Can Coconut Oil Eradicate Superbugs?

cocoandoil_lgDr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, has a grim prognosis for our future: “Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise . . . [As antibiotics lose their effectiveness a] post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Some sophisticated interventions, like hip replacements, organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, and care of preterm infants, would become far more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake.”

Well, we aren’t as gloomy about a post-antibiotic era. For all the good they’ve done, antibiotics as we’ve known them have done a whole lot of damage to almost everyone’s intestinal probiotic population, harming immunity and paving the way for all kinds of disease. We need different kinds of antibiotics that don’t indiscriminately kill good and helpful microbes along with the bad, and that the bad bugs won’t build resistance to. Fortunately these already appear to exist in the natural world.

For example, oregano oil, with its antimicrobial phenols carvacrol and thymol, and coconut oil. About half the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which breaks down in the body into a powerful antimicrobial, monolaurin. Not only do carvacrol, thymol and monolaurin kill certain bacteria; they kill certain viruses, parasites and fungi as well, while apparently leaving good bugs unharmed and bad bugs don’t seem to build up a resistance to them.

In a 2005 study, Dr. Harry Preuss, Professor of Medicine and Pathology at Georgetown University, and colleagues evaluated the antibiotic efficacy of oregano oil (as Oreganol) and monolaurin from coconut oil against the antibiotic vancomycin in eradicating the deadly MRSA superbug. Although vancomycin has been a reliable treatment for MRSA, strains of MRSA have begun to develop resistance to it. In this study with mice, both Oreganol and monolaurin equaled the efficacy of vancomycin; used together Oreganol and monolaurin outperformed the drug in eradicating MRSA.

Studies cited in Bruce Fife, ND’s Coconut Cures, show that coconut oil can inactivate 18 different viruses, including HIV and Epstein Barr; 14 different bacteria, including H. pylori and MRSA; and 2 parasites. Coconut oil has also been shown to be effective against candida and other fungal infections. Although more human studies are needed to determine precise dosages, generally at least one-half tablespoon per 25 pounds of body weight per day is recommended for therapeutic use. As part of your diet, coconut oil supports immunity with its broad spectrum antimicrobial properties.

To retain its health benefits, coconut oil must be produced under extremely clean conditions and never heated. Most coconut oil has been refined and deodorized with bleach and solvents at high temperatures, damaging both flavor and nutritional quality and introducing toxins. It took Raymond Francis two years to learn coconut-oil chemistry and search the world for the best coconut available. We now proudly offer this coconut oil at Beyond Health.


  1. Chan M. Antimicrobial resistance in the European Union and the world. Conference: Combating antimicrobial resistance: Time for action (Copenhagen, Denmark). March 14, 2012.
  2. Preuss HG. Effects of essential oils and monolaurin on Staphylococcus aureus: In vitro and vivo studies. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods. 2005;15:279-285.
  3. Fife B. Coconut Cures. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Piccadilly Books, Ltd., 2005.
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