Peoples living in areas where coconut and coconut products are consumed in quantity typically have greater disease resistance than those who do not eat coconuts. One explanation is that coconut oil contains monolaurin, a natural antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal compound.
In more recent studies, researchers have proven that the monolaurin found as lauric acid in virgin coconut oil is effective in killing MRSA1. Monolaurin is particularly effective because it can absorb into membranes with lipid fats, such as many types of harmful bacteria and viruses produce.
Monolaurin is also present in human breast milk in concentrations as high as 50 percent. In contrast, cow’s milk has up to 3 percent lauric acid. Other than coconut products, there is no other source of food as high in monolaurin. The monolaurin helps to protect babies by disrupting the membranes of bacteria and viruses that invade the developing immune system.
Monolaurin has no known interactions with drugs or other nutrients and is relatively inexpensive, making it a useful element of natural products that effectively fight MRSA and other bacterial infections.