Facts and Food Source of Lauric acid

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Coconut oil is a must in natural beauty as well as health regimens. Natural health websites and countless blogs has claimed it as a miracle product which is able to soothe cracked skin and reverse cavities. Lauric acid is a medium length long chain fatty acid which makes about half of fatty acids in coconut oil. It is a powerful substance which is extracted from coconut for developing monolaurin (an antimicrobial agent that counteract viruses, bacteria, other pathogens and yeasts). As lauric acid could not be ingested alone, it could be obtained in form of coconut oil and fresh coconuts.

Also known as dodecanoic acid, Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid having 12 carbon atom chain with many properties of medium chain fatty acid. It is a bright white and powdery solid having faint odor of soap or bay oil. Esters and salts of lauric acid are called laurates. Lauric acid is used to manufacture soaps and other cosmetics. It is used to examine molar mass of unknown substances by freezing point depression. Lauric acid is used in manufacturing of soaps and other cosmetics. It is a white crystalline powder insoluble in water having melting point 44-44.2 °C and reported as 48 °C and boiling point at 225 °C.

Food Sources of Lauric Acid

Food name Weight (g) Lauric acid (g)
Coconut milk 240 25.382
Vegetable oil 13.6 6.392
Babassu oil 13.6 5.916
Coconut oil 13.6 5.690
Sour cream 28.35 2.307
Ucuhuba butter oil 13.6 1.659
Feta cheese 150 1.602
Swiss cheese 132 1.155
Pina colada 32.6 1.105
Fontina cheese 132 1.061
Parmesan cheese 100 1.019
Mozzarella cheese 112 0.773
Ice creams 148 0.666
Brick cgeese 132 0.636
Sheep’s milk  245 0.588
Colby cheese 132 0.557
Monterey cheese 132 0.525
Muenster cheese 132 0.484
Nutmeg butter oil 13.6 0.422
Goat cheese 28.35 0.374

 

Health Benefits of Lauric acid

Let’s discuss on health benefits of Lauric acid:

  1. Cardiovascular health

Study was conducted on group consuming 63 percent and 34 percent of diet from coconut respectively. It refers that they are consuming lot of coconut and lots of saturated fats in form of lauric acid and other MCTs. Despite of high intake of saturated fats, heart disease is uncommon in both groups. The review shows that intake of coconut oil promotes high density lipoprotein and lowers total cholesterol ratio resulting in low chances of cardiovascular diseases. Evidence shows that saturated fats derived from foods containing lauric acid and MCT’s is a beneficial part of diets.

  1. Weight gain

Research shows that lauric acid or medium chain fatty acids which are metabolized quickly by liver to make them less contribute to accumulation of fat than long chain fatty acids. Study was conducted on 40 women with abdominal obesity to intake low calorie diet with one ounce of soybean oil or one ounce of coconut oil per day for 12 weeks. Both groups lost similar amount of weight over 12 weeks. At the end of study, those who intake soybean oil has increase in waist circumference while those who intake coconut oil noticed decrease in waist circumference.

  1. Anti-microbial activity

Lauric acid and its derivative monolaurin feature antimicrobial properties against gram-positive bacteria as well as some viruses and fungi. Basically this means, they are ace in hole when it comes to lowering the chances of contracting certain diseases including inflammatory acne, candida and MRSA.

 References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-lauric-acid#1

https://thechemco.com/chemical/lauric-acid/

https://draxe.com/lauric-acid/

https://www.naturalpedia.com/lauric-acid-sources-health-benefits-and-uses.html

https://www.onnit.com/academy/lauric-acid-benefits-why-medium-chain-fatty-acids-are-the-real-deal/

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