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Role of Coconut Oil Pulling On Oral Health – An Overview

Role of Coconut Oil Pulling On Oral Health - An Overview
ABSTRACT: Oil pulling (extended mouth swishing) is a long-established ancient herbal practice that includes swishing
of oil for a prolonged period in the mouth for maintaining better oral environment and providing systemic healthy effects.
There are number of edible oils which are used in this therapy but the scientific evidence is limited. Recent literature
shows that coconut is one of the most popular pulling oil amongst all. Coconut oil is effective against many oral and
systemic conditions and also in bacterial and fungal infections because of the presence of lauric acid which is a major
fatty acid component. This article reviews the literature regarding the mechanism, composition, benefits and scientific
clinical studies related to coconut oil pulling therapy on oral health.
KEY WORDS: oil pulling, coconut oil, lauric acid, monolaurin
HOW TO CITE: Saher F, Hosein M, Ahmed J. Role of coconut oil pulling on oral health - an overview. J Pak Dent
Assoc 2018;27(3):94-99.
Received: 17 April 2018, Accepted: 18 May 2018
ral health correlates with systemic health and
maintaining oral health is very important as oral
cavity is considered a reflection of the general well
being of human body.1 Unnecessary use of antibiotics,
increasing microbial resistance and toxicity has forced
scientists to research on natural herbal products.2 Hence, the
search for alternative therapies to replace the toxic effects
of allopathic medicine has been increased nowadays.3
In these current years Complementary and Alternative
Medicine (CAM) has gained recognition over conventional
allopathic medicine on the grounds that the practices and
products used are natural and safe.4 The CAM is highly
recommended due to the advantages of being cost effective,
safe and giving the freedom of self-treatment without having
any harmful effects.5 Ayurveda is an ancient and well known
modality of CAM which is defined as "The system of
traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and
is practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative
medicine".6 Ayurveda emphasize mainly on the prevention
of different kind of systemic diseases rather than curing the
pathological problems or symptoms.7
According to World Health Organization around 80%
of the population across the globe still depends upon these
traditional alternative therapies for their health care.8 This
system is around 5000-year-old which uses specific herbs
and minerals for the treatment of various diseases and the
plants and herbs which are used in the Ayurvedic medicine
have been proven to be harmless and efficient since the
ancient times.9
Oil pulling is a well known ancient herbal procedure that
includes prolonged swishing of oil in the oral cavity to
enhance better oral environment. It is a natural remedy that
has been practiced for centuries in sub-continent specially
in India as a holistic Ayurvedic technique which is mentioned
in the text books written by Charaka and Sushrutha.10 Oil
pulling is not a new concept because way back around
3000BC oil pulling has been discussed in Ayurvedic texts
with the names of Kavala or Gandusha and it has been
beneficial for about 30 different illnesses including diabetes,
asthma, headache and migraine.9,11 In Russia the idea of oil
pulling was renewed by Dr. Karach during the 1990's.6
Dr. Med. Karach mentioned about this extraordinary way
of treatment in a conference at the Academy of Sciences of
UDSSR. He spoke about various different pathologies
including cardiovascular diseases, digestive troubles and
many hormonal disorders which can be treated by oil pulling.12
Oil pulling is currently a well renowned CAM remedy
1. Lecturer and M.Phil candidate Department of Oral Biology Ziauddin College of
Dentistry Karachi.
2. Head of Department Department of Oral Biology Ziauddin College of Dentistry
3. Lecturer and M.Phil candidate Department of Pharmacology Ziauddin College of
Medicine Karachi.
Corresponding author: “Dr. Fizza Saher” < >
JPDA Vol. 27 No. 03 Jul-Sep 2018
Fizza Saher1BDS
Jabbar Ahmed3BDS
for different oral illnesses.13 Oil pulling is claimed to reduce
the chances of dental caries, bleeding gums, xerostomia,
cracked lips and to maintain overall health of the teeth,
gums, and jaws.14 It also helps in removing bad odor from
the mouth and stimulates the taste buds. Oil pulling can be
an alternative cleaning method in those patients where
brushing is difficult as in mouth ulceration, or in those who
have a tendency to gag as in asthmatics and severe cough.15
However, a survey was conducted by an Indian daily
newspaper "Andhra Jyoti" in1996, on the effects of oil
pulling on various diseases in which total 1041 readers were
included, out of which 89% reported healthy beneficial
effects and only 11% did not reported any improvement in
the signs and symptoms of illnesses.16 The procedure is
useful in number of systemic diseases which have been
illustrated in Fig 1.17
In oil pulling, a teaspoonful of any kind of oil is swished
around the mouth early in the morning preferably before
having breakfast, for about 15-20 minutes. The oil is 'pulled'
and forced around the oral cavity. If done correctly, oil will
become viscous, milky white and thinner. It is then
expectorated, the mouth is thoroughly washed with warm
saline or normal tap water followed by routine tooth
brushing.2 If the duration is less than 10 minutes it is not
sufficient and if it exceeds more than 20 minutes there are
chances of reabsorption of toxins. It can be performed by
anyone above 5 years of age, also during pregnancy and
Commonly used oils for oil pulling include:14
. Coconut oil
. Sunflower oil
. Sesame oil
. Corn oil
. Palm oil
. Soya bean oil
. Rice bran oil.
Coconut oil is derived from the dried kernel of fully
ripe coconuts. Grown in tropical regions, it has been among
the primary sources of dietary fat for decades.19 Coconut oil
is commonly and culturally used throughout the sub continent
especially in India and Pakistan.20 Coconut oil has many
healthy effects on hair, skin, cholesterol levels and weight
loss. It boosts the immune system and has been used
in stress relief.21 With added health and nutritional benefits
it acts as an anti-inflammatory, immune modulator22,
moisturizer and wound healer. It shows a potent anti-
microbial and anti-fungal activity also.23,24
Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids
whereas other edible oils have long chain fatty acid
structure.20,25 There are 92% saturated fatty acids, 6%
monounsaturated fatty acids and 2% polyunsaturated fatty
acids in the composition. The distribution of its total fatty
acid content is shown in table 1. Lauric acid, myristic acid
and palmitic acid are its saturated fatty acids components
where as oleic acid and linoleic acid are its only
Role of coconut oil pulling on oral healthSaher F/ Hosein M/ Ahmed J
JPDA Vol. 27 No. 03 Jul-Sep 2018
Table 1
Fatty acid composition of coconut oil
benefits of oil
Chronic skin
Figure 1
Systemic effects of oil pulling
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids respectively
whereas, α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol with α-, β and γ-
tocotrienol are the anti-oxidants present in the coconut oil.23
The lauric and capric acids hydrolyzes to become
monoglycerides named as monolaurin and monocaprin,
which are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) as non-toxic compounds and used as generally
recognized as safe(GRAS) food additive.19
The actual mechanisms behind oil-pulling therapy are
not identified yet. It has been assumed that the plaque
aggregation and bacterial adhesion on the tooth surface can
be inhibited by the high viscosity of coconut oil.26 Moreover,
the monolauric and monocapric acids present in the oil has
the tendency to penetrate cell membranes and eventually
kills the harmful pathogens by inhibiting the enzymes utilized
in energy production and nutrient transfer 25 Another probable
mechanism might be due to the alkali hydrolysis of oil by
the presence of bicarbonates in saliva known as the
saponification process. These soaps might be efficient in
removing microbes or plaque materials.25,27 Coconut oil has
a high saponification index (254.82 mg KOH/100 g oil)
when compared with other edible oils like soybean and
sunflower oil.28 It forms a soap like substance called sodium
laurate, when lauric acid of the oil gives a chemical reaction
with sodium hydroxide and bicarbonates present in saliva,
resulting in decreased plaque adhesion and accumulation
which enhances cleansing action.27,29 Furthermore, the third
theory hypothesizes that the antioxidants present in the oil
cause detoxification by preventing lipid peroxidation, resulting
in an antibiotic-like effect thus helping in the destruction of
The main advantage of oil pulling therapy is its simplicity
and a method which is economical for the fact it uses only
oil for the swishing for the improvement and maintenance
of good oral health with no strict precautions required to
follow the regimen. Compared to other detoxification
methods, it is effortless and simple.17 However researches
has been done on the side effects produced by the oil pulling
Kuroyama et al reported two cases of exogenous lipoid
pneumonia in patients who routinely performed oil pulling
with sesame oil. The manifestations of exogenous lipoid
pneumonia are fever, weight reduction, cough, dyspnea,
chest discomfort, and hemoptysis. Oil might be accidentally
suctioned amid oil pulling and it was assumed that if the
suctioned oil is microorganism rich, at that point it might
bring about appearance of lipoid pneumonia.31 Upset stomach
has additionally been encountered whereas more scientific
data is required to give proof of conceivable side effects.32
Literature suggests the use of coconut oil because of its
high saponification value.28 In 2017, Mythri assumed the
formation of sodium laurate( the main component of soap)
which is formed by the interaction of lauric acid found in
coconut oil and sodium hydroxide from the saliva during oil
pulling causes the cleansing effect and decreased plaque
formation in oral cavity.10 Furthermore the presence of lauric
acid in coconut oil can inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus
aureus, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella typhimurium and
Escherichia coli at a concentration of 5% when compared
with Ciprofloxacin.33 In 2006, Ósk Thorgeirsdóttir et al.
investigated the effects of monocaprin acid as a denture
disinfecting agent and he reported an increased antimicrobial
activity against Candida when it is topically applied.34
Likewise, a study done in Nigeria, evaluated 100%
concentration of coconut oil which showed an inhibitory
effect on some species of Candida when compared to
fluconazole.35 Besides this, Verallo-Rowell et al. in 2008
conducted a clinical trial on the antibacterial effects of virgin
coconut oil (VCO) against Staphylococcus aureus collected
from human atopic dermatitis skins and reported a highly
significant decrease in the bacterial count.36
According to an animal study done by S. Intahphuak et
al. VCO was useful in the reduction of ear and paw edema.
The results showed significant anti inflammatory effects
when VCO was given in high doses.37 Furthermore, in a
study by Swee Keong Yeap et al in 2015, mice which were
treated with VCO showed increased levels of brain
antioxidants and reduction of 5-hydroxy tryptamine with
the lowered levels of serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose
and corticosterone. He proposed that VCO can be used as
an anti- stress functional oil.38 Horas et al in 2017 conducted
a study to evaluate the beneficial effect of VCO on
palatoplasty, palatal surgical wound healing. The topical
application of virgin coconut oil accelerated wound healing
showing an increased number of fibroblast cells appearing
in the wound, as well as with fewer pain complaints.39
Online literature searches in PubMed and Google scholar
provided eight scientific articles on oil pulling therapy related
to coconut oil which are discussed below:
Role of coconut oil pulling on oral healthSaher F/ Hosein M/ Ahmed J
JPDA Vol. 27 No. 03 Jul-Sep 201896
Chalke et al in 2017 conducted a trial with 75 subjects
having plaque-induced gingivitis on the effects of coconut
oil pulling. The clinical parameters such as plaque and
gingival index scores were assessed at day 0, 15 and 30.
Results showed a significant decrease in pre- and post-
treatment scores of plaque and gingival index and they
concluded that coconut oil pulling can be used as an adjunctive
oral hygiene aid in reducing the plaque formation and
subsequent plaque-induced gingivitis.40
In 2017 a randomized controlled triple blinded clinical
trial was conducted by Varsha et al. to evaluate the effect of
oil pulling therapy with pure coconut oil on Streptococcus
mutans count. Total thirty patients were included between
the ages of 20-23 years and randomly divided into coconut
oil, sesame oil and saline groups. The collection of
unstimulated saliva before and after oil pulling therapy was
done and analyzed for the colony forming units (CFU) pe
rml saliva for S. mutans. There was a statistically significant
decrease in the CFU of S. mutans after oil pulling with pure
coconut oil showing P value = 0.001 and also against saline
with P value = 0.039. The results showed that the oil pulling
with pure coconut oil can be effective for maintaining the
oral hygiene as it reduces the S. mutans count in saliva.41
Another trial was carried out in 2017 by Jithender Nagilla
et al., among 40 dental students. The students were randomly
assigned to a study group having coconut oil and the control
group having a placebo. Plaque levels were assessed on
baseline, day 3 and day 7. The results showed significant
decrease in the mean plaque scores and they concluded that
oil pulling is effective in controlling plaque levels.42
Earlier in 2016, Peedikayil conducted a study on a total
of fifty female children aged between 8-12 years for the
evaluation of the antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil in
comparison with chlorhexidine mouthwash. The treatment
regimen (swishing) continued for 30 days with coconut oil
or with chlorhexidine. Using the Dentocult SM StripMutans
test, the microbial count for S. mutans were recorded on day
1, 15, and 30. There was a significant decrease in the S.
mutans count in the coconut oil as well as in chlorhexidine
group. He concluded that the coconut oil has same
antimicrobial effects when compared with chlorhexidine
mouthwash for the reduction of S. mutans. count.43
Another randomized controlled study was done by
Kaushik et al in 2016 with a sample size of 60. The subjects
were divided into three groups, Group A: Oil pulling, Group
B: Chlorhexidine, and Group C: Distilled water. Saliva
samples were collected and cultured on 1st day and after 2
weeks from all subjects. Colonies were counted to compare
the efficacy of coconut oil and Chlorhexidine with distilled
water and statistically significant reduction in S. mutans
count was seen in both the coconut oil pulling and
Chlorhexidine group.44
Moreover, an in-vitro study was conducted by Shino et
al with the isolation of Candida species in children with
Early Childhood Caries. The antifungal activity of coconut
oil, 0.2% chlorhexidine and probiotics on Candida albicans
using Disc Diffusion method, when compared with routinely
prescribed ketoconazole. Results showed that coconut oil
was more effective than probiotics having the mean zone of
inhibition= 16.8 mm. The study reported that Chlorhexidine
and coconut oil have comparable antifungal effects with
Another study by Peedikayil was done in 2015 to assess
the effect of coconut oil pulling on plaque formation and
plaque induced gingivitis. The trial included sixty age matched
adolescent teenagers comprising of the age-group between
16-18 years with plaque induced gingivitis who were advised
oil pulling for 30 days. Patients were evaluated at baseline,
days 1,7,15 and 30 for periodontal scores. Results showed
statistically significant reduction in the plaque and gingival
indexes from the 7th day. Peedikayil concluded that coconut
oil pulling could be used as an efficient supportive therapy
in plaque induced gingivitis.29
An in-vitro study in 2011 was done by Thaweboon S.
on oil-pulling using coconut oil, corn oil, sesame oil,
sunflower oil, palm oil, soya bean oil and rice bran oil. The
biofilm models of Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus casei
and Candida albicans were evaluated on salivary-coated
microtiter plates in comparison with the negative and positive
controls i.e. 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate solution and saline
respectively. The author concluded that the coconut oil has
a significant antimicrobial activity against S. mutans and C.
albicans only.25
To date, there are insufficient numbers of scientific
studies done on coconut oil pulling itself which can provide
the necessary clinical evidence to demonstrate that it reduces
the incidence of tooth decay, shows effective teeth whitening
or improves overall oral health and well-being.17 However,
literature suggests that the use of coconut oil in oil pulling
therapy may decrease the chances of oral and systemic
harmful effects.
In reviewing the literature we feel that adequate research
has not been done to assess the benefits of specifically
coconut oil pulling in oral cavity, even though there are
many studies showing the beneficial effects of coconut oil
on general health and oral environment. Available data have
shown that coconut oil pulling can significantly reduce
plaque and gingivitis and can be used as an effective
antibacterial and antifungal agent. Whereas, there is a dire
Role of coconut oil pulling on oral healthSaher F/ Hosein M/ Ahmed J
JPDA Vol. 27 No. 03 Jul-Sep 2018 97
need of additional clinical trials which can investigate the
effects of monolaurin on oral microorganisms present in
dental plaque.
None declared.
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JPDA Vol. 27 No. 03 Jul-Sep 2018 99
... In oil pulling, the oil is swished around the oral cavity in morning preferred on empty stomach for about ten to fifteen minutes and concerning must be done to avoid swallowing the oil. The commonly used oils include coconut, sunflower, sesame, corn, palm, soya bean, and rice bran; coconut oil is consisting of 92% saturated acids and lauric acid represent about 50% of these saturated acids (24,25) . In ancient Indian, it was traditionally believed that the harmful constituents are expelled from the oral cavity when oil is swished (26) . ...
... The cleaning action of coconut oil pulling might explain the slight teeth whitening which reported in this study within the Coconut Oil Swish group only after 2 weeks of use. In one week of use, the whitening effectiveness was insignificant which co-accordance with the fact that natural oil pulling therapy needs more time to get an effect (25) . It was interesting to find tooth health care brands that used coconut oil in its products; some whitening toothpaste contains coconut oil within its' composition as e.g., "Crest 3D White toothpaste with Coconut Oil"; mentioning foaming and cleaning benefits of the oil. ...
... This results could be attributed to the nature of the coconut oil; as it is well established that the main advantages of oil pulling as a traditional therapy in the oral and medical field is due to its natural origin, simplicity, pleasant taste, safe, no allergic reactions, low expense, and promote patient compliance (24,25) . Additionally, coconut has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory characteristics attributed to the existence of lauric acid, and can be used as emollient and moisturizer (27) . ...
... The processing of oils can change the overall content, chemical structure, and eventual effects on the metabolism [10]. Coconut oil is also composed of: lauric acid -49%, myristic acid -20%, palmitic -7%, capric -6%, caprylic -9%, oleic -4%, steric -3%, linoleic -2%, and caproic acid -1% [15], as can be seen in Figure 2. [15] ...
... The processing of oils can change the overall content, chemical structure, and eventual effects on the metabolism [10]. Coconut oil is also composed of: lauric acid -49%, myristic acid -20%, palmitic -7%, capric -6%, caprylic -9%, oleic -4%, steric -3%, linoleic -2%, and caproic acid -1% [15], as can be seen in Figure 2. [15] ...
Coconut oil has been gaining popularity recently, especially with health enthusiasts claiming it to be the best fat for consumption. What is the ideal cooking fat? The answer that we are all looking for is just not solely based on one health consequence but several. Our study focuses on the cardiovascular aspects of using coconut oil by its influence on low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the major cause of death and mortality worldwide. Hence, they are the focus of this study. For centuries, coconut oil has been used by several populations worldwide who consume it as part of their staple diets. However, they have also been consuming the flesh/meat of coconuts and decreased processed foods. One such population is the pacific islanders, who had increased LDL and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) when they moved out of their natural habitat and accepted a more westernized diet. Even though coconut oil has a stronghold on the LDL aspect of the lipid parameters, which is our study's focus, it also increases HDL, whose effects on cardiovascular health are still controversial although it is called "good cholesterol." Cardiologists now utilize the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol to assess CVD risk more reliably. There have not been many human studies to support coconut oil's LDL and CVD advantages, considering all these variables. A thorough search of five databases, including PubMed, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library, and ScienceDirect, was done. The last search was done on October 8th, 2021. Studies were selected based on the following criteria: last five years, English language, human studies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analysis, narrative reviews, and cross-sectional studies were included using medical subject headings (MeSH) search and keyword search. Eight hundred and ninety-nine articles were found, and eight papers were picked after quality appraisal. These included one narrative review, three RCTs, one cross-sectional study, and three systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The results showed that coconut oil did not behave differently than other saturated fats to reduce LDL. One study showed that coconut oil did not increase LDL compared to additional saturated fat like butter or lard. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties that may prevent oxidative stress that affects cardiovascular health. However, studies in this sector are limited.
... Besides, the viscosity of coconut oil inhibits plaque and adhesion of bacteria (Asokan et al., 2011) and is an alternate mechanism attributed to the antibiotic effect of coconut oil (Asokan et al., 2011;Naseem et al., 2017). Also, monolauric and monocapric acids in coconut oil penetrate cell membranes and kill pathogens (Saher et al., 2018). Due to its antimicrobial property, coconut oil has been found to be effective against a wide range of microorganisms. ...
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The coconut palm is aptly described as the "tree of life" because of its myriad of uses and diversified value added products. Coconut and its derivatives are considered to be an emerging functional food. It is also called a "miracle food". In recent years, there have been conflicting reports regarding the consumption of coconut oil and its health benefits. In this backdrop, our article systematically analyses the antimicrobial, oral protective, and anti-diabetic effects of coconut products in light of the recent scientific literature. Numerous scientific reports have highlighted that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties improving oral hygiene. Although its anti-obesity and hypoglycemic effects are backed by emerging scientific literature, many questions remain unanswered. In general, the consumption of coconut oil has many beneficial effects; nevertheless, long-term clinical trials are warranted. Indeed, the exploration of coconut phytochemicals, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies unleashes the true therapeutic prospects of coconut and its derivatives. At this juncture, we suggest shifting our research focus from the fatty acid composition of coconut oil towards the characterization of other phytochemicals such as polyphenols, phytosterols, etc., the conduct of clinical trials and epidemiological studies to unleash the true potential of coconut products.
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Objectives Coconut oil is a cheap and accessible oil for many people around the world. There are numerous advocates for the practice of oil pulling to prevent common oral diseases. Therefore determining the effectiveness of oil pulling with coconut oil could potentially have monumental benefits. This review aimed to assess the effect of oil pulling with coconut oil in improving oral health and dental hygiene. Data We included randomized controlled trials comparing the effect of oil pulling with coconut oil on improving oral health and dental hygiene. No meta-analysis was performed due to the clinical heterogeneity and differences in the reporting of data among the included studies. Sources Six electronic databases were screened: PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, AMED, CENTRAL and CINAHL. Study selection Electronic searches yielded 42 eligible studies, of which four RCTs including 182 participants were included. The studies lasted between 7 and 14 days. Significant differences were demonstrated for a reduction in salivary bacterial colony count (p = 0.03) and plaque index score (p=<0.001). One study also demonstrated a significant difference in staining compared to using Chlorhexidine (p = 0.0002). However, data was insufficient for conclusive findings, the quality of studies was mixed and risk of bias was high. Conclusion The limited evidence suggests that oil pulling with coconut oil may have a beneficial effect on improving oral health and dental hygiene. Future clinical trials are of merit considering the universal availability of the intervention. Prospective research should have a robust design with rigorous execution to provide a higher quality of evidence. Clinical significance Oil pulling with coconut oil could be used as a adjunct to normal preventative regimes to improve oral health and dental hygiene although further studies are needed to determine the level of effectiveness.
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Roghan-e-Narjeel (coconut oil) is extracted from dried Maghz-e-Narjeel (coconut kernels) which is derived from coconut (Cocosnucifera L.) tree. It is used extensively in tropical countries especially India, Srilanka and Philippines. The oil contains 92% of saturates consisting of medium chain fatty acids in the form of triglycerides containing lauric acid in large amount, and about 8% of unsaturates consisting of oleic and linoleic acids as triglycerides. The oil is colourless and has odour typical of the coconuts. It plays an important role in the treatment of ischemic heart disease, infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal), wounds and obesity. These effects of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. The aim of this review paper is to highlight the physico-chemical and pharmacological properties of Roghan-e-Narjeel (coconut oil) according to modern as well as unani aspect.
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Background: Plant-derived ayurvedic medicines have been used since ancient times to treat various health ailments including periodontal diseases. Previously, many herbal oral rinses have shown promising results in controlling bleeding and reducing inflammation of periodontium. Hence, the aim of this clinical study was to assess the effect of an ancient oil pulling method using coconut oil in controlling plaque-induced gingivitis. Materials and Methods: A total of 75 age-matched (19-21 years) subjects with plaque-induced gingivitis were selected for the study. All the enrolled subjects were advised to perform oil pulling with 5 ml of edible coconut oil every morning for 5 min on empty stomach and before tooth brushing. The clinical parameters such as plaque and gingival index scores were assessed periodically at baseline, 15 th day, and 30 th day. The collected data were analyzed using student paired t-test with SPSS software version 19. Result: No untoward side effects were observed following coconut oil pulling among all the study participants during the study period. A gradual statistical significant decrease in pre-and post-treatment scores of plaque and gingival index was noticed from baseline to 15 th and 30 th day (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Coconut oil pulling used as an adjunctive oral hygiene aid is effective in decreasing plaque formation and subsequent plaque-induced gingivitis.
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Introduction: Oil pulling, has been extensively used as traditional Indian folk remedy since many years to prevent dental diseases and for strengthening teeth and gums. Aim: To compare and evaluate antiplaque efficacy of coconut oil pulling with a placebo among dental students, in Hyderabad city of India. Materials and methods: A randomized controlled study was carried out among 40 dental students. Out of 40, 20 subjects were randomly assigned to study group and other 20 to control group. Subjects in the study group were given the coconut oil and control group a placebo, and advised to rinse for 10 minutes, once daily in the morning for a period of seven days. Plaque levels were assessed on day zero, third and seventh day using Turesky-Gilmore-Glickman Modification of the Quigley-Hein Plaque Index (1970) for both the groups. Results: The mean plaque scores showed a significant difference at baseline, third day and seventh day among both study (p<0.001) and control groups (p<0.001). Group wise comparison revealed, though the mean plaque scores were low among study group on third day and seventh day on comparison with the control group, significant difference was noticed only on the seventh day. Furthermore, the mean percentage reduction of plaque scores were also significant only on the seventh day with a high mean plaque reduction among study groups (p<0.001). Conclusion: Oil pulling is effective in controlling plaque levels.
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Introduction: Oil pulling as described in ancient Ayurveda involves the use of edible vegetable oils as oral antibacterial agents. It is a practice of swishing oil in the mouth for oral and systemic health benefits. Pure coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and is commonly available in all Indian households. Aim: This study aims to assess the effect of oil pulling therapy with pure coconut oil on Streptococcus mutans count and to compare its efficacy against sesame oil and saline. Materials and Methods: A randomized controlled concurrent parallel- triple blinded clinical trial was conducted. Thirty participants in age range of 20–23 years were randomly allocated into Group A (coconut oil), Group B (sesame oil), and Group C (saline), with 10 in each group. The participants were instructed to swish and pull 10 ml of oil on empty stomach, early morning for 10–15 min. Unstimulated saliva collected before and after oil pulling procedure was analyzed for colony forming units (CFU) per ml saliva of S. mutans. The data were analyzed using paired t-test, ANOVA, and post hoc analysis using Tukey's honest significant difference. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A statistically significant reduction in S. mutans CFU count after oil pulling with pure coconut oil (P = 0.001) was found. There was no statistically significant difference between sesame oil and coconut oil (P = 0.97) and between sesame oil and saline (P = 0.061). When efficacy of coconut oil against saline was evaluated, a statistical significant difference (P = 0.039) was found. Conclusion: Oil pulling is an effective method for oral hygiene maintenance as it significantly reduces S. mutans count in the saliva.
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Introduction: Oil pulling is an ancient, traditional folk remedy that has been practiced for centuries in India and southern Asia as a holistic Ayurvedic technique. The practice of oil pulling involves placing a tablespoon of an edible oil (e.g. sesame, olive, sunflower, coconut) inside the mouth, and swishing or “pulling” the oil through the teeth and oral cavity for anywhere from 1–5 minutes to up to 20 minutes or longer. Materials and Methods: Articles related to oil pulling were collected by using oil pulling as Keyword in Google and Medline. Out of the 21 related articles published till 2016, 6 articles with the proper study designs were used for analysis. Results: The studies were unreliable for many reasons, including the misinterpretation of results due to small sample size and improper study design. Conclusion: Though the promoters claim it as one of the best method to be as adjuvant to mechanical control methods, scientific evidences are lacking.
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Aims Streptococcus mutans is the most common organism causing dental caries. Various chemotherapeutic agents are available that help in treating the bacteria, with each having their own merits and demerits. Recent research has shown that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action. Therefore, the present was conducted to determine the antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil and to compare it with chlorhexidine. Materials and Methods A total of fifty female children aged 8–12 years were included in the study. Twenty five children were randomly distributed to each group, i.e., the study group (coconut oil) and the control group (chlorhexidine). The participants were asked to routinely perform oil swishing with coconut oil and chlorhexidine and rinse every day in the morning after brushing for 2–3 minutes. S. mutans in saliva and plaque were determined using a chairside method, i.e., the Dentocult SM Strip Mutans test. Patients were instructed to continue oil swishing for 30 days. S. mutans. counts in plaque and saliva on day 1, day 15, and day 30 were recorded and the results were compared using Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks test. Results The results showed that there is a statistically significant decrease in S. mutans. count from coconut oil as well as chlorhexidine group from baseline to 30 days. The study also showed that in comparison of coconut oil and chlorhexidine there is no statistically significant change regarding the antibacterial efficacy. Conclusion Coconut oil is as effective as chlorhexidine in the reduction of S. mutans.
In the final article in the Bad Science series, we examine oil pulling. Is it a miracle cure, snake oil or harmless?
Virgin coconut oil (VCO), extracted from the fresh coconut kernel, is a food supplement enriched with medium chain saturated fatty acids and polyphenolic antioxidants. It is reported to have several health benefits including lipid lowering, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The pharmacological benefits of VCO have been attributed to its polyphenol contents (VCOP), the mechanistic basis of which is less explored. LC/MS analysis of VCOP documented the presence of gallic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, methyl catechin, dihydrokaempferol, and myricetin glycoside. Pre-treatment of VCOP at different concentrations (25-100µg/mL) significantly reduced the H2O2 and AAPH induced cell death in HCT-15 cells. Giving further insight to its mechanistic basis, oxidative stress induced alterations in GSH levels and activities of GR (Glutathione-Reductase), GPx (Glutathione-Peroxidase), GST (Glutathione-S-Transferase) and catalase (CAT) were restored to near-normal by VCOP, concomitantly reducing lipid peroxidation. The efficacy of VCOP was similar to that of Trolox and ferulic acid added in culture. The study thus suggests that VCOP protects cells from pro-oxidant insults by modulating cellular antioxidant status.
The blends were prepared of virgin coconut oil with refined soyabean oil (VCO-RSOY) and refined safflower oil (VCO-RSAFF). Blending with VCO improved the fatty acid composition which increased the shelf stability of 20:80 VCO-RSOY and VCO-RSAFF up to 12 months in different packaging systems such as low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, metalized polyester pouches, polyethylene teteraphthalate, high density polyethylene (HDPE), Amber HDPE bottle. The specific spectral regions of FTIR proved to be very useful for the determination of adulteration as well as for the study of oxidation process. Band shifts observed at 3008, 1652, 1397, 1097, 912 and 845 cm⁻¹ have been used to differentiate RSAFF from VCO. VCO spectrums did not have these chemical shifts. Further the spectrum of RSOY showed same band shifts as RSAFF except 1652, 1397, 869.6 and 845 cm⁻¹. Differential Scanning Calorimetry provided useful information regarding the nature of thermodynamic changes related to physical state of vegetable oil. The physical state changes included melting and crystallization events which require the intake and release of energy.