Monolaurin & HPV (Human Papillomavirus) - Benefits, Dosage, Side Effects
Last Updated: May 6, 2019 | First Published: January 31, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Razak Nohri, Pharm.D, M.Phil, MBA
Monolaurin and HPV - Monolaurin has been widely researched for its benefits in supporting healthy immune function. This article will cover some of the basics of Monolaurin and HPV, but for more detail please view the Essential Guide to Monolaurin.
What is Monolaurin?
Monolaurin is a natural dietary supplement derived from coconut oil. It has been widely researched for its powerful immune boosting properties in vitro and in vivo. A majority of the research and clinical application seems to focus on the affect on Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1 or cold sores) and Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2 or genital herpes), but monolaurin may support immune response in the presence of HPV (Human papillomavirus).
Monolaurin and HPV
Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to disrupt viruses by attacking the protective lipid sheath of a virus' DNA & RNA, effectively disintegrating the virus. Some research suggests that monolaurin further prevents the replication of viruses by binding to this lipid coat and making replication and infection impossible [Ref # 1, 2, 3]. When it comes to HPV, some in vitro studies discuss HPV and monolaurin [Ref #4]. Further research suggests that coconut products may be helpful in supporting the immune system in the presence of certain types of cancers - including those caused by HPV - due to the its medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) content [Ref# 5].
Monolaurin is natural, non-toxic, and listed on the FDA's "Generally Regarded as Safe" (GRAS) list [Ref #8]. Monolaurin can be used to support a healthy immune response without contributing to antibiotic resistance [Ref #6]. Monolaurin may be taken before exposure to various microbes to maintain a healthy immune system [Ref #7]. A list of select monolaurin studies and respective excerpts can be found on the monolaurin Research Page.
Monolaurin can be taken at different dosages and intervals depending on the individual and the ilevel of immune support required. The "low and slow" introduction to monolaurin is generally accepted - beginning with a low dosage (one capsule once per day, for example) will help introduce the individual to the supplement and avoid the herxheimer reaction (a rapid die-off of virus which creates ironic flu-like symptoms). A gradual build up to two capsules with each meal (three times daily) is generally tolerated for most individuals. Larger or smaller doses can be used depending on unique needs of the individual and the direction of a medical professional. See additional detailed dosing information in the Dosing Guide .
Monolaurin Side Effects
Given its natural source, Monolaurin has limited literature with regard to side effects. Monolaurin has no documented "upper limit", but if taken too quickly at high doses may cause a rapid viral or bacterial die-off commonly known as the herxheimer reaction. The result is an abundance of dead virus or bacteria by-products in the body which may inadvertently cause an immune response similar to the flu. Monolaurin has a naturally soapy taste if the capsule is opened or chewed, and some may experience stomach upset if large doses are taken on an empty stomach. Synthetic fillers or excipients added by some manufacturers may contribute to digestion issues, which include magnesium stearate (slows absorption), glycerol (can upset the stomach), or silica (may cause cell inflammation). When looking for a monolaurin, try and avoid synthetic fillers, surfactants, or excipients.
Monolaurin is a powerful supplement, and if used correctly and in conjunction with other supplements or lifestyle changes may help stimulate a healthy immune response.
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.
As with any new dietary supplement, Monolaurin should be taken under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional.
Thormar, H.; Isaacs, C. E.; Brown, H. R.; Barshatzky, M. R.; Pessolano, T. (1987-01-01). "Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 31(1): 27–31.
Arora, Rajesh; Chawla, R.; Marwah, Rohit; Arora, P.; Sharma, R. K.; Kaushik, Vinod; Goel, R.; Kaur, A.; Silambarasan, M. (2011-01-01). "Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud". Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011: 1–16
Isaacs, C. E.; Kim, K. S.; Thormar, H. (1994-06-06). "Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human bodily fluids by purified lipids". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 724: 457–464.
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.
Fife, B. "Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut". Piccadilly Books, Ltd. October 27, 2011
Carpo, Beatriz G.; Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M.; Kabara, Jon (2007-10-01). "Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study". Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD. 6 (10): 991–998
Fahmy ZH, Aly E, Shalsh I, Mohamed AH. The effect of medium chain saturated fatty acid (monolaurin) on levels of the cytokines on experimental animal in Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia infection. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. January 2014.
FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505