A striking study has shown that coconut oil, one of the world most widely distributed and versatile food medicine, has potent anti fungal properties that could save thousands of lives. Historically, coconut oil has been used and revered by indigenous cultures for its wide range of health benefits. In more modern times, there has increasingly been more and more scientific evidence validating this claim and has been shown to help protect the heart, improve your skin, reduce stress as well as increasing brain health.
Researchers at Tufts University have made an interesting discovery in how coconut oil is effective at controlling the overgrowth of Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen. The study identified the pathogen as the most common human pathogen, with a high mortality rate of approximately 40% when causing systemic infections.
Candida albicans is usually present in the human gastrointestinal tract. However, antibiotics can destroy the commensurable bacteria that normally keeps the candida population with healthy levels. According to the study, a compromised immune system is also seen as a major cause of Candida albicans.
Traditional anti-fungal medications often carry with them a significant risk of adverse effects and repeated use often leads to the development of drug resistant strains of fungal pathogens. The study has hypothesized that a coconut based dietary intervention might reduce the Candida infection in mice.
The preliminary results of the study mark the initial step in understanding how life threatening yeast infections in susceptible individuals might be reduced through both short term as well as long term targeted use of a specific fat. However, of note is that despite these remarkable findings, the potential use of coconut oil in the short term to control the rate of fungal overgrowth should not be considered a prophylactic approach to preventing fungal infections.
Previous research , also indicates that coconut oil is a natural and effective anti-fungal agent , useful against the growth of dermatophytes, a type of yeast which can cause infections of the skin, nails and hair due to the fact that they can utilize keratin.
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