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Antibacterial Action of Coconut Oil Combats Tooth Decay When Consumed

Sept 3, 2012 by NATASHA LONGO

The human body converts the lauric acid found in coconut oil into an amazing monoglyceride called monolaurin which is only found in abundance in one other liquid--breast milk. It  has anti-viral,   anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Lauric acid is a powerful   virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer,   and coconut oil contains   the most lauric acid of any substance on earth. It is  able to attack the bacteria that   cause tooth decay say scientists presenting their   work at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference at the   University of Warwick.

The team from the Athlone Institute of   Technology in Ireland tested the antibacterial action of coconut oil in   its natural state and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes, in   a process similar to digestion. The oils were tested against strains of   Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. They   found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibited the growth of   most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans --   an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay.
Coconut oil is:

  • Anti-bacterial (kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum diseases, and other bacterial infections)
  • Anti-carcinogenic (coconut oil has antimicrobial properties so it effectively prevents the spread of cancer cells and enhances the immune system)
  • Anti-fungal (kills fungi and yeast that lead to infection)
  • Anti-inflammatory (appears to have a direct effect in suppressing   inflammation and repairing tissue, and it may also contribute by   inhibiting harmful intestinal microorganisms that cause chronic   inflammation.)
  • Anti-microbial/Infection Fighting (the medium-chain fatty acids   and monoglycerides found in coconut oil are the same as those in human   mother's milk, and they have extraordinary antimicrobial properties. By   disrupting the lipid structures of microbes, they inactivate them. About   half of coconut oil consists of lauric acid. Lauric acid, its   metabolite monolaurin and other fatty acids in coconut oil are known to   protect against infection from bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and   parasites. While not having any negative effect on beneficial gut   bacteria, coconut oil inactivates undesirable microbes.)
  • An Antioxidant (protects against free-radical formation and damage)
  • Anti-parasitic (fights to rid the body of tapeworms, lice and other parasites)
  • Anti-protozoa (kills giardia, a common protozoan infection of the gut)
  • Anti-retroviral (kills HIV and HLTV-1)
  • Anti-viral (kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other viruses)
  • Infection fighting
  • Has no harmful for discomforting side effects
  • Known to improve nutrient absorption (easily digestible; makes vitamins and minerals more available to the body)
  • Nontoxic to humans and animals

                    Many previous studies have shown that partially digested foodstuffs   are active against micro-organisms. Earlier work on enzyme-modified milk   showed that it was able to reduce the binding of S. mutans to tooth   enamel, which prompted the group to investigate the effect of other   enzyme-modified foods on bacteria.

Further work will examine how   coconut oil interacts with Streptococcus bacteria at the molecular level   and which other strains of harmful bacteria and yeasts it is active   against. Additional testing by the group at the Athlone Institute of   Technology found that enzyme-modified coconut oil was also harmful to   the yeast Candida albicans that can cause thrush.

The researchers   suggest that enzyme-modified coconut oil has potential as a marketable   antimicrobial which could be of particular interest to the oral   healthcare industry. Dr Damien Brady who is leading the research said,   "Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90%   of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries.   Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products   would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly   as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing   antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new   ways to combat microbial infection."
Type of Coconut oil to use:

  • Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil tastes and smells coconutty and is great for cooking and   baking where you want that flavor. You can use it for anything but it   will impart a coconut taste (mild) and odor (pleasant in my book)!   Unrefined coconut oil retains the most nutritional value and is superior   to refined oil.
  • Expeller pressed (refined) coconut oil can be used for anything. It does not have a coconutty   smell or taste. It is still outstanding to use but does lose some of   it’s health properties during the refining process.

                    The work also contributes to   our understanding of antibacterial activity in the human gut. "Our data   suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity.   This could have implications for how bacteria colonize the cells lining   the digestive tract and for overall gut health," explained Dr Brady.   "Our research has shown that digested milk protein not only reduced the   adherence of harmful bacteria to human intestinal cells but also   prevented some of them from gaining entrance into the cell. We are   currently researching coconut oil and other enzyme-modified foodstuffs   to identify how they interfere with the way bacteria cause illness and   disease," he said.

Natasha Longo has a master's degree in   nutrition and is a certified fitness and                 nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health                                   policy   and procurement in Canada,   Australia,       Spain,         Ireland,     England                     and Germany.

Views: 126

Tags: Action, Antibacterial, Coconut, Combats, Consumed, Decay, Oil, Tooth, When, of

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