Monolaurin and HSV

Last Updated: June 12, 2019 | First Published: September 22, 2015
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Monolaurin Herpes HSV

Monolaurin & Herpes

A common goal for controlling a herpes infection is finding a therapy to help manage symptoms and outbreaks. There are suppressive methods of reducing symptoms which include antivirals and creams, but they only treat the symptoms - not the underlying cause.

What if there were a way to inactive the herpes virus instead of simply making it dormant or reducing symptoms?

Traditional Antiviral (suppressive) Treatment:

There are several antiviral drugs on the market which may help reduce the frequency, duration or severity of herpes outbreaks by suppressing viral activity. However, these pharmaceuticals often come at a great financial expense and with serious side effects and allergic reactions including rash, hair loss, headaches, depression, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting [Ref #1, 2, 10]. If taken for a long duration, the herpes virus may even develop resistance to the antiviral drugs rendering them less effective [Ref #3]. Antivirals traditionally work by inhibiting the DNA replication of the virus, slowing the spread of the virus.

Natural Alternatives:

Herpes is a DNA virus which belongs to the family Herpesviridae which include Varicella (chicken pox), Zoster (shingles), Epstein–Barr (mono), and Herpes Simplex Virus (cold sores and genital herpes). These viruses are "enveloped", which means the virus has a lipid or fatty capsule around the DNA which enables the virus to have a chronic impact on the nervous system. Once infected with a herpes virus, the virus can stay dormant in the nervous system and erupt when the immune system is weakened.

Monolaurin Research and Herpes Virus:

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to break down the fatty envelope which protects enveloped viruses, which includes herpes, inactivating the virus and also inhibiting the replication of the virus. This laboratory research has been replicated over numerous studies:

“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 [Ref #7] and the antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to interference with virus assembly and viral maturation [Ref #8].”[Ref #6]

Another study goes on to demonstrate:

"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 #9]

Laboratory research has shown Monolaurin is able to inactivate multiple variants of herpes virus including Herpes simplex virus-1, Herpes simplex virus-2, and Herpes viridae (all) [Ref #4, 5]. An excerpt says:

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 #7]

Monolaurin's strong immune regulating properties may help support proper immune function in the presence of infection.

"Maintenance" Dose of Monolaurin:

Herpes can remain dormant in your body for years, and outbreaks can be triggered through stress or a weakened immune system. It is important to limit these triggers to avoid outbreaks before they happen.

As the herpes virus DNA leaves the host cell to move to another cell, an elevated immune response may help stop the transfer and potentially inactivate the virus. Maintaining a health immune system may limit the presence or distribution of an infection in the body. A daily regimen of Monolaurin, even at low doses, may help promote an ongoing healthy immune response.

Monolaurin Dosing

For more detailed dosing information, please visit the Monolaurin Dosing Page. There are two principal Monolaurin dosage considerations for Monolaurin: 1.) New Symptoms & Outbreaks, and 2.) Ongoing Maintenance, which may include an introductory build-up period. 

Example Monolaurin Dosage Table for an average adult:

# Capsules* x Per day Duration
Introductory Build-up 1 building to 3 1 building to 3 2 weeks
New Symptoms & Outbreaks 2-3 capsules 3 times per day 6 weeks
Maintenance & Ongoing Health 1-2 Capsules 1-3 times per day Ongoing
*Based on 600mg Capsules

Note: Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction or viral "die off" :

Monolaurin may possess strong immune stimulating properties. For some people, this may require a slow buildup to avoid producing a "die off" symptom called the "Herxheimer Reaction". The Herxheimer Reaction occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, begin to die off and release their endotoxins and lipoproteins into the body faster than they can be removed. It can cause a sickness that is ironically similar to the flu, including body aches, headaches and sluggishness. This feeling is temporary and can be avoided by a slow introduction of monolaurin into your daily dietary supplement routine. It is recommended taking 1 or 2 capsules per day for the first three days, slowly increasing the dosage to up to 3 capsules three times per day over the course of two weeks.

1.) For New Symptoms & Outbreaks:

Monolaurin can be taken in large doses for stimulating immune response. A recommended dose for enhanced immune support is 2 or 3 capsules up to three times per day for six weeks or until symptoms are no longer common.

2.) For Maintenance and Ongoing Health:

It is important to maintain overall health and an elevated immune system. A recommended maintenance routine of monolaurin may include 1 or 2 capsules up to three times per day.

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

Learn more:

If you’re interested in learning more about Monolaurin and Herpes, check out the post “Monolaurin and Herpes – The Definitive Guide” which explores the difference between HSV-1, HSV-2, and Herpes Zoster, details herpes symptoms, and explores the science and literature behind many herpes treatment options.

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

References:

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

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

  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. Enig M. Lauric oils as antimicrobial agents: Theory of effect, scientific rationale, and dietary application as adjunct nutritional support for HIV infected individuals. In: Watson R, ed. Nutrients and Foods in AIDS. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1998.

  5. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complimentary Therapies, December 2006.

  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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957173/

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

  8. Projan SJ, Brown-Skrobot S, Schlievert PM, Vandenesch F, Novick RP, J Bacteriol. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits the production of beta-lactamase, toxic shock toxin-1, and other staphylococcal exoproteins by interfering with signal transduction. 1994 Jul; 176(14):4204-9

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

  10. 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.