What are the benefits of lauric acid?


Quick Answer

Lauric acid is a saturated fat found in vegetables that provides a multitude of health benefits, such as helping to treat viral infections, according to WebMD. It is also used to make vegetable shortening, as well as soaps and shampoos.

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What are the benefits of lauric acid?
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Full Answer

Lauric acid is used to treat influenza, the common cold, ringworm and cold sores. It is also used to help treat sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, genital herpes and chlamydia. It is nontoxic, making it a viable replacement for other drugs that may have undesired side effects. When lauric acid enters the body, it is converted into a monoglyceride compound called monolaurin. Monolaurin is an antifungal and antimicrobial substance that rids the body of infections by targeting lipid membranes on bacteria and viruses and breaking them down, killing the microbes.

High concentrations of lauric acid are found in foods such as coconuts. The most abundant known source of lauric acid is pure coconut oil, which is comprised of 50 percent of the saturated fat. A tablespoon of coconut oil contains approximately 7 grams of lauric acid. Consuming the recommended amount of coconut oil provides the body with sufficient lauric acid to remove and prevent infections, as well as increases metabolism. It also conditions and helps promote healthy skin and hair.

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