Hey guys, welcome back to another week of 3 question Friday! Where our head nutritionist Ben answers his favourite 3 questions from the week…
This week we’ll answer questions on how to help you naturally fight disease-causing bacteria, how to take our new turmeric supplement and hemp seed oil at the same time, and some simple tips to manage hair loss!
Congratulations to Dianne, Bronte, and Mari who all won $20 gift vouchers just for asking Ben a question! You can always send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s dive into this week’s questions!
- Dianne asked, “Can I take TheraJoint+ and hemp seed oil at the same time?”
- Bronte was curious “Can coconut oil help to reduce the growth of bacteria and biofilms?”
- Mari wanted to know “Can hemp seed oil help with restoring hair loss?”
1. I take TheraJoint+ and hemp seed oil at the same time?
We’re so excited about the launch of our brand-new turmeric supplement TheraJoint+ that has many benefits, but most importantly can be used to relieve mild joint inflammation and arthritis.
If you want to read more about the benefits of turmeric you should check out this week’s blog post here.
Ok, back to the question…
Yes, it’s ok to take TheraJoint+ and hemp seed oil at the same time. Turmeric and hemp seed oil are both great anti-inflammatory foods that work on some of the same, but also different inflammatory pathways.
Remember that acute inflammation is essential to our survival and can help us to heal, however, chronic Inflammation can cause pain and is responsible for many chronic health conditions (1).
Inflammation is a very complex topic, but I’ll do my best to explain…
Hemp seed oil contains linoleic acid (LA) an omega-6 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid. These essential fatty acids regulate a group of chemicals in the body called eicosanoids, that have both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties that are essential in the body. That’s why we need them in the right ratio 3:1 ratio of (LA: ALA) for optimal health that hemp seed oil contains! (2)
Curcumin is the active anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric. Curcumin also acts on eicosanoids (inflammatory chemicals we talked about above), however curcumin also inhibits other inflammatory molecules such as NF-kB, tumour necrosis factor (TNF), and interleukin-12 etc just to name a few. This can all get a bit sciencey, all you need to know is that it’s fine to take them at the same time (3, 4).
However, it’s important to note that turmeric supplementation is contraindicated in bile duct obstruction. Speak to your doctor if you have a medical condition or take anti-platelet drugs, anticoagulants, or cyclophosphamide before supplementing with turmeric (5).
2. Can coconut oil help to reduce the growth of bacteria and biofilms?
I recently wrote a blog about coconut oil that you can read here. After concluding that coconut oil may not be all it’s cracked up to be for health, I received an email from Bronte that explained that coconut oil has the ability to break down biofilms. I was curious, so I went and did some research to learn more.
What are biofilms? Biofilms are a group of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that attach themselves to a surface to create a colony. Biofilms can adhere to surfaces in the body that include the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), urinary tract, respiratory system, heart, mouth (including the teeth), sex organs, eyes, the middle ear and skin. Biofilms can even form on medical materials such as catheters and are commonly found in hospitals (6, 7, 8).
Biofilms can cause complications as they act as a barrier to help the colony of microbes (germs) to defend itself against antimicrobial treatments (eg. antibiotics) and our immune cells that can partly explain why some wounds may take a while to heal and why some infections can keep returning! However, biofilms aren’t always bad, they can also help house our healthy bacteria in our digestive system and on our skin (9, 10, 11).
According to the NIH, more than 80 percent of human bacterial infections are associated with bacterial biofilm. Biofilms can make it hard for antimicrobial treatments (eg. antibiotics) to penetrate the biofilm, and with the rise of antibiotic resistance there may be a need for natural approaches to break down biofilms (13, 14).
Can coconut oil help to break down biofilms? I found a few studies that suggest that lauric acid, a type of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) found in coconut oil and monolaurin, a chemical made from lauric acid that is produced in the body after the consumption of coconut oil may be effective against types of bacteria in vitro (test tubes). (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23).
However, due to the lack of human studies on lauric acid and how much monolaurin is produced inside the body from the breakdown of lauric acid is still undecided. Meaning that the anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects of coconut oil could be remain unknown!
I did find an interesting study that found virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil were as effective as mouthwash in breaking down biofilms in the mouth. I can’t say personally that I’m that enthusiastic about gargling coconut oil or olive oil, however if this is something that works for you then go for it! (24)
The good news is that there may be other natural compounds that can breakdown biofilms. In fact, some can target the overgrowth of ‘bad’ microbes in biofilms, while enhancing ‘good’ bacteria that include (25):
- Garlic (26)
- Oregano (27)
- Cinnamon (28)
- Curcumin (found in turmeric!) (29)
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC) – precursor to glutathione (antioxidant) (30)
- Cranberry Juice (in particular for UTIs) (31)
In conclusion, coconut oil may be used against biofilms in the body based on test tube studies, however more studies conducted in humans is needed to confirm its efficacy in humans.
3. Can hemp seed oil help with restoring hair loss?
There are many different causes for hair loss. The most common type of hair loss is hereditary male or female pattern baldness. This may occur if you have a family history of baldness. Hair loss can also occur due to hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, and stress.
There may still be hope for you Mari as one of the best ways to support healthy hair growth is by making sure you are eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients that support hair health that includes healthy fats, quality protein, vitamins and minerals (32).
I managed to find one study that improved hair loss in females when using a supplement containing omega 3, omega 6 fatty and antioxidants for six months (34).
You can find high amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in our products, with the highest amounts found in our hemp seed oil.
Keep in mind that this is one study, and the supplement also contained antioxidants. However, based on these results hemp seed oil may be a potential natural approach in reducing hair loss.
If you have any questions or need support with your health, feel free to email our head nutritionist Ben at email@example.com
This article does not constitute medical advice and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. Please see your medical professional before implementing the above.