Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid which is abundant in coconut oil and is considered responsible for many of its health benefits. Coconut oil is about 50 percent lauric acid. The only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk.
Dr. Jon J. Kabara, PhD. and Professor Emeritus of Michigan State University, says, "Never before in the history of man is it so important to emphasize the value of lauric oils. The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutriceutical effects."
Dr. Mary Enig, a nutritionist/biochemist and one of the world's leading authorities on fats and oils, goes on to say, "Approximately 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."
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