplies are not freely available, and where, say, cholera and other severe forms of gastroenteritis persist.
Ultimately, coconut makes for an excellent alternative to sports drinks, which are increasingly comprised of synthetic ingredients. Also, coconut water is filtered by Nature through an intensive purification process -- far safer than municipal systems which leave up to 600 toxic disinfectant byproducts behind. I'm nuts for the stuff (so much so that I will use a bad pun like this), how about you?
For more coconut related research visit our Coconut Research Page!
 Comparative evaluation of the hypolipidemic effects of coconut water and lovastatin in rats fed fat-cholesterol enriched diet. Food Chem Toxicol.2008 Dec;46(12):3586-92. Epub 2008 Sep 3 PMID: 18809454