14

votes

Does coconut oil decrease the benefits of probiotics?

Answered on November 14, 2015
Created July 18, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Given the antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties of coconut oil, would the effectiveness of probiotics be inhibited by coconut oil, even if the two are taken at the same time? What about if they are spaced out a few hours?

Medium avatar

(246)

on June 30, 2013
at 09:55 PM

Raw yogurt is probably just used to specify that it's live bacteria, most probiotics in yogurts and in general are cooked (overheated) or destroyed through other means of processing.

43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on September 04, 2012
at 02:34 AM

I just emailed this question to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle and director of the Coconut Research Center and provided him with a link to this page. http://coconutresearchcenter.org/aboutus.htm

43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on September 04, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Great question!

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Since I posted this I have dropped the RAW probiotics. I kept feeling fatigued after taking them.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 26, 2011
at 03:07 PM

I had a phone conversation with Dr Kurt Harris back in May and the topic of probiotics vis-a-vis fermented dairy came up. His comment to me was that I would be better off giving myself an enema with it than take it orally. I certainly don't want to misrepresent him so take this as my recollection of what he told me and subject to the accuracy of my memory...which is pretty damn accurate :-)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I added an edit :)

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 24, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I do not remember specifically, but it was roughly around $250.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:58 AM

Thanks. What was the cost, if you don't mind me asking ?

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Hey Matthew, could you explain why you think the Garden Life Raw Probiotics are "a great example of what is wrong with the probiotic supplement industry"?

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 19, 2011
at 01:07 PM

Diagnos-Techs, Inc. Here is their website: http://www.diagnostechs.com/Home.aspx

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 19, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Teddy, where did you have your GI panel done ?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:53 PM

25 strains! They must have just thrown in every bacteria and yeast they could get their hands on.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:40 PM

My daily bowel movements can testify to how great probiotics work!

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I do not know if probiotics throw off the natural balance, but a natural balance is something I have not been blessed with. If my balance were a teeter totter I'd have an elephant on one end and a side salad on the other. Currently I am taking Garden Life Raw Probiotics for men (I am a man, indeed) and have had positive results. There are 85 billion CFU per 3 pills with 25 or so different strains, including the ones my GI Panel showed I severely lacked. This is not something I hope to take permanently, but rather a step towards healing my gut.

B58511bcd1ecc0dd4ad8130859513c81

(430)

on July 18, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I would LOVE to know the answer to this too!

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7 Answers

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10
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 19, 2011
at 02:34 PM

Given the antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties of coconut oil,

This is a whole question in itself. All the claims for the internal antimicrobial powers of coconut oil always seem to lead back to companies selling coconut products. The reseach I've seen is usually in vitro, meaning it was done in a dish in a lab. I am always skeptical of such claims.

would the effectiveness of probiotics be inhibited by coconut oil, even if the two are taken at the same time?

Most of the probiotic strains added to supplements are Lactobacilli bacteria. I have seen a small amount of evidence suggesting that these Lactobacilli bacteria are not killed by the lauric acid in coconut oil. Lauric acid is also found in human breast milk so it would make sense that bacteria that normally inhabit our guts from an early age would be resistant to the antimicrobial effects of lauric acid. No one really knows though.

Coconut oil might kill off any yeast probiotics, I don't expect anyone has ever tested it.

What about if they are spaced out a few hours?

Coconut oil is a refined purified fat. I expect it is absorbed quite rapidly in your samll intestines so that no coconut oil would remain a few hours later.

Garden Life Raw Probiotics:

This product is a great example of what is wrong with the probiotic supplement industry. However if it really helps you then go with it.

Edit, problems with this probiotic supplement:

  1. Far to many types different bacteria and yeast that are apparently chosen at random.

  2. Not enough of each type of bacteria. 85 billion in 3 capsules is 28 billion per capsule each containing 31 strains means less than a billion of each strain. This is not really enough.

  3. The stains of bacteria included are not mentioned.

  4. Silly claims. RAW probiotics? Seriously, who would sell cooked probiotics.

  5. They contain added vitamins, minerals and fruit and vegetables. These could not fit in the capsule if they contained enough probiotics. Some of the minerals may even inhibit some of the probiotic strains.

I expect few of the bacteria listed in this supplement will survive your stomach and even fewer will become extablised in your gut. They generally don't look very good.

Diagnos-Techs GI Panel:

I am skeptical of these type of diagnostic tests for many reasons. I hope they didn't charge you to much for the tests.

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 19, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Hey Matthew, could you explain why you think the Garden Life Raw Probiotics are "a great example of what is wrong with the probiotic supplement industry"?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 26, 2011
at 02:41 PM

I added an edit :)

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Since I posted this I have dropped the RAW probiotics. I kept feeling fatigued after taking them.

Medium avatar

(246)

on June 30, 2013
at 09:55 PM

Raw yogurt is probably just used to specify that it's live bacteria, most probiotics in yogurts and in general are cooked (overheated) or destroyed through other means of processing.

3
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on September 04, 2012
at 03:49 AM

Here is what Bruce Fife answered when I asked him the question over a year ago:

Coconut oil does not kill all bacteria and viruses. It does kill many of the common harmful ones. It is most effective against lipid coated microorganisms. It is the medium chain fatty acids that are toxic to the microbes. Nature has designed them that way. Mother???s milk contains MCFAs (that same ones in coconut oil) as a means to kill harmful germs and protect infants for the first few months of life, while their immune systems are still developing. Nature has designed MCFAs to kill only the harmful bacteria but allow the beneficial bacteria to thrive. I don???t know that researchers fully understand how that happens but it is obvious that it does.

Best wishes, Bruce Fife

2
8bdc61e1dc851258d8df1fc65964c868

on September 03, 2012
at 05:06 PM

I have made kefir from coconut milk, which, I believe does naturally contain some coconut oil. This should indicate, that the probiotics in kefir grains are not being killed off by the oil. Hope this is helpful.

2
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 18, 2011
at 10:38 PM

The bigger question: Are probiotics effective in the first place. The colon is home to around 400 to 500 types of critters. Is the one or two strains you're taking actually helping? And if you are taking 1 or 2 strains, could you be throwing off the natural balance?

Most claims for probiotics are rejected in Europe due to insufficient evidence.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:53 PM

25 strains! They must have just thrown in every bacteria and yeast they could get their hands on.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 19, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Teddy, where did you have your GI panel done ?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:40 PM

My daily bowel movements can testify to how great probiotics work!

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 19, 2011
at 01:07 PM

Diagnos-Techs, Inc. Here is their website: http://www.diagnostechs.com/Home.aspx

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:06 PM

I do not know if probiotics throw off the natural balance, but a natural balance is something I have not been blessed with. If my balance were a teeter totter I'd have an elephant on one end and a side salad on the other. Currently I am taking Garden Life Raw Probiotics for men (I am a man, indeed) and have had positive results. There are 85 billion CFU per 3 pills with 25 or so different strains, including the ones my GI Panel showed I severely lacked. This is not something I hope to take permanently, but rather a step towards healing my gut.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:58 AM

Thanks. What was the cost, if you don't mind me asking ?

A642b5bc75a36fdce13fbf290f0c85a7

(385)

on July 24, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I do not remember specifically, but it was roughly around $250.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 26, 2011
at 03:07 PM

I had a phone conversation with Dr Kurt Harris back in May and the topic of probiotics vis-a-vis fermented dairy came up. His comment to me was that I would be better off giving myself an enema with it than take it orally. I certainly don't want to misrepresent him so take this as my recollection of what he told me and subject to the accuracy of my memory...which is pretty damn accurate :-)

1
43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on September 04, 2012
at 05:40 PM

Dr. Fife responded to my email with this:

"Coconut oil does not kill all microorganisms. It kills many of the disease-causing germs but leaves the good bacteria alone. This is one of the reasons why it is so good for intestinal health. The potentancy of any antimicrobial agent is enhanced with concentration. For this reason, I don't know if a concentrated dose of coconut oil may have some effect on some good bacteria, so I would not consume probiotics along with coconut oil, just to make sure. Separate them by a hour or so."

0
Bbdf7e37ddf8cd211d7f23f6ee032816

on November 14, 2015
at 01:54 AM

Has anyone senn or done an actual clinical study as to whether coconut oil kilss probiotics.  Vicki

0
43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on September 04, 2012
at 02:35 AM

I just emailed this question to Dr. Bruce Fife, author of The Coconut Oil Miracle and director of the Coconut Research Center and provided him with a link to this page.

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