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Monolaurin and UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: September 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory research to eliminate many of the bacteria and fungus which can cause UTIs and bladder infections.

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory research to eliminate many of the bacteria and fungus which can cause UTIs and bladder infections.

What are Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections are caused by bacteria and can occur on both men and women, but is more common in women. Lower urinary tract infections are the most common, which effect the bladder and urethra. However, untreated UTIs can progress and move up the urinary system to impact the kidneys. UTIs should be diagnosed and treated to prevent spreading further complications or recurrences. 

Symptoms of a UTI or Bladder Infection:

UTIs and bladder infections can cause a burning sensation during urination, an intense or sudden urge to urinate, pain in the abdomen, or cloudy / dark urine. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's best to see your doctor and seek treatment.

Traditional UTI Treatment Options:

Common treatments options for UTIs include antibiotics, which can help kill the bacteria contributing to the infection, but at the same time may destroy friendly gut flora. Regular use of antibiotics can also contribute to antibiotic resistance - an increasing concern amongst the medical community. Some homeopathic methods suggest taking cranberry juice or capsules may help treat or prevent a UTI, but the research is not conclusive. One research study which included 319 women with acute UTIs indicated that taking cranberry juice twice daily did not have a decrease in UTIs over six months (Ref #1).

Potential UTI Treatment with Monolaurin:

Monolaurin is a natural supplement derived from coconut oil and has been shown in laboratory studies to express antibacterial properties. Since urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria, eliminating the bacteria may help eliminate the infection

Common types of bacterial which may cause a UTI or bladder infection include:

  1. E. Coli

  2. Candida albicans

  3. Enterococcus faecalis

Monolaurin may have the ability to eliminate these types of bacteria based on published laboratory research:

1. E. Coli  (Escherichia coli)

E. Coli is a gram-negative bacteria commonly associated with foodborne illness and food poisoning. This bacteria can be found in the large intestine and enter the urinary tract causing a UTI. Research suggests that monolaurin is effective in killing gram-negative bacteria and E. Coli (Ref #3). Monlolauin may enter the cell membrane of E. Coli, thus disintegrating and killing the bacteria. (Ref # 4) Monolaurin my help with digestive problems caused by E. Coli, as well as urinary tract infections. Learn more about Monolaurin and E. Coli via the Insights article on Foodborne Bacteria.

2. Candida albicans

Candida albicans is a yeast which can cause yeast infections in women. It can also contribute to UTI and bladder infections. Multiple research studies have demonstrated Monolaurin's ability to kill Candida in the laboratory (Ref #5). Monolaurin demonstrated impressive efficacy of destroying Candida in the lab - killing off over 90% of Candida within 15 minutes and completely eliminating the candida in 120 minutes  (Ref #6). One study suggests that Monolaurin may be helpful in preventing infections caused by Candida (Ref #7). Learn more about Candida and Monolaurin via the Insights article titled Natural Support for Candida and Yeast Infections.

3. Enterococcus faecalis

Enterococcus faecalis is found in most healthy individuals, but can cause urinary tract infections (in addition to other infections like meningitis). Monolaurin has shown the ability in studies to inhibit the growth and production of E. faecalis biofilms (Ref #8) and even overcome vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis strains (Ref #9). Monolaurin has been shown to not cause drug resistance, and can be used to treat infections where traditional antibiotics may fail.

Conclusion

Urinary tract infections impact millions of people around the world, with many of these infections developing into chronic and recurring issues. The well documented antibacterial and antifungal properties of Monolaurin may be an alternative to overcoming these infections in a more natural and safe way. Monolaurin has been shown in the lab to kill three of the most common bacteria and yeasts which can contribute to UTIs, can overcome antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and can do so without harming healthy gut bacteria or contributing to antibiotic resistance. 

 

References:

  1. Barbosa-Cesnik C, Brown MB, Buxton M, Zhang L, DeBusscher J, Foxman B. Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection: results from a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 1;52(1):23-30. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq073

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21148516

  2. Ortega YR. Foodborne Diseases. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2008;14(7):1181. doi:10.3201/eid1407.080346.

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2600358/

  3. Beuchat LA. Comparison of antiviral activities of potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and glycerol and sucrose esters of fatty acids. Appi. Environ. Microbiol. 39:1178, 1980

    1. http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC291503/

  4. Kabara JJ. The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Champaign, Ill, USA: American Oil Chemist’s Society; 1978. Page 92 https://goo.gl/1CcpaV

  5. Bergsson G, Arnfinnsson J, Steingrímsson O, and Thormar H. In Vitro Killing of Candida albicans by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2001 November; 45(11): 3209–3212

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11600381

  6. Zhang H, Xu Y, Wu L, Zheng X, Zhu S, Feng F, Shen L. Anti-yeast activity of a food-grade dilution-stable microemulsion. Applied Microbiology andBiotechnology. 2010 July;87(3):1101-8

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20437043

  7. Preuss HG, Echard B, Zonosi RR. The potential for developing natural antibiotics: Examining oregano and monolaurin. Original Internist 2005;12:119–124

    1. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-138663115.html

  8. Hess DJ, Henry-Stanley MJ, Wells CL. The Natural Surfactant Glycerol Monolaurate Significantly Reduces Development of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis Biofilms. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2015 Oct;16(5):538-42. doi: 10.1089/sur.2014.162. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

    1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26110557

  9. Ruzin A, Novick RP. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits induction of vancomycin resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. Journal of Bacteriology. 1998 Jan; 180(1):182-5

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9422612

The Role of Monolaurin in the Treatment of Bacterial Infections

Last Updated: December 14, 2018 | First Published: June 11, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

There have been many laboratory studies on the Monolaurin and bacteria

There have been many laboratory studies on the Monolaurin and bacteria

Bacterial infections are relatively common today. While the use of antibiotics has been an effective approach to the treatment of these infections for many years, modern-day healthcare systems are recognizing the increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance. One study [Ref #1] explains that the widespread resistance against antibiotic drugs is caused by the misuse and the overuse of antibiotics. Untreated bacterial infections, even in the case of antibiotic resistance, can lead to fatal complications.

Different types of bacterial infections have been identified in human patients [Ref #2]. These infections can often be classified as primary or secondary, as well as either acute or chronic. A bacterial infection can also be localized, pyogenic or generalized. Infections can affect different parts of the body, including the lungs, the throat, the gums, stomach, and other areas.

Monolaurin In The Treatment Of Infection

The human body is a host to billions of microorganisms, including bacteria. While many of these organisms are beneficial for the human body, some of them can be pathogenic, which means they cause harm. The infestation of pathogenic bacteria species in the human body can lead to the development of an infection.
This calls for the scientists to start looking at alternative options for the treatment of bacterial infections. Many natural treatments have been suggested for the use against the presence of an infection caused by bacterium species in the human body, but only a few of these substances hold clinically significant data behind their effectiveness. Monolaurin is one particular substance that has been proven effective.

Monolaurin is a naturally-derived medium chain fatty acid that can be extracted from glycerin and lauric acid [Red#3]. The substance is also a coconut fat byproduct. While this substance has become quite popular in the preservation of food, recent studies have started to take a look at the use of Monolaurin in bacterial infections.

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted and proven the effectiveness of Monolaurin in the treatment of infections caused by specific types of bacterium species.

  • Straphylococcus Aureus – This bacteria can cause skin infections, pneumonia, endocarditis, sepsis, meningitis, osteomyelitis, and more. The species have also been associated with toxic shock syndrome. One study [Ref #4] found the extracts of Monolaurin from coconut oil, combined with an agent known as lactic acid, very effective in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by the Staphylococcus aureus species. The study explains that Monolaurin resulted in a loss of membranes and cytoplasm in Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cells.

  • Enteroccocus – A group of bacterium species that often causes wound infections, as well as infections in soft tissue within the human body. One study [Ref #5] found the use of Monolaurin extracts to be statistically significant when the effects of this extract were tested on Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter spp, Enterococcus spp, E. vulneris, and Streptococcus spp. All of the tests performed in these studies were performed on samples obtained from skin infections.

  • Escherichia Coli – Often referred to as E. coli, when pathogenic, these bacteria can cause infections to develop in the intestines, leading to gastrointestinal discomfort, pain and other accompanying symptoms. Studies have proven Monolaurin concentrations of 20mg/ml to be effective in reducing colony growth density in human subjects.

Conclusion

Infections caused by bacteria can cause life-threatening complications. Antibiotics are the conventional treatment option used to eliminate the presence of a bacterial infection, but with an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance, the world is looking for alternative methods to help treat these infections. Monolaurin has the potential to assist with the elimination of infections caused by particular types of bacterium species.

Lean more about the bacterium Monolaurin has been researched to treat on the Research page

References

  1. C. L. Ventola. The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis. Journal of Pharmacy and Therapeutics. April 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378521/

  2. J.W. Peterson. Bacterial Pathogenesis. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8526/

  3. J. Seladi-Schulman. What Is Monolaurin? Healthline. 22 August 2017. https://www.healthline.com/health/monolaurin

  4. P. Tangwatcharin, P. Khopaibool. Activity of virgin coconut oil, lauric acid or monolaurin in combination with lactic acid against Staphylococcus aureus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. July 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23077821

  5. B.G. Carpo, V.M. Verallo-Rowell, J. Kabara. Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from sin infections: an in vitro study. U.S. National Library of Medicine. October 2007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17966176

Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. Dr. Zayed is a contributing author for Natural Cure Labs.

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