LAURIC ACID: A MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACID
Lauric Acid is a Medium-Chain Fatty Acid, Coconut Oil is a Medium-Chain Triglyceride (.PDF link/ see attached.PDF)
Abstract: Based on biochemical and nutritional evidences, lauric acid (C12) has distinctive properties that are not shared with longer-chain saturated fatty acids: myristic acid (C14), palmitic acid (C16), and stearic acid (C18). Because medium-chain saturated fatty acids C6 to C12 show sufficiently different metabolic and physiological properties from long-chain saturated fatty acids C14 to C18, the term “saturated fatty acid” does not convey nutritionally accurate information and chain length should be specified as “medium-chain” and “long-chain”. Many of the properties of coconut oil can be accounted for by the properties of lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up approximately half of the fatty acids in coconut oil; likewise, medium-chain triglycerides which contain lauric acid account for approximately half of all triacylglycerides in coconut oil. It is, therefore, justified to classify coconut oil as a medium-chain vegetable oil. There is no link between lauric acid and high cholesterol.
The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil (.PDF link/ will provide PDF soon)
Abstract: The primary fatty acid of coconut oil is lauric acid, which is present at approximately 45–53 %. The metabolic and physiological properties of lauric acid account for many of the properties of coconut oil. Coconut oil is rapidly metabolized because it is easily absorbed and lauric acid is easily transported. Detailed studies have shown that the majority of ingested lauric acid is transported directly to the liver where it is directly converted to energy and other metabolites rather than being stored as fat. Such metabolites include ketone bodies, which can be used by extrahepatic tissues, such as the brain and heart, as an immediate form of energy. Studies on the effect of lauric acid on serum cholesterol are contradictory. Among saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has been shown to contribute the least to fat accumulation. Lauric acid and monolaurin have demonstrably significant antimicrobial activity against gram positive bacteria and a number of fungi and viruses. Today there are many commercial products that use lauric acid and monolaurin as antimicrobial agents. Because of the significant differences in the properties of lauric acid relative to longer chain fatty acids, they are typically differentiated as medium‐chain fatty acids covering C6–C12, and long‐chain fatty acids covering C14 and longer.
VIRGIN COCONUT OIL METABOLISM AND ITS AFFECTS ON GUT HEALTH AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Abstract: Maintenance of a healthy digestive system requires input from lipids, which include molecules such as cholesterol, appropriate saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and other lesser known components such as glycosphingolipids. The digestion of regular fats and oils, which are usually long-chain triglycerides, requires bile acids as well as lipases. In adults this digestion usually starts in the small intestine and is done with the aid of lipases and bile acids. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids from fats such as milk fat or coconut oil or palm kernel oil are broken off from the triglycerides without the need for bile acids. They are then shuttled directly to the liver through the portal artery without the use of chylomicrons. In the case of a meal with a large amount of lauric acid, some of this medium-chain fatty acid does travel via chylomicrons through the lymph system.
ND, CN, Lipid Expert. Oct. 27, 2019
There are many misconceptions that coconut oil induces metabolic endotoxemia, causes leaky gut in dogs, and that it is pro-inflammatory. Dr. Fife explains how virgin coconut oil handles an endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and how it supports the immune system.
By: Dr. Bruce Fife, ND, CN.
Mother’s milk is rich in fats, mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats, with some polyunsaturated fat to supply the infant’s essential fatty acid needs. These fats serve multiple functions; they provide nourishment, help to establish a healthy gut microbiome, and ward off infection and disease. Unlike antibiotics that kill all bacteria, fatty acids are more selective; they can kill the major troublemakers yet leave the good bacteria alone. In this way, potential troublemakers are suppressed while the good microbes are allowed to thrive and firmly establish themselves in the infant’s digestive tract, producing a healthy gut microbiome.
VIRGIN COCONUT OIL AND HEALTH
Abstract: Coconut oil has a unique role in the diet as an important physiologically functional food. The health and nutritional benefits that can be derived from consuming coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world for centuries. Although the advantage of regular consumption of coconut oil has been underappreciated by the consumer and producer alike for the recent two or three decades, its unique benefits should be compelling for the health minded consumer of today. A review of the diet/heart disease literature relevant to coconut oil clearly indicates that coconut oil is at worst neutral with respect to atherogenicity of fats and oils and, in fact, is likely to be a beneficial oil for prevention and treatment of some heart disease. Additionally, coconut oil provides a source of antimicrobial lipid for individuals with compromised immune systems and is a nonpromoting fat with respect to chemical carcinogenesis.
Abstract: There is a variety of supportive research published in 2003, 2004, and 2005, which shows the importance of coconut oil. Also, information on coconut oil is currently coming into the research literature from numerous countries, including India, Norway, Iran and the United States.
The following are some of the most recent studies showing the benefits of coconut oil. These studies contradict claims that coconut oil contributes to heart disease and also support earlier research showing an antimicrobial role for the fatty acids in this traditional fat.
This column is dedicated to answering some of the questions on fats and oils that we receive. They are indicative of the many unfortunate misconceptions found in the popular literature, which lead to much confusion for the consumer.
Introduction: In 1954 a young researcher from Russia named David Kritchevsky published a paper describing the effects of feeding cholesterol to rabbits.1 Cholesterol added to vegetarian rabbit chow caused the formation of atheromas—plaques that block arteries and contribute to heart disease. Cholesterol is a heavy weight molecule—an alcohol or a sterol—found only in animal foods such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs and butter. In the same year, according to the American Oil Chemists Society, Kritchevsky published a paper describing the beneficial effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids for lowering cholesterol levels.2 Polyunsaturated fatty acids are the kind of fats found in large amounts in highly liquid vegetable oils made from corn, soybeans, safflower seeds and sunflower seeds. (Monounsaturated fatty acids are found in large amounts in olive oil, palm oil and lard; saturated fatty acids are found in large amounts in fats and oils that are solid at room temperature, such as butter, tallows and coconut oil.)
- Allergies and Coconut Oil by Charisa Antigua, co-founder of CocoTherapy (Dogs Naturally, August 2012). Is your dog itchy? Does she scratch incessantly until she bleeds? Learn how can you help your itchy pet in Charisa's article about coconut oil and allergies.
- "The Fountain of Youth" by Charisa Antigua, co-founder of CocoTherapy (Hampton Pet, July 2016). Organic virgin coconut oil has long been known for its amazing benefits. Learn a few of the many ways to use it for your pets.
- Coconut Therapy for Pets by Bruce Fife (Piccadilly Books, Ltd. © 2014) About Dr. Bruce Fife: CN., ND. Certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, and president of the Coconut Research Center.
- "Crazy About Coconut Oil", By CJ Puotinen (Whole Dog Journal. October 2005).
- Article "Coconut Oil" by Dr. Ray Peat. About Dr. Ray Peat: PhD. Biology, with specialization in Physiology, University of Oregon.
About the Authors:
Fabian Dayrit, PhD,
Dr. Dayrit is the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, in Ateneo de Manila University, and a professor in Chemistry. Following his father’s passion for coconut oil, he is involved in various studies regarding coconut oil and has written many peer-reviewed papers based on his research. Dr. Dayrit benefits from a lifetime of studies from his father, Dr. Conrado Dayrit, MD, PhD, cardiologist, who was a co-founder and president of the Philippine Heart Foundation and has written over 200 scientific papers published in international journals. He continues his father's tireless work on helping researchers both in the U.S. and the Philippines learn more about the amazing effects of MCTs on health. Dr. Dayrit is also an advisor and valuable resource for CocoTherapy.
Mary Enig, PhD, FACN, CNS
Dr. Enig, PhD, FACN, CNS, was an expert of international renown in the field of lipid chemistry. She headed a number of studies on the content and effects of trans fatty acids in America and Israel and successfully challenged government assertions that dietary animal fat causes cancer and heart disease. Recent scientific and media attention on the possible adverse health effects of trans fatty acids has brought increased attention to her work. She was a licensed nutritionist, certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists; a qualified expert witness; nutrition consultant to individuals, industry and state and federal governments; contributing editor to a number of scientific publications; Fellow of the American College of Nutrition; and President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. She authored over 60 technical papers and presentations and was the author of Know Your Fats, a primer on the biochemistry of dietary fats as well as of Eat Fat Lose Fat (Penguin, Hudson Street Press, 2004).
Dr. Bruce Fife, N.D.C.N
Dr. Fife, N.D.C.N., is an author, speaker, certified nutritionist, and naturopathic physician. He has dedicated his life to studying lipids and coconut oil, and has written over 20 published books, hundreds of articles, and has reviewed hundreds of scientific and medical research studies related to fats, coconut oil, and its effects on humans and animals. He is the publisher and editor of the Healthy Ways Newsletter and serves as the president of the Coconut Research Center, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate the public and medical community about the health and nutritional aspects of coconut and related foods. Dr. Fife is considered one of the world's leading experts on the health aspects of dietary fats and oils. He is a popular speaker and travels throughout the world lecturing at universities, conferences, and hospitals. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs worldwide.