- Thread starter
- Aug 9, 2019
Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. The colour of the oil varies from a light yellow to a brownish yellow colour. The oil is also referred to as copra oil and contains average amounts of caproic- (0.2 - 0.8%), caprylic- (5 - 9%), palmitic- (7 - 11%), stearic (1 - 3%) and oleic- (5 - 8%) acids. More than 90% of the fatty acids in this oil are of low molecular weight and are saturated, which makes coconut oil the richest source of medium chain, fatty acids (C6-, C8- and C10). Due to significant concentrations of lauric acid, this oil will pass abruptly from a brittle solid to a liquid, within a narrow temperature range. It, furthermore, melts rapidly and completely below body temperature, due to the low molecular weight of the lauric acid43.
A study was conducted to check the enhancing property of coconut oil. A transdermal drug delivery system of gabapentin was prepared with a cosolvent and microemulsion. Coconut oil was taken as the oil phase of the microemulsion. The in vitro drug release of the drug showed that there was significant increase in the skin permeation of the drug44.
Nice, but there's a few problems with this. For one, they made a micro-emulsion which makes this hard to rely on (since it increases effectiveness). Regardless, there is no dispute that medium chain fatty acids are effective at skin penetration. In fact, decanoic acid, and undecanoic acids are highly effective disruptors of the lipid matrix and show tremendous skin permeation enhancing effect beyond oleic and even linoleic acids. Still, their concentration is low, and I would imagine that it wouldn't be sufficient to over-ride pure FA.
I didn't realize that CO has any noteworthy quantities of fatty acids, but this still doesn't convince me to use MCT as an ingredient. "The term capric acid is derived from the Latin "caper / capra" (goat) because the sweaty, unpleasant smell of the compound is reminiscent of goats." So, unless you can smell a gross scent, I doubt that you have sufficient quantities of capric/caprylic acids. What's more, is that if you buy pure MCT, then there is even less chance of a smell, since, well, its just MCT.(it's often even advertised as smell-free) I don't know how much FA would still end up in MCT, but I doubt it's very much to matter.
1-undecanol is probably one of the more effective penetration enhancers. It beats all other fatty alcohols by a mile. It even smells nice (supposedly), but sadly it's quite hard to find a seller for, and it might be irritating to the skin.