With the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens, researchers are turning their attention to natural products in hopes of finding cures outside of the patented pharmaceutical paradigm for fighting disease. In a study just published in Journal of Applied Microbiology, Australian researchers studied 22 natural products and their ability to inhibit the spore cycle of Clostridium difficile. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is mostly incubated in hospital settings, is antibiotic resistant, and very contagious. It can create life-threatening inflammation of the colon. The Australian researchers tested 22 natural products in vitro, and found that three of them "showed inhibitory effects on sporulation of C. difficile. Effects on sporulation, determined using microscopy and a conventional spore recovery assay, showed that fresh onion bulb extract (6.3% v v-1 ) and coconut oil (8% v v-1 ) inhibited sporulation in all four isolates by 66-86% and 51-88%, respectively, compared to untreated controls. Fresh ginger rhizome extract (25% v v-1 ) was also inhibitory, although to a lesser extent."
A bacterial pathogen that’s difficult to treat, which often breeds in hospitals, and also easily infects those using antibiotics or other pharmaceutical medications for gastrointestinal issues is Clostridium difficile (klos-TRID-e-um dif-uh-SEEL). This pathogenic bacterium also goes by C. difficile or C. diff, or even just CDF. As we enter the age of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which are usually developed in hospitals, causing increased death by medicine (iatrogenic), an awareness of the medicinal aspects of coconut oil has arisen through anecdotal experiences and several independent studies indicating coconut oil could be a solution for failing pharmaceutical antibiotics. A new study shows that the primary fatty acid chain in coconut oil, lauric acid, is effective in inhibiting antibiotic resistant Clostridium difficile. A combination in vitro and in vivo study was performed by researchers in Taiwan during 2017 and published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology in January 2018 with the title: Lauric Acid Is an Inhibitor of Clostridium difficile Growth in Vitro and Reduces Inflammation in a Mouse Infection Model. The researchers noted in their full study text: “As the primary FA [fatty acid] of coconut oil is lauric acid (45–53%), it is of great interest to utilize coconut oil as a source of lauric acid. In a mouse infection model, lauric acid consumption decreased CDF-induced colon inflammation and diarrhea, supporting the hypothesis that lauric acid is a potential compound for CDF treatment.”