Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil versus Virgin Olive Oil In Atopic Dermatitis: A Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.
Dillague K, Verallo-Rowell VM, et al.
PUBLICATION: Dermatitis, December 2008: 308-314.
Background: The antimicrobial properties of monolaurin ( monoglyceride of lauric acid – chief fatty acid in coconut oil) has been established in several laboratory and clinical studies. This action is postulated on the gene regulation of specific white blood cells that are inherently overactive in immune-mediated diseases such as in Atopic Dermatitis (AD).
Objective: To compare the effectiveness of two Virgin Oils: Coconut (VCO) versus Olive (VOO) in reducing disease severity and in the decolonizing of Staphyloccus aureus in AD.
Design: Double Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial
Setting: Skin and Cancer Foundation, Inc., Pasig, and VSRC, Makati City, Philippines
Materials and Methods: From the masterlist of patients in the two institutions, included were fifty two clinically confirmed patients with moderate to severe AD as assessed by: Surface involvement; Grading intensity on 6 points(erythema, edema/induration/papulation, excoriations, oozing/weeping/crusting, scaling, lichenification; Subjective. They were 18 – 40 years old, not taking topical or oral antibiotics at least two weeks prior to enrolment, and with informed consent. Excluded were those with: other dermatologic diagnoses other than AD, previous hypersensitivity to either coconut or olive oil, severe disease requiring systemic antimicrobial treatment, and serious co-morbid disease.
After obtaining skin swabs for S. aureus for baseline skin cultures, the 52 patients were randomized into two groups: One group to receive 5 mL of VCO, the second group, VOO, to be applied twice daily to their skin.
Results: The demographics for the two groups were comparable P=<.05. Applied topically twice daily, VCO, compared to VOO, effectively decolonized Staphylococcus aureus. [RR= 0.10, 95% CI .01- 0.73,p=.0028]. In both VCO and OO groups, a statistically significant reduction in the SCORAD was seen (18.9 versus 23, mean difference of -4.1, p=.004), but VCO showed a greater drop than OO. This is a percentage reduction for VCO of 46.8%versus 30.1% of OO. Wilcoxson Signed Ranks p<0.005.
Conclusion: Apart from its reported emollient properties (1) and clinical improvement of scaling in the SCORAD, VCO effectively decolonized Staphylococcus aureus from the skin of AD. The combined antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and emollient action of VCO