MUMBAI, India, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- An activecomponent of lauric acid, monolaurin shows promising anti - microbial results
- Coconut oil is the second best source after mother's milk
A workshop conducted by HEAL Foundation in the city recently identified a 12 carbon medium chain fatty acid namely Lauric acid which showed superior immune modulating property. Experts revealed that lauric acid gets converted to a biologically active molecule named Monolaurin which effectively kills disease causing bacteria, virus and fungi.
Mother's milk is considered to be one of the most potent and effective immune potion that helps a new born baby with under-developed immune system to fight off fatal bacterial invasion. When analyzed, 50% of breast milk is saturated fat out of which 20% is lauric acid, a 12 carbon medium chain length fatty acid.
Speaking about the dietary source of lauric acid/monolaurin, acclaimed celebrity nutritionist and obesity consultant Ms. Naini Setalvad recommends coconut oil. She says, "The next best source of monolaurin after mother's milk is coconut oil with 50% of its saturated fat being lauric acid. Coconut oil has no trans fat which is commonly implicated in heart disease and metabolic syndrome".
Coconut oil has been embroiled in controversy owing to the presence of saturated fatty acids. However, Ms. Naini Setalvad dispels all the negative flak surrounding coconut oil. She says, "Fats are our life force, even majority of brain is composed of saturated fats. The saturated fat in coconut oil has medium chain length which makes it easily digestible without following the regular route of fat digestion into cholesterol. This makes coconut oil ideal for a range of digestive problems".
Health experts emphasize on the fatty acid profile and the chain length of a fat as the most important factor in determining its immune powering efficacy. Most medium chain fatty acids and some long chain fatty acids are known to be beneficial for the immune system.
Talking about the immune crisis faced by today's population, Dr Rosemarie deSouza, Head of Medical Intensive Care Unit at B.Y.L. Nair hospital says, "Constant abuse of antibiotics, poor lifestyle and diet composition, pollution and general weak immunity has made the population really vulnerable. This is manifested in the form of cold, cough, flu. When not treated pathogenic invasion can amplify to serious conditions like tuberculosis, asthma, tuberculosis, and bronchitis".
Monolaurin exerts its anti - microbial activity by disrupting the outer covering of the bacteria and virus leaving them susceptible to attacks from biological acids and immune bodies. It has known to boost general immunity thus fortifying the host against any seasonal pathogen attack.
Research shows that daily requirement of lauric acid is about 10-20 grams per day. Ms. Naini Setalvad advices, "I recommend regular consumption of atleast 2 tsp (teaspoon) of coconut oil in a day as a part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle. Coconut oil finds multiple uses, as salad oil or as a seasoning or in a dessert to impart a pleasant nutty aroma."
Ms. Setalvad listed a series of conditions against which coconut oil is effective. Weight management, heart disease, liver conditions, degenerative skin conditions, diabetes, arthritis, premature aging, osteoporosis and the list goes on. She credits the presence of medium chain fatty acids and antioxidants to be the reason why coconut oil finds curative, preventive and palliative usage in these conditions.
A survey conducted by HEAL Foundation revealed that a significant 33% of nutritionists were unaware about the role of fatty acids in boosting immunity. Another 40% of them did not prefer prescribing special fatty acids as a part of an immunity boosting diet. This has pointed out, largely could be attributed to lack of awareness for monolaurin and the immune building components that it provides.
Ms. Charu Dua, a member of the online forum Nutritionists Republic said, "A whopping 51% of the nutritionist surveyed were unaware about monolaurin and how it confers protection. Monolaurin is also indicated in digestive disorders and inflammatory conditions like gastritis. Apart from this, monolaurin was shown to be effective against a host of viruses like Epstein Barr Virus, Measles virus, influenza virus alongwith checking the growth of fungal and urinary tract infections.
Ms. Naini Setalvad explains the reason for this outcome. She says, "Fats are generally associated with undesirable effects on weight and health in general. Selection of the correct kind of fat with a desirable fatty acid profile and with careful portion control can make fatty acids in virgin coconut oil an ideal immune boosting food.
World over, Hollywood celebrities have woken up to the benefits of virgin coconut oil and increasingly embracing it as a part of their daily diet. Many have gained good health and remission from their chronic suffering by inclusion of coconut oil. Health experts whet the traditional wisdom by our ancestors which made them healthy.
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SOURCE Via Media Health and HEAL Foundation