Coconut oil is nature's richest source of lauric acid, long known to be a powerful antimicrobial. As a saturated fat, coconut oil is almost 50% lauric acid. Nature's next most abundant source of lauric acid, human breast milk, comes in a distant second. For years now, research (primarily outside of the U.S.) on coconut oil has focused on the use of lauric acid as an adjunct or replacement for antibiotic drugs that have lost their effectiveness due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. 2019 has seen more studies published where coconut oil is studied in this context: how to deal with the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens, and the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotic drugs. A Japanese study published in the journal Cell Transplant was especially promising, as it showed that lauric acid could potentially be used as a broad spectrum anti-microbiological agent without disrupting the "good bacteria" in the human gut microbiota.

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