I have compiled some information regarding the benefits of virgin coconut oil and tried to find data in relation to animals.
According to Hyperhealth encyclopedia v.6.0, virgin coconut oil has the following benefits:
Most of the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil are attributable to its high content of Medium-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids such as Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid and Lauric Acid. Unlike most other dietary Oils, Coconut Oil cannot contain Trans-Fatty Acids (due to its very low content of Unsaturated Fatty Acids).
Please note the “old” clinical research that found Coconut Oil ineffective (or toxic) used Hydrogenated Coconut Oil. Only extra-virgin, unadulterated Coconut Oil should be used for therapeutic purposes.
Unlike many other Dietary Oils, Coconut Oil may NOT contribute to the development of Cardiovascular Diseases and may indirectly reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Diseases (due to the absence of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil).
Unlike many other Dietary Oils, Coconut Oil may NOT contribute to the development of Atherosclerosis and may indirectly reduce the risk of Atherosclerosis (due to the absence of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil)
Applied topically, coconut oil may improve hair condition
Coconut Oil may inhibit or kill some species of Detrimental Bacteria (due to its high content of Medium-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids, especially Lauric Acid), including:
Coconut Oil may inhibit/kill some types of Detrimental Fungi (due to its high content of Medium-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids), including Aspergillus niger
Coconut Oil may inhibit/kill the Giardia lamblia Protozoa that causes Giardiasis.
Coconut Oil may reduce Inflammation.
Coconut Oil may facilitate the expulsion of Intestinal Parasites such as Tapeworms
Coconut Oil may delay the shrinkage (atrophy) of the Thymus that occurs with the progression of the Aging Process and may restore the function of the Thymus.
Coconut Oil may may deactivate some types of Viruses (due to the high Lauric Acid content of Coconut Oil) including HIV virus (which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Coconut Oil may increase the body’s Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Coconut Oil may lower elevated total serum Cholesterol levels (it is speculated that this occurs from Coconut Oil stimulating the conversion of Cholesterol to Pregnenolone):
Coconut Oil may increase HDL Cholesterol levels.
Coconut Oil may lower LDL Cholesterol levels.
Coconut Oil may lower VLDL Cholesterol levels.
Coconut Oil may facilitate weight loss in persons afflicted with Obesity (by increasing the body’s Basal Metabolic Rate).
Coconut Oil may lower elevated serum Triglycerides levels.
Coconut oil applied topically may alleviate dry skin
Coconut oil applied topically may help to kill head lice.
Animals and coconut oil
Unfortunately, there are not many scientific data on the benefits of coconut oil with animals. However, there are many reports and stories from people all over the world.
In a study conducted by Pagan and Al. (1993), the authors concluded that the medium chain fatty (MCT) acids in coconut oil are oxidized quickly and thus spare glucose. Ingested MCT may not deliver fatty acids to the exercising muscle for oxidation (Berning, 1996), but are preferentially oxidized in the liver so that the ketone bodies formed may be used for oxidation in muscle. You can read more on this here
Where I come from, we use coconut oil for many skin ailments and I have used it successfully on horses with itch and dogs with hot spots. There are too many accounts of the amazing benefitsof coconut oil to ignore this product.
Here is a link of stories people have told in regards to the use of coconut oil on animals.