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Lauric acid

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Definition

noun, plural: lauric acids

A twelve-carbon fatty acid, with the formula: C12H24O2


Supplement

A fatty acid is a long chain of hydrocarbon. If there are no unsaturated linkages but only single bonds between carbon atoms them the fatty acid is a saturated type. This is in contrast to an unsaturated fatty acid that contains at least one double carbon-carbon bond.

The lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid. It has twelve carbon molecules in a chain connected by single bonds. It is a medium chain fatty acid. Laureates are salts and esters of lauric acid.

The lauric acid occurs naturally in milk, laurel, coconut, and palm oils. One of its industrial uses is for making soaps and cosmetics. The lauric acid is also believed to have antimicrobial properties. More studies are being conducted to establish the potential pharmacological use of lauric acid. It is also associated with increased total serum cholesterol. However, the increase is attributed to an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Because of this, the lauric acid may be regarded as good for cardiovascular health based on its effect on the total HDL cholesterol. However, further studies are being conducted to provide more conclusive evidence.


IUPAC name:

  • dodecanoic acid

Chemical formula: C12H24O2 See also:

Related terms: