Monday, June 1, 2009

Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) in Virgin Coconut Oil destroys tuberculosis bacteria

Colonies of Mycobacterium tubercolusis

M tuberculosis invading the cells of the lungs

SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) image
of a single bacterium showing damage caused
by Glycerol Monolaurate

By Dr Abe V Rotor

Virgin coconut oil is perhaps the most important product derived from coconut as elixir – and now as anti-bacterial medicine.

This finding is based on the response of ten selected strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) on exposure for 24 hours to the minimum inhibitory concentration of GML, which is on the level of 250 micrograms per milliliter (ug/ml).

This is comparable to the effectiveness of anti-TB drugs (streptomycin, isoniazid, rifampicin, and ethamburol), and in fact, GML proved effective to one bacterial strain which is resistant to isoniazid.

The growth of seven confirmed M tubercolusis clinical strains isolated from sputa of TB cases was found to be inhibited by the same glycerol monolaurate concentration.

This result was presented by Jonathan Cabardo in his dissertation for a PhD degree in biological science at the University of Santo Tomas. His adviser is Dr Delia Ontengco, a well known microbiologist and professor at the UST Graduate School.

I asked Dr Cabardo the mechanics on how the tuberculosis bacteria are attacked and killed by GML. This is how he explained it.

“The various morphological changes observed in GML-exposed cells were absence or discontinuity of the outer layer of the cell, wide spaces between the cell membrane and the outer electron-dense layer of the cell envelop, suggesting the shrinking of the cell, vacant spaces within the cell, partial or complete loss of cellular components, burst cells that caused leaking out of the cellular materials into the medium, and plain cellular debris in the medium. Furthermore cell division was not apparent in GML-exposed cells.”

The impressive results of the study give clear evidence that GML can kill the highly pathogenic Mycobacterium tuberculosis, both drug susceptible and resistant strains. Isoniazid-resistant cells were also killed by GML, suggesting that GML is not affected by the mechanism that causes Mtb resistance to isoniazid, a primary drug for active tuberculosis.

It is concluded that GML is mycobactericidal at 250ug/ml. It is recommended that further tests be conducted on other active tuberculosis cases to expand the medicinal and economical value of glycerol monolaurate or monolaurin, a derivative of virgin coconut oil. x x x

Reference: ad VERITATEM: Multi-Disciplinary Research Journal of the UST Graduate School, Volume 8, Number 1 October 2008. Acknowledgement: photos from Wikipedia.


mamdulz said...

Wow! Congratulations to Dr. Jon Cabardo. His findings were so significant since most Philippine TB patients have access to virgin coconut oil. Way to go Jon! I hope to hear from you and Doc Rotor about traditional medicine that are not yet scientifically tested.

Doc Rotor, you are always my mentor whom I look up to and tries my best to emulate. It is through you that I saw art in science and science in art. Thank you very much for your influence. God bless!

Sharon said...


Since 1980, Tuberculosis has skyrocketed from over 200,000 cases to over 500,000! This astonishing number is a sign that organizations, such as yours, are important now, more than ever. As I read through your website, it is clear that we share the same passion in fighting this horrible disease. Here at,, we are dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. We may not physically heal the suffering, but lets support their cause.
If you need more information please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

Thank You,
Sharon Vegoe