Time to turn the tide on the fat-free trend – because this
“island secret” could one day save your life!
It’s hard to believe that just three little letters could be so villainised by so many people for so long that when put together, they constitute one of the best-known “bad words” out there.
You don’t want to have fat deposits on your body. And no one wants to be called “fat.” Yet somehow, that’s translated into the crazy rule that you shouldn’t EAT any fat, ever!
But that’s just not true. Eating fat won’t necessarily make YOU fat… or put you in hospital… or put you in an early grave.
That is, as long as it’s the RIGHT kind of fat.
If you’ve been reading my eTips and Nutrition & Healing newsletter for a while now, you know that I’m in favour of healthy fats playing a big role in our diets.
In fact, I have a special place in my heart for certain fats – and I hope you do too!
The fat that I want to talk about today comes from a natural wonder: the exotic and nutritious coconut.
As you may have discovered on your own, coconut oil is packed with saturated fatty acids. And approximately half of the fatty, oily white part of the coconut is made up of a single fat, called lauric acid.
It’s considered a medium-chain fatty acid, and it contributes less to fat accumulation than any of the other saturated fatty acids. In fact, some weight-loss regimens incorporate coconut oil into their programs!
There are even some reports demonstrating a lipid-lowering effect of lauric acid… and its ability to significantly down-regulates inflammatory cytokines (IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta)… both of which support the theory that you may be able to protect your heart by eating a diet containing lauric acid (as coconut oil).
But that’s not all it can do. Because of its tremendous infection-fighting powers, this remarkable fatty acid just might save your life one day.
Here’s how to harness its incredible powers.
Your secret weapon
Yes, not all fats are created equal, but they share some common traits. For instance, once your body digests fats, they become fatty acids, glycerols, and glycerides.
But as I mentioned earlier, your body absorbs some fats more easily than others.
Your body absorbs lauric acid easily, and it transports directly to the areas where it can convert it into energy and to other metabolites (namely, ketone bodies, which are like little energy batteries that your brain and heart can use for immediate energy)… rather than being stored as fat.
And in addition to the ability to metabolize lauric acid more easily than other fats, there’s something else that makes it SO good for you that you could call it your “secret weapon” in staying healthy.
Combining lauric acid with glycerol forms a substance called an ester. In this case, the ester is known as glycerol monolaurate, better known as monolaurin. And what makes monolaurin one of nature’s wonders is its antimicrobial properties.
In one study published in the past year in the Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, monolaurin was compared to several other oils and found that monolaurin has “the strongest antimicrobial activity among fatty acid derivatives.”1
This fat is an infection-killing hitman
First and foremost, monolaurin is a killer of many bacteria, especially gram-positive ones including Staphylococcus aureus (both sensitive and resistant strains)… Streptococcus Groups A, B, F and G and Listeria… as well as gram-negative Helicobacter pylori and Hemophilus influenza.
That’s because monolaurin actually penetrates the lipid coating of bacterial cells and basically dissolves it – which, in turn, either prevents them from attaching to host cells or directly promotes bacterial cell death.
When a chelating agent (like EDTA) is added to assist in the breakdown of the bacterial lipid membrane, gram-negative bacteria are also susceptible to monolaurin’s pathogen-damaging effects.
It also has bactericidal activity against Gardnerella, a common infection causing bacterial vaginosis.
Several studies support the use of monolaurin in the treatment of bovine mastitis, a bacterial disease that can affect the milk supply.
But monolaurin doesn’t just prevent infectious agents from thriving in your body. In fact, one of the most widespread modern uses of monolaurin is in the preservation of food!
Contamination of food products is a widespread and lethal problem – particularly in the Third World.
Monolaurin can prevent food-borne pathogens – Listeria monocytogenes (which threatens animal products) Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and E. coli, to name a few – from hitchhiking on items like cheese, sausages, and even caviar.
Monolaurin has no negative effects on your body – and has been found to have NO ill effects on the normal (and beneficial!) bacteria that line your intestines – but it does have LETHAL effects on pathogenic bacteria in your digestive tract.
And that includes the bacterial overgrowth of your small intestinal lining that occurs with the condition known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO.
It’s antiviral and antifungal, too!
The lipid-penetrating powers of monolaurin (and lauric acid, to a lesser extent) also make this fat an antiviral hero.
In one study, monolaurin was over 99 per cent effective in killing 14 viruses that were studied. And in every case, electron microscopy showed severely damaged viral cells.
Some of the viruses that monolaurin has deactivated in the laboratory include RNA viruses such as coronavirus, pneumovirus, and influenzavirus, as well as DNA viruses such as herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 and cytomegalovirus.
Another important use for monolaurin is its antifungal effects. In one study published in the Journal of Food Safety, monolaurin (in its original form called Lauricidin) was found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of all 16 groups of fungi tested.2 And that includes yeast (including Candida albicans).
It appears to disrupt the biofilm formation that prevents access using standard antifungal drugs.
All of these reasons and more are why monolaurin is so valuable in promoting a healthy gut.
Who could ask for anything more from a fat?
Because it can withstand higher cooking temperatures without being destroyed, coconut oil has a long shelf life and is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking.
This tropical oil can even be eaten raw!
There’s an endless amount of healing properties and health benefits in coconut oil. Not only does it promote heart health and brain health… aid in weight loss and digestion… and strengthen your immune system… you can also use it for hair and skin health, first aid treatments, general household cleaning, etc.
But where monolaurin in particular really shines is in its ability to get rid of opportunistic organisms that take advantage of an UNHEALTHY digestive tract while promoting the growth
of HEALTHY intestinal flora.
What more could you hope for in a digestive medication?
In my office, we use specifically monolaurin – either in its capsule form or as the pure, original pellet form (Lauricidin) – in a wide variety of applications. We sometimes use it as a daily preventive, especially when travelling or in those with compromised immune systems (like those with Lyme disease).
We also use it as a treatment for those patients having viral, fungal, or bacterial illnesses (including bacterial vaginosis), even when they’re also receiving conventional therapies.
We find that a loading dose and then divided daily doses works best. The pure pellet form isn’t available over the counter, so you’ve got to get it dispensed through offices like ours.Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.