Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monolaurin as a microbial agent ?

We know that Coconut oil contains about 40 to 55 percent lauric acid. Lauric acid is the main saturated fatty acid found in coconut fat and in palm kernel oil. Lauric acid is also known as n-dodecanoic acid, which is a saturated medium chain C12-fatty acid, hence the Greek name “dodeca”, meaning twelve. A certain biochemical derivative of lauric acid, monolaurin (see right structure), has proven to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoal, both in vitro and in vivo experiments — and monolaurin can destroy lipid-coated viruses, including influenza. Lauric acid, however does not have these properties as strongly as monolaurin. When ingesting coconut oil, only a small percentage—an estimated 3%--of the lauric acid will be transformed by the body into the active monolauric acid. This has been shown to elevate the body’s overall immunity to some degree.

Though there were many companies selling this as a dietery suppliment, now monolaurin has been recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is known for its antimicrobial properties. If used in combination with other antimicrobial agents, monolaurin can present an effective barrier to microorganisms.

Thanx to the researchers from Zhejiang University in China, who studied the use of monolaurin as a nontraditional preservative in food products by combining it with commonly used antimicrobials in various concentrations and testing it on bacterial strains including Esherichia coli and on food components such as soy protein and water-soluble starch.

The findings are really interesting :

1. Monolaurin combined with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA),a binding agent, was effective against Esherichia coliand Bacillus subtilis but not Staphylococcus aureus.

2. When combined with the antimicrobial nisin, monolaurin was synergistically effective against all three bacteria.

3. Antibacterial effectiveness was reduced by fat or starch but was not affected by protein.

Congrats for this achievement...

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