Monolaurin and Lyme Disease
Last Updated: August 1, 2018 | First Published: June 18, 2017
Reviewed by: Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff, Ph.D.
Monolaurin against Chronic and Long-term Lyme disease
Introduction to Lyme
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and can effect over 300,000 people per year in North America. Spread by ticks, Lyme disease may begin with a rash followed by severe headaches, stiffness, joint pain, nerve pain, and flu-like symptoms.
Traditionally, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics when caught early. However, some patients are unable or unwilling to use antibiotics, or have symptoms which last for longer than six months. Long term symptoms of Lyme disease is commonly called "Chronic Lyme disease", but the proper term is “Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS). [Ref #1]
Chronic Lyme Disease and Monolaurin
For those suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease or PTLDS, natural antibacterial and antiviral supplements like Monolaurin can be an effective option.
Monolaurin is a naturally occurring medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil with powerful and well-researched antimicrobial properties. Lean more in the Monolaurin Essential Guide.
For treating Lyme disease, Monolaurin has exciting research to support its benefits.
Eliminate the Bacteria that Causes Lyme Disease
A 2015 in-vitro study tested monolaurin on the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii (the bacteria which cause Lyme disease in humans) and concluded:
"The most effective antimicrobial compounds against all morphological forms of the two tested Borrelia sp. were baicalein and monolaurin. This might indicate that the presence of fatty acid and phenyl groups is important for comprehensive antibacterial activity." [Ref #2]
Monolaurin has been studied for its potential to support healthy immune function. This study illustrates how Monolaurin may inactivate the specific bacteria which causes Lyme disease in the lab. For a longer list of monolaurin research and different test subjects, please see the "Monolaurin Top 10" page.
Some Professionals Use Monolaurin Against Lyme Disease
Specialized treatment protocols which leverage Monolaurin's potential health properties have been utilized by some medical professionals. One doctor and author, Dr. Richard Horowitz, whose clinic has treated over 12,000 patients over the past 26 years wrote about Monolaurin in his 2017 book:
"Monolaurin, a coconut oil extract, has also recently been shown to have the ability to significantly affect three morphological forms of Borrelia burgdoferi and Borrelia garinii: spirochetes, latent round body forms, and borrelia biofilms, while simultaneously deceasing yeast overgrowth in the GI tract." [Ref #3]
For more specific guidance on dosing and using Monolaurin as a dietary supplement, please see the "Monolaurin Dosing" page.
Monolaurin as a "Biofilm Buster" for Lyme
Monolaurin may possess natural "biofilm buster" qualities and has been the subject of several lab studies which focus on the ability to dissolve biofilms in vitro. [Ref #4] Biofilm provides bacteria a hiding place by forming a physical barrier and causing physiological changes in cells. The elimination of biofilm is essential to killing the bacteria and eliminating infections like Lyme disease. [Ref #5]
Monoacylglycerols like Monolaurin are recognized as safe [Ref #6] and have been tested in laboratory settings to inhibit biofilms. [Ref #5] One study explains:
“Monoacylglycerols with two specific lengths of fatty acid moiety, monolaurin and monobehenin, were found to have strong inhibitory activity toward bacterial biofilm formation of S. mutans, X. oryzae, and Y. enterocolitica in a strain specific manner. First, this result suggested that biofilm formation was not inhibited by the detergent characteristics of monoacylglycerols. This suggestion was supported by the inhibitory action of monolaurin on biofilm development but not on the initial cell attachment of Y. enterocolitica in flow cytometric observation.” [Ref #5]
When taking Monolaurin as a dietary supplement to support the immune system, many people have found the "low and slow" method beneficial to avoid any "Herx" (Herxheimer Reaction) die-off symptoms common with Lyme disease. Monolaurin may kill off bacteria faster than your body is able to filter out the endotoxins and dead bacteria which may result in some flu-like symptoms including muscle and joint pain, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, etc. This discomfort is temporary and can generally be avoided by a slow introduction of Monolaurin into your regimen.
If this is your first time taking Monolaurin, be sure to note some of the important considerations when selecting your first Monolaurin product in the Buying Guide.
Monolaurin has no defined safe upper limit, but many have found relief with taking two 600mg capsules daily with meals. Any treatment should be administered under the guidance and supervision of a health care professional.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Lyme Disease https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/treatment/index.html
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
Horowitz, Richard. How Can I Get Better?: An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme & Chronic Disease. St. Martin's Griffin, 2017. P73
Seleem D, Chen E, Benso B, Pardi V, Murata RM. In vitro evaluation of antifungal activity of monolaurin against Candida albicans biofilms. Goyal P, ed. PeerJ. 2016;4:e2148. doi:10.7717/peerj.2148.
Ham Y, Kim T-J. Inhibitory activity of monoacylglycerols on biofilm formation in Aeromonas hydrophila, Streptococcus mutans, Xanthomonas oryzae, and Yersinia enterocolitica. SpringerPlus. 2016;5(1):1526. doi:10.1186/s40064-016-3182-5
FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505