Coconut oil can combat tooth decay, study suggests

Digested oil inhibits growth of streptococcus bacteria, Irish researchers find
CBC News
Sep. 04, 2012

Researchers at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland have found that digested coconut oil inhibits the growth of common bacteria that cause tooth decay and could be an effective alternative to chemical additives in dental hygiene products.

The researchers tested the effect of coconut oil on several common strains of streptococcus bacteria found inside the mouth.

They tested the effect of the oil in both its natural and digested form.

To mimic the process of digestion, they treated the oil with enzymes.

They found that in the digested form, the oil inhibited most strains of the bacteria, including streptococcus mutans, a common acid-producing bacteria that is is a major cause of tooth decay.

The coconut oil was also harmful to candida albicans, a yeast that causes a mouth infection called thrush.

The researchers presented their findings Monday at the autumn conference of the Society for General Microbiology, underway at the University of Warwick in England.

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