Public Release: 18-Nov-2015
American Society for Microbiology
Washington, DC – November 18, 2015 – Coconut oil may be effective at combating infection with Candida albicans, according to a study published November 18th in the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal mSphere. The study found that coconut oil consumption reduced gastrointestinal colonization by C. albicans in mice.
“We found that diet can be an effective way to reduce the amount of Candida in the mouse,” said lead study author Carol Kumamoto, PhD, professor of molecular biology and microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine. “The extension of this finding to the human population is something that needs to be addressed in the future.”
C. albicans is part of the normal gut microbiome of humans and some animals. In immunocompromised individuals and older adults, however, C. albicans can leave the gut, enter the bloodstream, and cause invasive infection affecting organs including the kidneys, liver, spleen, lungs, brain, and heart valves. Roughly 40% to 50% of individuals who have systemic C. albicans infection will die from it. “People who get this disease are very sick and generally in the hospital. We are talking about cancer patients, people who receive transplants, premature infants, intensive care unit patients with catheters, and sometimes the elderly,” said Dr. Kumamoto. “Candida is one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients.”
Clinicians can use antifungal drugs to prevent C. albicans infection in some high-risk patients, but this isn’t ideal because it can contribute to the emergence of drug resistant strains. Previous research has shown that changes to diet, including changes in the amount and type of fat, can alter gastrointestinal microbiota. In vitro studies have shown that coconut oil, in particular, has antifungal properties.
In a new NIH-funded study, Dr. Kumamoto and Alice H Lichtenstein, D.Sc., director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University designed high fat diets containing coconut oil, beef tallow, soybean oil or a standard diet. Mice were fed these diets for 14 days prior to inoculation with C. albicans and 21 days following. At 21 days post inoculation, gastrointestinal colonization with C. albicans was significantly lower in the stomach contents of mice fed the coconut oil diet than mice fed the beef tallow diet (P<0.0001), soybean oil diet (P<0.0001), or the standard diet (P<0.0001). “When you compared a mouse on a high fat diet that contained either beef fat or soy bean oil to mice eating coconut oil, there was about a ten-fold drop in colonization,” said Dr. Kumamoto.
In another experiment, the researchers switched mice on the beef fat diet to the coconut oil diet. “Four days after the change in diet, the colonization changed so it looked almost exactly like what you saw in a mouse who had been on coconut oil the entire time,” said Dr. Kumamoto.
“There are two directions that we would like to take with this research now,” said Dr. Kumamoto. “One of them is finding out the mechanism of how this works. That is a big question we would like to answer. The second question is whether this can have any impact on humans.” The researchers are in discussion with Joseph Bliss, M.D., Ph.D., at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island to launch a clinical trial testing coconut oil in hospitalized infants at high-risk for developing systemic candidiasis.
To learn more about mSphere please visit http://msphere.asm.org/.
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM’s mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.
Ralph Turchiano | November 18, 2015 at 8:39 am | Categories: Highlights, Missed – Medical Breakthroughs | URL: http://wp.me/p2yLR5-fge
10 Oils for Clear, Glowing Skin
In the past, we steered away from applying oils to skin because we thought they all clogged pores and caused breakouts. Similar to the passing of the “low fat” diet phase, we now know not all oils are bad. Just like there are good fats for our inner nourishment, there are good oils to use externally for our skin health.
Not all oils are the same, so you want to choose the right ones. And, please be sure to only use extra virgin cold pressed oils and ensure they are clean, pure and not rancid.
Here are my favorite 10 oils to use topically on your skin:
- Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan Argan Tree. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, fatty acids (vitamin F), carotenoids like beta-carotene and phytosterols. Thanks to its antioxidant content, it can ward off aging signs such as wrinkles and sagging. It supports the natural mild acidity of the skin, imparts softness, and protects your skin against dryness. Argan oil is a non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory and regenerative agent, so it can also be used with oily and acne-prone skin types. It is often recommended for various skin irritations, scars, stretch marks and sunburns. Argan oil is also known to protect and heal dry, brittle hair and is great for nails too.
- Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil is one of nature ́s best moisturizers and emollients thanks to its medium chain triglycerides that keep the skin smooth, protected and hydrated. It works well to remove makeup and surface build-up. Coconut oil is rich in capric, caprylic and lauric fatty acids, which have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. This oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Some keys for using coconut oil on acne-prone skin are using a pure, extra virgin source and combining with other ingredients designed to diminish breakouts. Unlike other oils, coconut oil does not easily become rancid so it can stay fresh for a longer time.
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil is a light colored oil, native to Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region and North and Central America, and comes from the seeds of the sunflower plant. The oil provides a rich source of unsaturated linoleic and oleic fatty acids and Vitamin E. Sunflower Seed Oil is soothing, calming and caring to the skin. It is thinner than some of the other oils so it works well in combination to make other oils easier to apply to the skin.
- Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil is pressed from the nut kernels of the Sweet Almond tree. This fine, nearly colorless and odorless oil is especially mild and gentle. It is extremely well tolerated by the skin and is easily absorbed. Due to its high content of essential fatty acids, it protects the skin from drying and improves the skin’s barrier function, keeping it smooth and supple. This is another great oil to use in blending.
- Vaccinum Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil is extremely light weight, non-comedogenic oil and is able to readily penetrate the skin without clogging it. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E (tocotrienols and tocopherols), vitamin A, phytosterols and phospholipids. It is the only available carrier oil with a natural ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic), Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic), and Omega 9 (oleic) fatty acids. It also aids in the absorption and utilization of the essential fatty acids in the skin, contributes to the lipid barrier protection of the skin and assists in moisture retention. Cranberry seed oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, emollient, itch-relieving as well as broad-spectrum UV protection properties and can help to extend the shelf life of more fragile oils.
- Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil is from the ancient fruit found in Western Asia, China and Japan packed with ellagic acid, anthocyanins (antioxidants) and the rare omega 5 essential fatty acid. Its regenerative effects include boosting repair of skin, evening skin tone, cleaning up free radicals and helping with collagen production which, in turn, smoothes out wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.
- Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil is high in tocotrienols and offers the skin broad-spectrum protection from the effects of damaging UVA and UVB rays. The SPF of red raspberry seed oil has been found to be equal to that of titanium dioxide and has been rated to have an SPF as high as 28-50 (Oomah et al 2000). The use of red raspberry oil on the skin is not however the equivalent of using a properly formulated SPF product. Many factors are involved in how a product works as a sunscreen including absorption rate and viscosity of the formulation.
- Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil is high in essential fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6 and 9) and vitamin A (beta-carotene and lycopene). It helps repair damaged skin tissue (burns, stretch marks) as well as protects against sun damage, scarring and wrinkle formation. This oil helps quench dry skin and keep premature aging at bay.
- Prunus Armeniaca (Apricol) Kernel Oil is rich in vitamins A, C and E, minerals as well as omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. Due to its light weight texture, it absorbs fast without leaving a greasy after-feel. Suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including that of babies, its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties assist in providing relief to conditions such as acne, eczema and dermatitis. It is an excellent repairing, revitalizing, nourishing and softening agent that restores smoothness, suppleness and clarity to dry, frazzled, hyper pigmented, and prematurely aged complexions.
- Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil helps to stimulate micro-circulation, cell regeneration and has an effective anti-inflammatory effect. Sea buckthorn seed oil is the only plant known to contain Omega’s 3,6,9 – and the rare 7 – altogether. It also contains a vitamin C concentration ten times greater than oranges. It’s also great to take internally in a supplement pill form.
Since these are my favorite oils, you will find all 10 of these oils in The Spa Dr.’s Daily Essentials. I want you to have nothing but the best, so these oils are all there for you and in organic, extra virgin cold pressed forms.
And, to help ensure the oils remain fresh, we add a mix of Tocopherols (commonly known as vitamin E). Our tocopherols are made from GMO-free sunflower oil and provide antioxidant protection to oils. Vitamin E itself is a potent free radical scavenger (antioxidant) and an excellent skin protectant, so it made sense to include it.