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Is Coconut Glycerin Safe For Dogs?

Is Coconut Glycerin Safe For Dogs?

Coconut glycerin is included as an ingredient in dog food and dog treats as part of the clean label movement. Is it safe for dogs to consume, though?

While only limited scientific research has been conducted to date, we have extensively studied the research that was done. We also studied coconut glycerin's effect on dogs down to the biochemistry level. In this article, we lay out our findings.

Is Coconut Glycerin Safe For Dogs?

Yes. Coconut glycerin is safe for dogs and humans alike, and it is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Glycerin’s safety has been reviewed and confirmed for use in food by health authorities around the world, including the World Health Organization, the European Union, and countries such as Australia, Canada and Japan.

No Impact on Blood Glucose

Coconut glycerin provides the nutrition of a carbohydrate without any related spike in blood glucose. This implies that glycerin should not increase risk of diabetes in dogs.

Glycerin does not significantly promote insulin secretion when it is consumed either, which means your dog's body does not process it like other carbohydrates. Instead, both insulin and blood glucose levels remain lower than the levels that would normally be seen when eating other types of carbohydrates.

For these reasons, glycerin is considered to have zero net carbs and a diabetic friendly ingredient.

Benefits for Heart Health

A 2007 study in the American Journal of Physiology showed that glycerin improved heart health. [*] Glycerin had a positive impact on cardiac metabolism and energy balance by decreasing fatty acid oxidation, and the researchers concluded it may represent a new factor in cardiac protection.

The heart doesn't only benefit from glycerin—it requires glycerin for proper function, as was shown in a 2009 NIH study. [*]

Glycerin supplementation has also been linked to improved heart health in humans too. In particular, it improved the performance of soccer players when its effects were compared with those of the placebo groups. [*] While this was a human study, glycerin is processed metabolized the same way by dogs' bodies—so it's reasonable to believe dogs may benefit too.

Glycerin Is Naturally In Foods We Eat

While it may not sound natural, glycerin is simply a molecular compound found in many foods we normally eat.

The oil of MCTs, which stands for medium-chain triglycerides, is largely composed of glycerin (hence the glycerides in triglycerides). In this structure, glycerin holds chains of fatty acids together until they are naturally broken down in the body for energy.

Dogs' bodies are equipped with biological energy pathways to convert glycerin into ATP via the Kreb’s Cycle[*]. ATP is what fuels both you and your dog's bodies.

In this way, it can be said that glycerin is a pure source of energy.

The Bottom Line

Coconut glycerin is safe for dogs to eat. It is a natural part of many foods we eat, and it is directly converted into energy when your dog consumes it.

If you'd like to learn more about the benefits of coconut glycerin including its effects on heart health, longevity and brain health, read our article The Benefits of Coconut Glycerin for Dogs — Scientific Research Summary.

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