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Monolaurin and Fighting Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 28, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses

Monolaurin has been shown in laboratory studies to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses

What is an Enveloped Virus?

There are two types of viruses – enveloped and non-enveloped. Enveloped viruses are surrounded by a lipid membrane from the host cell in which the virus resides. Examples of these viruses are influenza, HIV/AIDS, and Herpesvirus. The lipid membrane of an enveloped virus originated from the budding of it within the host cell. Unlike non-enveloped viruses, enveloped viruses have lipid membranes that would help their stability, resistance to chemical or physical inactivation, and ease of viral transmission. (Ref #1)

Monolaurin Compounds

Monolaurin has been shown to display antibacterial and antifungal properties. The naturally occurring fatty ester and monoglyceride makes Monolaurin for what it is. Due to its properties, Monolaurin has shown effects of being virucidal against lipid-containing bacteria or viruses, a trait of enveloped viruses. Studies have shown that Monolaurin had little side effects against humans. (Ref #2)

Monolaurin is shown to be significantly potent against 14 types of enveloped viruses. During an in vitro experiment, 99 out of 100 viruses were reduced. The potency of Monolaurin, however, is best shown if it is mixed with other compounds such as tert‐butylhydroxyanisole (BHA), Methylparaben, or sorbic acid. It is so potent that effects begin to show within the first hour. (Ref #2)

Monoglycerides in Human Milk and Enveloped Viruses

Monolaurin is just one example of a monoglyceride. Other studies have shown significant effects of monoglycerides against enveloped viruses. Fatty acids in milk have also displayed the same antiviral properties of Monoglycerides. The lipids in human milk are potent enough to eradicate enveloped viruses such as herpes, vesicular stomatitis virus and simplex virus. (Ref #3)

Fatty Alcohols against Enveloped Viruses

Certain studies have already shown the anti-microbicidal properties of fatty alcohols. There are limitations, however, to the potency of fatty alcohols. It is shown to be most potent only at certain pH levels and certain concentrations. At low pH levels, have no increased activity. Enveloped viruses are more sensitive and capable of changing their ions in their envelope proteins. (Ref #4)

Why Monolaurin?

Monolaurin already proven itself to show little side effects against humans. It has little limitations when compared to fatty alcohols, which are only potent at certain conditions. It is easily available as compared to human breast milk.. Monolaurin even has greater potency at eradicating viruses and bacteria with a probability of 99%. Its potency can even go further if combined with other chemicals and compounds.

If given a chance, Monolaurin might be a potential treatment against various deadly enveloped viruses such as influenza, herpes, and even HIV.

 

References:

  1. Lucas, W. Viral Capsids and Envelopes: Structure and Function. 19 April 2010. In eLS, (Ed.). doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0001091.pub2

  2. Hierholzer, J. C. and kabara, j. J. (1982), In vitro effects of monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety, 4: 1-12. Doi:10.1111/j.1745-4565.1982.tb00429.x

  3. H Thormar, C E Isaacs, H R Brown, M R Barshatzky and T Pessolano. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrob. Agents Chemotherapy. January 1987 vol. 31 no. 1 27-31. doi: 10.1128/AAC.31.1.27

  4. H. HilmarssonB. S. TraustasonT. KristmundsdóttirH. Thormar. Virucidal activities of medium- and long-chain fatty alcohols and lipids against respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus type 2: comparison at different pH levels. Archives of Virology. December 2007, Volume 152, Issue 12, pp 2225–2236 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-007-1063-5

  5. Pietila, M., Laurinavicius, S., Sund, J., Roine, E., & Bamford, D. (2009). The Single-Stranded DNA Genome of Novel Archaeal Virus Halorubrum Pleomorphic Virus 1 Is Enclosed in the Envelope Decorated with Glycoprotein Spikes Journal of Virology, 84 (2), 788-798 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01347-09

Flu Season Is Coming - Can Monolaurin Help?

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: October 19, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Studies Suggest Monolaurin may be Antiviral

2017 was the worst flu season on record, contributing to an estimated 80,000 deaths in the United States. (Ref #1)

2017 was the worst flu season on record, contributing to an estimated 80,000 deaths in the United States. (Ref #1)

Preventing the Flu

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. However, the flu shot only protects against two of the four kinds of influenza virus (influenza A and B, of the four A, B, C, D influenza types). Additionally, the vaccine is designed to protect people from three or four strains of the type A and B virus, which research think will be problematic in a given season. While the flu vaccine is an incredibly powerful tool against influenza, it is not comprehensive given the "best guess" nature of the vaccine.

What if this year's flu shot is not effective?

2017 was a very bad flu season because researchers were unable to accurately predict the strains and mutations of flu which circulated that year. Furthermore, the H3N2 influenza strain was involved causing many more complications and is much harder to prevent with a vaccine. If 2018 is also unable to accurately predict the common flu strains, it may be another record year.

How might Monolaurin help combat Influenza?

Monolaurin is a medium chain fatty acid found in coconut oil. Monolaurin has been studied for its antiviral and antibacterial properties in lab studies, and may have virucidal effects against influenza. (Ref #2)

 Monolaurin may Kill RNA & DNA Viruses

Monolaurin has been shown to inactivate RNA & DNA viruses which may include influenza. These research studies suggest that Monolaurin has potent antiviral effects in the lab. One study suggests Monolaurin is able to inactivate many RNA & DNA viruses:

 "Monolaurin ... were tested for in vitro virucidal activity against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture. At concentrations of 1% additive in the reaction mixture for 1 h at 23°C, all viruses were reduced in infectivity by >99.9%" (Ref #3)

Another research studies goes on to explain how Monolaurin may inactivate these viruses:

"Antiviral fatty acids were found to affect the viral envelope, causing leakage and, at higher concentrations, a complete disintegration of the envelope and the viral particles. Lipids commonly found in natural products could possibly be used as antiviral agents against enveloped viruses."  (Ref #4)

Monolaurin may Kill Other Flu Strains

Monolaurin has been shown in research studies to kill other strains of flu which can effect humans and animals alike. While these are not the same strands as seasonal Influenza (Influenza A and Influenza B), the studies are promising in the therapeutic nature of the results.

Parainfluenza:

Some in vitro studies show Monolaurin is able to kill the parainfluenza virus which commonly cause respiratory illnesses in infants and young children, but anyone can get HPIV illness.

 "The most active compound tested was 1-monoglyceride of capric acid, monocaprin, which also showed activity against influenza A virus and significant virucidal activities after addition to milk products and fruit juices, even at a concentration as low as 0.06–0.12%. The significant virucidal activities of fatty alcohols and lipids on RSV and parainfluenza virus demonstrated in this in vitro study raise the question of the feasibility of using such compounds as ingredients in pharmaceutical dosage forms against respiratory infections caused by these viruses, and possibly other paramyxo- and myxoviruses.” (Ref#5)

H1N1 Pig Influenza (Swine Flu)

Another study goes on to demonstrate the antiviral effects of Monolaurin on H1N1 ("Swine Flu"), suggesting Monolaurin may dissolve the virus and prevent the virus from maturing or spreading:

 "The antiviral action, attributed to monolaurin (the monoglyceride of lauric acid), is that of solubilizing the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the pathogenic organisms causing the disintegration of their outer membrane. There is also evidence that medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) interfere with the organism's signal transduction and the antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to interference with virus assembly and viral maturation." (Ref #6)

 H5N1 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Yet another study suggests that Monolaurin can be beneficial in boosting the immune response in birds compromised with Avian Influenza, resulting in higher weight and survival rates.

"Fatty acid in virgin coconut oil (VCO) was potential as immunostimulant, which therefore could increase chicken immunity through the increase of lymphocyte T and Th-CD4. The result showed that the number of lymphocyte and Th-CD4 in chickens given 10 mL per kg feed and vaccinated with Avian Influenza (AI) was higher than that in chickens given VCO without AI vaccine." (Ref #7)

Conclusion

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot, but if the 2018 vaccine is ineffective or if you are unlucky enough to catch the flu, monolaurin may be a natural alternative to help reduce symptoms or duration.

Choosing the best Monolaurin

Interested in giving Monolaurin a try, but not sure how to pick the right brand, source, or formula? Check out the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide which walks you through many important considerations when selecting a great Monolaurin.

As with all dietary supplements, Monolaurin should be taken under the supervision of a medical professional.



 References:

  1. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html

  2. 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.

  3. Hierholzer, J.C. and Kabara, J.J. In Vitro Effects of Monolaurin Compounds on Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses. Journal of Food Safety 4:1-12 (1982)

  4. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Brown HR. Inactivation of visna virus and other enveloped viruses by free fatty acids and monoglycerides. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 1994 June 6, 724:465–471.

  5. HilmarssonB. S. TraustasonT. KristmundsdóttirH. Thormar. Virucidal activities of medium- and long-chain fatty alcohols and lipids against respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus type 2: comparison at different pH levels. Arch Virol (2007) 152: 2225. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-007-1063-5

  6. Arora R, Chawla R, Marwah R, Arora P, Sharma RK, Kaushik V, Goel R, Kaur A, Silambarasan M, Tripathi RP, Bharwaj JR. Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of NovelH1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 586506, 16 pages

  7. Yuniwarti , E.Y.W. et al. The Effect of Virgin Coconut Oil on Lymphocyte and CD4 in Chicken Vaccinated Against Avian Influenza Virus. Journal of the Indonesian Tropical Animal Agriculture, [S.l.], v. 37, n. 1, p. 64-69, mar. 2012. ISSN 2460-6278.

Using Monolaurin to protect your family during the worst flu season on record

Last Updated: December 18, 2018 | First Published: January 17, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff, Ph.D.

The 2017 - 2018 Flu Season is the worst on record. Can Monolaurin help?

The 2017 - 2018 Flu Season is the worst on record. Can Monolaurin help?

The 2017 - 2018 Flu Season is set to be one of the worst on record. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced that for the first time since the agency has been monitoring the spread of flu, US widespread flu activity has become an "epidemic" (1).

Unfortunately for those who received a flu shot this season, the 2017-2018 vaccine seems to be a relatively poor match, with an estimated 30% efficacy against the H3 strain of the virus.

To support their immune system this flu season, many people have turned to Monolaurin. Monolaurin is a natural antiviral supplement found in coconut oil, and has been shown in various studies to be effective against viruses, including flu virus (2, 3).

Here are some considerations and research on how Monolaurin may be used to fight the flu this season:

  1. Using Monolaurin to prevent getting the flu

    1. Monolaurin has been shown to be effective in preventing infections before they start when taken as a preventative treatment (4). Just 2-4 capsules of monolaurin can help avoid the flu, time off work, and days spent in bed.

  2. Using Monolaurin to fight the flu if you get sick

    1. Monolaurin has been shown to kill enveloped viruses including influenza (5). Monolaurin's powerful antiviral properties have been well documented, and this cold and flu season you can put aside the drowsy cold medicines in favor of Monolaurin. At the onset of symptoms, taking 4-6 capsules of Monolaurin a day can help prevent the flu from spreading and being an issue at all.

  3. Using Monolaurin to combat all flu strains, including H3 and H3N2

    1. Unlike flu shots which are manufactured to be particularly effective against one or two flu strains, Monolaurin can inactivate all enveloped viruses (3). Whatever strain of flu you may pick up, Monolaurin may be able to help.

Washing hands frequently, staying at home, and getting the flu vaccine are still the best ways to avoid getting sick.

If you do find yourself faced with the flu, consider Monolaurin this season.

As with any illness treatment, it is best done with the help and under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

 

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

  2. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid - Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complimentary Therapies. 2006 December. Georgetown University Medical Center

  3. Silver RK et al. Factors in human milk interfering with influenza-virus activities. Science 123:932-933, 1956

  4. 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.

  5. Kabara JJ. The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Champaign, Ill, USA: American Oil Chemist’s Society; 1978. Page 92

 

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