Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models

Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models

Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health, May – August 2011 Vol.2 No. 2<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-<str<strong>on</strong>g>Pull<strong>in</strong>g</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> <strong>Oral</strong> <strong>Microorganisms</strong> <strong>in</strong> Bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm <strong>Models</strong><br />

Sroisiri Thawebo<strong>on</strong> * Jurai Nakaparks<strong>in</strong> ** Bo<strong>on</strong>yanit Thawebo<strong>on</strong>*<br />

*Department <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>Oral</strong> Microbiology, Faculty <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand<br />

** Department <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Prosthod<strong>on</strong>tics, Faculty <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Dentistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand<br />


Article history :<br />

Received December 2010<br />

Received <strong>in</strong> revised form June 2010<br />

Accepted July 2011<br />

Available <strong>on</strong>l<strong>in</strong>e August 2011<br />

Keywords:<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pull<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>Oral</strong> microorganisms<br />

Bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm<br />

Corresp<strong>on</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g Author:<br />

Thawebo<strong>on</strong> S,<br />

Department <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>Oral</strong> Microbiology,<br />

Faculty <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Dentistry,<br />

Mahidol University,<br />

6 Yothi Road, Rajthewee,<br />

Bangkok 10400, Thailand.<br />

Email : dtstw@mahidol.ac.th<br />

Asia J Public Health 2011; 2(2): 62-66<br />


Dental caries are an <strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong> associated<br />

with microorganisms embedded <strong>in</strong> a matrix <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

polymers <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> bacterial and salivary orig<strong>in</strong>. The<br />

occurrence <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> dental caries is directly l<strong>in</strong>ked to<br />

the ability <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> microorganisms to col<strong>on</strong>ize the<br />

tooth surface and form bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm or dental<br />

plaque. Formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm beg<strong>in</strong>s with the<br />

attachment <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> free-float<strong>in</strong>g microorganisms to<br />

a surface. These first col<strong>on</strong>ists facilitate the<br />

arrival <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> others by provid<strong>in</strong>g adhesi<strong>on</strong> sites<br />

and the matrix that holds the bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm together.<br />

Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacilli spp. and<br />


Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health<br />

Journal homepage:http://www.ASIAPH.org<br />

Orig<strong>in</strong>al Articles<br />

Objective: To <strong>in</strong>vestigate the effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

oral microorganisms <strong>in</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models. Materials and<br />

Methods: The effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g us<strong>in</strong>g coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil,<br />

corn oil, rice bran oil, palm oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil<br />

and soy bean oil was evaluated <strong>on</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models formed<br />

by Streptococcus mutans KPSK2, Lactobacillus casei<br />

ATCC 6363 and Candida albicans ATCC 13803 <strong>on</strong><br />

salivary-coated microtiter plates. Sal<strong>in</strong>e soluti<strong>on</strong> and<br />

0.2% chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e gluc<strong>on</strong>ate soluti<strong>on</strong> were used as<br />

negative and positive c<strong>on</strong>trols, respectively. Results: It<br />

was found that coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil exhibited antimicrobial<br />

activity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans and C. albicans. Sesame oil<br />

had antibacterial activity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans whereas<br />

sunflower oil had antifungal activity aga<strong>in</strong>st C. albicans.<br />

However, L. casei was found to be resistant to all tested<br />

oils. C<strong>on</strong>clusi<strong>on</strong>: Results from the present study could be<br />

scientific evidence to dem<strong>on</strong>strate that oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy<br />

with some edible oils could probably be used as a<br />

preventive home therapy to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> oral hygiene aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

dental caries especially <strong>in</strong> develop<strong>in</strong>g countries.<br />

Candida albicans are the predom<strong>in</strong>ant<br />

microorganisms found <strong>in</strong> dental plaque<br />

associated with a caries lesi<strong>on</strong> 1 . Streptococcus<br />

mutans, Lactobacilli spp. are c<strong>on</strong>sidered<br />

crucial for the <strong>in</strong>itiati<strong>on</strong> and progressi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

dental caries as they have shown by their more<br />

acidogenic and acidophilic properties than<br />

those <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> other oral bacteria 2 . They can c<strong>on</strong>vert<br />

dietary carbohydrates <strong>in</strong>to acid, which lowers<br />

the pH <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the envir<strong>on</strong>ment, and solubilizes the<br />

calcium phosphate <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the enamel to produce a<br />

caries lesi<strong>on</strong>. C<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> low pH created by<br />

these bacteria shift the balance <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> plaque<br />


Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health, May – August 2011 Vol.2 No. 2<br />

micr<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>lora and favor the proliferati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Candida spp.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pull<strong>in</strong>g or oil-swish<strong>in</strong>g is a procedure <strong>in</strong><br />

which the practiti<strong>on</strong>ers swish or r<strong>in</strong>se oil <strong>in</strong><br />

their mouth for oral health benefit to prevent<br />

dental caries, oral malodor, bleed<strong>in</strong>g gums,<br />

dryness <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the throat and cracked lips 3 . In<br />

additi<strong>on</strong>, this simple method is claimed to cure<br />

many diseases rang<strong>in</strong>g from thrombosis,<br />

eczema, <strong>in</strong>test<strong>in</strong>al <strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong>, and diabetes, to<br />

br<strong>on</strong>chitis and asthma 3 . This procedure is<br />

typically performed daily by sipp<strong>in</strong>g or<br />

suck<strong>in</strong>g oil and pull<strong>in</strong>g it between the teeth for<br />

1-10 m<strong>in</strong> before brush<strong>in</strong>g. The oil will turn<br />

th<strong>in</strong> and milky white. This should be followed<br />

by brush<strong>in</strong>g the teeth and is preferably d<strong>on</strong>e <strong>on</strong><br />

an empty stomach <strong>in</strong> the morn<strong>in</strong>g. Scientific<br />

evidence shows that oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy could<br />

reduce the plaque <strong>in</strong>dex, modify g<strong>in</strong>gival<br />

scores and the total oral bacteria count <strong>in</strong><br />

g<strong>in</strong>givitis patients 4-5 . Moreover, it can<br />

c<strong>on</strong>vert caries susceptibility from marked<br />

susceptibility to slight or moderate<br />

susceptibility 6 .<br />

Therefore, the aim <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the present study was<br />

to <strong>in</strong>vestigate the effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

oral microorganisms <strong>in</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models.<br />


<str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

All <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oils used <strong>in</strong> the present study<br />

were Thai products. They <strong>in</strong>cluded: coc<strong>on</strong>ut<br />

oil (Grandmom Herbal House), corn oil (Thai<br />

Vegetable <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Company), rice bran oil<br />

(Thai Edible <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g> Company), palm oil (Thai<br />

Vegetable <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Company), sesame oil<br />

(Grandmom Herbal House), sunflower oil<br />

(Thanakorn Vegetable <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>), and soy bean oil<br />

(Thai Vegetable <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Company).<br />

<strong>Microorganisms</strong><br />

The tested microorganisms were obta<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

from the culture collecti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Department<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Microbiology, Faculty <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Dentistry,<br />

Mahidol University, Thailand. Organisms<br />

were as follows: Streptococcus mutans<br />

KPSK2, Lactobacillus casei ATCC 6363 and<br />

Candida albicans ATCC 13803. They were<br />

ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>on</strong> Bra<strong>in</strong> Heart Infusi<strong>on</strong> (BHI) agar<br />

(BBL, USA). Overnight cultures were<br />

prepared by <strong>in</strong>oculat<strong>in</strong>g approximately 2 ml <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Mueller H<strong>in</strong>t<strong>on</strong> broth (Difco, USA) with 2-3<br />

col<strong>on</strong>ies <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> each organism taken from BHI<br />

agar. The broth was <strong>in</strong>cubated overnight at 37<br />

°C. Inocula were prepared by dilut<strong>in</strong>g<br />

overnight cultures with sal<strong>in</strong>e to<br />

approximately 10 8 CFU/ml for bacteria and<br />

10 7 CFU/ml for yeast. These suspensi<strong>on</strong>s were<br />

further used for antimicrobial determ<strong>in</strong>ati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models<br />

The effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oils was evaluated <strong>on</strong><br />

bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models formed by S. mutans KPSK2,<br />

L. casei ATCC 6363 and C. albicans ATCC<br />

13803 <strong>on</strong> the bottom <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> microtiter plates.<br />

Bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm assays were d<strong>on</strong>e us<strong>in</strong>g the protocol<br />

modified from Loo et al 7 and Guggenheim et<br />

al 8 . Briefly, all microorganisms were<br />

cultivated <strong>in</strong> a fluid thioglycolate medium<br />

(Difco, USA) supplemented with 0.3%<br />

glucose for seven hours. Each microbial<br />

suspensi<strong>on</strong> (10 6 CFU/ml) was comb<strong>in</strong>ed and<br />

placed at cold temperature for six hours.<br />

Approximately 60 ml <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> unstimulated saliva<br />

were collected from three volunteers two hours<br />

after eat<strong>in</strong>g, dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g or hav<strong>in</strong>g a hygiene<br />

procedure. The pooled saliva was centrifuged<br />

at 20,000 g for thirty m<strong>in</strong>utes at 4C. The<br />

supernatant was filtered through a 0.45 mpore<br />

membrane (Sartorius, Germany).<br />

Absence <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> any viable microorganisms <strong>in</strong> the<br />

saliva was checked by cultur<strong>in</strong>g <strong>on</strong> blood agar.<br />

Salivary comp<strong>on</strong>ents were absorbed <strong>on</strong>to<br />

n<strong>in</strong>ety-six polystyrene, flat-bottomed well<br />

microtiter plates for four hours at room<br />

temperature to form an acquired pellicle. After<br />

removal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> excess saliva, the coated microtiter<br />

plates were <strong>in</strong>oculated with a mixture <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

saliva, thioglycolate medium supplemented<br />

with 3% glucose, and a pool <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

microorganisms. The f<strong>in</strong>al density <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>in</strong>oculum<br />

<strong>in</strong> each well <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the microtiter plate was 10 5<br />

CFU/ml. The microtiter plates were then<br />

<strong>in</strong>cubated at 37C for twenty-four hours under<br />

anaerobic c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Sal<strong>in</strong>e soluti<strong>on</strong> and a 0.2% chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e<br />

gluc<strong>on</strong>ate soluti<strong>on</strong> were used as negative and<br />

positive c<strong>on</strong>trols, respectively. The bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilms<br />

were exposed to c<strong>on</strong>trols or the tested oils for<br />

1 m<strong>in</strong>. Dur<strong>in</strong>g this time the fluid was pulled up<br />

and down 20 times. Then the oils and<br />

unattached cells were removed and the<br />

bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilms were washed three times <strong>in</strong> PBS, and<br />

then scrapped and s<strong>on</strong>icated. Serial diluti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> s<strong>on</strong>icated cells were cultivated <strong>in</strong> Mitis-<br />

Salivarius Bacitrac<strong>in</strong> agar (Difco, USA),<br />

Rogosa SL agar (Difco, USA) and Sabouraud<br />

dextrose agar (Difco, USA) to determ<strong>in</strong>e the<br />

number <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> S. mutans, L. casei and C. albicans,<br />

respectively.<br />


Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health, May – August 2011 Vol.2 No. 2<br />

Statistical analysis<br />

All experiments were performed <strong>in</strong><br />

triplicate and results were expressed as mean +<br />

standard deviati<strong>on</strong>. Statistical analysis <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

differences between mean values obta<strong>in</strong>ed for<br />

the experimental groups were analyzed by<br />

<strong>on</strong>e-way analysis <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> variance, followed by<br />

Tukey’s test us<strong>in</strong>g SPSS 11.5 s<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>tware. A pvalue<br />

less than 0.05 was taken as statistically<br />

significant.<br />


Multi-species bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> S. mutans, L. casei<br />

and C. albicans were prepared and then<br />

exposed to the tested oils for 1 m<strong>in</strong>. Resp<strong>on</strong>ses<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the microbial populati<strong>on</strong>s <strong>in</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models<br />

to different oils are summarized <strong>in</strong> Table 1.<br />

Coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil exhibited antimicrobial activity<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans (2.5 log reducti<strong>on</strong>s) and C.<br />

albicans (1 log reducti<strong>on</strong>). Sesame oil had<br />

antibacterial activity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans (1 log<br />

reducti<strong>on</strong>) and sunflower oil had antifungal<br />

activity aga<strong>in</strong>st C. albicans (1 log reducti<strong>on</strong>).<br />

For chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e, which was used as a<br />

positive c<strong>on</strong>trol, S. mutans was completely<br />

removed from the bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm and 1.5 log<br />

reducti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> C. albicans were observed. L.<br />

casei was found to be resistant to all tested<br />

oils, whereas three log reducti<strong>on</strong>s were shown<br />

after chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e exposure<br />

Table1 <str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g <strong>on</strong> oral microorganisms <strong>in</strong> bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models<br />


<str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy with sesame oil or<br />

sunflower oil has been extensively used as a<br />

traditi<strong>on</strong>al Indian folk remedy for many years.<br />

It is claimed to have advantages over<br />

commercial mouthwashes s<strong>in</strong>ce it causes no<br />

sta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, has no l<strong>in</strong>ger<strong>in</strong>g after taste, causes no<br />

allergic reacti<strong>on</strong>s and is readily available <strong>in</strong> the<br />

household 5 . The mechanisms <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g<br />

acti<strong>on</strong> are not known. It has been proposed,<br />

however, that the viscosity <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oil can<br />

<strong>in</strong>hibit bacterial adhesi<strong>on</strong> and plaque<br />

coaggregati<strong>on</strong> 6 . The other possible mechanism<br />

might be the sap<strong>on</strong>ificati<strong>on</strong> process that occurs<br />

as a result <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> alkali hydrolysis <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil by<br />

bicarb<strong>on</strong>ates <strong>in</strong> saliva 9 . These soaps are good<br />

cleans<strong>in</strong>g agents and might be effective <strong>in</strong><br />

remov<strong>in</strong>g microorganisms or plaque materials.<br />

Sufficient scientific research has not been<br />

carried out to evaluate the beneficial effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

oil pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy <strong>on</strong> oral health and this<br />

needs to be addressed. This study was<br />

therefore planned to <strong>in</strong>vestigate the effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g with several edible oils <strong>on</strong> oral<br />

microorganisms related to dental caries us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm models.<br />

S. mutans<br />

L. casei<br />

C. albicans<br />

p-value<br />

p-value<br />

p-value<br />

coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil 2.59+0.13 0.008* 5.44+0.16 0.950 2.03+0.12* 0.022*<br />

corn oil 5.05+0.17 0.596 5.61+0.14 0.734 3.27+0.10 0.772<br />

palm oil 4.91+0.12 0.631 5.52+0.06 0.702 3.34+0.14 0.853<br />

rice bran oil 5.15+0.06 0.940 5.67+0.21 0.598 3.11+0.08 0.750<br />

sesame oil 4.01+0.14 0.039* 5.58+0.13 0.821 3.50+0.13 0.387<br />

sunflower oil 5.13+0.13 0.805 5.06+0.12 0.405 1.95+0.19 0.014*<br />

soy bean oil 4.79+0.24 0.568 5.56+0.05 0.840 3.31+0.20 0.826<br />

sal<strong>in</strong>e soluti<strong>on</strong> 5.11+0.13 5.42+0.21 3.30+0.14<br />

chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e §<br />

0 2.27+0.10 1.84+0.08<br />

Data presented as mean log10 CFU/ml <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> microorganisms<br />

* significantly different from sal<strong>in</strong>e soluti<strong>on</strong>, negative c<strong>on</strong>trol<br />

§ chlorhexid<strong>in</strong>e was used as positive c<strong>on</strong>trol<br />

In the present study it was found that<br />

coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil exhibited antimicrobial activity<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans and C. albicans whereas<br />

sesame oil had activity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans and<br />

sunflower oil showed <strong>on</strong>ly antifungal activity.<br />

Other oils such as corn oil, palm oil, rice bran<br />

oil and soy bean oil showed no antimicrobial<br />

activity aga<strong>in</strong>st tested microorganisms.<br />

Coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil has a unique role <strong>in</strong> the diet as<br />

an important physically functi<strong>on</strong>al food.<br />

Besides the health and nutriti<strong>on</strong>al benefits,<br />

coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil has been shown to have anticarc<strong>in</strong>ogenic<br />

effects aga<strong>in</strong>st col<strong>on</strong> tumors 10 .<br />

What makes coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil different from most<br />

other dietary oils are the basic build<strong>in</strong>g blocks,<br />

or fatty acids, mak<strong>in</strong>g up the oil. The<br />

predom<strong>in</strong>ant compositi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil is a<br />


Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health, May – August 2011 Vol.2 No. 2<br />

medium cha<strong>in</strong> fatty acid, whereas the majority<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> comm<strong>on</strong> edible fats <strong>in</strong> our diet are<br />

composed almost entirely <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<strong>on</strong>g cha<strong>in</strong> fatty<br />

acids. This <strong>in</strong>fluences the physical and<br />

chemical properties <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oil. Coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil<br />

c<strong>on</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>s 92% saturated acids, approximately<br />

50% <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> which is lauric acid 11 .<br />

Recogniti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the antimicrobial activity <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil has been reported s<strong>in</strong>ce 1982 by<br />

Hierholzer and Kabara 12 . This early research<br />

was directed at the virucidal effects because <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

possible problems related to food preservati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Recently, results from many studies revealed<br />

that m<strong>on</strong>olaur<strong>in</strong>, the m<strong>on</strong>oglycerides <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> lauric<br />

acid from coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil had antimicrobial<br />

activity aga<strong>in</strong>st various gram positive and<br />

gram negative organisms, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Escherichia vulneris, Enterobcater spp. 13 ,<br />

Helicobacter pylori 14 , Staphylococcus aureus<br />

15 , Candida spp., <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g C. albicans, C.<br />

glabrata, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis, C.<br />

stellatoidea and C. krusei 16 , as well as<br />

enveloped viruses 17-18 . Electr<strong>on</strong> microscopic<br />

images showed that 15 m<strong>in</strong>utes exposure to<br />

m<strong>on</strong>oglycerides caused gram positive cocci<br />

cell shr<strong>in</strong>kage and cell membrane<br />

dis<strong>in</strong>tegrati<strong>on</strong>. Data from cl<strong>in</strong>ical studies<br />

c<strong>on</strong>firm the efficacy <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil <strong>in</strong> the<br />

treatment <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> atopic dermatitis and remov<strong>in</strong>g S.<br />

aureus from col<strong>on</strong>ized sk<strong>in</strong> lesi<strong>on</strong>s 15 . In<br />

additi<strong>on</strong>, soap made from coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil had<br />

antimicrobial properties aga<strong>in</strong>st Escherichia<br />

coli 19 . Though the exact antibacterial<br />

mechanism <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the acti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil is still<br />

unclear, it was hypothesized that m<strong>on</strong>olaur<strong>in</strong><br />

and other medium cha<strong>in</strong> m<strong>on</strong>oglycerides had<br />

the capacity to alter bacterial cell walls,<br />

penetrate and disrupt cell membranes, <strong>in</strong>hibit<br />

enzymes <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> energy producti<strong>on</strong> and<br />

nutrient transfer, lead<strong>in</strong>g to the death <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

bacteria 15 . In the case <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> viruses, the virucidal<br />

effects <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<strong>on</strong>olaur<strong>in</strong> appeared to be that <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

solubiliz<strong>in</strong>g the lipids and phospholipids <strong>in</strong> the<br />

envelope lead<strong>in</strong>g to dis<strong>in</strong>tegrati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the virus<br />

particles 20 .<br />

Sesame oil was dem<strong>on</strong>strated to have<br />

antibacterial activity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. mutans. It<br />

c<strong>on</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>s high amounts <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> unsaturated fatty<br />

acids. L<strong>in</strong>oleic acid and oleic acid are the<br />

predom<strong>in</strong>ant compositi<strong>on</strong>s. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy<br />

with sesame oil significantly reduced S.<br />

mutans counts <strong>in</strong> plaque and saliva <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

adolescents with<strong>in</strong> <strong>on</strong>e week 6 . In accordance<br />

with these previous <strong>in</strong>vestigati<strong>on</strong>s, our result<br />

showed that sesame oil reduced S. mutans to<br />

approximately 1 log compared with sal<strong>in</strong>e<br />

soluti<strong>on</strong>.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy with sunflower oil was<br />

shown to reduce plaque scores after 45 days 4 .<br />

However, the pre- and post- values <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> bacterial<br />

count reducti<strong>on</strong> were not statistically different.<br />

To our knowledge, little <strong>in</strong>formati<strong>on</strong> regard<strong>in</strong>g<br />

antimicrobial properties <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> sunflower oil<br />

exists. Infants treated with sunflower oil are<br />

less likely to experience bacterial sk<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong>s than are c<strong>on</strong>trol <strong>in</strong>fants 21-22 . This<br />

may be the result <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> sk<strong>in</strong> barrier enhanc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

effects, or some antimicrobial acti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

oil. Oz<strong>on</strong>ized sunflower oil (oleoz<strong>on</strong>) showed<br />

antimicrobial acitivity aga<strong>in</strong>st S. aureus, E.<br />

coli, Pseudom<strong>on</strong>as aerug<strong>in</strong>osa, Enterococcus<br />

faecalis, Mycobacterium spp., Streptococcus<br />

pyogenes and C. albicans 23-24 . However, the<br />

activity might be due to the powerful oxidant<br />

properties <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oz<strong>on</strong>e itself.<br />

C<strong>on</strong>sider<strong>in</strong>g the antimicrobial effect <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

other oils, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g corn oil, palm oil, rice<br />

bran oil and soy bean oil, it was proposed that<br />

small amounts <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> saturated fatty acid, i.e.<br />

lauric acid, <strong>in</strong> these oils may play a role <strong>in</strong><br />

their antimicrobial properties.<br />

In c<strong>on</strong>clusi<strong>on</strong>, results from the present<br />

study could be scientific evidence to<br />

dem<strong>on</strong>strate that oil-pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy with some<br />

edible oils could be used as a preventive home<br />

therapy to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> oral hygiene, especially <strong>in</strong><br />

develop<strong>in</strong>g countries. However, further studies<br />

are needed to <strong>in</strong>vestigate the mechanisms <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the acti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> the oil <strong>on</strong> these microorganisms<br />

or dental plaque, as well as l<strong>on</strong>g-term effects<br />

<strong>in</strong> cl<strong>in</strong>ical trials.<br />


1. Signoretto C, Burlacch<strong>in</strong>i G, Facci<strong>on</strong>i F,<br />

Zanderigo M, Bozzola N, Canepari P.<br />

Support the role <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Candida spp. <strong>in</strong> exten-<br />

sive caries lesi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> children. New Mi-<br />

crobiol 2009; 32: 101-7.<br />

2. Shu M, W<strong>on</strong>g L, Miller JH, Siss<strong>on</strong>s CH.<br />

Development <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> multi-species c<strong>on</strong>sortia<br />

bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilms <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oral bacteria as an enamel and<br />

root caries model system. Arch <strong>Oral</strong> Biol<br />

2000; 45: 27-40.<br />

3. Asokan S. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Oil</str<strong>on</strong>g> pull<strong>in</strong>g therapy. Indian J<br />

Dent Res 2008; 19: 169.<br />

4. Amith HV, Ankola AV, Nagesh L. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil pull<strong>in</strong>g <strong>on</strong> plaque and g<strong>in</strong>givitis. J<br />

<strong>Oral</strong> Health Comm Dent 2007; 1: 12-8.<br />

5. Asokan S, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil pull<strong>in</strong>g <strong>on</strong> plaque <strong>in</strong>duced<br />

g<strong>in</strong>givitis: A randomized, c<strong>on</strong>trolled, tri-<br />

ple-bl<strong>in</strong>d study. Indian J Dent Res 2009;<br />

20: 47-51.<br />


Asia Journal <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Public Health, May – August 2011 Vol.2 No. 2<br />

6. Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu MS, Rathna<br />

P V, Emmadi P, Raghuraman C, et al.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oil pull<strong>in</strong>g <strong>on</strong> Streptococcus<br />

mutans count <strong>in</strong> plaque and saliva us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Dentocult SM strip mutans test: A ran-<br />

domized, c<strong>on</strong>trolled, triple-bl<strong>in</strong>d study. J<br />

Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2008; 26:<br />

12-7.<br />

7. Loo CY, Corliss DA, Ganeshkumar N.<br />

Streptococcus gord<strong>on</strong>ii bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm forma-<br />

ti<strong>on</strong>: identificati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> genes that code for<br />

bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm phenotypes. J Bacteriol 2000;182;<br />

1374-82.<br />

8. Guggenheim B, Guggenheim M, Gmur R,<br />

Giertsen E, Thurnheer T. Applicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the Zurich bi<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g>ilm model to problems <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

cariology. Caries Res 2004; 38: 212-22.<br />

9. Ambika S. Fundamentals <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> biochemistry<br />

for medical students. Kartik Offsets Pr<strong>in</strong>-<br />

ters; 2001, p 50-4.<br />

10. Lim-Sylianco CY. Anticac<strong>in</strong>ogenic effect<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil. Phillip<strong>in</strong>e J Coc<strong>on</strong>ut<br />

Studies 1987; 12: 89-102.<br />

11. Pehowick D J, Gomes A V, Barnes J A.<br />

Fatty acid compositi<strong>on</strong> and possible health<br />

effects <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut c<strong>on</strong>stituents. West In-<br />

da<strong>in</strong> Med J 2000; 49: 128-93.<br />

12. Hierholzer JC, Kabara JJ. In vitro effects<br />

Of m<strong>on</strong>olaur<strong>in</strong> compounds <strong>on</strong> enveloped<br />

RNA and DNA viruses. J Food Safety<br />

1982; 4: 1-12.<br />

13. Carpo BG, Verallo-Rowell VM, Kabara J.<br />

Noval antibacterial activity <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<strong>on</strong>olaur<strong>in</strong><br />

compared with c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>al antibiotics<br />

aga<strong>in</strong>st organisms from sk<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong>s: an<br />

<strong>in</strong> vitro study. J Drugs Dermatol 2007; 6:<br />

991-8.<br />

14. Bergss<strong>on</strong> G, Ste<strong>in</strong>grimss<strong>on</strong> O, Thormar H.<br />

In vitro susceptibilities <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> Neisseria<br />

G<strong>on</strong>orrhoeae to fatty acids and m<strong>on</strong>ogly-<br />

cerides. Antimicrob Agents Chemother<br />

1999; 43: 2790-2.<br />

15. Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM, Syah-<br />

Tjundawan BS. Novel antibacterial and<br />

emollient effects <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> coc<strong>on</strong>ut and virg<strong>in</strong><br />

olive oils <strong>in</strong> adult atopic dermatitis. Der-<br />

matitis 2008; 19: 308-15.<br />

16. Ogbolu DO, Oni AA, Da<strong>in</strong>i OA, Oloko<br />

AP. In vitro antimicrobial properties <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

coc<strong>on</strong>ut oil <strong>on</strong> Candida species <strong>in</strong> Ibadan,<br />

Nigeria. J Med Food 2007; 10: 384-7.<br />

17. Bartolotta S, Garcia CC, Candurra NA,<br />

Dam<strong>on</strong>te EB. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> fatty acids <strong>on</strong> are-<br />

naviruses replicati<strong>on</strong>: <strong>in</strong>hibiti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> virus<br />

producti<strong>on</strong> by lauric acid. Arch Virol<br />

2001; 146: 777-90.<br />

18. Clarke NM, May JT. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> antimicro-<br />

bial factors <strong>in</strong> human milk <strong>on</strong> rh<strong>in</strong>oviruses<br />

and milk-borne cytomegalovirus <strong>in</strong> vitro. J<br />

Med Microbiol 2000; 41: 719-23.<br />

19. Jitjumro<strong>on</strong>chokchai P, Hirankerd K. Study<br />

<strong>on</strong> the efficiency <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> antibiotic soap made<br />

from 8 various k<strong>in</strong>ds <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> plant oil. Agricul-<br />

tural Sci J 2009; 40: 221-4.<br />

20. Thormar H, Hilmarss<strong>on</strong> H. The role <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

microbicidal lipids <strong>in</strong> host defense aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

pathogens and their potential as therapeu-<br />

tic agents. Chem Phys Lipids 2007; 150:<br />

1-11.<br />

21. Darmstadt G L, Saha S K, Ahmed A S,<br />

Chowdhury MA, Law PA, Ahmed S, et al.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Effect</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> tropical treatment with sk<strong>in</strong><br />

barrier-enhanc<strong>in</strong>g emollients <strong>on</strong> nosoco-<br />

mial <strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong>s <strong>in</strong> preterm <strong>in</strong>fants <strong>in</strong><br />

Bangladesh: a randomized c<strong>on</strong>trolled trail.<br />

Lancet 2005; 365: 1039-45.<br />

22. Darmstadt G L, Badrawi N, Law P A,<br />

Ahmed S, Bashir M, Iskander I, et al.<br />

Topically applied sunflower seed oil pre-<br />

vents <strong>in</strong>vasive bacterial <strong>in</strong>fecti<strong>on</strong>s <strong>in</strong> pre-<br />

term <strong>in</strong>fants <strong>in</strong> Egypt: a randomized, c<strong>on</strong>-<br />

trolled cl<strong>in</strong>ical trail. Pediatr Infect Dis J<br />

2004; 23: 719-25.<br />

23. Sechi LA, Lezcano I, Nunez N, Espim M,<br />

Duprè I, P<strong>in</strong>na A, et al. Antibacterial acti-<br />

vity <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oz<strong>on</strong>ized sunflower oil (Oleoz<strong>on</strong>).<br />

J Appl Microbiol 2001; 90: 279-84.<br />

24. Menéndez S, Falcón L, Simón DR, Landa<br />

N. Efficacy <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> oz<strong>on</strong>ized sunflower oil <strong>in</strong><br />

the treatment <str<strong>on</strong>g>of</str<strong>on</strong>g> t<strong>in</strong>ea pedis. Mycoses<br />

2000; 45: 329-32.<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!