Coconut Oil: Antiviral

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Coconut is a fairly unique food in this world, being one of the only sources in nature of medium chain triglycerides. Apart from coconut oil, mother’s milk, palm kernel oil, and goat milk are really the only other food sources of these beneficial fatty acids. Palm kernel oil is hard to find and not the same thing as palm oil, though there is a small amount of medium chain triglycerides in palm oil. Coconut oil really is the easiest place for adults to find medium chain triglycerides.

coconut_oil_antiviral_imageUnlike most fats that are long chains that must be broken down in the intestines to be digested, medium and short chain fatty acids can be absorbed intact, without bile salts, and sent directly to the liver for energy production. This isn’t the only unique feature of these shorted fatty acid chains. Medium chain triglycerides far less likely to be stored as fat, they boost energy levels, and they’re also naturally antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. The antiviral properties of coconut oil are being studied greatly at the moment. It may not cure many illnesses, but it seems to lessen the viral load many infected have to carry.

Two of the most potent medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil are lauric acid and capric acid. These attack and kill viruses with lipid (fat) coatings. Viruses with such a structure include herpes, measles, HIV, hepatitis C, influenza, and mononucleosis. Many of these diseases are sexually transmitted and devastate the infected for the rest of their lives with terrible symptoms. Coconut oil is showing amazing promise at reducing symptoms.

How does it work? Lauric acid and capric acid are metabolized into the monoglycerides monolaurin and monocaprin. These are short enough to be considered useful by the viruses’ coating, but too large to actually be of any benefit. They attach to and then dissolve this protective coating, essentially spilling their insides out and killing the viruses. This works against many harmful bacteria and fungi as well while being harmless to human cells.

Don’t rely on coconut oil alone when you contract an illness. You should seek the advice of a health care professional. But remember that coconut oil may very well reduce the symptoms and lighten the viral load you have to carry. And if you aren’t sick, there are still hundreds of uses for coconut oil. Make sure you check out our favorites.


Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Sunwarrior’s awesome expert writers do not replace doctors and don’t always cite studies, so do your research, as is wise. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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Want to add your voice?

  • I had read a long time ago that coconut oil has antiviral properties but it seemed too good to be true. I am suffering from a cold and the flu and had thought taking some coconut oil along with fluids, rest, etc. would be helpful. Now I am reading just how and why it helps, but what I still don't see in any online articles is what the dosage should be. I don't want to under dose, so how much should I take every day?

    • Moderator

      In reply to Melanie's comment

      There's no set dosage, but I can tell you that I take one to two tablespoons a day when I feel I might be getting sick or I feel a little run down.