Coconut oil has received a lot of press over the past few years. It was considered a bad food for several generations due to the high level of saturated fat. But recently this has been questioned due to the possibility that not all saturated fats are unhealthy.
Many of the uses of coconut oil are topical, so its saturated fat and high caloric count need not be a health issue. It has been effectively used as an ingredient in soap and deodorant for many years, with its anti-bacterial properties preventing many fungal problems and other infections. It has also proved useful as a skin moisturizer.
The anti-bacterial function of coconut oil may extend to tooth decay. Enzyme-modified coconut oil has been found to be very effective at fighting the bacteria (Streptococcus mutant) that is part of the tooth decay process. The enzyme modification performed on the oil was designed to be similar to the process of food digestion in the human digestive system. This same modified oil was also found to be effective against other bacteria problems including thrush and other skin infections.
Before people start gargling coconut oil it must be remembered that it is the enzyme-modified version of the oil that has proved effective against tooth decay; regular coconut oil may have little or no benefit. Nonetheless, any products developed from this look to be more organic, and more environmentally friendly than some of the chemicals we have used for fighting bacteria in the past.
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