Coconut oil that has been digested is capable of attacking the bacteria that can cause tooth decay. According to scientists, it’s a natural antibiotic which could be integrated into commercially made dental hygiene products.
Researchers tested the anti-bacterial activity of coconut oil in its natural state as well as coconut oil which was treated with enzymes to emulate a process very much like digestion. Both oils were then tested against Streptococcus bacteria strains that are typical inhabitants in the mouth. The researchers discovered that the growth of the majority of Streptococcus bacteria strains was inhibited by the coconut oil treated with enzymes, including the acid-producing bacterium Streptococcus mutans, that’s a significant cause of dental cairies.
Several earlier studies have revealed that partially digested foods are active against micro-organisms. Previous work on enzyme modified milk established that it was capable of reducing the binding of S. mutans to the enamel of teeth, which prompted the team to research the effect of various other enzyme modified foodstuff on bacteria.
Additional research will look at the interaction of coconut oil and Streptococcus bacteria at the molecular level as well as which other harmful bacteria strains and yeasts it’s active against. Further testing discovered that the coconut oil treated with enzymes was at the same time harmful to the thrush causing yeast Candida albicans.
The study suggests that coconut oil treated with enzymes has possibilities as being a valuable antimicrobial that could be of special interest for the dental health care industry. According to the researchers dental caries is a frequently overlooked health issue affecting 60-90 percent of children as well as most adults in developed countries. The incorporation of coconut oil treated with enzymes into dental health products could well be an attractive substitute for chemical additives, especially since it functions at fairly low concentrations. Furthermore, along with increasing antibiotic resistance, it’s necessary that we turn our focus on new methods to fight microbial infection.
The study also improves the comprehension of antibacterial activity inside the human gut. The findings suggest that products of human digestion display antimicrobial activity. This can have implications for the way bacteria colonize cells lining the intestinal tract as well as for general gut health.