Ask anyone who has spent long enough standing underneath a coconut tree and they’ll probably suggest that coconuts are not great for your health.
But there’s a fair difference between being bashed on the head by a coconut falling thirty feet from a tree, and what the oil appears to be able to do for your teeth.
Interestingly it seems that coconut oil itself offers no benefits in terms of helping to improve oral hygiene, but when digested it transforms into a form which has very real benefits indeed, and has excited scientists who recently discovered the properties of digested coconut oil.
Dr Damien Brown and his team at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland recently discovered that a naturally occurring antibiotic which can be found in digested coconut could offer very real benefits when added to dental care products.
To begin with they tested natural coconut oil in its undigested state, and found that it offered no health benefits at all in terms of dental care. However, by adding an enzyme to the coconut oil, transforming it into a digested state, an antibiotic was created which stopped a particular strain of bacteria from multiplying.
The bacteria in question is the Streptococcus bacteria, which is the most common type of bacteria found in the mouth and which is responsible for a significant proportion of tooth decay.
The Streptococcus bacteria normally binds itself to the tooth enamel, and caused significant damage. But in its digested form coconut oil prevents this bacteria from multiplying or spreading, helping to significantly reduce the potential damage to teeth.
The Benefits Of Semi Digested Foodstuffs
Dr Brown and his team are now set to study a range of other food products to see whether they also offer any benefits in terms of dental care when transformed into a digested or semi digested state.
Interestingly coconut oil in its semi digested state also offers health benefits, but in a rather different part of the body. It seems that enzyme modified coconut oil destroys a type of yeast called Candida albicans, which is primarily responsible for causing thrush.
So whilst a coconut on the head may not offer much in the way of health benefits, it does seem that dental care products could be enhanced simply by adding enzyme modified coconut oil.
Let’s just hope that the treatment for thrush and the treatment for oral hygiene aren’t confused.
The Dental Benefits Of Chewing Food Slowly
The fact that semi digested foods can offer benefits in terms of oral health should also serve to remind us just how important the enzymes are which are created in our mouths by our own body while we chew food. Unfortunately these days so many of us bolt our food because we are in a hurry, and this severely limits the amount of saliva that is created and retained momentarily in the mouth.
The dental benefits of saliva shouldn’t be underestimated, and whilst many people advocate chewing sugar free gum after a meal, the benefits of chewing food slowly and carefully shouldn’t be overlooked as this does help to allow our natural defences to kick in and protect our tooth enamel in a natural way.