The FoodFacts.com community has long been sharing the important benefits of coconut oil in our diets. Coconut oil is thought to be one of the “good” fats, with properties that actually work for your health, instead of against it. But here’s more interesting news regarding this interesting oil … it might act to help the fight against tooth decay.
At the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference, scientists from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland presented their work regarding how digested coconut oil can attack tooth decay bacteria. It can act as a natural antibiotic that can be used in commercial toothpaste and make a real difference in dental health.
Their work explored the antibacterial properties of coconut oil and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes that mimic digestion. Streptococcus bacteria is a common bacteria found in the mouth that contributes to tooth decay. So they tested the oils against the streptococcus bacteria and discovered that the coconut oil prepared to mimic digestion had a tremendous affect against the growth of those bacteria. In previous research it has been discovered that partially digested food can play an active role in combating micro-organisms. But it appears that this is the first study that focused on coconut oil and its interaction with the streptococcus bacteria that plays an important role in tool decay.
As an added bonus, they also found that the “digested” coconut oil could also help with the yeast that causes thrush. This study has linked the concept that the addition of modified coconut oil might be marketable as an antimicrobial for oral healthcare. Dental health is a problem that affects between 60 and 90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. And the study’s findings could really have an impact on dental hygiene products … helping to combat problems in a more natural manner. It is especially important in today’s reality where there is an increasing resistance to antibiotic treatment. And it may have other important implications. It’s possible that products of our digestion actually can combat bacteria. This holds a lot of promise in light of the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria showing up in the population.
FoodFacts.com is thrilled with the idea that there may be more natural alternatives that can help us as we face those antibiotic resistant bacteria. While we understand that more research is needed, we are encouraged to learn that chemically produced solutions are not our only alternatives to combat common health problems.
We encourage you to read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-09-coconut-oil-combat-tooth.html#jCp