Is Coconut Oil a Cure for Systemic Candidiasis and Other Fungal Infection?

Nov 19, 2015 11:30 AM EST | By Sai Lopez

Candida albicans is known to be a type of fungus that commonly grows both as yeast and filamentous cells, and a causal agent of opportunistic oral and genital infections in humans and animals. As the new study suggests it, although antifungal medications are used in the medical practice, coconut oil may be a more effective treatment.

Prof. Carol Kumamoto, PhD, from Tufts University in Massachusetts was the study's lead author in which the findings were published in the journal mSphere, an American Society for Microbiology.

As per Medical News Today, in people with weak immune systems - such as patients who have undergone transplants, cancer patients, premature infants and sometimes the elderly, Prof. Kumamoto and her colleagues found that Candida albicans can leave the gut and enter the bloodstream, where infection usually takes place. Having said that, the infection in return, can affect the kidneys, spleen, lungs, and liver as well as the brain and heart valves.

The researchers also found that having a systemic C. albicans infection can cause mortality to nearly half of the patients who acquired this illness.

Furthermore, Prof. Kumamoto claims that people who develops this disease are generally found in the hospital and very sick. She adds that in hospitalized patients, C. albicans happens to be the most common cause of bloodstream infections.

Supposedly, the use of antifungal drugs should serve as the current line of defense. However, as researchers explain it, clinicians are being cautious about using them due to the fact that they can contribute to the occurrence of drug-resistant strains to patients.

By using various in vitro studies, it has been proven that coconut oil has antifungal properties after the changes in the amount and type of fat was found to have the ability to alter gastrointestinal microbiota.

As stated by Prof. Kumamoto, they're still aiming to study the mechanism behind how coconut oil produces these effects and whether the results would also be applicable for humans.

And if everything goes as planned, the team will launch an experiment that will show as to how coconut oil may help in hospitalized infants who are at high risk for systemic candidiasis.

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