I’ve been doing a lot of research on coconut and we’ve already done an article on coconut products (July 5), but I thought we’d look at one of it’s by-products today: lauric acid. It is a medium chain fatty acid. What I found fascinating is that besides coconut, it’s only found in high concentrations in breast milk. That is cool, at least to me! Why is this so important? It protects against bacteria and viruses, which is why it’s so important that it’s found in breast milk because it helps babies fight off infections. The lauric acid forms monolaurin. Monolaurin is a antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozaol monoglyceride that the body uses to destroy lipid coated virsuses (which includes influenza and HIV). What else is great is that it’s virtually non-toxic, which gives it an edge over pharmaceutical drugs. Most who consume higher levels experience less sickness. Other benefits include: increased metabolism and improved skin and hair condition. Coconut oil has the highest natural levels of lauric acid. Nearly half of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid. It has seven grams per tablespoon! Dr. Mary Enig suggests consuming 10-20 grams of lauric acid per day (or 3 tablespoons). It’s best to get organic, cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil to get the most benefits. Personally I love to use the coconut oil, it has a great smell and flavor. In addition it’s great to cook with because it has a higher smoke point. I would say try it, if it’s found naturally in breast milk, it has to be beneficial right?