Scientists have found that coconut oil treated with enzymes can attack the bacteria (Streptococcus bacteria) that causes tooth decay. “Tooth decay affects 60% to 90% of children in industralised countries”. Children who are fed a lot of sugar, cereal and juices on a daily basis will find their children at a higher risk of tooth decay amongst othe health problems.
Researchers have found that that digested coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that could be added to commercial dental products. Dr Damien Brady who led the research at the Athlone Institute of Technology said that coconut oil could be a more attractive alternative to tooth decay than chemical additives.
According to Dr Brady “Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
The research work also helps us to understand antibacterial activity in the human gut. “Our data suggests that products of human digestion show antimicrobial activity. This could have implications for how bacteria colonise the cells lining the digestive tract and for overall gut health,” explained Dr Brady.
Coconut oil has had a bad reputation for its high saturated fat content but as we now know, saturated fats offer many health benefits. Coconut oil has been said to improve blood sugar and insulin control and therefore control diabetes. It has also said to play a role in protecting damage to the liver by alcohol and prevent kidney and gall bladder diseases.