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Busting Biofilms - How Monolaurin may Help Control Issues with Biofilms

Last Updated: January 6, 2019 | First Published: July 9, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Biofilms can harbor bacteria and fungi - can Monolaurin help disrupt these collectives to promote better health?

Biofilms can harbor bacteria and fungi - can Monolaurin help disrupt these collectives to promote better health?

By forming a collective in biofilms, bacteria and fungi survive and guarantee their growth and expansion [Ref #1]. Bacteria and fungi thrive in biofilms because of the large number of species present -allowing the biofilm to endure and adapt. If a toxic substance is presented, the biome mutates by choosing the most adaptable species which often leads to antibiotic resistance. Biofilms often cause infections that are complex, chronic, and immune to antibiotic treatment. The effects of contamination are often widespread and costly: from clinical treatment infections to outbreaks like salmonella [Ref #2] and recurring fungal infection.

Monolaurin and Disrupting Biofilms

Because of its antibiotic resistance, researchers need to look for other ways to control biofilms and monolaurin may be one of these alternative forms of treatment.

Monolaurin is a natural compound, commonly found in coconut oil, known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties [Ref #3]. Various studies have demonstrated impressive benefits of Monolaurin as a biofilm disruptor which include:

  • Prevention of diseases caused by certain types of Salmonella [Ref #4]

    • Monolaurin has been found effective in some strains of salmonella with single lipopolysaccharide layers. The lipopolysaccharide layers of biofilms are responsible for adhesion, growth, and protection of bacterial and fungal culture. Monolaurin's antibacterial properties can act as a biofilm disruptor in this layer.

  • Stops fungal growth in the mycelium by targeting digestive enzymes [Ref #5]

    • The mycelium is responsible for feeding the fungal biofilm through several digestive enzymes. Trehalose is one of the digestive enzymes responsible for both growth and adaptation. Without trehalose, the mycelium cannot get any nutrition. Monolaurin is potent against trehalose. Its antifungal properties allow it to stop both the growth and the mutation of the fungi mycelium.

  • Inhibits bacterial genes that are responsible for releasing toxins.

    • Monolaurin also fortifies host cells from toxic shock.

  • Attacks fungi and yeasts without affecting the body’s PH

    • Fungal infections in the female reproductive system are complicated to treat. Most antifungals damage the mycelium but have the side effect of destabilizing the body's PH. Monolaurin is able to destroy fungal infections without disrupting the body’s natural acidic levels.

  • Alters biofilm formation

    • By changing biofilm formation, monolaurin breaks down the defense structure of biofilms.

  • Improves immune system function

    • Biofilms' antibiotic resistance can be difficult for patients who are immunocompromised. Monolaurin has the added benefit of activating T-cells needed to fight infection without triggering autoantibodies.

Conclusion

Biofilm infections are complex and costly. As biofilms learn to adapt, alternative forms of treatment are necessary. Monolaurin is at the frontline of the treatment needed to disrupt biofilms. As research on the compound's properties grows, so are the chances of controlling biofilm infections.

References

  1. Høiby, Niels et al. “The Clinical Impact of Bacterial Biofilms.” International Journal of Oral Science 3.2 (2011): 55–65. PMC. Web. 16 June 2018.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469878/

  2. Giaouris, Efstathios et al. “Intra- and Inter-Species Interactions within Biofilms of Important Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens.” Frontiers in Microbiology 6 (2015): 841. PMC. Web. 16 June 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4542319/

  3. Seleem, Dalia et al. “ In Vitro Evaluation of Antifungal Activity of Monolaurin against Candida Albicans Biofilms.” Ed. Pankaj Goyal. PeerJ 4 (2016): e2148. PMC. Web. 16 June 2018.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4924139/

  4. Mueller, Elizabeth A., and Patrick M. Schlievert. “Non-Aqueous Glycerol Monolaurate Gel Exhibits Antibacterial and Anti-Biofilm Activity against Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Pathogens.” Ed. Gunnar F Kaufmann. PLoS ONE10.3 (2015): e0120280. PMC. Web. 16 June 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370562/

  5. Parente-Rocha, Juliana Alves et al. “Antifungal Resistance, Metabolic Routes as Drug Targets, and New Antifungal Agents: An Overview about Endemic Dimorphic Fungi.” Mediators of Inflammation 2017 (2017): 9870679. PMC. Web. 16 June 2018.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485324/

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Mono - what's the difference, and how can Monolaurin help?

Last Updated: December 17, 2018 | First Published: June 18, 2017
Reviewed by: Dr. Viatcheslav Wlassoff, Ph.D.

Does EBV contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and can Monolaurin help break the cycle?

Does EBV contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and can Monolaurin help break the cycle?

What is the difference between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and infectious mononucleosis (Mono or Glandular fever)? All three can cause symptoms of weakness, fatigue, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, however each is different in its own way. We aim to separate these three conditions and help explain where Monolaurin may help.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

At the highest level, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a disorder characterized by a state of extreme fatigue that persists for more than 6 months and has (seemingly) no underlying medical condition. The cause of CFS is unknown, but because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers think some viruses might trigger the disorder. An Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) infection can lead to a state of chronic fatigue, but may not be the cause of CFS. Because CFS affects people in different ways, treatment is typically tailored for their symptoms.

Epstein-Barr Virus:

Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is part of the herpes family of viruses and is extremely common. Most people who are exposed to EBV, especially during adolescence, acquire the infection that quickly becomes dormant. EBV can also cause symptoms of fatigue, fever, sore throat, and swollen nodes, some of which are similar to CFS. Once infected with EBV, the virus becomes latent (inactive) in your body and in some cases may reactivate. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for EBV.

Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono):

Mono (or Glandular fever) also causes symptoms of extreme fatigue, fever, sore throat, body aches, swollen nodes, etc. The most common virus to cause Mono is Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), but other viruses can also cause the disease. Similar to EBV, once you contract Mono you will always carry the virus which may become active later. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Mono.

Treating Chronic Fatigue:

The common thread amongst the three conditions appears to be Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). EBV clearly causes many of the symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Mono, and in some cases can directly contribute to the condition (as is the case with Mono).

Because EBV is an enveloped herpes family virus, it may respond to treatment from Monolaurin, which has a long and successful history against herpes viruses in research. Monolaurin, a medium chain fatty acid found naturally in coconut oil, has been shown in the lab to destroy enveloped and herpes viruses, including EBV. [1, 2]

Monolaurin disrupts the lipid bilayer of the virus preventing attachment to susceptible host cells. Monolaurin inhibits the replication of viruses by interrupting the binding of virus to host cells and prevents uncoating of viruses necessary for replication and infection. Monolaurin can remove all measurable infectivity by directly disintegrating the viral envelope, and Monolaurin binding to the viral envelope makes a virus more susceptible to host defenses (your natural immune system) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Killing the EBV virus may in turn impact the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue or Mono. 

Those suffering from EBV may consider the observations by John W. Hill in his book "Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes, Cold Sores and Shingles: A Review of the Scientific and Medical Literature". Here, monolaurin is explored and recommended for its antiviral properties. [6]

A therapeutic dose of monolaurin can be 1800mg to 2400 mg per day (3-4 600mg capsules per day), and will depend on the individual. [1] See additional detailed dosing information in the Dosing Guide

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

Any new treatment should always be under the guidance and supervision of a health care professional.

 

References:

  1. Lieberman, S. Antiviral Intervention for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. Feb/March 2014, P75.

  2. Lieberman S, Enig MG, Preuss HG. A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid Natural Virucidal and Bactericidal Agents. Alternative & Complimentary Therapies, December 2006. 12(6): 310-314.

  3. 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.

  4. Sands J, Auperin D, Snipes W. Extreme sensitivity of enveloped viruses, including Herpes Simplex, to long chain unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 15; 1:67-73, 1979.

  5. Isaacs CE and Schneidman K. (1991) Enveloped viruses in human and bovine milk are inactivated by added fatty acids (FAs) and monoglycerides (MGs). J FASEB 5: Abstract 5325, p.A1288.

  6. Hill, J. Natural Treatments for Genital Herpes, Cold Sores and Shingles: A Review of the Scientific and Medical Literature. Clear Springs Press; 2nd edition (January 7, 2012)

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