Making the Most of Monolaurin
Monolaurin is a compound found in coconut oil which is often used topically, or as a dietary supplement to support immune system function. Monolaurin (glycerol monolaurate) is a monoglyceride that is composed of lauric acid that is esterfied with glycerol.
To look at monolaurin, it helps to include information about coconut oil. The body has the ability to convert lauric acid into monolaurin and the best source of lauric acid is coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered a “healthy fat” that has many health-supporting benefits. A 2018 study featured in the journal BMJ Open compared coconut oil to butter and found that coconut oil did not raise LDL cholesterol while butter did. This is not surprising when considering that coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids and lauric acid; whereas butter is high in saturated fat, with one tablespoon of butter containing 7 g of saturated fat. It’s highly likely that the monolaurin content of coconut oil contributes to its health benefits.
While the research involving monolaurin is primarily in vitro and in vivo, it shows great promise as a natural compound that may help support immunity and balance inflammatory response. More human clinical trials are needed to confirm the positive results from the preliminary research.
Monolaurin is an ingredient in products designed to support a healthy immune response. It is often combined with other immune-supporting nutrients like cat’s claw, colostrum, olive leaf, vitamin C, or probiotics to name a few.
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