Monolaurin, also known as glycerol monolaurate (GML), glyceryl laurate or 1-lauroyl-glycerol, is a monoglyceride. It is the mono-ester formed from glycerol and lauric acid. Its chemical formula is C15H30O4.
Glyceryl laurate; Monolauroylglycerin; Glycerol monolaurate
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||274.401 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||63 °C|
|Boiling point||186 °C / 1mmHg|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Monolaurin is most commonly used as a surfactant in cosmetics, such as deodorants. As a food additive it is also used as an emulsifier or preservative. Monolaurin is also taken as a dietary supplement.
Lauric acid can be ingested in coconut oil and the human body converts it into monolaurin, furthermore, coconut oil, coconut cream, grated coconut and others products are excellent sources of lauric acid and, consequently, monolaurin. Researchers are unsure of conversion rates of lauric acid obtained though foods like coconut oil or coconut to monolaurin in the body. Because of this fact, it is unknown how much coconut oil or coconut one would need to ingest to receive a therapeutic dose of monolaurin. Some articles suggest it may be upwards of 100-300mL of coconut oil per day day, making ingesting coconut oil unrealistic compared to monolaurin capsules.
Monolaurin has antibacterial, antiviral, and other antimicrobial effects in vitro, but its clinical usefulness has not been established. Monolaurin is currently sold as a dietary supplement and is categorized in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
Monolaurin is known to inactivate lipid-coated viruses by binding to the lipid-protein envelope of the virus, thereby preventing it from attaching and entering host cells, making infection and replication impossible. Other studies show that Monolaurin disintegrates the protective viral envelope, killing the virus. Monolaurin has been studied to inactivate many pathogens including Herpes simplex virus and Chlamydia trachomatis.
Monolaurin also shows promising effects against bacteria (both gram-positive and gram-negative), yeast, fungi, and protozoa. Bacteria including E. Coli, yeast including Candida albicans, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), Giardia lamblia, Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), and other microbials have all been neutralized by monolaurin in scientific studies. Monolaurin also presented antibacterial and anti-biofilm properties against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii, the bacterium which cause Lyme Disease in humans.
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- Ruzin, A; Novick, RP (May 2000). "Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus". Journal of Bacteriology. 182 (9): 2668–71. doi:10.1128/jb.182.9.2668-2671.2000. PMID 10762277.
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- Carpo, BG; Verallo-Rowell, VM; Kabara, J (October 2007). "Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study". Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 6 (10): 991–8. ISSN 1545-9616. PMID 17966176.