Lauric Acid

What other names is Lauric Acid known by?

Acide Laurique, Acide N-dodécanoïque, Ácido Láurico, Coconut Oil Extract, Extrait d'Huile de Noix de Coco, N-dodecanoic Acid, N-alkanoic Acid.

What is Lauric Acid?

Lauric acid is a saturated fat. It is found in many vegetable fats, particularly in coconut and palm kernel oils. People use it as medicine.

Lauric acid is used for treating viral infections including influenza (the flu); swine flu; avian flu; the common cold; fever blisters, cold sores, and genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV); genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV); and HIV/AIDS. It is also used for preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to children.

Other uses for lauric acid include treatment of bronchitis, gonorrhea, yeast infections, chlamydia, intestinal infections caused by a parasite called Giardia lamblia, and ringworm.

In foods, lauric acid is used as a vegetable shortening.

In manufacturing, lauric acid is used to make soap and shampoo.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lauric acid for these uses.

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How does Lauric Acid work?

It is not known how lauric acid might work as a medicine. Some research suggests lauric acid might be a safer fat than trans-fats in food preparations.

Are there safety concerns?

Lauric acid is safe in amounts found in foods. But there isn't enough information to know whether it is safer when used as a medicine.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lauric acid is safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known. There is some concern about using lauric acid during breast-feeding because lauric acid passes into breast milk. Stay on the safe side and stick with food amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Dosing considerations for Lauric Acid.

The appropriate dose of lauric acid depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lauric acid. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011