Maybe the most widely distributed food-medicine in the world is the coconut palm, and has been regarded by indigenous cultures for many health benefits. A scientific proof appears confirming its traditional health benefits, and including protecting the heart, supporting the health of the brain, and reducing depression and stress.
One new study provided by the researchers at the Tufts University has discovered that the coconut oil is very effective at balancing the overgrowth of the fungal pathogen C. Albicans in the mice.
The study was published in the journal mSphere by the American Society for Microbiology and it identified the Candida albicans like the most usual human pathogen, with a rate of mortality of about 40 percent when causing the systemic infections.
- Albicans is generally present in the gastrointestinal tract in the human body, but the antibiotics can remove the commensal bacteria that usually keep the Candida inhabitants within a healthy range. The study discovered that the compromised immunity is the major cause too of C. Albicans overgrowth, and the Systemic infections that were caused by the C. Albicans can lead to intrusive candidiasis that is the 4th most usual blood infection among the patients in the U.S. that are hospitalized, according to the CDC.
The current anti-fungal drugs have a high risk of side effects, and their usual use can lead to the growth of drug-resistant strains of the fungal pathogens, making the natural alternatives more attractive. The researchers speculated that the coconut-based dietary intervention may reduce the Candida in mice.
The team, which was led by Carol Kumamoto, a microbiologist and Alice H. Lichtenstein, a nutritional scientist, researched the effects of 3 dietary fats on the amount of Candida albicans in the mouse gut: beef tallow, coconut oil and soybean. The control group of mice eat standard food for mice. The coconut oil was chosen based on some previous studies that discovered that the oil had antifungal properties in the laboratory setting.
A diet rich in coconut oil can reduce the C. Albicans in the gut in a comparison to a soybean oil and beef tallow diet. The coconut oil alone or with a beef tallow, reduced the amount of Candida in the guy by 90 percent and more in a comparison to the beef tallow rich diet.
The coconut oil reduced the fungal expansion when the mice were transferred from the beef tallow to the coconut oil, or when they were fed both coconut oil and beef tallow together. These discoveries suggest that adding coconut oil to the existing diet of the patient may control the development of the Candida albicans in the gut, and maybe decrease the risk of the fungal infections that were caused by the Candida, according to Kumamoto, who is part of the Tufts University School of Medicine as a professor of molecular biology and microbiology. Also, Kumamoto is a member of the molecular microbiology and genetics program faculties at Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
These results have profound suggestions for the medicine practice, according to the statement that was made to the ScienceDaily by the director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, Alice H Lichtenstein.
The study records the first stride in understanding how this dangerous yeast infections in affected patients may be reduced through the targeted and short-term use of a particular type of fat. We must know that the majority of adult people in America are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease, which is the number 1 killer in the United States. The use of coconut oil in a short term to balance the rate of fungal overgrowth has to be considered like a prophylactic approach to the prevention of the fungal infections.
Kearney Gunsalus, the first author of the study offered his opinion that they want to give the patients a treatment option that may limit the use of antifungal drugs. The coconut oil can be used as a safe and dietary alternative, we can decrease the amount of the used antifungal drugs, keeping the antifungal drugs for some critical situations.
A previous research has shown that the coconut oil is an effective agent against the development of the dermatophytes, which is a type of yeast that can cause infections of the nails, skin and hair because they can promote keratin.