In September, scientists from the Athlone Institute of Technology presented research that showed enzyme-treated coconut oil inhibits the growth of the Streptococcus bacterium in the oral cavity. Coconut oil has been experiencing a recent popularity surge–but this discovery suggests that we may start to see this product being incorporated into dental products in the future.
“It is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection. 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” –Dr. Damien Brady, Athlone Institute of Technology
Researchers treated coconut oil with enzymes to produce a result that is similar to the digestion process.
The enzyme-induced breakdown of the oil produces acids that are effective in attacking most strains of bacteria.
Results showed that the oil inhibited the growth of most bacterium found in the oral cavity, in particular Streptococcus mutans, a major culprit of carious lesions.
Eve Lofthus, Missouri ’15, contributing editor