Coconut oil: Does it live up to the hype?

coconutRarely has a food gone through as dramatic a transformation from dietary villain to superhero as coconut oil and, indeed, all things coconut.

The claims for its health-giving properties now verge on the miraculous: It is said to promote weight loss; prevent heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic diseases; improve digestion; treat AIDS and herpes infections; strengthen the immune system; rejuvenate skin and hair; fight gum disease and cavities; even, as one book suggests, “cure” Alzheimer’s disease.

But is there any truth to any of the claims? Experts from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health and their writer/editor collaborators take on the issues one by one in a recent post from Berkeley Wellness.