Potential Antiviral Properties of Monolaurin
Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 3, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.
Can Monolaurin Act As An Effective Treatment Option For Viral Infections?
A large number of viruses, which are essentially tiny germs or microorganisms that invade cells within the body, have been identified through research. When they invade these cells, the use the cells to multiply in the body, creating more viruses. Ultimately, this causes a person to become sick.
Common viral infections (Ref #1) include the common cold, as well as flu. Warts are also caused by viruses. There are also certain viruses that cause more serious diseases. These include Ebola, smallpox, and HIV.
Viral Infections Present A Challenge, Even To Modern-Day Medicine
Medical science has advanced significantly in modern times. However, challenges are still faced by global healthcare systems when it comes to effectively treating viral infections through a pharmaceutical approach. Antiviral drugs are similar to antibiotics in the elimination of specific pathogenic microorganisms in the human body that is causing a patient to be ill. With antiviral medications, however, separate drugs are made for specific viruses – unlike some antibiotics that offer a broad-spectrum treatment approach.
A publication (Ref #2) in the Journal of Virology & Mycology explains that, even though several drugs have been developed to treat viral infections, many challenges are still being faced. In particular, mutations of viruses found today become resistant to the existing antiviral drugs. This makes them ineffective in treating the infections they were developed to treat. The publication does state that new classes of these drugs are in development to provide a broad-spectrum approach to treating different viruses, but evidence of their effectiveness still needs to be proved.
Is Monolaurin Antiviral? And Can It Be Used To Treat Viral Infections?
Monolaurin is often suggested as an alternative approach to the treatment of bacterial infections. Apart from its antibacterial properties, it is important to realize that this compound, mainly found in coconut oil, also has antiviral properties.
Several studies have proven the effectiveness of using monolaurin, often combined with specific compounds, in treating certain types of viral infections. One study (Ref #3) reports the combination of monolaurin and tert-butylhydroxyanisole has been proven effective against 14 different viruses that are known to cause illness in the human body. Over 99.9% reduced viral infectivity.
A study (Ref #4) published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy shared evidence that monolaurin may be an effective option for treating the herpes simplex virus, the visna virus, as well as the vesicular stomatitis virus.