Coconut Oil aka Monolaurin

In my post summarizing survey results, coconut oil featured high. One form of coconut oil is monolaurin this I have mentioned in several posts. “Monolaurin is found in coconut oil and may be similar to other monoglycerides found in human breast milk.[1]” 

So what is the difference? Coconut oil have additional active compounds which may come into play.

  • Monolaurin has antibacterial, antiviral, and other antimicrobial effects in vitro.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Wikipedia
  • Monolaurin also shows promising effects against bacteria (both gram-positive and gram-negative), yeast, fungi, and protozoa. Bacteria including E. Coli,[13]yeast including Candida alibcans,[14] Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori),[15] Giardia lamblia,[16] Staphylococcus aureus (Staph),[17] and other microbials have all been neutralized by monolaurin in scientific studies. [Wikipedia]
  • Coconut oil alters the microbiome [1998]
  • “we showed that adding coconut oil to the diet could become the first drug-free way to reduce Candida albicans in the gut.” [2015]
  • fermented drinks from coconut palm, produced toxins against “Bacillus subtilis, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria innocua, Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella typhimurium, and Salmonella spp” [2015]
  • “In vivo, the groups receiving vancomycin, monolaurin, or the combination showed some protection–50-70% survival, whereas the protection from the coconut oils were virtually the same as control–0-16% survival.” [2013] – monolaurin seems superior.
  • “In time-kill studies, lauric acid and monolaurin + lactic acid combinations added at their minimum inhibitory concentrations produced a bactericidal effect…n contrast, virgin coconut oil (10%) was not active against S. aureus.” [2012]
  • “Monolaurin has statistically significant in vitro broad-spectrum sensitivity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial isolates from superficial skin infections. Most of the bacteria did not exhibit resistance to it.” [2007]
  • “the minimum inhibitory concentrations for monolaurin were 25 microg/mL against Escherichia coli, 12.5 microg/mL against Staphylococcus aureus, and 30 microg/mL against Bacillus subtilis….The interaction with food components revealed that the antibacterial effectiveness of monolaurin was reduced by fat or starch while the monolaurin activity remained unchanged in the presence of protein. ” [2009]
  • “Monolaurin was cidal to S. aureus and M. terrae but not to E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Unlike the other two gram-negative organisms, H. pylori were extremely sensitive to monolaurin. …Because of their longstanding safety record, … monolaurin, alone or combined with antibiotics, might prove useful in the prevention and treatment of severe bacterial infections, especially those that are difficult to treat and/or are antibiotic resistant.” [2005]
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of Kerabala: a value-added ayurvedic formulation from virgin coconut oil inhibits pathogenesis in adjuvant-induced arthritis [2017]. “Kerabala (CB) is a novel ayurvedic formulation used for treating various inflammatory diseases. This formulation was made from virgin coconut oil and it comprises extracts of Sida cordifolia (Bala), coconut milk and sesame oil…has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity in experimental arthritic model. CB as an anti-arthritic drug has beneficial effect for treating inflammation, tissue damage and pain associated with arthritis.”
  • Antibacterial synergy of glycerol monolaurate and aminoglycosides in Staphylococcus aureus biofilms[2014].
  • ” The most effective antimicrobial compounds against all morphological forms of the two tested Borrelia sp. [causing Lyme disease] were baicalein and monolaurin. ” [2015]
    • Inhibits doxycycline effectiveness against Lyme [2016]
    • “acted synergistically with gentamicin and streptomycin” [2014]
    • “In vivo, the groups receiving vancomycin, monolaurin, or the combination showed some protection–50-70% survival, whereas the protection from the coconut oils were virtually the same as control–0-16% survival.” [2013]

Bottom Line

  • Monolaurin should definitely be used periodically, since it is similar to other monoglycerides found in human breast milk it likely has a significant impact on forming a healthy gut.
  • Monolaurin should not be taken with fat or starch, including milk. Fats inhibits its effectiveness.
  • Do not take bacillus probiotics at the same time.