Unrefined (and refined) coconut oil has many health benefits.
It's nutritional benefits are somewhat in a controversy in recent years since it is comprised of mainly saturated fatty acids which were until recently thought to be detrimental to our health. However new research shows that plant based saturated fats are no processed by our bodies like saturated fats acquired from animal products. In fact, fatty acids found in coconut oil inhibit infammatory and oxidative processes in our body. Research shows that the (medium) length of fatty acids found in coconut oil provide an excellent source of available energy for cells, especially brain cells. For some this is exciting news as a fatty source of energy, as opposed to a carbohydrate source of energy gives our cells an advantage over cancerous cells and so can be used both for preventative measures as well as in disease states. Intake of this oil has also shown impediment of neurodegenerative disease progression and improvement in daily brain functioning.
Nutritionally; this oil is said to not accumulate in adipose tissue.
The Lauric acid in this oil is widely established as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.
I am a big fan of coconut oil in my cooking and make use of both the refined and virgin-unrefined types. the refined coconut oil serves me in recipes where I do not want to impart a coconut flavour on the final product. The specific profile of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil means it is very stable during long and high temperature cooking methods.
So in conclusion, I am a real believer in coconut oil. Still I wouldn't drink it and I still use it sparingly in my cooking because in the end of the day - it is an oil.