Certain components of coconut oil are exceptionally important. Lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid found mainly in coconut oil, is one of these prized substances. Pure coconut oil contains about 50 percent lauric acid, and is the most abundant natural source of lauric acid available.
When lauric acid is present in the body, it is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound that exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms such as fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.
Monolaurin is an effective treatment for Candida albicans and fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot. Monolaurin also specifically targets bacterial infections as well as lipid-coated viruses such as herpes, the measles, influenza, hepatitis C and HIV. Researchers in the Philippines have even begun studies to prove the effectiveness of lauric acid against HIV/AIDS because of its strong antiviral properties. And lauric acid is non-toxic, which gives it a distinct advantage over the pharmaceutical drugs that are typically used to fight viruses, bacterial infections and fungal infections.
Without a plentiful source of lauric acid, the body cannot produce monolaurin, and all of these important benefits are lost. Many people who regularly consume coconut oil experience less illness than others. Breast milk is the only other natural source that contains as high a concentration of lauric acid, which could explain the notably fewer infections of all types in breast-fed babies.
Unfortunately, the lauric acid content of foods and infant formulas has been rapidly decreasing over the years. Manufacturers and consumers alike have turned from using coconut oil and have replaced it with cheap vegetable oils, obliterating lauric acid intake in the process.
There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for lauric acid, but as a guideline, Dr. Mary G. Enig suggests adults and growing children can benefit from an intake of 10 to 20 grams of lauric acid per day. (2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil.) It’s interesting to note that nursing babies consume up to 1 gram of lauric acid per kilogram of body weight per day.
Hippocrates Pure Food-Grade Coconut Oil (Virgin, Organic, Unhydrogenated, Undeodorised, Unbleached, Unrefined, Cold-Pressed) is available.