Coconut oil may prevent tooth decay, study says
Coconut oil attacks the bacteria that causes tooth decay
In spite some of the properties and health benefits of Coconut oil have been extensively broadcasted by the media (fighting Alzheimer's disease for example), some others have not yet been mentioned, mainly due to the fact that they were so far "unknown properties" that coconut oil was never thought to exert.
It was already known that digested coconut oil is able to attack the bacteria causing tooth decay, however, it wasn't until now that researchers from Athione Institute of Technology found how 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 . Image left: Coconut oil by Phu Thinh Co under Creative Commons License (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Common name: Coconut
But this property exerted by Coconut oil is not new and certainly not exclusive to coconut oil, other herbs and natural products have proven to be effective when partially digested against many bacterial strains, including Streptococcus mutans, as for example Garlic (Allium sativum), effective for the treatment of many groups of bacteria, as Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Actinomyces oris among many others .
We have to highlight that the research has also proven how the enzyme-modified coconut oil was also harmful to the yeast Candida albicans that can cause thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, an infection of yeast fungi of the genus Candida . Image right: Coconut oil extracting machine by Tracy Hunter under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
The MSc project is being carried out by Patricia Hughes, supervised by Dr Brady and Prof Neil Rowan at AIT. Ms Hughes graduated with a degree in veterinary nursing in 2009 from Athlone Institute of Technology .
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