Coconut Oil and Tooth Decay
A study was conducted by the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland. They tested the antibacterial effects of natural coconut oil against the one that was treated with enzymes, also known as the digested coconut oil. Both if these were tested on Streptococcus bacteria, one of the most commonly found bacteria inside the mouth. It was found that digested coconut oil had more significant effects in preventing the growth and multiplication of Streptococcus bacteria, which includes Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium that produces decay-causing acid.
A lot of studies in the past have proven that digested food items are effective in fighting against micro-organisms. There were even studies that demonstrated the efficiency of enzyme-modified milk in preventing the build-up of Streptococcus mutants in the mouth. Because of this, the team the Athlone Institute of Technology aimed to find out whether some other digested or enzyme-modified foods are as effective.
Further studies will determine what other types of bacteria and yeasts coconut oil is active against. The team at the Athlone Institute of Technology also discovered that coconut oil is likewise effective against yeast Candida albicans, which can trigger candidiasis.
The research team concludes that digested coconut oil is a potential addition in the oral healthcare industry. The leader of the research, Dr. Damien Brandy said that up to 90% of children and the majority of adults experience dental problems in some of the most progressive and industrialized countries. Adding the enzyme-modified coconut oil to dental care products makes a good alternative to using chemical-based products. And considering the increasing number of people who are now resistant to antibiotic, it becomes more of a necessity for us to explore alternative means of fighting infections caused by bacteria, Brandy added.