Coconut oil effective against Candida fungal infection

Candida albicans is part of the normal guy micro bio me in humans and animals, but when the fungus gets out of balance in the body, it can cause infection. Though anti fungal medications are sometimes used, a new study suggests coconut oil may be an effective treatment.

A study led by Prof. Carol Kumamoto, PhD, from Tufts University in Massachusetts explained that in people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients, transplant patients, premature infants and sometimes the elderly, C. albicans can leave the gut and enter the bloodstream, where it can cause deadly infection, affecting the kidneys, liver, spleen, lungs, brain and heart valves.
Although the current first line of defense is to use anti fungal drugs, previous in vitro studies have shown that coconut oil has anti fungal properties. Because changes in the amount and type of fat can alter gastrointestinal microbial, the team designed an experiment involving different high-fat diets and their effect on the guts of mice.
A high fat diet which contained coconut oil was fed to a group of mice and another group was fed on standard diet. After feeding them for 14 days, they were inoculated with C.Albanians and their respective diet was continued for 21 more days.
It was found that 21 days after the inoculation, the group of mice that was fed with the coconut oil diet had C.albicans colonization in their stomachs which was significantly lower than the group of mice that was fed the standard diet.
In a further experiment, Prof. Kumamoto and her team switched the mice on the beef fat diet to the coconut oil diet and found that just 4 days after the diet change, “the colonization changed so it looked almost exactly like what you saw in a mouse who had been on coconut oil the entire time.
The mechanism behind how coconut oil produces these effects would still be found and known if these results can be replicated in humans. If this is successful, a clinical trial involving hospitalized infants who are at high risk for systemic candidiasis will be launched.

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