Note: This article is not written to advise people to treat themselves with coconut oil. It is for informative interest only.

The Helico Pylori Bacteria is one of the most common bacteria that infect the Human race. It is found in families, who pass the bacteria to each other. H. Pylori inhabits the stomach and the esophagus. It stimulates cells in the stomach to produce excessive amounts of gastric or hydrochloric acid.

This acid reflects back and up into the stomach causing “Heart burn” or, technically, Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux /Disease, commonly referred to as GERD.

This reflux is painful and can cause ulcers, gastritis and occasional gastric cancer, which can be deadly.


There are dozens of diagnostic methods for determining the presence of H. Pylori, and dozens of treatments devised by major pharmaceutical companies who make billions of dollars with disease.

The normal treatment consist of an accurate diagnosis using an analysis of breath from the patient which contains gas byproducts of the bacterium, followed by an average ten day treatment of six antibiotics daily, plus two proton pump inhibitors daily. (Prevacid, etc.) At the end, the patient is retested for the presence of H. Pylori.

There is an approximate 90 percent success rate, sometimes 70 to 80 percent.


1. COST: $300 – $500, if no insurance.

2. SIDE EFFECTS: diarrhea, stomach complaints, overgrowth of bad bacteria.

3. TIME COSTS: visits to doctors and laboratories.


Helico Pylori Bacteria

Treating H. Pylori infections medically, is costly, time consuming, produces side effects and is not one hundred percent successful.


Many of my patients who have studied alternative medicine on the Internet, have asked my opinion about Virgin Coconut Oil for the treatment of Pylori Infections causing hyperacidity.


My method of studying a new plant or drug is to first learn the chemistry of the plant or drug. I must know the molecular structure and how the molecule interacts with other molecules in the body.

Without this knowledge I would be like a carpenter that doesn’t know whether a nail will pierce steel. This knowledge requires research into the description of the molecules, its various chemical properties and the physiological properties of the body molecules that will be affected.

Over thirty years as a Physician makes this task arduous, HOWEVER, I have learned to do the research and abstract the conclusion.


virgin coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent “anti-biotic”. It kills bacteria and fungi on contact! Coconut oil is made of saturated fatty acids of the medium length variety. Its major Saturated Acid is called LAURIC ACID. The Lauric Acid invades the cell wall and destroys it.

Here is an excerpt from a scientific study:

“Studies on lipids in the 1960s by Kabara and colleagues showed medium-chain (C-8 to C-14) FAs and their monoglycerides to have antimicrobial effects against several laboratory organisms.

In the 1990s, more laboratory studies confirmed the antimicrobial activity of these lipids against gram-positive and some gram-negative organisms, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Helicobacter pylori, and Chlamydia trachomatis, as well as Candida albicans yeast and enveloped viruses.

Since 1998, some clinical studies have confirmed these laboratory data, specifically data on monolaurin, the monoglyceride of lauric acid from VCO. A 2% gel preparation of Lauricidin (Skin Sciences Laboratory, Inc, Pasig City, Philippines), which contains 90% pure monolaurin, significantly degermed SA cultured from health workers’ hands after hospital duty.

Another study cultured the skin lesions of 100 pediatric patients. The top isolates were SA, coagulase-negative SA, Streptococcus spp, Enterobacter spp, and Escherichia vulneris. The sensitivity of these organisms to penicillin, oxacillin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, mupirocin, and vancomycin varied significantly, demonstrating low to high susceptibility, across the different isolates (Fisher exact test = 0.000; p < .05).

In marked contrast, sensitivity to monolaurin did not significantly differ across the different bacterial isolates (Fisher exact test = 0.110; p > .05), reflecting high antibacterial activity.

coconut oil

There also was a statistically significant and marked difference in resistance rates. SA, coagulase-negative SA, and Streptococcus spp did not exhibit any resistance to monolaurin as opposed to the varying resistance observed with the other antibiotics in this study.”

We can easily see that “MONOLAURIN” or LAURIC ACID, the most common fatty acid in coconut oil is “highly antibacterial” and kills “H. Pylori.”


My patients, independent of my medical advise, decided to try their own experiments.

I, as a licensed physician, cannot advise them to experiment, with unknown and untested modalities of treatment. I offered them the information I had obtained from my research, conducted tests to determine if they were infected with H. Pylori, and offered them the standard medical treatment.

They refused my standard treatment and told me that they wanted to try virgin coconut oil, one teaspoon three times daily. I advised them of potential adverse consequences, which they totally rejected.


I, as a licensed physician of the State of Florida, am legally obligated to follow the Good Standards Medical Practice, as outlined by the Board of Medicine of the State of Florida. Also, as Doctor of Medicine and Surgery and a Graduate of the University of Bologna, Faculta di Medicina e Chirurgia, I took the Hoppocratic Oath upon graduation.

As a former U.S. Marine, I take all my oaths seriously. I do not believe that I can change the intent of my oaths, whether in the military, in medicine or even in marriage.

coconut oil

Therefore, although I feel that there are hundreds of excellent alternative treatments for diseases, I always advise my patients that the medical profession has a standard treatment, however, the natural treatment may be better. I explain my reasons for my belief, and I advise them that they are free to choose whichever treatment they desire.

In this way, I comply with the law, with ethical constraints, yet, try to give the patient enough information to make a wise decision.

This method has proven to be above reproach and has yielded excellent results.


I could do no more. My patients are free citizens. They were not about to take a deadly poison. Millions of people in Asia ingest much larger quantities of coconut oil with no ill effects.

Their question: Would coconut oil, which is bactericidal, kill the Helico Pyloric Bacteria in their gut?

In approximately one month, we had the answer. It was a resounding YES!

Upon repeat testing, none of my patients had evidence of H. Pylori. Also, their symptoms of acid regurgitation, stomach pain and burping disappeared.


I, am now, of the firm conviction, that in some people, the ingestion of Virgin Coconut Oil, three times daily, can eradicate H. Pylori infections.

coconut oil

I do not know if this natural treatment will work on all people. There simply is not enough evidence, or large trials. I seriously doubt that large trials will be undertaken, since there is no monetary gain involved for companies or governments.

Those individuals suffering from H. Pylori infections may try on their own. There is no evidence that coconut oil is detrimental to the body. Billions of people ingest it daily, and no government had advised that it is dangerous.

Personally, I would try the experiment. If you have experience, you may want to comment on this article.

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Comments (51)

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  1. Backnook says:

    Hello, I am so happy to read about your article and how you have maintained a sense of balance between the standard medical procedure of treating an illness and accepting the possibility of being healed from h.Pylori using an alternative,natural treatment. I am personally taking VCO 3x a day, after meals (1tbsp) and experienced relief from what I have been experiencing for almost a year. On day5, I started to feel less and less acid in my stomach. I also eat fried garlic 3x a day after meals. In fact, I am confident that by the end of this month (Dec 2011). my h.Pylori will be gone. I also tried the triple triple but was saddened of its temporary relief. The bacteria became even stronger after becoming immune to the medicines.Right now, I have a positive attitude that since i was born without this, I can totally eradicate this in time. I hope this info will help millions of suffering h.Pylori patients. :)

  2. Ms.T says:

    Thank-you. I checked your Credentials, by the way.. It is good to find a real doctor who also knows about natural treatments…. Not every ailment needs a medicine. I also take ACV w the mother as well as licorice root , drink pineappple juice and aloe vera juice, to eradicate this bug.

  3. Lori Kim says:

    I have been using coconut oil for the past year…i use it as a facial moisturizer and i eat 2 tablespoons at night…im an avid athlete in my late 40’s and swear by the results. I have alot of energy and my skin tone looks even and feels silky. I research many natural products and read about all the benefits of coconut oil. I never get heartburn and very rarely do i get sick. Its been many years since i had to go to the dr. or had antibiotics..

  4. Lori Kim says:

    Thank you…..wish there were more dr.s like you

  5. lmrook says:

    I have not tried the regimen of 3 tsp per day coconut oil, nor was I clinically diagnosed with H.Pylori or GERD. But I had all the symptoms of GERD and it became more frequent the older I got. I was introduced to coconut oil for the benefit of it being a healthy oil to use and started putting some in my coffee and soups every day. In the course of a year of doing this, my GERD type symptoms have pretty much disappeared. I have had NO episodes of the severe pain I was having prior to that. I have often wondered if the coconut oil had anything to do with it. And of course, since I don’t have clinical tests to say anything . . . I have no proof. Just my actual anecdotal experience.

  6. Sizwizz says:

    I suffer from LPR (the silent reflux), which is similar to GERD, but without the heartburn symptoms. I also have high cholesterol, and worry about raising it further with the coconut oil. Also, I bought some Organic expeller pressed coconut oil, and was wondering if that is considered virgin coconut oil.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  7. Sue says:

    I have been using coconut oil for several months now and have not had any stomach issues since. I find it easy to add to my diet and sometimes replace it for olive oil when cooking. Love the detail in this article, especially the scientific study references.

  8. Milliann says:

    It was so funny that I read this article…went to the Doctor had lab test done & got the H pylori dx. I had been suffering from extreme a.m. nausea & stomach pain x 2yrs. I actually thought it was from a problem created from the removal of my gallbladder where i have a softball size lump.(dr says post surgical hernia) Anyway the nurse called & said i called in some antibiotics u need to take them all then come see us. Well i’m not a good patient when it comes to meds…so out the coconut oil came & i drink 3 teaspoons+ in my coffee every a.m. within a week I had no more nausea or pain when i went back to the dr she asked how i did taking all those antibiotics & did I need anything for a yeast infection i laughed and said no i didn’t take the meds & explained. I wanted to be retested right then as it had been 6 weeks, but she refused saying no it would still show cause of residual ??? & we would test at 6 months. So i am happily taking my coconut oil & can’t wait to knock her socks off when i go back in 6 months with no H pylori. Ps also in florida thx for the article & your openmindness as a dr. i worked in the business for 35 yrs & u sir are not the norm!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I just got diagnosed with H. Pylori. Waiting for doc to call me to talk about antibiotics. I am. Firm believer in coconut oil so took a tablespoon full earlier just knowing that it is antibacterial and thought it couldn’t hurt! While still waiting I searched and found this site. Think I will not take the antibiotics! Love my coconut oil. Thanks for your posting.

      • farzana says:

        hello, i’ve been diagnosed with H pylori as well. I was put on antibiotics twice, and both times it failed. I recent started VCO and it has been helping with the bloating. I also did a lot of research on licorice root, and it also helps with renewing the stomach lining that gets damaged from h.pylori. I’m taking licorice root supplements as well as the virgin coconut oil. Give the licorice supplements a try, it is pretty effective! It is sold at all herbal stores. I also ordered Siberian Pine Nut oil online..i have not tried it yet im waiting for it to arrive but i heard a lot of good things.

    • Pam says:

      I just got diagnosed with H. Pylori. Waiting for doc to call me to talk about antibiotics. I am. Firm believer in coconut oil so took a tablespoon full earlier just knowing that it is antibacterial and thought it couldn’t hurt! While still waiting I searched and found this site. Think I will not take the antibiotics! Love my coconut oil. Thanks for your posting.

    • Kirstyn says:

      Just wondering you still kept the H Pylori at bay? Ive been treating mine w mastic gum but wanted to add something w it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Coconut oil is great for people with reflux and cholesterol issues it raises your good cholesterol levels and is a remarkable oil for wrinkles as well, I love love love coconut oil for all it’s PROVEN benefits! :)

  10. Tammy Ranay says:

    Coconut oil is great for people with reflux and cholesterol issues it raises your good cholesterol levels and is a remarkable oil for wrinkles as well, I love love love coconut oil for all it’s PROVEN benefits! :)

  11. Emira says:

    I would like to say thank you for this encouraging comments, because after I tried second course of antibiotics this year, to get read off H. pylori bacteria, during the test last week it still shows it is there, in my stomach. It made me very upset, when I went for my medical results, yesterday.
    I am going to start using organic coconut virgin oil from this weekend 06/09/2012 and I will talk to you again in two month, hopefully with the good results.
    Thank you again,

    • Sandy says:

      Looking forward to hearing your results Emira! My husband is at the docs now and we’re expecting him to prescribe the “normal antibiotics.” He does have high cholestrol, so not sure what the doc will say to him when he asks about the coconut oil.

  12. Bob says:

    Hi, I am about to try the Virgin Coconut Oils softgels pack, will it be as effective as the Coconut Oil by itself ?

  13. Indira Valdes says:

    Hi! I would like to know the right dose and how to take coconut oil, pure? melted? for H. pylori. Thanks!!

  14. John Koorloff, PhD says:

    I am a retired biology professor teaching college level classes general biology, anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology and microbiology. I recently had a left hip replacement and acquired a MRSA infection of of my left foot as a result of post surgery trauma. I was given a massive dose of antibiotic with no results. But with daily foot massages with virgin coconut oil the infection resolved. A friend of mine had a similar infection as a result of knee replacement and lost his leg. In my estimation coconut oil saved my left foot and probably leg.

  15. Tammy Ranay says:

    I can not wait to hear if it worked for you Emira… Please do let us know. I am currently treating myself for the same thing, just started tonight. 12/20/12

  16. Liz says:

    I was diagnosed with H-pylori about 2 yrs ago, I told my dr I wanted to try a natural treatment as opposed to antibiotics because the treatment they use is very very harsh and I was having a tough time as it was with any med at the time. I went to my naturopath and she prescribed some things to help heal the stomach and nourish it, it took a couple of weeks but it did help with the pain in the mean time I had been using coconut oil for a couple of years already, last year I had a recurance of the pain and did some research online and read that raw cabbage juice works wonders on killing h-pylori I juiced cabbage 3 times a day for at least a week, it tastes pretty bad but I would rather that than antibiotics, that really really did the trick, I have not had any stomach problems since, my naturopath was actually amazed I could even drink the cabbage juice. I had the fecal test to see if the h-pylori was still there, according to the test it’s still there but I have no symptoms. And H-pylori can have a protective quality to it, it just has to be kept in check, I read online somewhere a study that says that h-pylori is kind of a protectant against GERD since most people that get the conventional treatment for h-pylori develop GERD, my dr and my natropath both insist this isn’t true but both my mother and my sister didn’t have GERD before the were treated for H-pylori but once they did the antibiotic treatment they both now have GERD and have to take prilosec for it. So yes the coconut oil is effective but if you have a really strong infestation like I did because of illness and stress, I think using raw cabbage juice will definately work well, it’s just getting past the taste so hold your nose, lol. Either way coconut oil is part of my life forever, love the stuff and my blood profile for my cholesterol is amazing, and this is coming from someone that took statins for 10 yrs.

  17. De says:

    Just wanting some verification. I’m reading and hearing all over that those who have acid reflux should avoid high-fat foods. yet I read several people encouraging the use of coconut oil. Is this basically because of its effect on H Pylori?
    I had a hiatal hernia surgery 6 months ago… but still have terrible reflux due to some residual damage according to my latest upper GI test.
    Should I still be eating a very low fat diet (including little coconut oil) or is it best to add the oil for the other good properties it offers?

  18. cheryl says:

    organic virgin coconut oil is different from other helps diabetics keep there blood sugar lowered,my husband uses it. treats alzheimers,my aunt is taking it for this.the list goes on and on.most people look at you like you are crazy when you try to tell them.dr oz calls this oil a supper sight i read about cancer,a dr said this is the only oil he would have a cancer patient does not make you fat like some oils. this oil can help you shed pounds.the thing to do is replace all your oils with organic virgin coconut oil.

  19. Jim says:

    Should this remedy be used even in case of increased gerd symptoms? (gas)

  20. […] Virgin Coconut Oil and Stomach Acid by Dr. Pinna […]

  21. Anna Meadows says:

    A friend of mine told me to use it for healthy gums so I did. I have been cooking with it for years but that was it. I then googled what more benefits it has and found so many interesting articles incl. this one. I started having stomach problems about 3 years ago and did a gastro check and they found H.Pylori. I was put on loads of antibiotics and felt so nauseous from it. I then found out the bacteria is so resistant these days that I probably still have it. When I am stressed my stomach start acting up again and I feel nauseous and feel sour. Right when I found this article I was starting to feel sick again so I started doing apple cider vinegar in water and 3 tsp a day of the oil and you know what I feel 85% better already after only a week. So thank you Doctor Pinna for this article and thank everyone else for your helpful comments. I am know the “spokes person” among my friends I tell everyone to buy it. I know use it for everything incl taking off my makeup! Very happy to have found this magical oil…

  22. Teresa says:

    I had h. pylori and took the antibiotics. I felt worse after the antibiotics – had to take some good probiotics in order to feel better. I take coconut oil to keep h pylori in check. I wish I had known about the coconut oil in the beginning and maybe I could have avoided to antibiotics. I love, love, love coconut oil. I like to eat it, use it as make-up remover, moisturizer, hair care, in tooth paste and I used it daily on a mole I had for years – IT’S COMPLETELY GONE AND HASN’T COME BACK FOR 6 MONTHS NOW. No dermatologist or biopsy, just coconut oil. Amazing stuff! I buy my coconut oil from Nutiva by the gallon. Mineral oil will get ride of skin tags too!

  23. […] by Dr. Sanford […]

  24. realitygirl921 says:

    Hi, I have a pretty messed up digestive system and take enzymes and HCL with everything I eat, even smoothies. Would I need to take one or both with the coconut oil?

  25. Sharon says:

    I have tried the coconut oil due to trying to keep down my A1c numbers but it causes me to have a lot of loose and frequent bathroom breaks. I was taking the pill form but I had to quit. Do other people using coconut oil have this problem?


    • Robyn says:

      I am currently off my daily spoonfull of VCO as I had too much diarrhoea. I have searched far and wide and various fora talk about it being a relatively common side effect, but none state what it is that causes the diarrhoea in some people but not others.

  26. dr anand says:

    i completely agree with you. i’m from india, and people here, especially south indians consume coconut oil daily.they use it as a major cooking and frying medium from millions of years, and till now i’ve not heard about any adverse effect.

  27. Harvest to Heat says:

    I was diagnosed with h-pylori 7 months ago because I was having horrible acid reflux. I did not take the antibiotics my dr prescribed. I started taking 1 TBSP of extra virgin coconut oil last week.I’ll get retested for hp in 8 weeks ! I’ll keep everyone updated!!

  28. Harvest to Heat says:

    I also wanted to add…Im also eating a handful of raw broccoli everyday as well .

  29. Charlie U says:

    Great article! thank you!
    Using alternate method to treat H pyroli, is the bacteria completely eliminated or it is just suppressed? Will it resurface if I reduce or completely stop consuming 3 teaspoon doses of coconut oil?

    many thanks

  30. Anonymous says:

    Excellent approach and most guided and real ethics towards medicine and responsible treatment.

  31. Johna391 says:

    I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for putting up. The goal of revival is conformity to the image of Christ, not imitation of animals. by Richard F. Lovelace. fkkbceedeffd

  32. AG says:

    I believe I have as a 64 year old low stomach acid and so I have been taking Betaine HCL (Hydrochloride) which makes me feel like there is better digestion going on. How would you think maybe the eating of coconut oil might affect me positively or negatively or both in different departments of my health?

  33. Ali says:

    I have been diagnosed h pylori, I have taken a few medicines but haven’t helped much. I have done a lot of research on naturally treating it. What I understand after all the research is that empty stomach I should take probiotic tablets, and than in my daily diet I should add, broccoli, spoon of Virgin coconut oil, cranberry juice, cinnamon, I have two questions one that can I take garlic and ginger as it tends to give me heart burn? And at night time before bed 1 gram of mastic suggest me is it a good treatment? It will be a great favour if anyone could help!

  34. Johnny says:

    I have been struggling with h pylori and now candida. I am working with a naturopath but am gonna use coconut oil as well as the supplements she gave me. Anyone know if the coconut oil will affect the supplements? Thanks.

  35. Johnny says:

    Also I there a certain time we are supposed to consume the coconut oil? Thanks

  36. Neil1959 says:

    Thank you for the balanced/clinical approach to writing this article Dr. Pinna. I just want to also encourage your readers to the benefits of Refined VCO for dental hygiene and curing halitosis through oil pulling. Warning: Unrefined Coconut Oil is not suitable for ingestion but more suited to topical application vs. Refined VCO which is best for ingestion.

    I have been Oil Pulling with a Tbsp of RVCO for past 3 months and my oral hygiene has greatly improved. No bad breath and healthier gums and whiter teeth. FYI: There have been 3 pilot trials conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2011 as reported in the NCBI website that have concluded that RVCO kills Strep and deals with halitosis equally as compared with chemical mouth washes. I am definitely a believer in the benefits of Coconut Oil. I started yesterday with 1 Tbsp of RVCO to see if it will help my IBS. Will update in 30 days. Thanks again.

  37. Nevada Smith says:

    Came here after researching natural cures for H. pylori which my mother may have. She hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

    However, I am taking coconut oil to treat an e-coli infection that antibiotics fail to eradicate. Hope to return here and let you know how it goes. (If I don’t forget.)

  38. Miguel De Zayas says:

    Coconut oil is the highest saturated fat of the list and it has been the target of the medical community as a dangerous kind of fat to our health. It’s funny learning how medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are absorbed by the intestinal wall and transported directly to the liver to be converted into the source of ATP (energy currency). When I learned that Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA) n3 and n6 had to make their way throughout the lymphatic system using the return blood circulation to finally arrive to the liver to be split further I couldn’t be more surprised! All that “talk” about omegas fattyacids and we have in coconut oil a fat already rich in MCT with anti microbial activity with “entry permit” into the liver… These lies only reaffirm my skepticism regarding the medical field and practices. Sorry for being blunt.

  39. victoria says:

    Extra virgin unrefined cocoa nut oil has helped me with my GERD symptoms better than any medication I have tried. I not only ingest it, I use it on my skin, in my hair, it is amazing!! I wish more medical docs would start taking the holistic approach to medicine. Thanks for the article.

  40. Kat says:

    I was looking for alternitive methods of treating Helicobacter Mustelae in my pet. As ferrets are said to love the taste of coconut oil anyways – I’m going to give it a shot. Also heard that lactobacillis A. (Benebac gel) will crowd out Helicobacter in the gut as well. So am going to try this therapy. He’s already on an antibiotic for another condition which resulted in the stresses that gave rise to the ulcers. Poor thing…

  41. lima says:

    Will the combinations of acids destroy the stomach with gastric reflux or painful heartburn?How does it helps diabetes and when is the best time to consumed?

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