Key facts

  • Virgin coconut oil (vco) is extracted from the coconut meat or kernel, and made up of fatty acids, the basic component of all oils.
  • Fatty acids are divided into short, medium and long chain, and make up the triglycerides.
  • Fatty acids come in many forms, and in vco, it is predominantly made of lauric acid (48 per cent ). The breakdown of lauric acid in our body produces monolaurin, which is unique because it has antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties.
  • Monolaurin is also known to be part of the component present in breast milk that helps in babies' immune system.
  • The medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) make up about 60 per cent of the oil fatty acids. MCFA is considered a good form of fatty acids because it is digested relatively easily, and absorbed directly into the portal vein and straight into the liver, consequently burnt off as energy. It is not deposited as the fatty tissue in our body.
  • MCFA also requires less energy and effort to breakdown, which means less work for our pancreas and digestive systems.