Coconut Oil and Dental Health
- Excerpts taken from the article “Coconut Oil Might Combat Tooth Decay”, of Dr. Joseph Mercola


Posted on February 2, 2016


Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology’s Bioscience Research institute in Ireland set out to test coconut oil’s biocidal properties against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

According to the chief researcher, Dr. Damien Brady, dental carries affect 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries. His team tested the anti-bacterial action of coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil that has been treated with enzymes, similar to the digestion process.

The oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria or the common inhabitants of the mouth. The enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibits the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay. It is thought that the breaking down of the fatty coconut oil by the enzymes turns it into acids, which are toxic to certain bacteria. Enzyme-modified coconut oil was also harmful to the yeast Candida albicans, which can cause thrush.

Dr. Brady said:

“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. Also, with increasing anti-biotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection."

Dr. Brady explained that the research explains the anti-bacterial activity in the human gut, which helps maintain the balanced flora necessary for a strong immune system. The team’s data show that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity which have implications for how bacteria colonize the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health.

The following conclude this study of Irish scientists headed by Dr, Brady:

1. Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria that glues to the teeth and causes dental erosion. Coconut oil is the best oil for killing bacteria, thus, it is considered as the main ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes.

2. If coconut oil modified with chemical additives, is added into dental hygiene products, it can be the most powerful tool against bacteria and other harmful substances that attack the teeth.

3. Coconut oil also kills the fungus Candida albicans which causes vaginal discharge, pain, stinging and burning sensation when urinating.



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