Coconut Oil – A Natural Antiviral

It bears repeating that there are currently no foods or supplements that will either cure or prevent infection from Covid-19 or other viruses.  There are, however, various foods that will help improve your body’s immune response and provide your white blood cells with the nourishment they need to function properly so they can destroy invading pathogens.

One of those immune boosting foods is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), which has been shown in many studies to have antiviral properties.  Coconut oil is made up of about 50% lauric acid, which your body converts to monolaurin when you consume it.  Monolaurin is capable of destroying lipid-coated viruses like influenza, and Covid-19 is also a lipid-coated virus.  These viruses have an outer envelope or shell, which is made up of fat and protein.  Monolaurin binds to this outer envelope and prevents it from attaching and entering host cells, thereby making it  impossible for the virus to infect the host cell or replicate itself.   Monolaurin also causes the viral envelope to disintegrate, thus killing the virus.  It has been shown to inactivate various pathogens and is effective against bacteria and other microbes.

Interestingly, lauric acid is also used in soaps and cosmetics, with fatty acids being necessary for soaps to clean effectively.  One of the best ways we have been told to prevent infection from the Coronavirus is to wash our hands often and for at least 20 seconds.  The reason for this is that the soap does the same thing to the outer shell of the virus that monolaurin does — it works its way into the virus’ fat and protein shell, breaks it apart and disintegrates it.

At this point in time it’s not clear how much coconut oil you would have to consume in order to achieve its optimum effectiveness as an antiviral.  Studies are ongoing, including one in the Philipines at the Ateneo de Manila University to study its effectiveness against Covid-19.  What is clearly known, however, is that VCO is a natural antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial, and monolaurin does not have side effects or contribute to drug resistance the way that many pharmaceutical drugs do.  It is not recommended that you consume it in large quantities, but instead use it for cooking and baking or adding a spoonful to coffee, smoothies or other foods that you choose.  Coconut oil has been used for centuries by many non-western societies for a variety of nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal purposes with positive outcomes, including heart and brain health as well as benefits for skin, hair and teeth.  Be sure to use organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil to be sure you’re obtaining its natural benefits.

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