From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


noun, plural: monolaurins

A monoglyceride comprised of glycerol and lauric acid, and with a chemical formula C15H30O4


Monoglyceride is a chemical compound comprised of a glycerol and an acyl moiety. Two major types are 1-monoacylglycerol and 2-monoacylglycerol. 1-monoglycerol is a type of monoglyceride wherein the fatty acid is attached to a primary alcohol. 2-monoacyglycerol is one in which the fatty acid is attached to the secondary alcohol.

Monolaurin, also called as glycerol monolaurate, glyceryl laurate or 1-lauroyl-glycerol, is a monoglyceride made up of a glycerol and a lauric acid. It has a chemical formula of C15H30O4.

Monolaurin is produced naturally. It is found in coconut oil. It may also be produced artificially. It is used as surfactant in cosmetics, food additive, and dietary supplement. It may have antimicrobial effects. It can bind to the lipid protein envelope of lipid-coated viruses. Thus, it prevents the latter from infecting a host, thereby inactivating them.1 It was also found to have antibacterial effects.2 However its use as a pharmacological drug has yet to be fully established. Currently, its use has been limited to serving as a dietary supplement.

IUPAC name:

  • 2,3-Dihydroxypropyl dodecanoate

Chemical formula:

  • C15H30O4


  • glycerol monolaurate
  • glyceryl laurate
  • 1-lauroyl-glycerol

See also:

  • monoglyceride

1 Isaacs, C. E., Kim, K. S., & Thormar, H. (6 June 1994). "Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human bodily fluids by purified lipids". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 724: 457–64.
2 Bergsson, G., Arnfinnsson, J., Steingrímsson, O., & Thormar, H. (November 2001). "In vitro killing of Candida albicans by fatty acids and monoglycerides". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 45 (11): 3209–12.