March 14th, 2014
Did you know that coconut oil acts as a natural antibiotic when digested? Did you also know that it kills the bacteria responsible for tooth decay? It's true! There's also evidence to suggest that the antibiotic part of the oil can be added to oral hygiene products.
Dr. Damien Brady and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland are responsible for these findings. They set out to see if the natural antibiotic in coconut oil could be used to fight strains of streptococcus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouth and responsible for tooth decay.
The researchers tested the impact of coconut oil, vegetable oil and olive oil in their natural states and when treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion. The oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. Only the enzyme-modified coconut oil showed an ability to halted most strains of bacteria from reproducing. It also attacked Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium which is a major cause of tooth decay.
Test studies have also found that semi-digested coconut oil kills Candida albicans, a yeast that causes thrush. The scientists think that enzyme-modified coconut oil, meaning in its semi-digested state, could possibly have antimicrobial properties in oral healthcare, specially in hygiene products.
The research gave some insight into the workings 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 colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health," said Dr Brady.
Dr. Brady 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."
Drs. Ali & Ali are happy to answer any questions you may have about this exciting new discovery! Or, if you have a different question or concern, don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim or Dr.Pradhan. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.