Coconut Oil(MCTs) and Probiotics Interactions

can you take coconut oil and probiotics together

The wellness world is buzzing with the benefits of coconut oil and probiotics. From boosting metabolism to improving gut health, these natural remedies have become staples in many households. But can you take coconut oil and probiotics together without any adverse effects?

Yes, you can take coconut oil and probiotics together, but with some caveats. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that have antimicrobial properties, which means they can kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, are beneficial bacteria that promote gut health. While coconut oil’s antimicrobial action can potentially reduce the effectiveness of probiotics, a balanced approach can mitigate this effect.

It’s advisable to maintain a healthy gut flora by possibly taking probiotics containing strains like the DDS-1 strain of L. acidophilus, which has been shown to be effective in enhancing gut function and reducing inflammation.

There’s more to this story than meets the eye. We’ll explore the science behind the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil, the role of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in gut health, and how to balance these two powerful supplements for optimal well-being.

Coconut Oil Overview:

coconut and mct oil

Coconut oil is a versatile, plant-based fat derived from the meat of coconuts. Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), it’s lauded for its wide range of health benefits, from boosting metabolism to improving skin health.

The MCTs in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. It’s also known for boosting energy levels, supporting weight loss, and enhancing cognitive function.

Probiotics Overview:

Probiotics are live microorganisms, often referred to as “good bacteria,” that provide numerous health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.

Probiotics help maintain a balanced gut flora, which is crucial for digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. They can also reduce symptoms of digestive disorders, enhance mental well-being, and lower inflammation.

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Taking Coconut Oil and Probiotics Together

The idea of combining coconut oil and probiotics may seem counterintuitive at first, given that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can kill both good and bad bacteria. However, there’s more to the story.

Potential Benefits

why gut health matters

Some studies suggest that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can actually provide a more hospitable environment for beneficial bacteria, enhancing their effectiveness. This creates a synergistic effect that can be particularly beneficial for gut health.

  • Enhanced Gut Barrier: Probiotics are known to strengthen the gut barrier, and the MCTs in coconut oil can further support this. A strong gut barrier is essential for preventing the leakage of harmful substances into the bloodstream.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Both coconut oil and certain strains of probiotics have anti-inflammatory properties. When taken together, they can potentially amplify each other’s effects, reducing systemic inflammation.
  • Improved Digestive Health: Probiotics help in the digestion of complex carbohydrates and fibers, producing short-chain fatty acids. The presence of MCTs from coconut oil can facilitate this process, making digestion more efficient.

Potential Interactions

While the combination can offer benefits, it’s essential to be aware of potential interactions:

  • Antimicrobial Effects: Coconut oil’s MCTs are antimicrobial, meaning they kill bacteria—both good and bad. This could potentially counteract the benefits of probiotics if not balanced correctly.
  • Increased Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) Levels: Coconut oil has been shown to increase LPS levels in the blood, which can lead to inflammation and a “leaky gut.” Probiotics, on the other hand, work to reduce such negative impacts, creating a complex interaction that requires careful management.
  • Digestive Complaints: For those with a disrupted intestinal flora, perhaps due to recent antibiotic use, combining coconut oil and probiotics may initially cause digestive discomfort. It’s advised to start slowly and monitor how your body reacts.

Finding the Right Balance

Navigating the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil while reaping the benefits of probiotics can be a bit like walking a tightrope. However, with the right balance, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Here’s how to strike that balance:

1. Consider the Dosage

The antimicrobial effects of coconut oil are dose-dependent. Lower doses may offer the benefits of MCTs without significantly disrupting gut flora. Start with a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil per day and observe how your body reacts.

2. Timing Matters

Consider taking them at different times of the day. For example, you could take coconut oil in the morning and probiotics in the evening.

3. Choose Resilient Probiotic Strains

Strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have shown resistance to antimicrobial agents and may be a good choice to pair with coconut oil.

4. Monitor Your Gut Health

Pay attention to signs from your body. If you experience digestive discomfort, bloating, or changes in bowel habits, it might indicate an imbalance. In such cases, consider reducing the coconut oil dosage or switching to a different probiotic strain.

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Coconut Oil and Probiotics for BV (Bacterial Vaginosis)

Coconut oil, with its rich lauric acid content, acts as a natural antimicrobial agent. On the other hand, probiotics, particularly strains of Lactobacillus, work to restore the natural bacterial balance in your vagina. When used together, they offer a one-two punch that not only fights off the harmful bacteria but also promotes a healthier vaginal environment.

How to Use Them Together

  1. Topical Application: Mix a few drops of high-quality, organic coconut oil with probiotic powder and apply it directly to the affected area. This can help in immediate relief and faster healing.
  2. Oral Intake: Consuming coconut oil and a probiotic supplement can work from the inside to strengthen your immune system and restore bacterial balance.
  3. Suppository Method: Some women prefer using a coconut oil and probiotic suppository at bedtime for targeted treatment.

Why It Works

The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil and the bacterial balance restored by probiotics create a harmonious environment that’s less conducive for BV-causing bacteria to thrive. This dual approach not only treats the symptoms but may also reduce the recurrence of BV episodes.


How much coconut oil and probiotics should I take daily?

The recommended daily dose varies from person to person. Generally, 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil and a probiotic supplement containing at least 1 billion CFUs is considered safe for most adults.

Are there any specific probiotic strains that work well with coconut oil?

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are often recommended to pair with coconut oil. These strains seem to benefit from the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil.

Can I use coconut oil as a carrier for probiotic supplements?

Yes, coconut oil can act as a carrier for probiotics, enhancing their stability and effectiveness. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Do coconut oil and probiotics interfere with any medications?

There’s limited evidence to suggest that coconut oil and probiotics may interact with certain medications like antibiotics or antifungals. Always consult your doctor before combining supplements with medications.

Is it better to take coconut oil and probiotics on an empty stomach or with food?

Taking coconut oil and probiotics with food can aid in better absorption and reduce the risk of stomach upset. However, some prefer taking them on an empty stomach for faster effects.

Can taking coconut oil and probiotics together help with weight loss?

While both coconut oil and probiotics have properties that may aid in weight loss, the evidence is not strong enough to claim that taking them together will have a synergistic effect on weight loss.

John M. Kennedy

John M. Kennedy is a passionate researcher, health enthusiast, and influential author in the field of nutritional science. With a relentless curiosity and a deep commitment to uncovering the intricate dynamics of supplement interactions, Kennedy has become a leading authority in this specialized domain.

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