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Thread: Coconuts - a Substitute for Blood Plasma

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Coconuts - a Substitute for Blood Plasma

    During World War II when blood supplies were running low, doctors discovered that the liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma. India's National Newspaper, Monday, Nov 24, 2003 states:

    "It (coconut juice) is also considered a close substitute for blood plasma since it is sterile, cool, easily absorbed by the body and does not destroy red blood cells. To quote Morton Satin, Chief of Food and Agricultural Organisation's Agricultural Industries and Post Harvest Management Service: "It is a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It is the fluid of life, so to speak."






    The Hindu : Tender coconut reigns


    Isotonic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Coconuts Can Save Your Life- Interesting Coconut Information
    Life is Beautiful....

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  3. #2
    In defence of coconuts:

    It has been said that there is more chance of being killed by a falling coconut than of being killed by a shark, allegedly 150 people annually being killed by falling coconuts, but does this malign the coconut?
    In late May, George Burgess, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File and a noted shark researcher, was quoted as saying, "Falling coconuts kill 150 people worldwide each year, 15 times the number of fatalities attributable to sharks."

    When I called Burgess, he told me he had gotten this statistic off the Internet--specifically, from a widely reported press release from the British travel-insurance firm Club Direct, saying that "holidaymakers hit by falling coconuts will be guaranteed full cover under their travel insurance policy. The news follows reports from Queensland, Australia, that coconut trees are being uprooted by local councils fearful of being sued for damages by people injured by coconuts. . . . 'Coconuts kill around 150 people worldwide each year, which makes them about ten times more dangerous than sharks,' says Brent Escott, managing director of Club Direct."

    So, Brent, do coconuts kill ten times as many people as sharks, or fifteen? No response yet from the UK. However, Club Direct's release also cites an article by Dr. Peter Barss in the Journal of Trauma entitled "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts." (The article received an Ig Nobel Prize, given annually at Harvard by the editors of the Annals of Improbable Research in recognition of research that "cannot or should not be replicated." The award was presented in 2001, notwithstanding that the paper had been published in 1984. Apparently news takes a while to filter through to Cambridge.) The article soberly reported on nine injuries in Papua New Guinea due to falling coconuts, none fatal. Barss notes that a coconut palm tree commonly reaches 25 meters in height, that a coconut can weigh two kilograms or more, and that a two-kilogram coconut falling 25 meters would have a velocity of 80 kilometers per hour on impact and a force of as much as 1,000 kilograms. Several victims suffered fractured skulls, were rendered comatose, etc.

    OK, getting hit by a coconut is no laughing matter. But nowhere does Barss say that 150 people get killed by coconuts each year. He provides an anecdotal account of one such death and in a separate paper estimates that over a four-year period five deaths in his hospital's service area were related to coconut palm trees (including climbers falling out of them). A recent report (Mulford et al, "Coconut Palm-Related Injuries in the Pacific Islands," ANZ Journal of Surgery, January 2001), which describes itself as "the largest review of coconut-palm related injuries," also reports no deaths and on the question of mortality merely cites Barss. Given that Barss' hospital in Papua New Guinea served a population of 130,000, one conceivably could project 150 deaths over that portion of the world population living in proximity to coconut palm trees, but I'm not aware of any systematic attempt to do so. Noting that death reports in tropical countries are limited, Barss tells me, "I am surprised that someone has come up with an actual number for such injuries. It must be a crude estimate, and you would have to ask them what methodology they used to verify whether it has any validity." Conclusion: Somebody pulled the figure about 150 deaths due to coconuts out of thin air. Take that, shark lovers.

    Barss, incidentally, wrote numerous frightening reports while stationed in the tropics. His subjects included injuries by pigs in Papua New Guinea, penetrating wounds caused by needlefish in Oceania, scombroid fish poisoning at Ala Tau, grass-skirt burns, wound necrosis caused by the venom of stingrays, and inhalation hazards of tropical "pea shooters." He's now teaching at United Arab Emirates University, in a desert city built around an ancient date oasis. Can't blame him for making the switch--who ever heard of getting KO'd by a falling date?

  4. #3
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    So the chance of being killed by a coconut (i.e. by standing in the wrong place at the wrong time) is probably as remote as the chance of being saved by a cocunut (due to having its juice infused into a vein). But what about all those who, for years smeared cocunut oil on them as a sun tan lotion and later got skin cancer and died? We might find that the bad press given to the coconut is justified after all.

  5. #4
    I'll think of something

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    Whatever bad press the coconut has gotten, I do believe that it is unwarranted and usually a product of a seemingly factual yet baseless estimate. Accuracy is not a yardstick for Dr. Peter Barss or even George Burgess, thus giving an inaccurate assessment on such a matter

  7. #6
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    people eat coconuts, people drink their milk so they are already 'harvested'
    if 150 people die a year thats a sad statistic but they should wear hard hats!

    how do you prepare TCW from coconut milk?

    when you say coconut milk is isotonic to blood, do you mean exactly or close enough to prevent haemolysis?

  8. #7
    Benjamin-MPharm: The last paragraph in the article at the following link states it does not hemolyze blood: The Hindu : Tender coconut reigns
    You could follow up on that article to check to see if their source is accurate.
    Jan Grossberg, RN, BSN
    Editorial Team

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    No one put coconut oil on themselves and died from cancer. First, coconut oil is the same type of oil that is in mother's milk. It is, by far, one of the most nutritious oils you could consume, by eating it or rubbing it on your skin. Unless it is homogenized, which would mean that homogenization was responsible, not the coconut.

    Second, sun exposure is not responsible for cancer, but prevents cancer.



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    Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer - Articles
    Most people believe that sun exposure causes cancer. the prestigious Cancer journal indicates, exposure to sun actually decreas Does this mean that one's sun exposure does not contribute to skin cancer?
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    So, update your info, please. Sun can damage skin if someone who seldom goes out exposes themselves to intense amounts in one dose. But, again, sun exposure can't be blamed. Their lack of thinking must be the problem. Certainly, their reliance on coconuts can't be the problem, either. http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyour...conut_oil.html

  10. #9
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    I think you'll find that the above comments were made tongue-in-cheek (i.e., a joke). However here is some sobering information about exposure to ultra violet light from the sun: From suntan to skin cancer - AHFMR Research News

    Exposure to the sun's rays is like anything else: in moderation it's good, but overdone it can very very harmful indeed.

  11. #10

    Skin cancer & sun exposure

    Both of the above posts contain links to information that can be quite beneficial. I would note that, in one of the links provided by katemanilli, there is research cited that I was already aware of through previous research, which relates the development of skin cancer not to length of sun exposure, but to sun exposure and excess omega-6 intake (relative to omega-3 intake). Of course, burning is dangerous - overdoing sun exposure certainly can be dangerous, but ironically, so can using suntanning and sunblock products. Many contain ingredients that have been shown to be carcinogenic in lab animals! But the Vitamin D connection to reduced rates of cancer development has been known for a long time. I have increased my vitamin D supplementation to 4000 units per day, as there is some research indicating that this level can be helpful in reducing symptoms of arthritis, and even in minimizing symptoms of menopause (there, I let the age cat out of the bag...).
    Jan Grossberg, RN, BSN
    Editorial Team

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