Coconut Oil and Giardia

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Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by maverick » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:53 pm

Might consider coconut oil into your diet, if you haven't already, seems effective against Giardia, besides a host of other health benefits:
Parasites and Virgin Coconut Oil

By Bruce Fife, N.D.

"… parasites are a problem everywhere, …" Coconut oil may offer protection …

There are two general groups of parasites. One consists of worms such as tape worms and roundworms. The second category is the protozoa, one-celled organisms. Parasites infect the intestines of both humans and animals and can cause a great deal of intestinal distress.

We often associate parasites with Third World countries and poor sanitation, but parasites are a problem everywhere, even in North America. In countries where sanitation is a priority people mistakenly assume that no problem exists and they don’t need to worry. Parasites are everywhere, waiting for the opportunity to latch onto an unsuspecting host.

Backpackers have long been aware of the danger of drinking water from streams and lakes. Open water even in the backcountry is often contaminated with parasites waiting for a host.

Bert Thomas, a 45-year-old geologist, was a wilderness enthusiast. He loved hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking and was an excellent athlete. In the spring of 1994 he took his three children and went backpacking in the Wyoming wilderness.

Always mindful about the dangers of drinking surface water, even in a seemingly pristine wilderness, he made sure to boil or filter every drop of water they drank.

On his return home he began to experience bouts with diarrhea and became increasingly fatigued. He lost all energy and stopped participating in the outdoor sports that had become a regular part of his life. He began to lose weight, suffer from dizzy spells, and became short of breath.

Doctors were unable to find a cause for his problems. Because the illness began soon after his return home from Wyoming, a stool sample was tested for parasites. The tests came back negative. Over the next six months in an attempt to find the cause of his illness he was treated for ulcers, had blood tests, abdominal scans, and X rays.

Symptoms became worse. He began having blackouts and heart palpitations and was hospitalized. Monitoring his heart revealed a serious abnormality called arrhythmia. It was assumed this was the cause of his dizzy spells and blackouts.

He was given medication to control the arrhythmia but after a while stopped taking it because of the side effects. Despite the negative tests from the stool specimen, his doctor gave him medication to treat giardia because there was little else they could do.

He felt dramatic relief of the diarrhoea and regained much of his former energy. As Bert found out, a common problem with tests for parasites is that they are often wrong. A negative reading doesn’t necessarily mean there are no parasites present.

His heart palpitations and dizziness continued and seemed to become aggravated when he attempted to exercise. He went to another doctor, an expert in intestinal disease, who recognized the symptoms immediately as giardiasis. Another stool test was performed to make sure that the giardia had been eradicated. It was.

While the parasites may have been removed, the damage done by them wasn’t. Intestinal permeability tests showed Bert was having trouble absorbing nutrients and was suffering from a mineral deficiency. He was given a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement.

Within a month Bert reported a 90 percent reduction in heart palpitations and dizziness and was able to resume his favorite sports. It took nine months on high doses of supplements for his body to recover completely from the damage caused by the giardia infection.

It was assumed that Bert became infected with giardia while he was in the wilderness, but that may not be so. Tap water can also be a source of contamination. The water treatment process doesn’t remove all contaminants and parasites.

Single-celled organisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia are particularly troublesome because they can often slip through water purification treatments unharmed. Since these organisms are protected by a tough outer coat, the chlorine added to municipal water supplies to kill germs has little effect on them.

Because of their small size, very fine filters are needed to trap them, and complete elimination of these parasites from tap water isn’t possible. Drinking-water regulations are designed to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, parasite contamination; so even water systems that meet government standards may not be free of parasites.

Water supplies must be constantly monitored to detect levels above acceptable limits, even then there exists the potential for giardia infection. The most susceptible are those who have a weak immune system incapable of mounting an effective defense against the organism.

This is seen mostly in the very young and the elderly and those affected with other immune-suppressing illnesses such as AIDS.

Giardia and cryptosporidium normally live in the digestive tracts of many mammals. Public water supplies can become infected with these organisms when they are contaminated by sewage or animal waste. Although you may not hear about it, outbreaks occur all the time, usually in smaller cities and occasionally in large metropolitan areas.

In 1998 the three million residents of Sydney, Australia were advised by the Health Department to boil all their tap water because high concentrations of giardia and cryptosporidium were detected in the city’s water supply. In this instance most people were spared from infection because they were warned in time.

Unsafe water is an embarrassment to the water department of any city and sometimes officials are unwilling to admit that a problem exists until it’s too late. This is apparently what happened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1993. A breakdown in water sanitation permitted cryptosporidium to contaminate the city’s drinking water for a week.

As a result, a hundred people died and 400,000 suffered stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever that are characterized by the parasite. Recent outbreaks have occurred in several cities in California, Colorado, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts to name just a few.

Cryptosporidium is believed to be in 65 to 97 percent of the nation’s surface waters (rivers, lakes, and streams), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About half of our tap water comes from treated surface water. Giardia is a much bigger problem.

It is commonly found in the pre-treated water system used by some 40 million Americans and has caused epidemics in several small cities.

Giardiasis ranks among the top 20 infectious diseases that cause the greatest morbidity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the most common parasite diagnosed in North America. The CDC estimates that two million Americans contract giardiasis every year.1

Giardia can live in a variety of water sources: streams, ponds, puddles, tap water, and swimming pools. Infection is spread by contact with an infected source. You don’t have to drink contaminated water to become infected. Giardiasis can spread by sexual contact, poor personal hygiene, hand-to-mouth contact, and from food handlers who don’t wash their hands thoroughly.

If hands are exposed to contaminated water, animals, people, or faeces (e.g., litter boxes, diapers) it could spread to you. Shoes can come in contact with animal droppings and bring it inside the home.

Veterinary studies have shown that up to 13 percent of dogs are infected. Any pet can become a source of infection for humans although they may not show signs of infection.

Infection can come from the most unsuspected sources. One family get-together proved this point. A few days after a party 25 people who attended reported gastrointestinal distress. They were all found to be infected with giardia. On investigation, suspicion fell on the fruit salad.

It was discovered that the salad became infected by the food preparer who hadn’t properly washed her hands. She had a diapered child and a pet rabbit at home both of which tested positive to giardia.

A study at Johns Hopkins Medical School a few years ago showed antibodies against giardia in 20 percent of randomly chosen blood samples from patients in the hospital. This means that at least 20 percent of these patients had been infected with giardia at some time in their lives and had mounted an immune response against the parasite.

Giardia is rampant in day-care centers. A study in 1983 showed 46 percent of those who were infected were associated with day-care centers or had contact with diaper-age children.

It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of workers in day-care centers harbour giardia.2 In a study done in Denver, Colorado with 236 children attending day-care centers, it was found that 38 (16%) were infected.3

Symptoms of infection are similar to those of the flu and often misdiagnosed. We don’t usually think of parasites when be feel "under the weather." I wonder how many times when the "flu" goes around that the real cause is parasites in the water supply?

Symptoms vary. In acute cases symptoms are usually most severe and can include any of the following listed in order of prevalence:

Malaise (a sense of ill being)
Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal Cramps
Flatulence (gas & bloating)
Weight Loss
Greasy, foul-smelling stools

Infection can persist for weeks or months if left untreated. Some people undergo a more chronic phase that can last for many months. Chronic cases are characterized by loose stools and increased abdominal gasiness with cramping, depression, fatigue and weight loss.

Some people may have some symptoms and not others while some may not have any symptoms at all.

Giardiasis can be mistaken for a number of other conditions including the flu, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Many people are diagnosed and treated for these other conditions without finding relief.

Even if giardia is diagnosed and treated, it can damage the intestinal lining causing chronic health problems that persist for years after the parasite is gone.

Food allergies, including lactose (milk) intolerance can develop. Damaged intestinal tissues become leaky. This is often referred to as leaky gut syndrome. Toxins, bacteria, and incompletely digested foods are able to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, initiating an immune response.

Sinus congestion, aches and pains, headaches, swelling, and inflammation—all typical symptoms of allergies—are the result.

Loss of intestinal integrity can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Leo Galland, an expert in gastrointestinal disease, demonstrated that out of a group of 200 patients with chronic diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating, half of them were infected with giardia.

Most of these patients had been told they had irritable bowel syndrome. He notes that parasitic infection is a common event among patients with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and many people are given a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome without a thorough evaluation.

Another consequence of poor intestinal integrity is fatigue resulting from malabsorption of important nutrients. If the condition persists it can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome. A giardia infection can be so draining on the immune system that it causes fatigue. Again the cause is often misdiagnosed.

A giardia epidemic in Placerville, California, for example, was mysteriously followed by an epidemic of chronic fatigue syndrome. In 1991 Dr. Galland and colleagues published a study of 96 patients with chronic fatigue and demonstrated active giardia infection in 46 percent.

In another study of 218 patients whose chief complaint was chronic fatigue, Dr. Galland found that 61 patients were infected with giardia.4 His conclusion is that giardia may be an important cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Coconut oil may provide an effective defense against many troublesome parasites including giardia. Like bacteria and fungi, giardia can’t stand up against MCFA found in coconut oil.

Research has confirmed the effectiveness of MCFA in destroying giardia and possibly other protozoa.5,6,7 By using coconut oil and other coconut products every day, you may be able to destroy giardia before it can establish a toehold.

In so doing you also eliminate the possibility of developing food allergies, chronic fatigue, and other related symptoms. If you’re currently troubled with these conditions, coconut oil used liberally with meals may provide a source of relief.

Because MCFA are quickly absorbed by the tissues and converted into energy it seems logical that those suffering from chronic fatigue would gain a great deal of benefit. Foods prepared with coconut oil, or even fresh coconut make a great energy booster.

Another possible use for coconut is for the removal of intestinal worms. In India it has been used to get rid of tapeworms. In one study it was reported that treatment with dried coconut, followed by magnesium sulfate (a laxative), caused ninety percent parasite expulsion after twelve hours.8

The authors of some pet books apparently have had success with coconut and recommend feeding animals ground coconut as a means to expel intestinal parasites. In India coconut oil is rubbed into the scalp as a treatment to remove head lice.

Tapeworms, lice, giardia, candida, bacteria, viruses, and germs of all sorts can be eliminated or at least held in check with coconut oil. For infections and intestinal complaints it seems like coconut oil is one of the best natural medicines you can use. ... conut-oil/

For your dogs too:
None of us like it when our canine friends get sick. Yet, it's inevitable that at some point in your pet's life, they will catch something and get sick. And of all the things your dog can catch, intestinal parasites are one of the most common and easily spread infections. Giardia is a common one, especially in puppies.

But don't freak out if your dog has a parasite. Often times, it comes with the territory of owning a pet, especially if your dog visits the park or other places where they can come into contact with infected dogs.

Giardia, or rather Giardiasis, is a parasitic infection caused by Giardia Lamblia. These little critters often contaminate water and can be spread that way, or through the soil, other animals, and even direct human contact. The parasite has a hard shell, which allows them to survive for long periods of time in water, soil, and yes, even in your dog's intestine. Because of how tough these little guys are, it's important to treat any dog suspected of having the infection.

Giardia treatment in dogs is usually done under the supervision of a vet, and if you suspect your dog is sick with anything at all, please don't hesitate to visit your veterinarian. Giardia can often be mistaken for other types of parasites and infections if you're just basing it on the symptoms you can see with your own two eyes. Usually, your vet will have to run tests to figure out the culprit before prescribing treatment. If left untreated, Giardia can cause severe diarrhea, weight loss, and even death, so it's not something you will want to mess around with.

That being said, there may be a way to prevent a Giardia infection in your dog. Of course, the first step would be the make sure your dog doesn't come into contact with feces and that they have access to clean drinking water. Prevention is key. But you can also up your dog's defenses to the nasty bug with some simple items you may already have in your cupboard.

Savvy owners in the know are raving about using coconut oil on dogs these days. And yes, coconut oil has a lot of nifty uses, including moisturizing their skin and coat. But did you know that coconut oil contains Caprylic Acid, which is a short chain fatty acid that stops the growth of bacteria and parasites? Well now you do! Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which the parasites consume, and it literally causes them to explode and die. Bye-bye parasites!

So in addition to using coconut oil for your dog's skin, now you can consider it a handy tool in preventing – and maybe even treating – Giardia and other parasites as well. Of course, if your dog is heavily infected already, it may take too long for the effects to help, and you may still need to consider conventional medicine. In severe cases of Giardia, as we mentioned above, severe weight loss and malnutrition can cause serious problems and would need to be treated as soon as possible. Additional medicine may also be needed to stop the diarrhea so your dog feels better while fighting off their parasitic hitchhikers. ... st-giardia

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Re: Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by Lumbergh21 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:08 am

I didn't take the time to read the whole story, but I can tell you that his figures for the occurrence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in surface water sources are way off. I don't know if that is old data or what, but water systems were required to sample their surface water sources for Cryptosporidium beginning in 2008. That round of monitoring showed a very low incidence of crypto in the surface water sources tested. While many sources would have one or two of the 24 samples tested over the course of a year have 1 to 3 crypto cysts in a 10 liter sample, very few (less than 5%) had crypto at levels that would require additional treatment to ensure a less than infectious level of crypto in the treated water. Giardia was also tested for, and while not the focus of this testing and, therefore, not tracked by the EPA, I can say from the data that I personally received and reviewed, that Giardia in my little piece of California was not common at all, though typically in slightly higher concentration than the crypto. Next, while chlorine does not do a good job of killing crypto (or some viruses, most notoriously Norwalk virus) very well if at all, it does a pretty good job on Giardia. So, he's not entirely accurate when he lumps Giardia and crypto together. Finally, any water system that treats surface water and serves more than 500 people is required to monitor the efficiency of those filters continuously and record the results at least every 15 minutes, and most record those results every one to five minutes. The real danger is dishonest, lazy humans covering up bad results, not bad water slipping through undetected.
I am highly skeptical of the use of coconut oil to cure Giardasis or any other amoebic infection. Unless someone can show me a scientific study that includes both correlation and a plausible cause for the results, I'm not buying it.

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Re: Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by AlmostThere » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:49 am

Sounds like his symptoms subsided about the time he did something he thought would cure it. Bet he's now an asymptomatic carrier.

Coconut oil on your dog sets off a bunch of noisy licking. Feed the dog well and groom him. :rolleyes:

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Re: Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by bobby49 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:46 pm

Lumbergh21 wrote:I didn't take the time to read the whole story, but I can tell you that his figures for the occurrence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in surface water sources are way off.

Next, while chlorine does not do a good job of killing crypto (or some viruses, most notoriously Norwalk virus) very well if at all, it does a pretty good job on Giardia. So, he's not entirely accurate when he lumps Giardia and crypto together.

I am highly skeptical of the use of coconut oil to cure Giardasis or any other amoebic infection. Unless someone can show me a scientific study that includes both correlation and a plausible cause for the results, I'm not buying it.
For some of us, our bodies would not tolerate all of that saturated fat from coconut oil. My cardiologist would disown me.

For a long time, chlorine has gotten mixed results on giardia. That is partially because giardia is in two life forms. There is the cyst, and there is the trophazoan. The cyst is tiny and hard, so chlorine in the water may not have sufficient effect unless the dosage is high or the contact time is high. The trophazoan is much larger, so it is much easier to filter out. Chlorine dioxide is rather different, and it can have greater effect since it spikes the pH, and that may be the mechanism causing the bugs to be killed.

In a public water system, either chlorine or chlorine dioxide can be effective since they can easily monitor pH and other factors to allow titration of the dosage. In the wilderness, we can't easily do that.

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Re: Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by longri » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:11 pm

Smells like quackery. Note the "N.D." after the author's name. A page of pseudo-scientific statements without any references cited. Look around the internet and you will find claims that coconut oil protects against heart disease, influenza, cancer, Alzheimer's, hair loss, dental decay, and more. Now look for peer-reviewed scientific studies.

There is an abundance of coconut products in the market these days. Somebody is making a lot of money selling the latest miracle food.

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Re: Coconut Oil and Giardia

Post by dave54 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:10 pm

N.D. = Doctor of Naturopathy. Not the same as an MD or DO. Far less training, and less strict certification. Some states do not even license or regulate NDs and anyone can claim to be one.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat and has its own side effects in higher doses, which include diarhea, bloating, and general tiredness or malaise. The same symptoms you are trying to alleviate.

I recall a study several years ago in SEKI(?) re parasites in backcountry waters. Basically, little to none in the Spring/Early Summer as runoff flushes it away. Increasing through the season to peaking in Fall when water is lower and warmer.
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