What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil Good For? 7 Uses & Benefits

Medically Reviewed on 7/27/2022
What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil Good For?
Fractionated coconut oil is made from fatty acids found in coconut oil

Fractionated coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular for its health benefits, especially for skin care. When coconut oil is fractionated, the quantities of capric and caprylic acids grow significantly as other components are eliminated, resulting in powerful antioxidant and bactericidal properties. This makes it popular for use in in aromatherapy and cosmetic treatments.

Fractionated coconut oil is made from fatty acids found in coconut oil. The main advantage of fractionated coconut oil over crude coconut oil is its longer shelf life. Unlike unrefined coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil will not get rancid and can withstand extremely high temperatures.

Because of its long shelf life, fractionated coconut oil does not require special storage or handling measures other than storing it in a cold, dry area.

7 uses and benefits of fractionated coconut oil

1. Improves dry skin

Both fractionated and regular coconut oil are used in skincare, but fractionated coconut oil penetrates better into the skin and does not leave a greasy film. It has an emollient effect that can soften and hydrate dry skin. Antioxidant and antibacterial properties in coconut oil can further help promote skin health.

2. Reduces frizzy hair

The nutrients in fractionated coconut oil can help moisturize and nourish hair, reducing frizz and promoting softness and shine. You can rub a small amount onto damp hair as a leave-in conditioner or apply a generous amount on dry hair as a hair mask. Leave in for at least 30 minutes before shampooing and conditioning.

3. Removes makeup

Unlike many commercial makeup removers that may contain harsh or irritating chemicals, fractionated coconut oil is effective at dissolving stubborn or waterproof makeup while being gentle on the skin.

4. Cooking oil

Virgin coconut oil has a strong coconut flavor that can sometimes overwhelm a dish. Fractionated coconut oil does not have as distinct or strong a flavor, and its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) content may provide more health benefits. However, it is more expensive than ordinary coconut oil.

5. May aid weight loss 

Fractionated coconut oil has been known to have appetite-reducing properties. Studies have suggested that MCTs can help reduce hunger and overall calorie intake, help you burn more fat, and reduce fat storage in the body. It may also help reduce the risk of obesity in people with diabetes.

6. Improves athletic performance

Studies suggest that edible oils rich in MCTs, such as fractionated coconut oil, promote exercise performance and muscle function when taken as a dietary supplement.

7. Improves brain function

MCTs in fractionated coconut oil can enhance brain function and lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Children with epilepsy may also benefit from a diet high in MCTs while being on a strict ketogenic diet.


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How is fractionated coconut oil made?

Coconut oil is made from coconut flesh and contains over 90% of saturated fat. Coconut oil is solid with a milky hue at room temperature. 

Refined or fractionated oil, however, is clear or pale-yellow color and liquid at room temperature.

Fractionated coconut oil is produced when crude coconut oil is heated above its boiling point, which is at about 78 F. Once the oil reaches its boiling point, it converts from solid to liquid. 

Coconut oil contains long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The LCTs in the coconut oil have a higher boiling point, so as the oil cools down, the LCTs solidify, leaving the MCTs in a liquid state.

What is the nutritional profile of fractionated coconut oil?

Table: Nutritional facts of 1 tablespoon (14 grams) fractionated coconut oil
Nutrient Amount
Calories 120
Total fat 17% of the DV (daily value)
Fatty acids, total saturated 65% of the DV

What are potential downsides of fractionated coconut oil?

Though fractionated oil is generally regarded as a better version of coconut oil, there are certain downsides to it when compared to ordinary coconut oil:

Lacks lauric acid

Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid and is one of the highest dietary sources of this saturated fat. Many health advantages have been associated with lauric acid. It has the potential to eliminate dangerous bacteria, viruses, and fungi and guard against disease.

Fractionated coconut oil, however, contains no to very little lauric acid. Lauric acid is removed from coconut oil during the refining process, and the characteristic liquid form of the fractionated coconut oil is due to the elimination of lauric acid.

Thus, it does not provide the same health benefits as ordinary coconut oil.

May cause gastrointestinal issues

Most people are tolerant of coconut oil. However, some people on MCT-rich ketogenic diets have reported suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms, including:

May cause allergic reactions

Though very rare, there have been reports of people with coconut and coconut oil allergies. Such people may have negative responses to fractionated coconut oil.

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Medically Reviewed on 7/27/2022
Image Source: iStock image

What Is Fractionated Coconut Oil? https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-fractionated-coconut-oil

Liquid coconut oil. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/957505/nutrients