What Is Monolaurin?

Holistic Nutrition

For the past 20 years, scientist have been researching possible applications of monolaurin in food preservation, medicine and sanitization. However, what makes this chemical so special, and what is it?

Simply put, monolaurin is a chemical compound that is the result of glycerin and lauric acid, but more so, it is the byproduct of coconut fat.

One possible application of this chemical is in the fight against antibiotic resistance. The issue of antibiotic resistance is a global concern, with many hospitals and food borne infections have become resistant to our traditional antibiotics. The concern now is that people that were previously been cured by traditional antibiotics are now dying since the bacteria have been come resistance to the antibiotics. Still, scientists believe that monolaurin could be used to generate a newfangled antibiotic or antiviral medication that is effective against a broad spectrum of microbes.

Coconut oil and some coconut products have in the region of 50 percent lauric acid. Monolaurin is much more effective than lauric acid at destroying bacteria and viruses, but researchers are not sure precisely how it is made in our bodies.

Lauric acid can be ingested in coconut oil and your body will convert it into monolaurin. That said, researchers are uncertain of the conversion rates. It is therefore that is not possible to say how much coconut oil you would need to ingest to receive a therapeutic dose of monolaurin.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for any medical condition have not evaluated monolaurin; it is therefore that there are no standard dosing guidelines. Nevertheless, it is suggested that people age 12 and older should start with 750 milligrams (mg) of monolaurin two to three times per day. From there, they could work their way up to 3000 mg, two to three times per day.

You can take monolaurin as a daily dietary supplement. Your local health store should stock monolaurin. Alternatively, you can obtain it by buying it online.

However, you can also consume coconut oil, coconut cream, fresh shredded coconut, coconut cream pudding, coconut milk, human breast milk, cow and goat milk.

Coconut oil is an edible, nontoxic oil that you can use as a cooking oil.

Health benefits of monolaurin

Although there is little, if any, scientific data to back up the claim to take monolaurin supplements to encourage immune health and general wellness, people are still taking it. There has been some research on the antimicrobial effects of coconut oil, lauric acid, and monolaurin, however these studies were mere lab tests and not on humans or even animals. That said, the antimicrobial properties of monolaurin have already been established, however the studies need to test the impact of monolaurin on living subjects.

Antibacterial effects of monolaurin

What is known through research is that monolaurin is an effective killer of bacteria. This includes the killing off the antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In fact, it was the 2013 research study that was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, which confirmed the results of other in vitro studies that disclosed the antibacterial power of monolaurin. More so, this study concluded that monolaurin at least partially fights off Staphylococcus aureus in mice.

Antifungal effects of monolaurin

Monolaurin has been found to be effective at killing numerous yeasts, fungi, and protozoa. These also included different species of ringworm and candida albicans. Candida albicans is a common fungal pathogen that lives in the mouth, gut, genitals, skin and urinary tract. This bacterium can be life threatening in immunocompromised people.

Side effects and risks of monolaurin

Monolaurin carries a Generally Recognized as Safe status, although the FDA has not approved monolaurin for the treatment of any medical condition or disease. Still, what this status means is that monolaurin can be used as in foods.

The only risks that monolaurin carries is that related to source, as it is from coconut oil. Besides food allergies, there can be more serious allergic reactions to coconut, although that can be rare.

Furthermore, as dietary supplements are left unregulated, you need to make sure that you get your dietary supplements from a reputable source.

The bottom line

The research into the use and health benefits of monolaurin is very restricted. That said, the indication so far seems to offer some hope. That is as monolaurin, could be the use as an antiviral, antibacterial, or antifungal agent.

You can take a monolaurin supplement, as it will boost your immune system, but you can also use coconut oil in your cooking. Coconut oil might be great for deep-frying, but you can use it to fry over a medium heat.