Monolaurin shows antibacterial effects against a range of bacteria including antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (Staph).
According to a 2013 study, monolaurin is effective both in vitro and in living beings against certain strains of Staph infection.
Although this study did not use human participants, it did show monolaurin’s effectiveness at killing bacterial infection in mice.
Other research indicates that monolaurin can inhibit the activity of other types of bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Bacillus subtilis.
In 2007, the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology published a study that compared monolaurin and six common antibiotics in the treatment of skin infections. The antibiotics included penicillin, oxacillin, and vancomycin.
The study concluded that monolaurin demonstrated “statistically significant in vitro broad-spectrum sensitivity” against the bacteria responsible for the skin infections. Most of the bacteria also did not display any resistance to the monolaurin.
There are many antibiotic-resistant bacteria that no longer respond to medications. Monolaurin might be helpful, has few side effects, and is cost-effective to use.
Monolaurin is reported to inhibit several lipid-coated viruses that affect humans and animals, including:
Recent research on female primates indicates that daily application of monolaurin vaginal gel may reduce the risk of contracting SIV, the primate form of HIV.
Both monolaurin and coconut oil, which contains lauric acid, are possibly best known for their antifungal effects.
The common fungus, Candida albicans (C. albicans) can affect the skin, genitals, throat, and mouth of humans.
Monolaurin has been shown in research to treat infection with C. albicans, while also controlling the pro-inflammatory response of the body to the fungus.
Also, some other fungi and microscopic organisms may be inactivated or destroyed by monolaurin. These include several species of ringworm and the parasite, Giardia lamblia.