Those in the know about the astounding
health benefits of coconut oil are usually well aware of the major
antimicrobial effects this traditional fat has on the skin and also in
It is no wonder that coconut oil is so great to rub into a dandruff
plagued scalp as it helps bring the fungus causing this scaly problem
under control with no chemical laden shampoos needed.
Coconut oil is also helpful for those with candida overgrowth
problems in the gut as it suppresses all manner of gut pathogens. It is
the highly beneficial medium chain saturated fat lauric acid found in
coconut oil that is responsible for protection from microbial infections of all kinds
when coconut oil is consumed in the diet. Lauric acid is also
produced by the human mammary gland and what is credited with protecting
breastfed infants from viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections.
It is only recently, however, that the conventional medical community has finally begun to appreciate the powerful antimicrobial effect of coconut oil.
Irish researchers have reported from the Athlone Institute of
Technology that coconut oil was the only oil of 3 tested (olive oil and
vegetable oil being the other two) that was able to prevent
Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a common
inhabitant of the mouth and a major cause of tooth decay, from binding
to and damaging tooth enamel.
This finding lends serious credence to the ancient Ayurvedic practice
of swishing the mouth with a tablespoon of oil first thing in the
morning (oil pulling) which some people report works best using coconut
The coconut oil used in the study was first treated with enzymes
simulating the human digestive process in order to more realistically
gauge its impact in the body.
The scientists also reported the coconut oil extremely effective at
attacking thrush, a yeast (fungal) infection of the mouth which is not
surprising given coconut oil’s helpfulness with other skin issues like
Lead researcher Dr. Damien Brady stated that coconut oil could prove
to be an attractive alternative to chemicals in maintaining oral health.
Mouthwashes, toothpastes, and other oral products are loaded with
chemical additives that can frequently irritate the sensitive tissues of
Dr. Brady noted that not only does coconut oil work at relatively low
concentrations, but with the worrisome problem of increasing antibiotic
resistance, it is important to consider coconut oil a potentially novel new way to control microbial infections.
Dr. Brady and his team now plan to examine how coconut oil and Strep
bacteria interface at the molecular level to determine if there are any
other strains of bacteria that are inhibited in a similar fashion. They
also plan to study antibacterial activity in the gut presumably using
coconut oil and how cells lining the digestive tract can become
colonized by pathogens.