Coconut oil could possibly attack the bacteria that causes tooth decay
Coconut oil could possibly attack the bacteria that causes decay, says new research.
The study data examined the antibacterial action of coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion, revealing that the enzyme treated oil blocked the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans – an acid-producing bacterium which is a major factor in causing tooth decay.
Led by Dr Damien Brady from the Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland, the researchers says that the enzyme-modified coconut oil has potential as a marketable antimicrobial which could be interesting for the oral healthcare industry.
He said: “Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialised countries.
“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”.
Further work by Brady and his co-workers will concentrate on how coconut oil interacts with Streptococcus bacteria at the molecular level and which other strains of harmful bacteria and yeasts it is active against.