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Lyme Disease - treating chronic and long term issues resulting from Borrelia burgdorferi

Last Updated: January 4, 2019 | First Published: July 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Lyme disease can be spread by ticks. Could Monolaurin help stop chronic Lyme symptoms?

Lyme disease can be spread by ticks. Could Monolaurin help stop chronic Lyme symptoms?

Lyme disease remains one of the most common diseases in both Europe and the United States transmitted through animals – in this case, a tick bite. The disease is caused by the transmission and infestation of bacteria in the Borrelia burgdorferi species.

This disease tends to affect the nervous system, the heart, the skin, and the musculoskeletal system (Ref #1). One of the earliest signs of an infection is a Lyme disease rash, also known as erythema migrans, a circular rash which can occur one day to one months after a tick bite. 

Other Lyme disease symptoms usually tend to include fatigue, malaise, fever, arthralgia, and headaches (Ref #3). A patient typically also develops swelling and pain in their joints.

Initial Treatment Protocols For Lyme Disease

The most common Lyme disease treatment used during the early and later stages of the infection is antibiotic therapy. This usually includes a daily dose of amoxicillin or doxycycline for up to 14 days. Erythromycin or cefuroxime may also be used, depending on the stage of the infection. When a patient does not respond well to a prescribed antibiotic, another antibiotic may be used. There is a rising concern over antibiotic resistance that physicians need to keep in mind during the prescription of these medications.

Antibiotic borrelia treatment is usually delivered through oral administration, but in more severe cases of Lyme disease, intravenous delivery of the antibiotics may be the preferred option.

Chronic Lyme Disease: A Complex Issue

While most patients tend to experience significant relief of symptoms within the first 14 days of antibiotic treatment, some continue to suffer from joint pain, cognitive impairment and other symptoms even after they have been successfully treated.

While antibiotic treatment has been suggested for the treatment of chronic Lyme disease, the dangers of excessive antibiotic use usually outweigh the potential benefits. Additionally, the infection has cleared up in most cases of chronic Lyme disease, which is why targeting the symptoms instead of Lyme disease itself in such cases may be a better solution.

The continuous use of antibiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance, as well as reactions that may include a compromised immune system. The use of Monolaurin has been suggested as an effective alternative as both a first line of treatment approach, as well as in the case where Lyme disease causes chronic symptoms.

One study (Red #4) confirms that the antibacterial activity of Monolaurin is highly effective in killing of the Borrelia burgdoferi bacteria that causes Lyme disease. The study also revealed that, when compared to certain antibacterial phytonutrients and even micronutrients, the use of Monolaurin poses as a potent agent, as lower concentrations of this substance led to similar effects as with some compounds that were used at higher concentrations.

Conclusion

Lyme disease is common in various areas of the world and typically resolves soon after antibiotic treatment is initiated. Some patients do, however, continue to experience symptoms after successful treatment of the infection. Long-term use of antibiotics in the treatment of chronic Lyme disease is discouraged. Attending to the symptoms experienced by the patient may yield a more favorable outcome.

 

References

  1. Biesiada, G. Czepiel, J. Leśniak, MR. Garlicki, A, and Mach T. Lyme disease: review. Archives of Medical Science. 8 October 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3542482/

  2. I. Stock. Lyme disease – clinical manifestations and treatment. U.S. National Library of Medicine. May 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27348896

  3. Bratton RL, Whiteside JW, Hovan MJ, Engle RL, Edwards FD.. Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. U.S. National Library of Medicine. May 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18452688

  4. A. Goc, A. Niedzwiecki and M. Rath. In vitro evaluation of antibacterial activity of phytochemicals and micronutrients against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 22 November 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4738477/

Monolaurin and Lyme Disease - treating chronic and long term Lyme disease with Monolaurin

Last Updated: December 12, 2018 | First Published: June 18, 2017
Reviewed by: Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff, Ph.D.

Lyme disease is one of the most common infections in North America and Europe. Could Monolaurin help combat the symptoms of Chronic Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is one of the most common infections in North America and Europe. Could Monolaurin help combat the symptoms of Chronic Lyme disease?

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). [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.

For treating Lyme disease, Monolaurin has exciting research to support its benefits. 

Monolaurin Kills 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." [2]

Monolaurin has been long studied for its strong antibacterial properties, and this particular study demonstrated how Monolaurin can be effective on the specific bacteria which causes Lyme disease. For a comprehensive list of the bacteria, viruses, and yeast which monolaurin is known to inactivate, please see the "Monolaurin Top 10" page. 

Professionals Use Monolaurin to Treat Lyme Disease

Full treatment protocols which leverage Monolaurin's strong antibacterial properties to treat Lyme have been prescribed 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." [3]

For more specific guidance on dosing and using Monolaurin for various infections, please see the "Monolaurin Dosing" page. 

Monolaurin as a "Biofilm Buster" for Lyme 

Monolaurin is a natural "biofilm buster" and benefits from several studies which show its efficacy in dissolving biofilms in vitro. [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. [5]

Monoacylglycerols like Monolaurin are recognized as safe and have been tested in the lab to inhibit biofilms. [5]

Additional supporting research on the therapeutic benefits of Monolaurin on biofilms, yeast, and bacterial infections can be found on the "Research" page. 

Starting a Lyme Disease Treatment Protocol with Monolaurin

To begin a Lyme disease treatment protocol with Monolaurin, many people have found the "low and slow" method beneficial to avoid any "Herx" (Herxheimer Reaction) die-off 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.

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Lyme Disease https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/treatment/index.html

  2. 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

  3. Horowitz, Richard. How Can I Get Better?: An Action Plan for Treating Resistant Lyme & Chronic Disease. St. Martin's Griffin, 2017. P73

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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