Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts


Last Updated July 12th, 2019

What is lauric acid?

Where do you think the numerous benefits of coconuts come from?  It is the presence of a special type of fatty acid found in saturated-fat foods and the single most excellent source of lauric acid is coconuts.  It is classified as an organic compound known as lipids.  As we are already aware that lipids are nothing but fats.

Fats are macronutrients essential for human health which helps in the construction of cellular membranes and prevents starvation.  The chemical structure of fat determines whether they are saturated or unsaturated.  Since fatty acids are present in all cell membranes such as hormone production, cushioning the organs, and serves as a source of energy, it is quite impossible to exist without them.

Studies have also revealed that certain fatty acids help fight bacterial and viral infections.  Many people are skeptical about consuming saturated fats like coconut or butter due to cholesterol build-up.  Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits.  They are also a great source of essential nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E, potassium, magnesium, etc.

Mechanism of action

It is most recognized for its antimicrobial properties with its ability to fight viruses and bacterial infections.  Lauric acid gets converted to monolaurin in the digestive tract with the help of other enzymes.  Monolaurin created from lauric acid is more capable of fighting pathogens and has strong antibacterial properties.  This is the reason why people have been using coconuts for centuries to fight infections including flu, cold sores, and genital herpes.

Health Benefits of Lauric Acid

Powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties:

Numerous studies have proved the remarkable immune-enhancing property of lauric acid.  It has been considered the number one fatty acid with antibacterial property among 30 different fatty acids.  As discussed earlier, the conversion of lauric acid to monolaurin makes it even more potent against bacteria and helps in preventing infections and chronic diseases.  It not only has the ability to treat common cold and flu but has also shown positive outcomes in treating herpes simplex virus.  Staphylococcus aureus, which is one of the most prevalent bacteria causing infections can be killed with the use of lauric acid.  Other uses include controlling infections related to gonorrhea, Candida virus, HPV virus, as well as intestinal infections.

Fights antibiotic resistance

The growing risk of using antibiotics regularly is leading to antibiotic resistance.  This is causing pathogens to become resistant to these antibiotics making it difficult to treat several infections.  Studies have shown that coconut oil which is a source of lauric acid can be used for natural treatment of several fungal and bacterial infections whenever possible.

Lowers risk for heart disease

Natural and unprocessed fats such as medium-chain triglycerides do not increase serum cholesterol.  Whereas long-chain triglycerides present in hydrogenated oils increase serum cholesterol levels and causes a higher risk for heart disease.  Compared to trans-fat, natural saturated fats have various health benefits.  One of the studies found that medium-chain fats found in lauric acid provided more stable blood lipid as compared to long-chain fatty acids such as trans-fats that are used in fast food restaurants and processed foods.

Fights acne and promotes skin health

Antibacterial properties of lauric acid are effective in treating acne and other skin problems.  Propionibacterium bacteria which cause the majority of acne and other skin problems can easily be treated with the use of lauric acid.  Benzoyl peroxide is the chemical product widely used to treat acne problems but it also gives toxic side effects.  A suitable alternative for this is lauric acid which is considered to be 15 times better than the chemical agent in treating acne problems.  Coconut oil which is the most suitable source helps in treating various skin related problems.

Helps in increasing life expectancy

Numerous people belonging to the South Pacific and Polynesians Islands have been using saturated fats in their diet for centuries.  This has helped them evade various modern-day health problems which the western world is facing.  This part of the world is called the “blue zone,” where people have a longer life expectancy.  In tropical parts of the world coconut which is a suitable source for lauric acid is a staple crop.  Unlike in the United States, these people get 60% of their calories from coconut.  These people use coconut or coconut products in their diet regularly adding high saturated fats in their diet.  Due to this, they experience very few heart problems, diabetes, or obesity.

Preserves foods

Since lauric acid is saturated fat, it is not soluble in water.  Coconut oil is one of the main sources that has been used in various industries by modifying the coconut oil and adding it to skin care products, food products, as well as animal feeds to stabilize the texture and appearance.  Antibacterial properties of lauric acid make it a suitable choice for preventing bacterial growth in foods.

Treats dry skin and psoriasis

Coconut oil which contains lauric acid is used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and dry skin.  It is difficult to ascertain if the benefits are a combination of other ingredients in coconut oil and lauric acid or from lauric acid alone.  Application of coconut oil topically to the skin regularly can treat symptoms of dry skin and psoriasis.

Treats acne

Propionibacterium acnes bacteria are naturally found on the skin surface.  When these bacteria increase in numbers, they lead to acne development.  The antibacterial properties of lauric acid are effective in combating these bacteria and reduce the occurrence of acne.  As discussed earlier, a study found that lauric acid worked 15 times better than benzoyl peroxide in treating acne.  Researchers are also working on developing pure lauric acid to be used as antibiotic therapy for acne.

Benefits of medium-chain triglycerides

MCTs have numerous health benefits such as weight management, cognitive function, etc.  They are used as a fat source in total parenteral nutrition which is feeding intravenously.  Since these are saturated fats, they are readily digested and easily absorbed by the body.  Some of the major benefits are discussed below.

Weight loss:  Peptide YY and leptin are the two hormones that are released by medium-chain triglycerides.  These hormones promote the feeling of fullness and prevent a person from eating regularly.  Since these triglycerides are readily digested, they do not get stored in the adipose tissue and cause obesity.  They, in fact, serve as an instant source of energy for the body.  Consuming these triglycerides and reducing carbohydrates helps in the process of ketone production.  This process is helpful in reducing those extra calories from the body.

Decreases lactate production:  Increased lactate levels can reduce the exercise tolerance levels in the body.  Consuming medium-chain triglycerides before exercise helps the body to utilize fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, which can drastically reduce lactate levels.  This increases stamina and provides improved exercise tolerance.

Reduces yeast and bacterial growth:  The antifungal and antibacterial effects of medium-chain triglycerides are widely accepted.  Coconut oil, which is a rich source of lauric acid has shown positive results in reducing the growth of Candida albicans.  This yeast is responsible for several fungal infections including thrush.  Coconut oil is also quite effective against Clostridium difficile bacterium that is responsible for causing diarrhea.

Reduces risk factors associated with heart problems:  A combination of medium-chain triglycerides and plant sterols used for a period of 29 days can reduce cholesterol levels by 12.5%.  It has also been found that this combination can also reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol.  CRP which is an inflammatory marker also reduces with its use.

Regulates blood sugar:  Type 2 diabetes is usually associated with people who are overweight or obese.  This becomes problematic to treat.  Using medium-chain triglycerides by people suffering from diabetes can reduce body weight as well as insulin resistance.  Studies have claimed that people following this needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar.

Where to find Lauric Acid?

Coconuts and palm oil are the two main sources of lauric acid.  Around 50% of fat in coconut contains lauric acid, which makes them the single best source of lauric acid.  The concentration in palm oil is a bit lower as compared to coconut, but still has a high concentration of lauric acid.  The pure form of lauric acid cannot be ingested directly as it may irritate the stomach lining.  A compound called glycerol present in the coconut binds chemically with lauric acid and makes it suitable for the gastrointestinal tract, which is then easily absorbed by the body.

Milk fat and butter from grass-fed animals contain around 3% lauric acid which is much lesser than coconut and palm oil.  Rapeseed and canola oil provide around 36% of lauric acid.  These oils are manufactured by genetic engineering with the help of chemical and toxins and hence contain side effects of their own.  Limited use can be helpful but considering the side effects, it is not widely used.  Considering all these factors, coconut and its products are the best sources for lauric acid.

Side effects of lauric acid

Consuming lauric acid is considered to be absolutely safe in the amounts that they are found in foods such as coconut.  One of the rare side effects may be associated with a coconut allergy.  Since coconut is the single best source of lauric acid, people allergic to coconut should avoid this as it can cause allergy symptoms.

Final thoughts

Lauric acid is inexpensive and also has a long shelf life.  Due to these properties, they are used in the production of soaps and cosmetics.  With respect to the medicinal properties, lauric acid increases serum cholesterol but only to the HDL component which is considered good cholesterol.  The topical use of coconut oil which is a source of lauric acid has been extensively studied and accepted widely.  All these factors make it a suitable addition to our daily requirements.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy?…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking…
Benefits of exercise: Top reasons why you should be sweating it out more in the gym Are you leading a sedentary life and still not motivated enough to get up from…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Hemp Seeds: The actual science behind this controversial crop Inspite of being credited as a superfood, hemp seeds are still shrouded with layers of…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This…
Cranberry: Top reasons why you should grow this “superfruit” in your own backyard Cranberry is a favorite among foodies and health enthusiasts alike. Read more on how it…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
Burpees: World’s most challenging fitness routine now made simple for you The majority of the fitness regimens mainly concentrate on a particular muscle group whereas Burpees…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility.…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Anticholinergics: The diverse range of diseases a single drug can easily treat What started as a novel treatment for Parkinson' disease has now become an all-encompassing drug.…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
glutamine workout
Glutamine: Why is this the right choice for muscle-gain supplement? Glutamine can help you gain muscles and build higher immunity. Read more to find out…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that…
calorie counter
Calorie Counter: Count your calories before they flab Is calorie counting good? Are calories always bad for you? How do you if you…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who…
Burn those years of stubborn fat-deposits with a few minutes of HIIT! HIIT or high-intensity interval training seems to be the right type of fitness training that…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.