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Monolaurin and Measles

Last Updated: May 9, 2019 | First Published: May 8, 2019
Reviewed by: Dr. Razak Nohri, Pharm.D, M.Phil, MBA

2019 has seen the greatest number of measles cases reported in the United states since it was declared eradicated in 2000.

2019 has seen the greatest number of measles cases reported in the United states since it was declared eradicated in 2000.

Can Monolaurin inactivate an encapsulated virus like measles?

Introduction

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by the measles virus (also known as Rubeola or Morbilli). 2019 has seen the greatest number of measles cases reported since 1994 with 764 people in 23 states having a confirmed case of measles (Ref #1). This outbreak has led New York City and Washington DC to declare a public health emergencies due to the rapid spread of this disease.

Measles Transmission

Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases (Ref #6). If not immunized, a person exposed to someone with measles has a 95% chance of becoming infected, and each infected person spreads the disease to an average of 12 to 18 other people (Ref #5). Measles is spread through two ways: though the air via coughs and sneezes, and through contact with body fluids like nasal secretions and saliva (Ref #6).

Measles Signs and Symptoms

Measles symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection. Symptoms may include a fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth (Ref #2), and three to five days after initial symptoms a rash breaks out.

Measles Complications

Measles can cause ear infections and diarrhea (Ref #7), but can also lead to more serious complications like pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), or blindness (Ref 7, Ref 6). In very rare cases Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis (SSPE) can develop 7-10 years after a measles infection and can fatally effect the central nervous system (Ref #7).

Measles Prevention

Measles can be easily prevented through proper vaccination protocols. In 2000 the United States declared measles eradicated thanks to these vaccination efforts, but has seen an increase in measles cases due to anti-vaccination sentiments according to the World Health Organization (Ref #3). The recommended measles vaccination protocol is to receive two doses, at least one month apart. One dose of the vaccination is 93% effective in preventing measles, while two doses is 97% effective. (Ref #4)

Measles Treatment

According to the British National Health Service (NHS), there is no specific treatment for measles and the infection should show improvement in 7 to 10 days. (Ref #8) Instead, the NHS focuses on treating symptoms to help ease discomfort.

The World Health Organization goes a step further and recommends taking two doses of Vitamin A given 24 hours apart. Administering Vitamin A can help prevent eye damage and blindness. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50%. (Ref #6)

Monolaurin Research and Measles

Measles morbillivirus (the technical term for the measles virus) is an enveloped virus (Ref #11) with two enveloped glycoproteins on the viral surface — hemagglutinin (H) and membrane fusion protein (F). These proteins are responsible for host cell binding and invasion. Published research suggests Monolaurin may support immune response and inactivate many enveloped viruses.

Laboratory research on Monolaurin suggests:

“Antiviral fatty acids were found to affect the viral envelope, causing leakage and at higher concentrations, a complete disintegration of the envelope and the viral particles. They also caused disintegration of the plasma membranes of tissue culture cells resulting in cell lysis and death.” (Ref #13)

“Lipids commonly found in natural products could possibly be used as antiviral agents against enveloped viruses” (Ref #14)

Further published research is more explicit about Monolaurin and measles, claiming:

 “Anti-microbial effects of coconut oil … Some of the viruses inactivated by these lipids, in addition to HIV, are the measles-virus, herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), visna virus, and cytomegalo-virus (CMV).” (Ref #9)

Another article on monolaurin and lauric acid research cites:

“Monolaurin was found to be active against enveloped DNA and RNA viruses such as the influenza virus, paramyxoviruses, rubeola virus (measles), bronchitis virus, and the herpes family.” (Ref #10)

An academic review of coconut (Cocos nucifera) suggests that monolaurin has history in traditional applications, stating:

“Traditional Health Benefits of Coconut includes treatment of measles” (Ref #12)

These are selected quotes taken directly from published studies on Monolaurin and are not the opinion of this site. The application of monolaurin for measles is not well studied and is not proven.

Conclusion:

There is no established clinical treatment for measles and the best way to prevent measles is through proper vaccination. Monolaurin has promising 3rd party published research on its potential immune supporting properties, but the available research is far from conclusive and should not be viewed as a treatment for a serious disease like measles. If you have any questions regarding the health of yourself or a loved one, it is best to seek the advice of a medical professional

 

References:

  1. "Measles | Cases and Outbreaks | CDC"www.cdc.gov. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.

  2. Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/signs-symptoms.html www.cdc.gov. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2019.

  3. Mundasad, Smitha (29 November 2018). "Global measles resurging, WHO warns". Retrieved 18 April2019.

  4. "Measles investigation"Clark County Washington. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 18 April 2019.

  5. "Measles Disease | Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)"alabamapublichealth.gov. Retrieved 2 May 2019.

  6. World Health Organization "Measles Fact sheet N°286"who.int. November 2018. 

  7. Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html

  8. NHS Measles Treatment https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/treatment/ August 2018

  9. Niknamian S, “Dodecanoic-Acid in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, May Reduce the Incidence of Heart Disease and Cancer in Humans” International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) ISSN (Online): 2319-7064 Index Copernicus Value (2013): 6.14 | Impact Factor (2015): 6.391

  10. Lieberman S, Enig M.G, Preuss H.G.A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid - Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complementary Therapies - December 2006 (310- 314)

  11. William J. Moss, W. Harry Feinstone, in Vaccines for Biodefense and Emerging and Neglected Diseases, 2009 https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/measles-virus

  12. Aggarwal B, Lamba HS, Sharma P, Various Pharmacological Aspects of Cocos nucifera - A Review. American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, 2017, Vol. 5, No. 2, 25-30

  13. H Thormar, C E Isaacs, H R Brown, M R Barshatzky, T Pessolano. “Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Jan 1987, 31 (1) 27-31; DOI: 10.1128/AAC.31.1.27

  14. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Brown HR. Inactivation of visna virus and other enveloped viruses by free fatty acids and monoglycerides. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1994 Jun 6;724:465-71. PubMed PMID: 8030974.

Breast Milk & Monolaurin

Last Updated: February 22, 2019 | First Published: February 18, 2019
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Breastfeeding, Lauric Acid, and Monolaurin

Breast milk contains 6.2% Lauric Acid - the medium chain fatty acid which makes Monolaurin

Breast milk contains 6.2% Lauric Acid - the medium chain fatty acid which makes Monolaurin

Lauric Acid – the Foundation of Monolaurin

Monolaurin is made from Lauric Acid – either when combined with glycerol to form a product for food production or supplements, or when ingested in the body from a source like palm kernel or coconut oil.

Lauric acid occurs naturally in coconut and palm kernel oil (approximately 49% of coconut oil 48% of palm kernel oil), making these oils a great source for producing monolaurin.

Human breast milk is on average 6.2% lauric acid, and breastfeeding provides infants their first introduction to monolaurin.

Beyond Nutrition – Immune benefits of Breast Milk and Lauric Acid

Breastfeeding provides infants with nutrients for growth and development as well as immune protection to compensate for the immature and inexperienced defense mechanisms at mucosal surfaces [10]. Breast milk not only provides excellent nutritional value, it also plays a very important role in protecting and supporting the immune function of infants though its healthy fat content [12].

Breast milk is a source of immunoglobulins which play an important role in protecting mucosal surfaces from infection. [13] Infants who are breastfed have been found to have:

  • Lower incidence of gastrointestinal infections compared to infants fed formula or cow’s milk [14]

  • Lower incidences of infection in low birthweight infants compared to infants fed formula [15]

  • Better protective factors which in the initial defense against infection [16]

Human Breast Milk Studies

There are numerous studies on Monolaurin and Lauric Acid as a derivative of coconut oil. However, the following studies explicitly explore the antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits of monolaurin from breast milk and potentially breastfeeding.

Gastroenteritis caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli

Human breast milk was tested against two formula feeds in a study involving low birthweight infants. The breast milk showed antiviral and antibacterial properties against enveloped viruses and killed both Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli in the stomach of the infant. [18]

Amoebozoa infections (amoebiasis)

A study demonstrated the ability of human milk proteins such as apo-lactoferrin, sIgA and lysozyme were able to kill Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites, stressing the importance of feeding breast milk to newborns. [17]

Viral infections including Poxvirus and Vaccinia Virus

A study from the University of Cape Town explored the antiviral properties of human breast milk and demonstrated breast milk provided protection against microbes, viruses and toxins thus reducing the incidence of diarrhea, respiratory diseases, and otitis media. Specifically, the studies showed the efficacy of breast milk to inhibit poxvirus and vaccinia virus in the lab. [21]

Allergic / Atopic Disease

As observed through select studies, breastfeeding during the first months after birth seems to protect the infant against Allergic Disease, including atopic eczema [6], allergic rhinitis [7], asthma [8], and food allergies [9].

Lauric Acid (Monolaurin) Levels in Breast Milk

Lauric acid levels in breast milk can vary. Many factors may contribute to higher or lower lauric acid detected in breast milk, which may include:

  1. Age: Mothers younger than 30 years old had higher levels of lauric acid detected in their breast milk compared to older mothers [2]

  2. Diet: A high-carbohydrate diet could contribute to higher levels of lauric acid in breast milk [3, 19]. A low-fat diet may also contribute to higher levels of lauric acid [5]

  3. Nationality or Ethnicity: In a study of 50 breast milk samples from women in nine different countries, women from The Philippines had almost twice the amount of lauric acid present in their breast milk compared to women from Australia, Canada, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, or the United States [4]

  4. Supplementation of fatty acids: Eating oils high in lauric acid (like coconut oil) has been shown to increase the presence of that acid in breast milk within 6 hours of consuming and remain elevated for 10-24 hours [11]. Eating 40 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of coconut oil has been shown to increase lauric acid in the milk of a nursing mother from 3.9% to 9.6% after 14 hours. [11]

  5. Delivery: Levels of lauric acid and other acids including myristic, alpha-linolenic, arachidonic, and eicosapentaenoic acid were significantly lower in women who had caesarean deliveries versus vaginal deliveries [20]

Monolaurin and Breastfeeding

Available published research did not indicate if monolaurin supplementation was recommended or approved during nursing and breastfeeding. However, various studies looked at the levels of fatty acids in breast milk including lauric acid – the acid which forms monolaurin.

One study looked at the consumption of different oils (including coconut oil) and the effect on the presence of lauric acid in breast milk. [11] The mothers were given a formula containing coconut oil and the results were observed suggesting there is a direct correlation with the oil consumed and the presence in breast milk a few hours later.

“Ingestion of the formula containing 40 g coconut oil increased the milk content of lauric acid over time (P < 0.001). Lauric acid increased from 3.9% of fatty acids at baseline to 9.2% at 10 hours and 9.6% at 14 hours”

Because lauric acid is converted to monolaurin in the small intestine, and because monolaurin has been researched for potential antibacterial and antiviral properties, some assumptions can be made about the benefits of ingestion via breast milk or breastfeeding.

One study explores the suggestion of replacing cow milk fats with vegetable fats (such as those from coconut oil) in baby formula due to the ability of medium chain fatty acids to inactivate various bacteria and viruses in studies. [1]

“Monoacylglycerols (MAGs) rich in monolaurin synthesized from coconut oil have also been shown to have antimicrobial activity against the dairy pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes, in vitro. Coconut oil–derived MAGs have been found to be more listericidal than monolaurin itself, and more listericidal than bovine milk fat–derived MAGs. The aspirated stomach contents from infants fed formulas containing mixtures of bovine milk fat, medium-chain TAGs, corn oil, and coconut oil have been found to reduce titers of enveloped virus and to kill Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli.” [1]

Additional studies are required to fully understand the impact, efficacy, and safety of utilizing coconut oil or monolaurin during breastfeeding of infants.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding provides many benefits to the developing infant including nutrition and immune support via its natural fat content. Lauric acid which is naturally present in breast milk metabolizes into monolaurin, and has been studied for its various health benefits across scientific literature. Lauric acid levels in breast milk vary and may be influenced by factors within and outside the control of the nursing mother such as diet and nationality.

Additional research is required to assess the therapeutic benefits of altering lauric acid levels in breast milk, and if there is an effect on a nursing infant. Given the absence of these studies, a recommendation to use monolaurin or lauric acid modifying supplements (like coconut oil) during nursing cannot be provided. As with all supplements, monolaurin (and in this case coconut oil) should be taken under the supervision of a medical professional.

References:

  1. Berger, Alvin; Fleith, Mathilde; Crozier, Gayle. “Nutritional Implications of Replacing Bovine Milk Fat With Vegetable Oil in Infant Formulas”. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: February 2000 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 115-130

  2. Sinanoglou VJ, Cavouras D, Boutsikou T, et al. Factors affecting human colostrum fatty acid profile: A case study. PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0175817. Published 2017 Apr 14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175817

  3. Mohammad MA, Sunehag AL, Haymond MW. De novo synthesis of milk triglycerides in humans. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Apr 1; 306(7):E838-47.

  4. Rebecca Yuhas, Kathryn Pramuk, Eric L. Lien. Human milk fatty acid composition from nine countries varies most in DHA. Lipids. September 2006, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 851–858

  5. Craig-Schmidt MC, Weete JD, Faircloth SA, Wickwire MA, Livant EJ. The effect of hydrogenated fat in the diet of nursing mothers on lipid composition and prostaglandin content of human milk. Am J Clin Nutr 1984;39:778–86.

  6. Gdalevich M, Mimouni D, David M, Mimouni M 2001 Breast-feeding and the onset of atopic dermatitis in childhood: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Am Acad Dermatol 45: 520–257

  7. Mimouni Bloch A, Mimouni D, Mimouni M, Gdalevich M 2002 Does breastfeeding protect against allergic rhinitis during childhood? A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Acta Paediatr 91: 275–279

  8. Gdalevich M, Mimouni D, Mimouni M 2001 Breast-feeding and the risk of bronchial asthma in childhood. A systematic review with meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Pediatr 139: 261–266

  9. Halken S, Host A 2001 Prevention. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 1: 229–236

  10. Kirsi Laiho, Anna-Maija Lampi, Mari Hämäläinen, Eeva Moilanen, Vieno Piironen, Taina Arvola, Stina Syrjänen & Erika Isolauri. Breast Milk Fatty Acids, Eicosanoids, and Cytokines in Mothers with and without Allergic Disease. Pediatric Research volume 53, pages 642–647 (2003)

  11. C A Francois S L Connor R C Wander W E Connor. Acute effects of dietary fatty acids on the fatty acids of human milk. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 67, Issue 2, 1 February 1998, Pages 301–308, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/67.2.301

  12. Margrit Hamosh, Jerry A. Peterson, Theresa R. Henderson, Ciaran D.Scallan, Radwin Kiwan, Roberto L.Ceriani, Martine Armand, Nifin R. Mehta, Paul Hamosh. Protective function of human milk: The milk fat globule. Seminars in Perinatology Volume 23, Issue 3, June 1999, Pages 242-249

  13. Charles E. Isaacs. The Antimicrobial Function of Milk Lipids. In: Woodward B., Draper H.H. (eds) Advances in Nutritional Research. Advances in Nutritional Research, 2001, vol 10. pp 271-285

  14. Larsen, S.A., Jr. and Homer, D.R. 1978. Relation of breast versus bottle feeding to hospitalization for gastroenteritis in a middle-class U.S. population. J. Pediatr.92:417–418

  15. Hylander, M.A., Strobino, D.M., and Dhanireddy, R. 1998 Human milk feeding and infection among very low birth weight infants.Pediatrics102(3):E38

  16. Welsh, J.K. and May, J.T. 1979. Anti-infective properties of breast milk. J. Pediatr. 94:1–9.

  17. Nidia León-Sicairos, Fernando López-Soto, Magda Reyes-López, Delfino Godínez-Vargas, Cynthia Ordaz-Pichardo, Mireya de la Garza. Amoebicidal Activity of Milk, Apo-lactoferrin, sIgA and Lysozyme. Clinical Medicine & Research June 1, 2006 vol. 4 no. 2 106-113

  18. Isaacs CE, Kashyap S, Heird WC, Thormar H. Antiviral and antibacterial lipids in human milk and infant formula feeds. Arch Dis Child. 1990 Aug;65(8):861-4.

  19. Nasser R, Stephen AM, Goh YK, Clandinin MT. The effect of a controlled manipulation of maternal dietary fat intake on medium and long chain fatty acids in human breast milk in Saskatoon, Canada. Int Breastfeed J. 2010;5: 3

  20. Sinanoglou VJ, Cavouras D, Boutsikou T, et al. Factors affecting human colostrum fatty acid profile: A case study. PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0175817. Published 2017 Apr 14. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175817

  21. Habtom H. Habte, Girish J. Kotwal, Zoë E. Lotz. Marilyn G. Tyler. Melissa Abrahams. Jerry Rodriques. Delawir Kahn. Anwar S. Mall. Antiviral Activity of Purified Human Breast Milk Mucin. Neonatology, December 2006.

Monolaurin and Digestion – What animal studies may suggest about monolaurin’s effect on digestive bacteria (archaea).

Last Updated: February 22, 2019 | First Published: February 18, 2019
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Could animal studies demonstrate the potential for Monolaurin to help regulate gut bacteria?

Could animal studies demonstrate the potential for Monolaurin to help regulate gut bacteria?

Introduction:

Farm animals may have digestive complications not unlike some people. Veterinarians, doctors, and pharmacists alike are continuously looking for remedies which don’t cause unwanted side effects like antibiotic resistance, destroying of “good” gut bacteria, etc.

In this article, we explore two types of bacteria which effect farm animals and monolaurin’s potential part to play in supporting a healthier life of these animals.

Archaebacteria specifically, ruminal methanogens (bacteria in farm animals which cause greenhouse gas methane)

Archaebacteria (sometimes referred to as archaea) are a diverse group of bacteria which are separated into three major groups: methanogens, halophiles, and thermophiles. The methanogens are anaerobic bacteria that produce methane and are found in sewage treatment plants, bogs, and the intestinal tracts of ruminants. [1] In farm animals, these bacteria case the bi-product of methane which is a problem for two reasons: methane is a greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change, and methane produced in the rumen (a special area of the digestive system which breaks down animal feed and plant matter) causes a loss of up to 12% of the animal’s energy derived from its food [2]. Methane produced from livestock accounts for 50% of all the greenhouse gas methane produced from human activity. [3]

Farmers and scientists searching for a way to lower the methane produced by farm animals have looked to reduce and eliminate this bacterium from the digestive tract of farm animals.

In one study, Monolaurin was able to eliminate Fibrobacter succinogenes and Methanomicrobiales below detectable limits. Total Archaea were decreased by up to over 90% [4]

“Monolaurin completely inhibited Fibrobacter succinogenes in all diets while the response of the other cellulolytic bacteria varied in dependence of the diet… total Archaea were decreased by up to over 90% … monolaurin exerted variable effects mediated by unknown mechanisms on important ruminal microbes involved in carbohydrate degradation, along with its suppression of methane formation.” [4]

In another study, monolaurin was shown to inhibit methanogenesis, increase cell membrane permeability, and decrease survival of M. ruminantium.[3]

“C12 (Lauric Acid) and C14 (myristic acid) had the strongest effect on cell viability, as 57% and 64% of the cells were categorized as dead after 3 h, while in the C16 (palmitic acid) group only 32% of cells were dead or, as part of the cells were not red but yellow, damaged. At 24 h, nearly all cells treated with C12 and C14 were dead, compared to 60% of dead cells found in the control. “ [3]

Archaea may potentially be pathogenic in humans [10], and these results show that monolaurin may be an effective option for eliminating harmful and unwanted gut bacteria including Archaebacteria without adverse side effects.

Enterococcus faecalis (a type of bacteria typically present in the digestive tract, but can spread and cause disease in other parts of the body)

Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive, commensal bacterium which is found in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals. Enterococci of animal origin can cause infections in humans and be quite dangerous for those with bloodstream infections and in hospital environments. [5]

Infections commonly caused by enterococci include urinary tract infection (UTIs), endocarditis, bacteremia, catheter-related infections, wound infections, and intra-abdominal and pelvic infections. Many infecting strains originate from the patient's intestinal flora. From here, they can spread and cause UTI, intra-abdominal infection, and surgical wound infection. Enterococci are surprisingly resistant to many pharmaceuticals including penicillin, making them increasingly difficult to treat. [7]

One study showed that Monolaurin and Lauric Acid were effective in disrupting Enterococcus faecalis and associated biofilms:

“Both Glycerol Monolaurate (monolaurin) and lauric acid were effective in inhibiting biofilm development as measured by decreased numbers of viable biofilm-associated bacteria as well as decreased biofilm biomass. Compared with lauric acid on a molar basis, GML represented a more effective inhibitor of biofilms formed by either S. aureus or E. faecalis.” [8]

Another study goes on to demonstrate that monolaurin may be able to suppress the growth of antibiotic-resistant E. faecalis in the lab:

"We found that Glycerol Monolaurate (GML) suppresses growth of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis on plates with vancomycin and blocks the induction of vancomycin resistance, which involves a membrane-associated signal transduction mechanism, either at or before initiation of transcription. Given the surfactant nature of GML and the results of previous experiments, we suggest that GML blocks signal transduction." [11]

The ability of monolaurin to stop the growth of Enterococcus faecalis, even strains which are resistant to antibiotics, is promising for those who may suffer from an infection from this bacteria.

Other studies on ruminal methanogenesis

A study in the UK used monolaurin to suppress methanogenesis in cows using a mixture of lauric (C12) and myristic acids (C14). [6] The study indicates that monolaurin might help curb the production of methane, a greenhouse gas, in farm animals by destroying the source bacteria in their gut.

“The present study demonstrated a clear synergistic effect of mixtures of C12 and C14 in suppressing methanogenesis, mediated probably by direct inhibitory effects of the fatty acids on the methanogens.” [6]

A study in Belgium showed that the use of coconut oil, when added to animal feed, can help reduce dietary methane production:

“Both krabok oil and coconut oil increased the rumen volatile fatty acids, in particular propionate and decreased acetate proportions. Protozoal numbers were reduced through the supplementation of a medium chain fatty acid source (coconut oil, krabok oil), with the strongest reduction by krabok oil.” [10]

Potential application for human digestion

These studies demonstrated how monolaurin may be applied to supplement animal feed to reduce targeted bacterial colonies and biofilms without negatively impacting “good” gut bacteria or contributing to antibiotic resistance.

While the studies are focused on the commercial application for farm animals, there may be potential to apply some of the lessons to humans. As stated before, same or similar bacteria can cause pathogenic infections in people. If monolaurin can effectively treat these bacterium in animal studies, there may be potential to apply to humans, but further research is needed.

With all supplements, it is important that you consult a medical professional before beginning a supplement regimen.

References:

  1. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. 2012, Columbia University Press.

  2. Hook SE, Wright AG, McBride 1. “Methanogens: Methane Producers of the Rumen and Mitigation Strategies” Archaea, Volume 2010, Article ID 945785, 11 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/945785

  3. Xuan Zhou, Leo Meile, Michael Kreuzer, and Johanna O. Zeitz, “The Effect of Saturated Fatty Acids on Methanogenesis and Cell Viability of Methanobrevibacter ruminantium,” Archaea, vol. 2013, Article ID 106916, 9 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/106916.

  4. Klevenhusen F, Meile L, Kreuzer M, Soliva CR. Effects of monolaurin on ruminal methanogens and selected bacterial species from cattle, as determined with the rumen simulation technique. Anaerobe. 2011 Oct; 17(5):232-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.07.003.

  5. Hammerum AM. “Enterococci of animal origin and their significance for public health.” Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Jul;18(7):619-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03829.x

  6. C. R. Soliva, L. Meile, A. Cieślak, M. Kreuzer, and A. Machmüller, “Rumen simulation technique study on the interactions of dietary lauric and myristic acid supplementation in suppressing ruminal methanogenesis,” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 92, no. 4, pp. 689–700, 2004.

  7. Fraser, S.L. “Enterococcal Infections” Medscape. Updated 30 July 2018. Last accessed 19 February 2019.

  8. Donavon J. Hess, Michelle J. Henry-Stanley, and Carol L. Wells. Surgical Infections. Volume: 16 Issue 5: October 5, 2015.

  9. Holly E. Saito, John R. Harp, Elizabeth M. Fozo. Enterococcus faecalis Responds to Individual Exogenous Fatty Acids Independently of Their Degree of Saturation or Chain Length. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. Dec 2017, 84 (1) e01633-17; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01633-17

  10. Paul B. Eckburg, Paul W. Lepp, David A. Relman. Archaea and Their Potential Role in Human Disease. Infection and Immunity Feb 2003, 71 (2) 591-596; DOI: 10.1128/IAI.71.2.591-596.2003

  11. Ruzin A, Novick RP. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits induction of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. J Bacteriol. 1998 Jan;180(1):182-5.

Monolaurin and Herpes – The Definitive Guide

Last Updated: February 19, 2019 | First Published: September 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Introduction to Herpes

Herpes is a common and global virus. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 67% of the world’s population has HSV-1 (oral herpes which can cause cold sores) and 11% of the population has HSV-2 (genital herpes) [Ref #] It is possible to have a Herpes Simplex infection and not have any symptoms. Herpes is a lifelong disease and can be spread even when symptoms are not present. Antiviral medications like acyclovir can help relieve the frequency and intensity of symptoms, but there is no “cure”.


Types of Herpes

Herpesviridae is a family of DNA viruses, which include many types and strains but the most common include HSV-1, HSV-2, and Herpes Zoster.

Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV 1) – Oral Herpes

Herpes Simplex 1, or HSV-1, is most commonly known as “oral herpes”. HSV-1 can cause cold sores or fever blisters around the lips and mouth, but can also affect others parts of the body including the genital area. Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates that up to 80% of individuals in the United States has HSV-1, making it one of the most common infections. [Ref #2]

More Information: Explore additional details about Monolaurin and its potential impact on cold sores on the Insights blog.

Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV 2) – Genital Herpes

Herpes Simplex 2, or HSV-2, causes genital herpes and is almost exclusively sexually transmitted. HSV-2 effects more women than men globally, and affects upwards of 15% of people in the Americas. HSV-2 can be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, meaning many people can be infected without knowing it. Generally, HSV-2 causes blisters or ulcers in the genital and anal region.

More Information: Read more about HSV-2 and Monolaurin on the Insights blog.  

Herpes Zoster – Shingles

Herpes Zoster is a type of herpes virus which can cause shingles via the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (the virus which causes chicken pox). Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, can cause painful skin rashes and blisters.

More Information: Read more about Herpes Zoster (Shingles) on the Insights blog 


Herpes Symptoms

Depending on the type of herpes infection, the symptoms may vary. In short:

Herpes Symptoms by Type

HSV-1 (Oral herpes)

Characterized by painful blisters on or around the lips which can be accompanied by tingling, itching, leading eventually oozing and or crusting.

HSV-2 (Genital herpes)

Similar to the symptoms of HSV-1, genital herpes can be characterized by painful blisters or sores, tingling, and or itching around the genital area.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters which occurs in a strip on either side of the body or face. There may also be tingling or local pain in the area before an outbreak.

Herpes Outbreak

An outbreak is simply the expression of symptoms resulting from a herpes virus infection. An initial outbreak may last days or weeks. There may be delays between outbreaks lasting weeks or months. Outbreaks and outbreak symptoms may diminish over time, and it is possible to be infected with a herpes family virus with little or no symptoms.


Traditional herpes treatments use antivirals to suppress the virus, but what if Monolaurin could actually kill the herpes virus?

Traditional herpes treatments use antivirals to suppress the virus, but what if Monolaurin could actually kill the herpes virus?

Herpes Cure

Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2 are lifelong infections with no known cure. Monolaurin, a natural supplement derived from coconut, has been studied in various in vitro laboratory experiments to inactivate the Herpes Simplex virus, but this may not correlate to the inactivation of herpes virus in vivo. This section explores and highlights some academic and scientific research which may suggest Monolaurin kills herpes, however additional research is required to conclude that Monolaurin can cure herpes.

Suppressive Treatment for Herpes with Antivirals:

Controlling the frequency, duration, and intensity of herpes outbreaks is the main goal of suppression therapies and antiviral drugs. Reducing virus replication and in turn reducing the risk of transmission is another goal of antiviral therapy. Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are common antivirals used to treat herpes, but there is growing concern that the virus may develop resistance to the drug making them less effective [Ref #3]. Furthermore, some individuals face unwanted side effects from  antiviral pharmaceuticals including rash, hair loss, headaches, depression, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting (Ref #15, 16, 17)

Potentially Kill Herpes by Disintegrating the Viral Envelope:

A possible alternative to suppressing the symptoms and replication of the virus may be to kill the herpes virus. Herpes is an enveloped virus, meaning there is a fatty protective layer (envelope) surrounding the virus. Monolaurin has been shown in some laboratory studies to kill enveloped viruses, which may include herpes virus.

The antiviral action, attributed to monolaurin (the monoglyceride of lauric acid), is that of solubilizing the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the pathogenic organisms causing the disintegration of their outer membrane. There is also evidence that medium chain fatty acids interfere with the organism’s signal transduction and the antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to interference with virus assembly and viral maturation.” [Ref #4]

"Antiviral fatty acids were found to affect the viral envelope, causing leakage and at higher concentrations, a complete disintegration of the envelope and the viral particles. They also caused disintegration of the plasma membranes of tissue culture cells resulting in cell lysis and death."[Ref #5]

Lipids commonly found in natural products could possibly be used as antiviral agents against enveloped viruses." [Ref #6]

Killing the viral envelope of the herpes virus might produce effects similar to traditional antiviral suppressant drugs without the risk of side effects or drug resistance common to pharmaceuticals. 

More Information: To learn more about enveloped viruses and Monolaurin, please see the Insights Article called Fighting Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses


Monolaurin, made from coconut, has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate enveloped viruses like Herpes

Monolaurin, made from coconut, has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate enveloped viruses like Herpes

Monolaurin for Herpes – Does Monolaurin Kill Herpes?

Monolaurin has been the subject of numerous clinical studies which test if Monolaurin kills herpes, if Monolaurin is effective for herpes, and if Monolaurin can eradicate herpes. While the majority of the tests are in vitro (in the lab) and not clinically supported, the results are provocative with regard to Monolaurin’s ability to kill herpes.

Some studies and publications report success with Monolaurin to kill herpes in the lab:

"In studies performed at the Respiratory Virology Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, Monolaurin was found effective against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture. These included influenza, RSV, Rubeola, Newcastle's, Coronavirus, Herpes Simplex types 1 & 2, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus. Monolaurin removed all measurable infectivity by disintegrating the virus envelope." [Ref #7]

We have shown that a variety of fatty acids and fatty acid derivatives have potent antiviral effects against the lipid-containing bacteriophages PM2, ø6, and PR4 and against at least one enveloped mammalian virus, herpes simplex virus type 2.” [Ref #8]

"Unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols of chain lengths of 16 or 18 carbons were found to be extremely potent inactivators of two enveloped viruses, herpes simplex virus type 2 and bacteriophage phi6 " [Ref 9]

These publications suggest that Monolaurin kills herpes in the lab. However, more research is needed to establish if Monolaurin cures herpes in the body.

More Information: Read more about Herpes family viruses and Monolaurin in the Insights Blog post by Dr. Zayed here.  


Monolaurin may be taken during a herpes outbreak to reduce severity and duration, and in-between outbreaks to limit frequency.

Monolaurin may be taken during a herpes outbreak to reduce severity and duration, and in-between outbreaks to limit frequency.

Monolaurin Dosage and Protocol for Herpes

Monolaurin is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration [Ref #10], and some choose to take it as a dietary supplement with the goal of using Monolaurin against herpes.

A Monolaurin dosage for herpes will generally be separated into three areas, as explained below. 
For more detailed dosing information, see the Monolaurin Dosage Guide.

1. Build Up

People respond differently to dietary supplements, so it’s recommended to start slow and build up to a level you are individually comfortable with. In some cases, the strong antimicrobial properties of Monolaurin may trigger a reaction called the Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction, or “die off”. A Herx Reaction may occur if Monolaurin is taken at high doses in a short period of time, causing a die-off of more viruses and bacteria than your body can effectively filter. This may trigger an inflammatory response ironically similar to the flu, called the “Herx Reaction”. To avoid this, you may want to start with a low dose of monolaurin and slowly build up to a therapeutic dose over time.

More Information: To learn more about the causes and symptoms of the Herx Reaction / Die off, please see the Insights article : Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms.

2. During Outbreaks

During a herpes outbreak, many increase their dose of Monolaurin in response to the increased viral load. The monolaurin dosage during a herpes outbreak will depend on the individuals’ physical characteristics (weight, etc) and the severity of the symptoms. It may be best to increase monolaurin intake at the very beginning of symptoms to try and stop an outbreak before it becomes an issue. Some people will find taking 2-3 600mg capsules 3 times per day helpful during a herpes outbreak.

3. Maintenance

In-between outbreaks, some people find it beneficial to maintain a daily dose of Monolaurin to promote general health and prevent future outbreaks. A routine dose might include 1-2 capsules 2 or 3 times per day.

More Information: For more detailed information on monolaurin herpes protocols and dosing guidance, including monolaurin during a herpes outbreak, please see the Monolaurin Dosing Guide.


Monolaurin Side Effects

As mentioned in the Build Up section above, the most common symptoms individuals may encounter is a “Herx Reaction” which may be attributed to the rapid die off of virus and bacteria caused by Monolaurin. To avoid this, a slow introduction of Monolaurin at low doses might help.

Other side effects are those similar to an increased intake of coconut oil. The medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil have been linked to side-effects like stomach discomfort, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. [Ref #11]

More Information: Additional details on the health benefits and potential side effects of coconut oil is available in the blog post on Coconut Oil.


Monolaurin may work in conjunction with L-Lysine to reduce symptoms and duration of a Herpes infection.

Monolaurin may work in conjunction with L-Lysine to reduce symptoms and duration of a Herpes infection.

Monolaurin and L-Lysine

Monolaurin is not the only supplement which has shown promising results in laboratory studies against herpes. When combined with L-lysine, synergistic benefits may be realized.

L-Lysine has been shown to potentially reduce the symptoms and duration of a herpes infection [Ref #12]. L-Lysine has also demonstrated the potential to reduce the recurrence of herpes outbreak [Ref #13]. Yet another study showed L-lysine could help with reducing the replication of the virus in the lab [Ref #14]. These studies suggest that while Monolauin may help disable or destroy the Herpes virus, L-Lysine can play a potential accompanying role in reducing the symptoms, duration, recurrence, and replication of the herpes virus.

More Information: For additional information on L-Lysine and Monolaurin for herpes, check out the article: Monolaurin and L-Lysine – Better Together.

More Information: Lean more about 16 additional helpful supplements which have been studied for their antiviral properties on the Immune Support page.


Additional Information and Help

There is a lot of information available to those looking to learn more about monolaurin and herpes. When researching monolaurin and herpes, be mindful of personal opinion and always look for appropriate scientific references and citations. 

NCBI (PubMed)

NCBI is a free online database of over 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintains the database, which is a great way of getting direct access to many of the studies cited on this website.

Herpes Forums

Forums and support groups are a good way to find peer-to-peer support. There are also secret groups on various social media sites (like Facebook) to meet others with similar questions and concerns. It is highly recommended to get involved in your local sexual heath communities - the empathy and support they provide is genuine and many find it helpful.

More Cited Research

The Research Page of this site contains a list of curated studies featuring Monolaurin and herpes studies, all containing original NCBI or DOI links for further reading and fact-checking. 


Ready to Try Monolaurin, but Not Sure Where to Start?

There are many factors which should be considered when purchasing Monolaurin, which include:

  • What Monolaurin source is best - Coconut or Palm Kernel

  • What is the recommended way to take Monolaurin - Capsule or Pellet

  • What is an Excipient, and why does it matter - Synthetic or Natural

  • What hat to look for to ensure manufacturing safety - Certifications and Location

All of these questions can be answered in the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide


References:

  1. World Health Organization, 31 January 2017, http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

  2. Oral Herpes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/infectious_diseases/Oral_Herpes_22,OralHerpes

  3. Frobert E, Ooka T, Cortay JC, et al. Resistance of Herpes simplex virus type 1 to acyclovir: Thymidine kinase gene mutagenesis study. Antiviral Res 2006 Aug 30

  4. Arora R, Chawla R, Marwah R, Arora P, Sharma RK, Kaushik V, Goel R, Kaur A, Silambarasan M, Tripathi RP, Bharwaj JR. Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of NovelH1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 586506, 16 pages

  5. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides.AntimicrobialAgents and Chemotherapy. 1987 Jan;31(1):27-31.

  6. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Brown HR. Inactivation of visna virus and other enveloped viruses by free fatty acids and monoglycerides. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 1994 June 6, 724:465–471.

  7. Hierholzer JC and Kabara JJ. In vitro effects of Monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety 4:1, 1982

  8. Kabara JJ. The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Champaign, Ill, USA: American Oil Chemist’s Society; 1978. Page 92

  9. Sands J, Auperin D, Snipes W. Extreme sensitivity of enveloped viruses, including Herpes Simplex, to long chain unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 15; 1:67-73, 1979.

  10. FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505

  11. Nakatsuji, T., Kao, M. C., Fang, J.-Y., Zouboulis, C. C., Zhang, L., Gallo, R. L., & Huang, C.-M. (2009). Antimicrobial Property of Lauric Acid Against Propionibacterium acnes: Its Therapeutic Potential for Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129(10), 2480–2488. http://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2009.93

  12. Griffith R.S.,Norins A.L., Kagan C. A Multicentered Study of Lysine Therapy in Herpes simplex Infection. Dermatologica 1978;156:257–267

  13. Griffith R.S., Walsh D.E., Myrmel K.H., Thompson R.W., Behforooz A. Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection. Dermatologica 1987;175:183–190

  14. Milman N, Scheibel J, Jessen O. Lysine prophylaxis in recurrent herpes simplex labialis: a double-blind, controlled crossover study. Acta Derm Venereol. 1980;60(1):85-7.

  15. Everyday Health Acyclovir (Zovirax) Side Effects http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/acyclovir

  16. Web MD, Drugs & Medications Valtrex http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-14126/valtrex-oral/details#side-effects

  17. Sharma A, Mohan K, Sharma R, Nirankari VS. Alopecia following oral acyclovir for the treatment of herpes simplex keratitis. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2014 Jan-Mar;21(1):95-7. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.124131.

Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms - the Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction

Last Updated: March 27, 2019 | First Published: February 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Can the rapid die-off of bacteria and viruses from Monolaurin make you feel ironically "sick" when you're actually getting better?

Can the rapid die-off of bacteria and viruses from Monolaurin make you feel ironically "sick" when you're actually getting better?

Monolaurin is a potentially powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial natural supplement derived from coconut.

Monolaurin has been the subject of laboratory studies and may be used to treat various infections, including herpes (cold sores and genital herpes), yeast infections (including candida albicans, thrush, and other yeast overgrowth), Lyme disease, Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Mono, and more.

Despite its potential beneficial results and relief from nagging symptoms, monolaurin may unintentionally produce a side effect ironically similar to a cold or flu. This side effect is known as the Herxheimer (Herx, sometimes Herxing) Reaction or "Die off" symptom.

Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction

Clinically known as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction, this complication is the result of a reaction to the release of endotoxin-like products in the body caused by the death of various virus, bacteria, yeast, and other microbes. When microbes are destroyed by antibiotics or antiviral supplements like Monolaurin, proteins and cytokines are released which the immune system may have an inflammatory response.

Monolaurin Herx Reaction

Why would Monolaurin cause a Herx (or Herxing) Reaction? If taken at high doses in a short period of time, Monolaurin may destroy more viruses and bacteria than your body can effectively filter. Monolaurin has been clinically studied for its ability to rapidly destroy various viruses, bacteria, yeast, and other microbes, and if done so in a short period of time it could cause a herx or die off reaction.

Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms

The symptoms of a Monolaurin die-off or herx reaction are strikingly similar to the flu. This is your body's immune response to what it thinks is an infection. A typical herxing reaction or die-off symptoms include body aches, muscle pain, sore throat, sweating, lethargy, chills, nausea, and other flu-like symptoms. If symptoms get worse, this is not necessarily a sign that the treatment is not working - in fact, it could be the opposite - the treatment may be so effective at killing the infection your body is unable to process all the microbial waste.

How long does the Herx reaction last?

Luckily, the Herx reaction is relatively short - from a few days to a few weeks. It will depend on the individual, type of infection, and amount of die off. If the symptoms last more than a few weeks or do not improve over time, you may need to discontinue or change the therapy.

What to do when you get a Herx or Die-Off Reaction

The first reaction by an individual when they start feeling the symptoms of a Herxing Reaction is to discontinue the supplement. However, because the reaction is an indication of the effectiveness of the treatment, many patients actually heal quicker the more severe the reaction is when treatment is continued. The best method is to avoid the herx reaction in the first place by adopting a "low and slow" method of introducing supplements into your routine. If experiencing a due off or herx reaction you should consider reducing or limiting the supplement until your body is able to better cope with the die off and drink plenty of fluids to aid in the removal of cytokines and proteins in the system.

Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms by Disease

  • Lyme - a very common contributor is of die off symptoms is Lyme disease. Lyme disease die off can be quite severe and cause fever, chills, body pain, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. If symptoms continue, you should lower or stop treatment.

  • Yeast and Fungi - depending on where the yeast overgrowth is, a herx reaction may be quite prevalent. If there is gastric distress, the herx reaction may be caused by a die off of yeast in the intestine. The rapid killing of yeast can cause nausea, swollen glands, bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea, sweating, and more.

  • Viruses - Monolaurin is used to fight carious viral infections (herpes, influenza, measles, Epstein Barr Virus, etc), and depending on the severity of the infection some individuals may experience a die off effect. Die off symptoms for increased viral loads are similar - body aches, fatigue, itchiness, chills, joint or muscle pain, etc.

Looking to Try Monolaurin, but Not Sure Where to Start?

There are many factors which should be considered when choosing a Monolaurin brand, which include:

  • What Monolaurin source is best - Coconut or Palm Kernel

  • What is the recommended way to take Monolaurin - Capsule or Pellet

  • What is an ‘excipient’, and why does it matter - Synthetic or Natural

  • What hat to look for to ensure manufacturing safety - Certifications and Location

All of these questions can be answered in the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide

Monolaurin Dosing

Monolaurin dosing can be tricky. Many factors may come into consideration including (but not limited to) age, weight, infection, severity of symptoms, or personal sensitivity to supplements. Additional details on the recommended dosing of Monolaurin and guidance on different diseases can be found on the Monolaurin Dosing page. 

As with any nutritional supplement or medicine, it should be administered and monitored by a healthcare professional. 

Ways to buy:

References:

  1. Bryceson, A.D.M. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 133, Issue 6, 1 June 1976, Pages 696–704,https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/133.6.696

  2. Batovska, D.I., Todorova, I.T., Tsvetkova, I.V. and Najdenski, H.M. (2009) Antibacterial study of the medium chain fatty acids and their 1-monoglycerides: individual effects and synergistic relationships. Pol J Microbiol 58, 43–47.

  3. Goc, A., Niedzwiecki, A. and Rath, M. (2015), In vitro evaluation of antibacterial activity of phytochemicals and micronutrients against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. J Appl Microbiol, 119: 1561–1572. doi:10.1111/jam.12970

  4. Shaw, W. Biological Treatments for Autism and PPD, Third Edition. Chapter 4 Yeats and Fungi: How to Control Them. 2008

  5. Goc, A., Niedzwiecki, A. and Rath, M. (2017), Reciprocal cooperation of phytochemicals and micronutrients against typical and atypical forms of Borrelia sp.. J Appl Microbiol, 123: 637–650. doi:10.1111/jam.13523

Monolaurin and Fighting Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 28, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses

What is an Enveloped Virus?

There are two types of viruses – enveloped and non-enveloped. Enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid membrane from the host cell in which the virus resides. Examples of these viruses are influenza, HIV/AIDS, and Herpesvirus. The lipid membrane of an enveloped virus originated from the budding of it within the host cell. Unlike non-enveloped viruses, enveloped viruses have lipid membranes that would help their stability, resistance to chemical or physical inactivation, and ease of viral transmission. (Ref #1)

Monolaurin Compounds

Monolaurin has been shown to display antibacterial and antifungal properties. The naturally occurring fatty ester and monoglyceride makes Monolaurin for what it is. Due to its properties, Monolaurin has shown effects of being virucidal against lipid-containing bacteria or viruses, a trait of enveloped viruses. Studies have shown that Monolaurin had little side effects against humans. (Ref #2)

Monolaurin is shown to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses. During an in vitro experiment, 99 out of 100 viruses were reduced. The potency of Monolaurin, however, is best shown if it is mixed with other compounds such as tert‐butylhydroxyanisole (BHA), Methylparaben, or sorbic acid. It is so potent that effects begin to show within the first hour. (Ref #2)

Monoglycerides in Human Milk and Enveloped Viruses

Monolaurin is just one example of a monoglyceride. Other studies have shown significant effects of monoglycerides against enveloped viruses. Fatty acids in milk have also displayed the same antiviral properties of Monoglycerides. The lipids in human milk are potent enough to eradicate enveloped viruses such as herpes, vesicular stomatitis virus and simplex virus. (Ref #3)

Fatty Alcohols against Enveloped Viruses

Certain studies have already shown the anti-microbicidal properties of fatty alcohols. There are limitations, however, to the potency of fatty alcohols. It is shown to be most potent only at certain pH levels and certain concentrations. At low pH levels, have no increased activity. Enveloped viruses are more sensitive and capable of changing their ions in their envelope proteins. (Ref #4)

Why Monolaurin?

Monolaurin already proven itself to show little side effects against humans. It has little limitations when compared to fatty alcohols, which are only potent at certain conditions. It is easily available as compared to human breast milk.. Monolaurin even has greater potency at eradicating viruses and bacteria with a probability of 99%. Its potency can even go further if combined with other chemicals and compounds.

If given a chance, Monolaurin might be a potential treatment against various deadly enveloped viruses such as influenza, herpes, and even HIV.

 

References:

  1. Lucas, W. Viral Capsids and Envelopes: Structure and Function. 19 April 2010. In eLS, (Ed.). doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0001091.pub2

  2. Hierholzer, J. C. and kabara, j. J. (1982), In vitro effects of monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety, 4: 1-12. Doi:10.1111/j.1745-4565.1982.tb00429.x

  3. H Thormar, C E Isaacs, H R Brown, M R Barshatzky and T Pessolano. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrob. Agents Chemotherapy. January 1987 vol. 31 no. 1 27-31. doi: 10.1128/AAC.31.1.27

  4. H. HilmarssonB. S. TraustasonT. KristmundsdóttirH. Thormar. Virucidal activities of medium- and long-chain fatty alcohols and lipids against respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus type 2: comparison at different pH levels. Archives of Virology. December 2007, Volume 152, Issue 12, pp 2225–2236 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-007-1063-5

  5. Pietila, M., Laurinavicius, S., Sund, J., Roine, E., & Bamford, D. (2009). The Single-Stranded DNA Genome of Novel Archaeal Virus Halorubrum Pleomorphic Virus 1 Is Enclosed in the Envelope Decorated with Glycoprotein Spikes Journal of Virology, 84 (2), 788-798 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01347-09

Flu Season Is Coming - Can Monolaurin Help?

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: October 19, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Studies Suggest Monolaurin may be Antiviral

2017 was the worst flu season on record, contributing to an estimated 80,000 deaths in the United States. (Ref #1)

2017 was the worst flu season on record, contributing to an estimated 80,000 deaths in the United States. (Ref #1)

Preventing the Flu

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. However, the flu shot only protects against two of the four kinds of influenza virus (influenza A and B, of the four A, B, C, D influenza types). Additionally, the vaccine is designed to protect people from three or four strains of the type A and B virus, which research think will be problematic in a given season. While the flu vaccine is an incredibly powerful tool against influenza, it is not comprehensive given the "best guess" nature of the vaccine.

What if this year's flu shot is not effective?

2017 was a very bad flu season because researchers were unable to accurately predict the strains and mutations of flu which circulated that year. Furthermore, the H3N2 influenza strain was involved causing many more complications and is much harder to prevent with a vaccine. If 2018 is also unable to accurately predict the common flu strains, it may be another record year.

How might Monolaurin help combat Influenza?

Monolaurin is a medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil. Monolaurin has been studied for its antiviral and antibacterial properties in lab studies, and may have virucidal effects against influenza. (Ref #2)

 Monolaurin may Kill RNA & DNA Viruses

Monolaurin has been shown to inactivate RNA & DNA viruses which may include influenza. These research studies suggest that Monolaurin has potent antiviral effects in the lab. One study suggests Monolaurin is able to inactivate many RNA & DNA viruses:

 "Monolaurin ... were tested for in vitro virucidal activity against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture. At concentrations of 1% additive in the reaction mixture for 1 h at 23°C, all viruses were reduced in infectivity by >99.9%" (Ref #3)

Another research studies goes on to explain how Monolaurin may inactivate these viruses:

"Antiviral fatty acids were found to affect the viral envelope, causing leakage and, at higher concentrations, a complete disintegration of the envelope and the viral particles. Lipids commonly found in natural products could possibly be used as antiviral agents against enveloped viruses."  (Ref #4)

Monolaurin may Kill Other Flu Strains

Monolaurin has been shown in research studies to kill other strains of flu which can effect humans and animals alike. While these are not the same strands as seasonal Influenza (Influenza A and Influenza B), the studies are promising in the therapeutic nature of the results.

Parainfluenza:

Some in vitro studies show Monolaurin is able to kill the parainfluenza virus which commonly cause respiratory illnesses in infants and young children, but anyone can get HPIV illness.

 "The most active compound tested was 1-monoglyceride of capric acid, monocaprin, which also showed activity against influenza A virus and significant virucidal activities after addition to milk products and fruit juices, even at a concentration as low as 0.06–0.12%. The significant virucidal activities of fatty alcohols and lipids on RSV and parainfluenza virus demonstrated in this in vitro study raise the question of the feasibility of using such compounds as ingredients in pharmaceutical dosage forms against respiratory infections caused by these viruses, and possibly other paramyxo- and myxoviruses.” (Ref#5)

H1N1 Pig Influenza (Swine Flu)

Another study goes on to demonstrate the antiviral effects of Monolaurin on H1N1 ("Swine Flu"), suggesting Monolaurin may dissolve the virus and prevent the virus from maturing or spreading:

 "The antiviral action, attributed to monolaurin (the monoglyceride of lauric acid), is that of solubilizing the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the pathogenic organisms causing the disintegration of their outer membrane. There is also evidence that medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) interfere with the organism's signal transduction and the antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to interference with virus assembly and viral maturation." (Ref #6)

 H5N1 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Yet another study suggests that Monolaurin can be beneficial in boosting the immune response in birds compromised with Avian Influenza, resulting in higher weight and survival rates.

"Fatty acid in virgin coconut oil (VCO) was potential as immunostimulant, which therefore could increase chicken immunity through the increase of lymphocyte T and Th-CD4. The result showed that the number of lymphocyte and Th-CD4 in chickens given 10 mL per kg feed and vaccinated with Avian Influenza (AI) was higher than that in chickens given VCO without AI vaccine." (Ref #7)

Conclusion

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot, but if the 2018 vaccine is ineffective or if you are unlucky enough to catch the flu, monolaurin may be a natural alternative to help reduce symptoms or duration.

Choosing the best Monolaurin

Interested in giving Monolaurin a try, but not sure how to pick the right brand, source, or formula? Check out the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide which walks you through many important considerations when selecting a great Monolaurin.

As with all dietary supplements, Monolaurin should be taken under the supervision of a medical professional.



 References:

  1. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html

  2. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A review of monolaurin and lauric acid: natural virucidal and bactericidal agents. Alternative & Complementary Therapies 2006;12(6):310-314.

  3. Hierholzer, J.C. and Kabara, J.J. In Vitro Effects of Monolaurin Compounds on Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses. Journal of Food Safety 4:1-12 (1982)

  4. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Brown HR. Inactivation of visna virus and other enveloped viruses by free fatty acids and monoglycerides. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 1994 June 6, 724:465–471.

  5. HilmarssonB. S. TraustasonT. KristmundsdóttirH. Thormar. Virucidal activities of medium- and long-chain fatty alcohols and lipids against respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus type 2: comparison at different pH levels. Arch Virol (2007) 152: 2225. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-007-1063-5

  6. Arora R, Chawla R, Marwah R, Arora P, Sharma RK, Kaushik V, Goel R, Kaur A, Silambarasan M, Tripathi RP, Bharwaj JR. Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of NovelH1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 586506, 16 pages

  7. Yuniwarti , E.Y.W. et al. The Effect of Virgin Coconut Oil on Lymphocyte and CD4 in Chicken Vaccinated Against Avian Influenza Virus. Journal of the Indonesian Tropical Animal Agriculture, [S.l.], v. 37, n. 1, p. 64-69, mar. 2012. ISSN 2460-6278.

Coconut Oil and Its Therapeutic Properties

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Understanding How Coconut May Benefit The Human Body

Coconut Oil is a natural source of Capric, Caprylic, and Lauric Acids - all with unique and intriguing benefits.

Coconut Oil is a natural source of Capric, Caprylic, and Lauric Acids - all with unique and intriguing benefits.

For decades, the consumption of saturated fats was considered bad for the human body. More recent studies have proven this to be wrong, and instead provided evidence that the consumption of unprocessed types of saturated fats seems to play an important role in the maintenance of an overall healthy body. These studies have contributed to a large number of publications and further studies focusing on the benefits that coconut oil has to offer the body.

Healing Properties of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains a number of compounds that have now been shown beneficial. Medium chain fatty acids found in the oil is often the primary focus of studies, but the lauric acid and capric acid contents in coconut oil also possess potent medicinal properties that can be used for a number of different purposes.

These compounds have been shown to help the body fight against infections, to boost the immune system, to improve energy levels, to help regulate healthier blood sugar levels, and to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil also improves the skin’s texture and may even be used as an anti-aging regimen – it has been found that this oil can reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Capric and Caprylic Fatty Acids

Medium chain triglycerides are converted to medium-chain fatty acids, including capric fatty acids and caprylic fatty acids. Medium chain triglycerides, a substance contained in coconut oil, is the result of laboratory processing of coconut into an oil. The compound is sometimes used as medicine for celiac disease, steatorrhea, digestion problems, and absorption issues. Many people have started to cook with coconut oil to increase their intake of medium chain triglycerides due to the potential health benefits associated with this compound. The substance is known to aid in weight loss and may also be useful in boosting physical and sports performance.

Medium chain triglycerides contain fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides, and the body is able to absorb this compound easier. The liver mainly processes these triglycerides.

Lauric Acid

Lauric acid (Ref #1) is another important compound found in coconut oil that is known to possess potent antimicrobial properties, which is why this compound is often used to assist with the treatment of bacterial infections (Ref #2), as well as antibiotic resistance.

Side-Effects of Coconut Oil

While numerous benefits have been associated with the consumption of coconut oil, it is important to recognize that certain side-effects may also develop. The medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil have been linked to side-effects (Ref #3) like stomach discomfort, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal gas.

References

  1. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts

  2. Laruic Acid. PubChem Open Chemistry Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/lauric_acid

  3. Nakatsuji, T., Kao, M. C., Fang, J.-Y., Zouboulis, C. C., Zhang, L., Gallo, R. L., & Huang, C.-M. (2009). Antimicrobial Property of Lauric Acid Against Propionibacterium acnes: Its Therapeutic Potential for Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129(10), 2480–2488. http://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2009.93

Can You Take Too Much Monolaurin?

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: May 14, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Razak Nohri, Pharm.D, M.Phil, MBA

The health benefits of Monolaurin are well documented, but what's the right dose?

The health benefits of Monolaurin are well documented, but what's the right dose?

Many people ask, what is the safe dosage for Monolaurin? Here we explore some dosing considerations for Monolaurin as a therapeutic supplement. As with any dietary supplement, Monolaurin should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and the views expressed in this article are not the views of a doctor and are not meant to be prescriptive or directional.

How much Monolaurin should I take?

The amount of Monolaurin an individual may need to take before seeing a positive response will depend on a number of factors including age, weight, viral load / intensity of infection, and general sensitivity to supplements. Some people see a benefit from a single 600mg capsule per day, while others may take upwards of 3-5 grams. The type of infection (bacterial, viral, etc) may also impact the amount of Monolaurin to be taken. Starting with a low dose and gradually increasing until positive effects are realized is the recommended dosing protocol.

Is Monolaurin safe at high doses?

Monolaurin may be taken at high levels for short periods of time. Some literature goes as far as suggesting a dosage of 3-9 grams per day is needed, which equates to upwards of 15 capsules (Ref #1). While this may not be necessary or common, it should not be harmful. We do not recommend these elevated doses for extended periods of time. Everything should be in moderation.

Is there a maximum dosage of Monolaurin?

According to some literature sources, there is no defined upper limit of Monolaurin. Monolaurin is found naturally in coconut and palm oil, which has been used in personal and commercial food preparation and production. Monolaurin has been approved as "Generally Regarded As Safe" by the FDA (Ref #2), stating "In accordance with 184.1(b)(1), the ingredient is used in food with no limitation other than current good manufacturing practice. The affirmation of this ingredient as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a direct human food ingredient…" However, the FDA does not elaborate on any daily maximums. We do not recommend exceeding 6-9 grams / day for any length of time.

What is the safe dosage for Monolaurin?

A safe dosage is one which you are comfortable with. You should not take so much monolaurin that you feel physically unwell or experience a Herxheimer reaction (as detailed in this article: http://www.naturalcurelabs.com/insights/2018/2/2/monolaurin-die-off-symptoms-the-herxheimer-herx-reaction). If you feel any unwanted side effects from monolaurin, immediately discontinue use of the product and consult a healthcare professional.

Should I take Monolaurin with or without food?

You can take monolaurin with or without food and with any liquid, without impact to efficacy or absorption.  You can take monolaurin on an empty stomach, however those with sensitive stomachs should take monolaurin with food as the supplement has a natural "soapy" taste which may be unpleasant to some.

Can you overdose on Monolaurin?

You should not take so much Monolaurin that you feel unwell (upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, etc.). Monolaurin can be taken at modest levels (around 3 grams/ day) with little or no side effects, but caution should be exercised when doses exceed 6 grams / day. A staged, gradual increase of Monolaurin until benefits are realized can be an effective approach. If a change in state is not realized even at 6-9 grams, you should consult a healthcare professional before increasing dosage.

Comprehensive Dosage Guide:

Additional detailed information on the recommended dosage of Monolaurin based on various inputs and ailments is available on the dedicated Dosing page: http://www.naturalcurelabs.com/monolaurin-dosage/

 

Reference:

  1. Kabara JJ. Pharmacological effects of coconut oil vs. monoglycerides. Inform June 2005; Volume 16 p386-7. http://aocs.files.cms-plus.com/inform/2005/6/p386-387.pdf

  2. FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505

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