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Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Date:10/30/2008

Symptoms eased faster when it was added to,,antibiotic therapy, study found,,,,

THURSDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Virgin coconut oil, added to antibiotic therapy, may help relieve the symptoms of community-acquired pneumonia in kids faster than antibiotic therapy alone, a new study finds.

Children who received coconut oil therapy along with antibiotics had fewer crackles (a wheezing sound in the lungs), a shorter time with an elevated respiratory rate and fever, better oxygen saturation in the blood, and shorter hospital stays, according to the study.

"Earlier normalization of respiratory rate and resolution of crackles could also mean possible earlier discharge," said the study's lead author, Dr. Gilda Sapphire Erguiza, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Philippine Children's Medical Center in Quezon City.

The study's findings were due to be presented Wednesday at the American College of Chest Physicians meeting in Philadelphia.

Community-acquired pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that is contracted outside a hospital setting. It is a serious infection in children and affects as many as 34 to 40 youngsters per 1,000 children in Europe and North America, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Lower respiratory infections are one of the leading causes of childhood mortality in developing countries, according to the AAFP.

The current study included 40 children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years old. All had community-acquired pneumonia and were being treated intravenously with the antibiotic ampicillin.

Half of the group was randomized to also receive oral virgin coconut oil in a daily dose of 2 milliliters per every kilogram of weight. The oil was given for three days in a row.

The researchers found that the respiratory rate normalized in 32.6 hours for the virgin coconut oil group versus 48.2 hours for the control group, according t
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