Monolaurin is a chemical byproduct of coconut fat derived from lauric acid and glycerin. For the past twenty years, researchers have been looking into monolaurin’s potential uses in the medical field, as well as in sanitization and the preservation of food.
Antibiotic resistance is now a concern on a global scale. People are passing away from conditions that were once treatable because most infections acquired in hospitals and foodborne infections have developed resistance to conventional antibiotics.
Researchers are holding out hope that monolaurin will one day be utilized in the production of an antibiotic or antiviral medication that is effective against a diverse assortment of microorganisms.
Monolaurin: Forms And Doses
A nutritional supplement consisting of monolaurin can be taken daily. You can pick up some monolaurin at your neighborhood health food store or vitamin shop.
Lauric acid makes up about half of certain coconut products, including coconut oil, and it is also present in about half of all coconuts. In terms of destroying viruses and bacteria, monolaurin is many times more effective than lauric acid; however, its formation within the human body is a mystery.
It is possible to consume lauric acid through coconut oil, and the body will convert it into monolaurin; however, the conversion rates are unknown. Because of this, it is impossible to determine how much coconut oil must be consumed to achieve a therapeutic dose of monolaurin. This is because monolaurin is not soluble in fat.
These are some of the most common sources of lauric acid:
- Dietary supplements
- Cow and goat milk
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk
- Coconut cream
- Coconut cream pudding
- Fresh shredded coconut
- Human breast milk
Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has not evaluated monolaurin as a treatment for any medical condition, no guidelines have been established for how much of the compound should be taken.
Dr. Jon Kabara, the first person to report on monolaurin and who now sells it under the brand name Lauricidin, suggests that people over 12 begin taking 750 milligrams (mg) of monolaurin two to three times every day . After that, he recommends that they gradually raise their dosage to 3,000 milligrams, which should be taken twice daily.
These recommendations are formulated solely based on Kabara’s clinical experience, and any specific body of research does not back them. The company’s website states that children aged 3 and older can start taking Lauricidin in very small doses, and they can gradually increase the amount they take .
Coconut oil is a cooking oil that is both edible and non-toxic and is used extensively worldwide. Consuming coconut oil is not recommended for people who are allergic to coconuts, but other than that, negative reactions are unlikely.
Health Benefits Of Monolaurin
People take monolaurin supplements to promote immune health and general wellness, although the scientific evidence does not support these claims. The vast majority of research concerning the antimicrobial qualities of coconut oil, lauric acid, and monolaurin has been carried out in test tubes and Petri dishes (in vitro).
It is well known that monolaurin possesses antimicrobial properties; however, additional research is needed to determine its effects on living organisms.
Monolaurin: Antiviral Effects
The following viruses have reportedly been rendered inactive by monolaurin .
- Visna virus
- Vesicular stomatitis
- Herpes simplex-1
In a study that was carried out in 2015 and published in PLOS ONE, a monolaurin vaginal gel was applied to female primates.
Researchers found that giving primates daily doses of monolaurin gel reduced the likelihood that the primate version of HIV known as SIV, which is transmitted through vaginal secretions, would be contracted by the primates. The researchers concluded that monolaurin has outstanding potential as a prophylactic .
Monolaurin: Antifungal Effects
It has been demonstrated that monolaurin can deactivate or kill a wide variety of fungi, yeasts, and protozoa, including some types of ringworm and candida Albicans. Candida albicans is a common fungal pathogen that lives in the digestive tract, mouth, genital tract, urinary tract, and skin. It can also cause infections in these body parts.
People who lack a healthy immune system are more likely to succumb to its effects.
According to a study carried out not too long ago, monolaurin can treat candida Albicans by acting as both an antifungal and an anti-inflammatory agent .
Monolaurin: Antibacterial Effects
Research has shown that monolaurin is an effective bactericide against strains of Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to antibiotics.
Studies conducted in vitro in the past that demonstrated the antibacterial properties of monolaurin had their findings confirmed in a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013 . In addition, it was demonstrated that monolaurin is at least partially effective in inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus in mice.
When it came to the treatment of superficial skin infections in children, a study that was conducted in 2007 and published in the Journal of Dermatology Drugs compared monolaurin to six different antibiotics that are commonly used. The research found that there was no evidence of antibiotic resistance, although broad-spectrum antibiotics had statistically significant effects .
Monolaurin: Side Effects And Risks
GRAS status has been awarded to monolaurin, although the FDA has not approved the use of monolaurin in the treatment of any medical condition or disease . This suggests that monolaurin can be used in food without posing any health risks, even in significant quantities. However, there may be limitations on the quantity that can be purchased of standardized foods that come with nutrition labels, such as granola bars.
The only potential side effects that have been linked to monolaurin are those that have been linked to using coconut oil as a source. Severe allergic reactions to coconut are unusual, even among people who are allergic to tree nuts.
When taken as a dietary supplement, Monolaurin is not linked to any adverse effects, interactions, or complications currently known.
How to Take Monolaurin
- Make sure dietary supplements come from a reputable source. Because dietary supplements are not regulated, you should be cautious when using ingredients from other countries.
- Lauricidin is a pure lipid extract with a naturally bitter flavor reminiscent of soap. It is recommended to mix it with some juice or water and take it like a pill to mask the flavor. It is possible to lose some of its flavors if you combine it with a hot beverage.
- Raise the amount of coconut oil that you consume. Although coconut oil is not the best choice for deep-frying, it is excellent for frying over medium heat. Try subbing in some virgin coconut oil instead in recipes that call for canola oil or other vegetable oils.
- When applied topically, coconut oil can be calming and hydrating, but this has nothing to do with the monolaurin in coconuts.
Bottomline: What is Monolaurin
In the twenty-first century, research on monolaurin is extremely limited and is carried out primarily in Petri dishes. Despite this, the results are encouraging.
In the future, monolaurin or lauric acid might be subject to regulation and used as a drug that fights viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Having said that, a few drawbacks are currently associated with taking monolaurin supplements. This substance’s antimicrobial properties can strengthen your immune system.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Lauricidin: Frequently asked questions. lauricidin.com/faq
- Shari Lieberman, Mary G. Enig, and Professor Harry G. Preuss. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid: Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative and Complementary Therapies.Dec 2006.310-314.http://doi.org/10.1089/act.2006.12.310
- Haase AT, Rakasz E, Schultz-Darken N, Nephew K, Weisgrau KL, Reilly CS, Li Q, Southern PJ, Rothenberger M, Peterson ML, Schlievert PM. Glycerol Monolaurate Microbicide Protection against Repeat High-Dose SIV Vaginal Challenge. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 9;10(6):e0129465. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129465. PMID: 26057743; PMCID: PMC4461171.
- Seleem D, Chen E, Benso B, Pardi V, Murata RM. In vitro evaluation of antifungal activity of monolaurin against Candida albicans biofilms. PeerJ. 2016 Jun 22;4:e2148. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2148. PMID: 27366648; PMCID: PMC4924139.
- Manohar V, Echard B, Perricone N, Ingram C, Enig M, Bagchi D, Preuss HG. In vitro and in vivo effects of two coconut oils in comparison to monolaurin on Staphylococcus aureus: rodent studies. J Med Food. 2013 Jun;16(6):499-503. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0066. PMID: 23767861.
- Carpo BG, Verallo-Rowell VM, Kabara J. Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Oct;6(10):991-8. PMID: 17966176.
- Elmore, L. K. (2014, May). Treatment of Dermal Infections With Topical Coconut Oil. natural medicine journal. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/treatment-dermal-infections-topical-coconut-oil