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Monolaurin and Herpes – The Definitive Guide

Last Updated: February 19, 2019 | First Published: September 2, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Introduction to Herpes

Herpes is a common and global virus. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 67% of the world’s population has HSV-1 (oral herpes which can cause cold sores) and 11% of the population has HSV-2 (genital herpes) [Ref #] It is possible to have a Herpes Simplex infection and not have any symptoms. Herpes is a lifelong disease and can be spread even when symptoms are not present. Antiviral medications like acyclovir can help relieve the frequency and intensity of symptoms, but there is no “cure”.


Types of Herpes

Herpesviridae is a family of DNA viruses, which include many types and strains but the most common include HSV-1, HSV-2, and Herpes Zoster.

Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV 1) – Oral Herpes

Herpes Simplex 1, or HSV-1, is most commonly known as “oral herpes”. HSV-1 can cause cold sores or fever blisters around the lips and mouth, but can also affect others parts of the body including the genital area. Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates that up to 80% of individuals in the United States has HSV-1, making it one of the most common infections. [Ref #2]

More Information: Explore additional details about Monolaurin and its potential impact on cold sores on the Insights blog.

Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV 2) – Genital Herpes

Herpes Simplex 2, or HSV-2, causes genital herpes and is almost exclusively sexually transmitted. HSV-2 effects more women than men globally, and affects upwards of 15% of people in the Americas. HSV-2 can be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, meaning many people can be infected without knowing it. Generally, HSV-2 causes blisters or ulcers in the genital and anal region.

More Information: Read more about HSV-2 and Monolaurin on the Insights blog.  

Herpes Zoster – Shingles

Herpes Zoster is a type of herpes virus which can cause shingles via the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (the virus which causes chicken pox). Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, can cause painful skin rashes and blisters.

More Information: Read more about Herpes Zoster (Shingles) on the Insights blog 


Herpes Symptoms

Depending on the type of herpes infection, the symptoms may vary. In short:

Herpes Symptoms by Type

HSV-1 (Oral herpes)

Characterized by painful blisters on or around the lips which can be accompanied by tingling, itching, leading eventually oozing and or crusting.

HSV-2 (Genital herpes)

Similar to the symptoms of HSV-1, genital herpes can be characterized by painful blisters or sores, tingling, and or itching around the genital area.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters which occurs in a strip on either side of the body or face. There may also be tingling or local pain in the area before an outbreak.

Herpes Outbreak

An outbreak is simply the expression of symptoms resulting from a herpes virus infection. An initial outbreak may last days or weeks. There may be delays between outbreaks lasting weeks or months. Outbreaks and outbreak symptoms may diminish over time, and it is possible to be infected with a herpes family virus with little or no symptoms.


Traditional herpes treatments use antivirals to suppress the virus, but what if Monolaurin could actually kill the herpes virus?

Traditional herpes treatments use antivirals to suppress the virus, but what if Monolaurin could actually kill the herpes virus?

Herpes Cure

Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2 are lifelong infections with no known cure. Monolaurin, a natural supplement derived from coconut, has been studied in various in vitro laboratory experiments to inactivate the Herpes Simplex virus, but this may not correlate to the inactivation of herpes virus in vivo. This section explores and highlights some academic and scientific research which may suggest Monolaurin kills herpes, however additional research is required to conclude that Monolaurin can cure herpes.

Suppressive Treatment for Herpes with Antivirals:

Controlling the frequency, duration, and intensity of herpes outbreaks is the main goal of suppression therapies and antiviral drugs. Reducing virus replication and in turn reducing the risk of transmission is another goal of antiviral therapy. Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are common antivirals used to treat herpes, but there is growing concern that the virus may develop resistance to the drug making them less effective [Ref #3]. Furthermore, some individuals face unwanted side effects from  antiviral pharmaceuticals including rash, hair loss, headaches, depression, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting (Ref #15, 16, 17)

Potentially Kill Herpes by Disintegrating the Viral Envelope:

A possible alternative to suppressing the symptoms and replication of the virus may be to kill the herpes virus. Herpes is an enveloped virus, meaning there is a fatty protective layer (envelope) surrounding the virus. Monolaurin has been shown in some laboratory studies to kill enveloped viruses, which may include herpes virus.

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 interfere with the organism’s signal transduction and the antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to interference with virus assembly and viral maturation.” [Ref #4]

"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. They also caused disintegration of the plasma membranes of tissue culture cells resulting in cell lysis and death."[Ref #5]

Lipids commonly found in natural products could possibly be used as antiviral agents against enveloped viruses." [Ref #6]

Killing the viral envelope of the herpes virus might produce effects similar to traditional antiviral suppressant drugs without the risk of side effects or drug resistance common to pharmaceuticals. 

More Information: To learn more about enveloped viruses and Monolaurin, please see the Insights Article called Fighting Enveloped RNA and DNA Viruses


Monolaurin, made from coconut, has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate enveloped viruses like Herpes

Monolaurin, made from coconut, has been shown in laboratory studies to inactivate enveloped viruses like Herpes

Monolaurin for Herpes – Does Monolaurin Kill Herpes?

Monolaurin has been the subject of numerous clinical studies which test if Monolaurin kills herpes, if Monolaurin is effective for herpes, and if Monolaurin can eradicate herpes. While the majority of the tests are in vitro (in the lab) and not clinically supported, the results are provocative with regard to Monolaurin’s ability to kill herpes.

Some studies and publications report success with Monolaurin to kill herpes in the lab:

"In studies performed at the Respiratory Virology Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, Monolaurin was found effective against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture. These included influenza, RSV, Rubeola, Newcastle's, Coronavirus, Herpes Simplex types 1 & 2, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus. Monolaurin removed all measurable infectivity by disintegrating the virus envelope." [Ref #7]

We have shown that a variety of fatty acids and fatty acid derivatives have potent antiviral effects against the lipid-containing bacteriophages PM2, ø6, and PR4 and against at least one enveloped mammalian virus, herpes simplex virus type 2.” [Ref #8]

"Unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols of chain lengths of 16 or 18 carbons were found to be extremely potent inactivators of two enveloped viruses, herpes simplex virus type 2 and bacteriophage phi6 " [Ref 9]

These publications suggest that Monolaurin kills herpes in the lab. However, more research is needed to establish if Monolaurin cures herpes in the body.

More Information: Read more about Herpes family viruses and Monolaurin in the Insights Blog post by Dr. Zayed here.  


Monolaurin may be taken during a herpes outbreak to reduce severity and duration, and in-between outbreaks to limit frequency.

Monolaurin may be taken during a herpes outbreak to reduce severity and duration, and in-between outbreaks to limit frequency.

Monolaurin Dosage and Protocol for Herpes

Monolaurin is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration [Ref #10], and some choose to take it as a dietary supplement with the goal of using Monolaurin against herpes.

A Monolaurin dosage for herpes will generally be separated into three areas, as explained below. 
For more detailed dosing information, see the Monolaurin Dosage Guide.

1. Build Up

People respond differently to dietary supplements, so it’s recommended to start slow and build up to a level you are individually comfortable with. In some cases, the strong antimicrobial properties of Monolaurin may trigger a reaction called the Herxheimer (Herx) Reaction, or “die off”. A Herx Reaction may occur if Monolaurin is taken at high doses in a short period of time, causing a die-off of more viruses and bacteria than your body can effectively filter. This may trigger an inflammatory response ironically similar to the flu, called the “Herx Reaction”. To avoid this, you may want to start with a low dose of monolaurin and slowly build up to a therapeutic dose over time.

More Information: To learn more about the causes and symptoms of the Herx Reaction / Die off, please see the Insights article : Monolaurin Die Off Symptoms.

2. During Outbreaks

During a herpes outbreak, many increase their dose of Monolaurin in response to the increased viral load. The monolaurin dosage during a herpes outbreak will depend on the individuals’ physical characteristics (weight, etc) and the severity of the symptoms. It may be best to increase monolaurin intake at the very beginning of symptoms to try and stop an outbreak before it becomes an issue. Some people will find taking 2-3 600mg capsules 3 times per day helpful during a herpes outbreak.

3. Maintenance

In-between outbreaks, some people find it beneficial to maintain a daily dose of Monolaurin to promote general health and prevent future outbreaks. A routine dose might include 1-2 capsules 2 or 3 times per day.

More Information: For more detailed information on monolaurin herpes protocols and dosing guidance, including monolaurin during a herpes outbreak, please see the Monolaurin Dosing Guide.


Monolaurin Side Effects

As mentioned in the Build Up section above, the most common symptoms individuals may encounter is a “Herx Reaction” which may be attributed to the rapid die off of virus and bacteria caused by Monolaurin. To avoid this, a slow introduction of Monolaurin at low doses might help.

Other side effects are those similar to an increased intake of coconut oil. The medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil have been linked to side-effects like stomach discomfort, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. [Ref #11]

More Information: Additional details on the health benefits and potential side effects of coconut oil is available in the blog post on Coconut Oil.


Monolaurin may work in conjunction with L-Lysine to reduce symptoms and duration of a Herpes infection.

Monolaurin may work in conjunction with L-Lysine to reduce symptoms and duration of a Herpes infection.

Monolaurin and L-Lysine

Monolaurin is not the only supplement which has shown promising results in laboratory studies against herpes. When combined with L-lysine, synergistic benefits may be realized.

L-Lysine has been shown to potentially reduce the symptoms and duration of a herpes infection [Ref #12]. L-Lysine has also demonstrated the potential to reduce the recurrence of herpes outbreak [Ref #13]. Yet another study showed L-lysine could help with reducing the replication of the virus in the lab [Ref #14]. These studies suggest that while Monolauin may help disable or destroy the Herpes virus, L-Lysine can play a potential accompanying role in reducing the symptoms, duration, recurrence, and replication of the herpes virus.

More Information: For additional information on L-Lysine and Monolaurin for herpes, check out the article: Monolaurin and L-Lysine – Better Together.

More Information: Lean more about 16 additional helpful supplements which have been studied for their antiviral properties on the Immune Support page.


Additional Information and Help

There is a lot of information available to those looking to learn more about monolaurin and herpes. When researching monolaurin and herpes, be mindful of personal opinion and always look for appropriate scientific references and citations. 

NCBI (PubMed)

NCBI is a free online database of over 28 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintains the database, which is a great way of getting direct access to many of the studies cited on this website.

Herpes Forums

Forums and support groups are a good way to find peer-to-peer support. There are also secret groups on various social media sites (like Facebook) to meet others with similar questions and concerns. It is highly recommended to get involved in your local sexual heath communities - the empathy and support they provide is genuine and many find it helpful.

More Cited Research

The Research Page of this site contains a list of curated studies featuring Monolaurin and herpes studies, all containing original NCBI or DOI links for further reading and fact-checking. 


Ready to Try Monolaurin, but Not Sure Where to Start?

There are many factors which should be considered when purchasing Monolaurin, which include:

  • What Monolaurin source is best - Coconut or Palm Kernel

  • What is the recommended way to take Monolaurin - Capsule or Pellet

  • What is an Excipient, and why does it matter - Synthetic or Natural

  • What hat to look for to ensure manufacturing safety - Certifications and Location

All of these questions can be answered in the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide


References:

  1. World Health Organization, 31 January 2017, http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

  2. Oral Herpes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/infectious_diseases/Oral_Herpes_22,OralHerpes

  3. Frobert E, Ooka T, Cortay JC, et al. Resistance of Herpes simplex virus type 1 to acyclovir: Thymidine kinase gene mutagenesis study. Antiviral Res 2006 Aug 30

  4. 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

  5. Thormar H, Isaacs CE, Brown HR, Barshatzky MR, Pessolano T. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides.AntimicrobialAgents and Chemotherapy. 1987 Jan;31(1):27-31.

  6. 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.

  7. Hierholzer JC and Kabara JJ. In vitro effects of Monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety 4:1, 1982

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

  9. 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.

  10. FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505

  11. Nakatsuji, T., Kao, M. C., Fang, J.-Y., Zouboulis, C. C., Zhang, L., Gallo, R. L., & Huang, C.-M. (2009). Antimicrobial Property of Lauric Acid Against Propionibacterium acnes: Its Therapeutic Potential for Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129(10), 2480–2488. http://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2009.93

  12. Griffith R.S.,Norins A.L., Kagan C. A Multicentered Study of Lysine Therapy in Herpes simplex Infection. Dermatologica 1978;156:257–267

  13. Griffith R.S., Walsh D.E., Myrmel K.H., Thompson R.W., Behforooz A. Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection. Dermatologica 1987;175:183–190

  14. Milman N, Scheibel J, Jessen O. Lysine prophylaxis in recurrent herpes simplex labialis: a double-blind, controlled crossover study. Acta Derm Venereol. 1980;60(1):85-7.

  15. Everyday Health Acyclovir (Zovirax) Side Effects http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/acyclovir

  16. Web MD, Drugs & Medications Valtrex http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-14126/valtrex-oral/details#side-effects

  17. Sharma A, Mohan K, Sharma R, Nirankari VS. Alopecia following oral acyclovir for the treatment of herpes simplex keratitis. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2014 Jan-Mar;21(1):95-7. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.124131.

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

Can You Take Too Much Monolaurin?

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: May 14, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Razak Nohri, Pharm.D, M.Phil, MBA

The health benefits of Monolaurin are well documented, but what's the right dose?

The health benefits of Monolaurin are well documented, but what's the right dose?

Many people ask, what is the safe dosage for Monolaurin? Here we explore some dosing considerations for Monolaurin as a therapeutic supplement. As with any dietary supplement, Monolaurin should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and the views expressed in this article are not the views of a doctor and are not meant to be prescriptive or directional.

How much Monolaurin should I take?

The amount of Monolaurin an individual may need to take before seeing a positive response will depend on a number of factors including age, weight, viral load / intensity of infection, and general sensitivity to supplements. Some people see a benefit from a single 600mg capsule per day, while others may take upwards of 3-5 grams. The type of infection (bacterial, viral, etc) may also impact the amount of Monolaurin to be taken. Starting with a low dose and gradually increasing until positive effects are realized is the recommended dosing protocol.

Is Monolaurin safe at high doses?

Monolaurin may be taken at high levels for short periods of time. Some literature goes as far as suggesting a dosage of 3-9 grams per day is needed, which equates to upwards of 15 capsules (Ref #1). While this may not be necessary or common, it should not be harmful. We do not recommend these elevated doses for extended periods of time. Everything should be in moderation.

Is there a maximum dosage of Monolaurin?

According to some literature sources, there is no defined upper limit of Monolaurin. Monolaurin is found naturally in coconut and palm oil, which has been used in personal and commercial food preparation and production. Monolaurin has been approved as "Generally Regarded As Safe" by the FDA (Ref #2), stating "In accordance with 184.1(b)(1), the ingredient is used in food with no limitation other than current good manufacturing practice. The affirmation of this ingredient as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a direct human food ingredient…" However, the FDA does not elaborate on any daily maximums. We do not recommend exceeding 6-9 grams / day for any length of time.

What is the safe dosage for Monolaurin?

A safe dosage is one which you are comfortable with. You should not take so much monolaurin that you feel physically unwell or experience a Herxheimer reaction (as detailed in this article: http://www.naturalcurelabs.com/insights/2018/2/2/monolaurin-die-off-symptoms-the-herxheimer-herx-reaction). If you feel any unwanted side effects from monolaurin, immediately discontinue use of the product and consult a healthcare professional.

Should I take Monolaurin with or without food?

You can take monolaurin with or without food and with any liquid, without impact to efficacy or absorption.  You can take monolaurin on an empty stomach, however those with sensitive stomachs should take monolaurin with food as the supplement has a natural "soapy" taste which may be unpleasant to some.

Can you overdose on Monolaurin?

You should not take so much Monolaurin that you feel unwell (upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, etc.). Monolaurin can be taken at modest levels (around 3 grams/ day) with little or no side effects, but caution should be exercised when doses exceed 6 grams / day. A staged, gradual increase of Monolaurin until benefits are realized can be an effective approach. If a change in state is not realized even at 6-9 grams, you should consult a healthcare professional before increasing dosage.

Comprehensive Dosage Guide:

Additional detailed information on the recommended dosage of Monolaurin based on various inputs and ailments is available on the dedicated Dosing page: http://www.naturalcurelabs.com/monolaurin-dosage/

 

Reference:

  1. Kabara JJ. Pharmacological effects of coconut oil vs. monoglycerides. Inform June 2005; Volume 16 p386-7. http://aocs.files.cms-plus.com/inform/2005/6/p386-387.pdf

  2. FDA : 21CFR184.1505 ; https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=184.1505

Monolaurin and Gastritis

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 20, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Meza, M.D.

Treating Stomach Ulcers (caused by H. Pylori) with Monolaurin

The number of ulcer-related cases presented in hospitals is between 500k and 900k per year.

The number of ulcer-related cases presented in hospitals is between 500k and 900k per year.

An ulcer is a sore area or a hole in the lining of the stomach. Ulcers of the stomach and the small intestine are mostly caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori), and they can affect people from any age group (Ref #1). Gastritis is a disease that causes ulcers in the stomach through inflammation in the inner lining of the stomach. It can be caused by various factors including excessive consumption of alcohol or a normal dose of some medications like anti-inflammatory drugs.

Symptoms of Gastritis

The most common symptom is the pain in the upper abdomen area. When the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed, a burning sensation can be felt in this area of the body as it is in direct contact with the stomach. Patients may experience this pain in the early hours of the morning, on an empty stomach, and between meals. This pain may be relieved by using antacids, but not always. Accompanying symptoms can include hiccups, upset stomach, indigestion, vomiting and no appetite for days (Ref #2).

A diagnosis of an H. Pylori infection may take a long time, as doctors tend to omit these specific tests or assume that an ulcer is responsible for the overgrowth of the bacteria.                       

Monolaurin and H. Pylori Bacteria

Monolaurin is a medium chain fatty acid that can be extracted from coconut oil and has been shown to possess antibacterial properties (Ref #3). According to some laboratory studies, Monolaurin may kill H. Pylori bacteria, and in turn may be an effective treatment for gastritis.

Monolaurin displays a strong anti-bacterial behavior against H. pylori as compared to other chemicals. One study (Ref #4) showed that Monolaurin was the most effective of the fatty acids and monoglycerides tested in the killing of H. Pylori. Furthermore, the results were not impacted by pH, suggesting that Monolaurin might work in the hard acidity of the stomach.

A further study (Ref #5) shows that H. pylori is rapidly inactivated by medium-chain monoglycerides and lauric acid (Monolaurin) and exhibits a relatively low frequency of spontaneous development of resistance to the bactericidal activity of Monlaurin. Monolaurin was shown to be bactericidal agsint H. Pylori bacteria in as little as 15 minutes at neutral or acidic pHs.

Monolaurin does not appear to harm any useful gut bacteria. A research study of 2004 conducted in the Georgetown University Medical Centre of Washington DC revealed that Monolaurin could be very useful in treating infections as it is a safe compound that can be combined with other antibiotics as well (Ref #6). Since then, it has been used as an active ingredient in some anti-bacterial medicines. It is used to treat some common diseases like cold and swine flu.

Conclusion

In recent years, monolaurin has been studied for treating microorganisms, fungi, and bacteria that pose a threat to health. Research has indicated the potential of Monolaurin as an antibacterial agent as it has the power to inactivate bacteria in the laboratory. Like all dietary supplements, Monolaurin should be considered and administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional.  

 

References

  1. Kusters JG, van Vliet AHM, Kuipers EJ. Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori Infection. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2006;19(3):449-490. doi:10.1128/CMR.00054-05. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1539101/

  2. IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care) June 28, 2018 Accessed athttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0078820/

  3. Bergsson G, Steingrímsson O, Thormar H. Bactericidal effects of fatty acids and monoglycerides on Helicobacter pylori. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2002 Oct;20(4):258-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12385681

  4. Sun CQ, O'Connor CJ, Roberton AM. Antibacterial actions of fatty acids and monoglycerides against Helicobacter pylori. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003 May 15;36(1-2):9-17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12727360

  5. Petschow BW, Batema RP, Ford LL. Susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to bactericidal properties of medium-chain monoglycerides and free fatty acids. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1996 Feb;40(2):302-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8834870

  6. Preuss HG, Echard B. Enig M. Brook I, Elliott TB. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of herbal essential oils and monolaurin for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry April 2005, Volume 272, Issue 1–2, pp 29–34 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-005-6604-1

Monolaurin & Cold Sores - Get Rid of Cold Sores and Fever Blisters for Good

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: June 18, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.


Cold sores or fever blisters are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and are both common and contagious. However, other triggers include stress, fatigue, hormonal changes, weakened immunity among others.

Monolaurin may help get rid of cold sores for good

Monolaurin may help get rid of cold sores for good

What Are Cold Sores?

Technically, cold sores or fever blisters are small sores that can cause a burning-like sensation or itching before progressing and finally bursting.

Cold sores or fever blisters can appear on any part of your body, but they are most commonly found in and around the mouth and lips, nose, cheeks or even the fingers. An uncomfortable stage of blisters is when they burst and begin to scab. This exposes new and delicate skin underneath the blisters. In general, these symptoms can last from 7-10 days [Ref #1].

Causes of Cold Sores

Cold sores are most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus type-1, or HSV-1, however, at times, they can also be caused by herpes simplex virus type-2 or HSV-2 [Ref #2]. In the US alone, 50-80% of people have oral herpes which makes them prone to cold sores [Ref #3].

The prevalence of cold sores and associated discomfort is why a reliable cure for cold sores is needed and sought after. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections and are therefore unsuitable for cold sores, and antivirals medications are expensive and unproven.

Some chose to use a natural antiviral – Monolaurin – to help with viral infections, including cold sores. In this article, we will have a closer look at how Monolaurin can help you in getting rid of cold sores and fever blisters.

Monolaurin to the Rescue

While most anti-viral creams and over-the-counter analgesics can help with the discomfort, Monolaurin helps by treating the virus from the inside, potentially allowing you to heal quickly.

Monolaurin is a medium-chain fatty acid naturally occurring in coconut in the form of lauric acid.

Monolaurin has been studied for its potential in treating diseases and health disorders that cannot be treated with commercial antivirals. Monolaurin can be taken individually as a dietary supplement or in combination with traditional medical therapies to combat a range of infections.

How Does Monolaurin Work?

Essentially, Monolaurin’s primary mode of action lies in liquefying the fats and phospholipids found in the cell walls of the viral protein. In other words, monolaurin acts by disintegrating the protective lipid layers or cell walls of the viral envelope, in turn destroying the virus.

If Monolaurin is administered on time, it can break down the walls of the viral protein before it replicates itself and leads to an outbreak. In fact, Monolaurin is known to be a booster for the human immune system that has the potential to kill different kinds of virus and bacteria.

According to one study, Monolaurin is highly effective in inactivating Herpes simplex-1 virus [Ref #4]. Further, a similar study revealed that unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols of chain lengths of 16 and 18 carbons are highly effective in getting rid of herpes simplex virus type 2 [Ref #5].

This is because the Monolaurin can solubilize the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of pathogenic organisms which disintegrates the outer membranes, thus helping you in healing the cold sores quickly [Ref #6].

How to Use Monolaurin to Treat Cold Sores

Generally, Monolaurin is taken daily as a dietary supplement but can be increased during times of viral load. To reap the therapeutic benefits of this supplement, the amount of monolaurin should be adjusted to reflect the type, intensity, and duration of infection.

Dr. Weil’s integrated medicine article recommends taking 1,000mg of Monolaurin supplement three times a day to heal cold sores [Ref #7]. This equates to approximately 5 capsules of 600mg monolaurin per day, so you may choose to take two with breakfast, one with lunch, and two with dinner, for example.

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


References:

  1. What are cold sores. (n.d.). Retrieved from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-cold-sores-basics#1

  2. Nordqvist, C. (2019, May 19). Everything you need to know about cold sores. Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172389.php

  3. Oral Herpes. (n.d.). Retrieved from Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/adult/infectious_diseases/Oral_Herpes_22,OralHerpes

  4. Hilmarsson, H., Kristmundsdóttir, T., Thormar, H. Virucidal activities of medium‐ and long‐chain fatty alcohols, fatty acids and monoglycerides against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2: comparison at different pH levels . Journal of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology Volume113, Issue1. January 2005. Pages 58-65 . https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2005.apm1130109.x

  5. J, S., Auperin, D., & Snipes, W. (1979, January 15). Extreme sensitivity of enveloped viruses, including herpes simplex, to long-chain unsaturated monoglycerides and alcohols. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/218499

  6. Arora, R., Chawla, R., & Arora, P. (2010, October 13). Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Retrieved from NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957173/

  7. Weil. (n.d.). What are cold sores? Retrieved from Weil: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/hair-skin-nails/cold-sores/

Monolaurin Supplement Delivery Options - Which is Best?

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: June 5, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Felix Boakye-Agyeman, M.D., Ph.D


Monolaurin is a dietary supplement metabolized from lauric acid. Lauric acid can be found in coconut oil and palm kernel oil, in addition to other natural sources. When taking Monolaurin as a dietary supplement, there are a few options and formats to select from. Here we explore some of the considerations when choosing how to take Monolaurin as a dietary supplement.

1. Pure Coconut Oil

Raw coconut oil contains 49% Lauric Acid, but how much of that is converted into Monolaurin in the body is unknown

Raw coconut oil contains 49% Lauric Acid, but how much of that is converted into Monolaurin in the body is unknown

  • Coconut oil contains around 49% lauric acid. Since lauric acid is converted into Monolaurin in the human body, you might assume you can get Monolaurin through coconut oil without taking a supplement. Unfortunately, it is difficult to estimate just how much of the Lauric Acid from coconut oil is converted to monolaurin, but one article suggests that it is less than 6%. Given a therapeutic dose of monolaurin can reach upwards of 3 to 9 grams of Monolaurin, one would need to consume an unrealistic 100 - 300 mL of coconut oil per day (Ref #1).

2. Monolaurin Pellets (Ex: Lauricidin)

Monolaurin Pellets may have some undesirable side effects

Monolaurin Pellets may have some undesirable side effects

  • Monolaurin in pellet form is popular amongst some brands such as Lauricidin, Inspired Nutrition, Tick Recovery, and others. Monolaurin in pellet form can deliver impressive volumes of monolaurin per dose, but may face some unwanted challenges. Some customers report finding undissolved pellets in their stool, suggesting that not all of the product is absorbed in the intestines after ingestion. Additionally, the delivery of the pellet is via a teardrop-shaped pellet which is made of glycerol. Glycerol may have adverse reactions with some individuals which includes stomach pain, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. (Ref #2) Some individuals have found travelling or daily routines with monolaurin pellets inconvenient, as they do not fit into pill organizers, purses, bags, etc.

3. Monolaurin Capsules

Monolaurin in Capsule form is the most popular - for good reason

Monolaurin in Capsule form is the most popular - for good reason

  • Monolaurin in encapsulated form is by far the most popular form of the supplement. It allows a precise amount of Monolaurin to be delivered, and the capsule itself ensures complete digestion in the stomach and intestine where the product can be most effective. There are some important considerations when it comes to Monolaurin in capsule form:

    1. Capsule Type: many capsules are made of animal gelatin (bovine or porcine) which may disagree with individuals on a vegetarian or vegan diet or those with religious considerations. Vegetarian (vegetable cellulose) capsules are available and availability varies by brand.

    2. Excipient: a common excipient (also known as a "flow agent" - an essential part of the encapsulation process) for many supplements is magnesium stearate. Unfortunately magnesium stearate, a synthetic lubricant used by many brands, may have negative side effects such as gastric distress and slowing of absorption of the supplement. Magnesium Stearate may also suppress T- cells, an essential part of the immune response system (Ref #4). A natural excipient such as organic rice power can offer the same manufacturing benefit without the potential harmful side effects.

    3. Additives: some brands of encapsulated Monolaurin may contain more than just Monolaurin. Some capsules may contain Inosine, Vitamin C, Silica, and other undesirable additives. These additives may interact with the principal ingredient or cause other unknown side effects. Purity of fill is the only way to avoid this.

4. Monolaurin Powder

Monolaurin Powder has a natural soapy taste, which makes taking it alone unplesant

Monolaurin Powder has a natural soapy taste, which makes taking it alone unplesant

  • Given the extremely soapy and bitter taste of Monolaurin, taking monolaurin powder is not typical or advised. If individuals have issues swallowing capsules or pellets, the power may be emptied into applesauce or another delivery mechanism (pudding, juice, etc). However, the strong soapy flavor will likely overwhelm the mouth depending on what is used. Consuming the straight powder is not recommended.

5. Monolaurin Tablets

Monolaurin in Tablet form doesn't really exist

Monolaurin in Tablet form doesn't really exist

  • In addition to its strong soapy taste, Monolaurin is naturally quite sticky. Therefore, it is not typically compressed into tablet format because most high speed encapsulation equipment would need to be stopped and cleaned multiple times per production run to ensure uniform tablets. Therefore, capsules have been widely accepted as the delivery mechanism of choice for Monolaurin.

Conclusion:

How to take Monolaurin is an individual preference and what works best for one individual may not be the right option for another. Regardless of which format you choose, all dietary supplements, including Monolaurin, should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional.


Looking to Try Monolaurin, but Not Sure Where to Start?

There are many factors which should be considered when choosing a Monolaurin brand, which include:

  • What Monolaurin source is best - Coconut or Palm Kernel

  • What is the recommended way to take Monolaurin - Capsule or Pellet

  • What is an Excipient, and why does it matter - Synthetic or Natural

  • What hat to look for to ensure manufacturing safety - Certifications and Location

All of these questions can be answered in the comprehensive Monolaurin Buying Guide


References

  1. Kabara JJ. Pharmacological effects of coconut oil vs. monoglycerides. Inform June 2005; Volume 16 p386-7.

  2. http://aocs.files.cms-plus.com/inform/2005/6/p386-387.pdf

  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-4/glycerol

  4. Magnesium Stearate: Does Your Supplement Contain This Potentially Hazardous Ingredient? https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/23/whole-food-supplement-dangers.aspx

Monolaurin and Skin Infections

Last Updated: January 8, 2019 | First Published: August 24, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Rosmy Barrios, M.D.

Skin infections can be a major annoyance, as they are often visible and can be accompanied by nagging symptoms such as rash or itching.

Skin infections can be a major annoyance, as they are often visible and can be accompanied by nagging symptoms such as rash or itching.

When monolaurin is used to help skin infections, it may act as an antiseptic that fights against the infection. Skin and mucosa are known as the barriers fighting against pathogens that the body is exposed to. Without this barrier, the body may be at an elevated risk of infection.

Skin and Mucosa Health

Mucosa (mucous membranes) are layered over internal organs to help protect against various pathogens and also helps prevent body tissues from becoming dehydrated. Mucus membranes rely on nutrition. The integrity of these membranes can be compromised by various things such as a lack of proper nutrition, or deficiency in some vitamins or minerals. (Ref #1)

Monolaurin, which can be metabolized in the body by ingesting foods rich in lauric acid, helps bolster the immune system by disabling a virus from reproducing. The monoglyceride binds itself onto the pathogen’s membrane and slowly dissolves it.

A study in the Journal of Dermatitis found that coconut oil, the main source of monolaurin, is more powerful against Atopic Dermatitis when compared to other oils. (Ref #2) Another study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology has demonstrated that monolaurin extracts are potent against several bacterial species that can cause skin infections, including Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus spp. In some experiments, the monolaurin extracts were more potent against these bacteria as compared to conventional antibiotics. (Ref #3) On human skin, monolaurin is an antiseptic with broad-spectrum effects. 

Common Types Of Skin Infections

Skin infections can be bacterial, parasitic, viral or fungal.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections mainly involve soft tissue beneath the skin and skin itself. An example of a bacterial skin infection which Monolaurin has been research as a potential treatment is Staphylococcus Aureus related infections. Monolaurin was shown to inhibit the activity of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in laboratory studies. (Ref #4)

Parasitic Infections

The skin can also be infected by parasites. Giardia lamblia is a parasite which Monolaurin has been shown to inactivate, and may even be taken before exposure to prevent illness (Ref # 5)

Viral Infections

This occurs when a virus within the body reflects symptoms on the skin.

Shingles – a reactivated virus that causes chickenpox – may be a type of herpes virus treated by Monolaurin (Ref #6). Additionally, Molluscum Contagiosum – which causes multiple raised bumps on the skin – has been studied in relation to Monolaurin (Ref #7).

Fungal Infections

Fungus can be found all over the body where the surfaces of skin meet.

Yeast Infections (Candidiasis) – A fungus known as candida that lives on the skin – is extremely common and could potentially be treated with Monolaurin (Ref #8).

 

References

  1. Liu J, Bian Z, Kuijpers-Jagtman AM, Von den Hoff JW. Skin and oral mucosa equivalents: construction and performance. Orthod Craniofac Res. 2010 Feb;13(1):11-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-6343.2009.01475.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20078790

  2. Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M.; Dillague, Kristine M.; Syah-Tjundawan, Bertha S. Novel Antibacterial and Emollient Effects of Coconut and Virgin Olive Oils in Adult Atopic Dermatitis. Dermatitis: November-December 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 308–315 doi: 10.2310/6620.2008.08052

  3. Carpo BG, Verallo-Rowell VM, Kabara J. Novel antibacterial activity of monolaurin compared with conventional antibiotics against organisms from skin infections: an in vitro study. J Drugs Dermatol. 2007 Oct;6(10):991-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17966176

  4. Ruzin A, Novick RP. “Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus.” J Bacteriol. 2000 May;182(9):2668-71.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10762277

  5. 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.

  6. Hill, JW. "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)

  7. Chua E, Verallo-Rowell VM. Coconut Oil Extract (2% Monolaurin) Cream in the Treatment of Molluscum Contagiosum: A Randomized Double-Blind Vehicle-Controlled Trial. WCD, October 2007, Argentina

  8. 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

 

 

Monolaurin and Food-Borne Bacterial Pathogens

Last Updated: January 7, 2019 | First Published: July 27, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

The Potential Effectiveness Of Monolaurin In The Elimination Of Foodborne Bacterium Species

Can Monolaurin help combat foodborne illness caused by mishandling of meat or exposure during international travel?

Can Monolaurin help combat foodborne illness caused by mishandling of meat or exposure during international travel?

Monolaurin, a compound found in coconut oil and considered a healthy by-product of the fats found in coconut, is gaining momentum in scientific studies and healthcare systems recently. The compound has now been associated with a number of potential health benefits, including improvements in immune system function and to assist in the treatment of certain skin-related conditions.

Studies are now turning their focus to the antimicrobial properties of monolaurin – not only to assist in treating bacterial and viral infections among patients but also as a solution to inhibit the growth and eliminate the presence of live pathogenic microorganisms in contaminated food products.

Foodborne Infections – A Global Concern

Foodborne diseases are becoming a threat in several countries. Several bacterial species have been identified to contaminate food and, when ingested, cause infection in the human body. Pathogenic microorganisms (Ref #1) like Clostridium botulinum, Y. Pseudotuberculosis, Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp, Enterococcus spp, and Listeria monocytogenes, are all of concern. These bacterium species can cause deadly bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, endocarditis, the E. coli infection, and even meningitis.

These microorganisms can contaminate food without a person knowing it. When proper hygiene practices are not implemented at home or at a butchery, for example, bacteria may find their way into food.

When traveling to a new destination, food can also be contaminated with new species that are not commonly found in the traveler’s country. Outdoor activities like camping, picnicking, visiting street markets, etc. may also increase the risk of food being contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms.

Monolaurin In The Elimination Of Pathogenic Microorganisms

Monolaurin has been shown to be an effective compound used in the fight against both bacterial and viral infections. The compound may also help to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in patients being treated with pharmaceutical antimicrobial agents, and may also be a useful option for treating antibiotic resistance in patients who do not seem to respond well to such pharmaceutical drugs.

A paper by the Institute of Food Technologies (Ref #2) has  provided evidence that the use of Monolaurin as a coconut oil extraction may be a good option for fighting against the global concerns surrounding bacterial contamination in food products.

The study explains that monolaurin holds powerful antimicrobial actions that can help to eliminate the presence of certain bacterium strains in food that may be contaminated. Monolaurin seems to be effective against the bacterium species Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli (E. coli) when the compound is combined with another substance known as EDTA, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.

E. Coli is a gram-negative bacteria commonly associated with foodborne illness and food poisoning. 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.

Additional studies revealed that a mixture of Monolaurin and antimicrobial nisin might be an appropriate option for the treatment of food products contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, another bacteria which can be spread with the mishandling of food. (Ref #5)

A further study looked at the antimicrobial effects of Monolaurin against Entamoeba histolytica (E. histolytica) and Giardia lamblia (G. lamblia), which are common causes of diarrhea and malabsorption in humans. You can get Giardia lamblia from eating contmainted food or drinking contaminated water. The research suggests that monolaurin was effective in eliminating Giardia after infection, but even more interestingly helped prevent infection in the first place (Ref #6). 

References

  1. Ortega, Y. R. (2008). Foodborne Diseases. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 14(7), 1181. http://doi.org/10.3201/eid1407.080346

  2. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/199350/9789241565165_eng.pdf?sequence=1

  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, 1980http://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. Zhang H, Wei H, Cui Y, Zhao G, Feng F. Antibacterial interactions of monolaurin with commonly used antimicrobials and food components. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):M418-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01300.x.

  6. 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.

An Exploration Of Lauric Acid - What Is Lauric Acid And How Might It Benefit Your Body?

Last Updated: January 7, 2019 | First Published: July 23, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Lauric Acid is converted to Monolaurin which may have impressive health benefits. What can you do to increase your intake of this impressive substance?

Lauric Acid is converted to Monolaurin which may have impressive health benefits. What can you do to increase your intake of this impressive substance?

Lauric acid, a form of saturated fat, has recently received an increasing amount of attention. The primary source for this fat is usually coconut oil. Commercial cooking products have been introduced containing this saturated fat and have been proven to be a healthier alternative to standard cooking oils. Lauric acid also holds medicinal properties that are useful in the treatment of certain ailments.

When the body digests lauric acid, a potent compound known as Monolaurin is derived. Monolaurin is a powerful supplement and may hold antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

What Does Lauric Acid Do For The Body?

Lauric acid has been scientifically studied and results suggest it possesses several medicinal properties and health benefits (Ref #1). The fat is often used in the treatment of health conditions such as influenza, the common cold, bronchitis, yeast infections, gonorrhea, ringworm, Giardia lamblia, and even for chlamydia. Several studies have also proven the benefits of lauric acid in the treatment of bacterial infections.

Is Lauric Acid Good For Your Skin?

The use of lauric acid goes far beyond only the internal body. One study (Red #2) that was conducted by the University of California, among others, found that this saturated fat is useful in the treatment of Acne Vulgaris. The scientists found the use of the substance to be beneficial for killing off the bacteria that causes Acne Vulgaris, as well as for reducing the inflammation that the condition causes. Lauric acid is also often used to treat fever blisters that develop on the skin, as well as cold sores and warts – including genital warts.

Is Lauric Acid Good For Your Hair?

The use of products containing lauric acid on the hair may also be beneficial. One particular study (Ref #3) explains that the molecular weight and the fact that the chain has a straight linear shape means it is easier for lauric acid to enter the hair shaft. This, in turn, makes lauric acid a compound that may benefit the hair from the inside.

Which Foods Are High In Lauric Acid?

Two of the most common foods that are known to be high in lauric acid include coconut oil and palm kernel oil. Coconut oil, however, is the preferred source amongst these two as palm kernel oil contains a very large amount of saturated fats.

How Can I Increase My Intake of Lauric Acid?

Coconut oil is not the only coconut-derived source of lauric acid. People can also opt for coconut water, coconut flour, grated coconut, and coconut milk if they wish to increase their intake of lauric acid. Swapping standard cooking oil with coconut oil, adding a few bottles of coconut water to the freezer and switching unhealthy potato chip snacks for healthier coconut-based snacks are all great ways to start adding more lauric acid to your diet.

 

References

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1138/lauric-acid

  2. Nakatsuji, T., Kao, M. C., Fang, J.-Y., Zouboulis, C. C., Zhang, L., Gallo, R. L., & Huang, C.-M. (2009). Antimicrobial Property of Lauric Acid Against Propionibacterium acnes: Its Therapeutic Potential for Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 129(10), 2480–2488. http://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2009.93

  3. Rele A.S., Mohile R.B. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. The Journal of Costmetic Science. 2003. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094

Monolaurin and Staph / MRSA

Last Updated: January 7, 2019 | First Published: July 30, 2018
Reviewed by: Dr. Ahmed Zayed, M.D.

Is Monolaurin Effective In The Treatment Of Staph And MRSA?

Staph infections which can become MRSA are a growing problem. Could Monolaurin overcome antibiotic resistance plaguing hospitals and patients alike?

Staph infections which can become MRSA are a growing problem. Could Monolaurin overcome antibiotic resistance plaguing hospitals and patients alike?

Healthcare systems are challenged by the widespread prevalence of Staphylococcus Aureus related infections. This bacterium is considered pathogenic and causes different types of bacterial infections (Ref #1) in patients. Infections from this bacterium can be obtained in general community settings, as well as in hospitals.

Treatment remains a challenge due to the increased number of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections being reported, a strain of the bacteria that quickly becomes resistant to standard pharmaceutical protocols used to treat such infections.

The Impact Of Staphylococcus Aureus Infections

A paper (Ref #2) published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology Reviews estimates that up to 30% of the global human population may be colonized with the Staphylococcus Aureus bacterium which can cause MRSA. Upon a weakening of the immune system, the bacterium can multiply and cause infection. The population is exposed to these pathogenic bacterial microorganisms through different means. One study (Ref #3) in the Journal of Infection and Public Health found that up this bacterium may be present in up to 16.4% of meat products found in local stores, and the Methicillin-Resistant (MRSA) strains in up to 1.2% of these meat products.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can cause (Ref #4) skin infections and pneumonia and contributes to infections related to food poisoning. The bacterium has also been linked to bacteremia, as well as toxic shock syndrome.

Monolaurin: A Potential Antimicrobial Agent Against Staph and MRSA Infections

Monolaurin has presented the potential to be used as an antimicrobial agent in patients with infections related to the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium. One study (Ref #5) explains that glycerol monolaurate, another name for monolaurin, contains an active compound known as lauric acid. Even though the bacteria cause glycerol monolaurate to be hydrolyzed, the lauric acid content seems to inhibit the activity of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Additionally, it has also been noted that monolaurin may be effective in preventing the bacteria from becoming resistant to a common drug used to treat such bacterial infections, known as Vancomycin.

A study (Ref #6) conducted on mice also found that monolaurin is an effective antimicrobial agent. The study compared the effects of this substance to the use of Origanum oil. The bacteria killed all untreated mice in seven days. More than 60% of the mice that were treated with a combination of origanum oil and monolaurin survived the bacterial infection. The combination of monolaurin and Vancomycin also proved as an effective approach to the treatment of the infection.

References

  1. Taylor TA, Unakal CG. Staphylococcus Aureus. [Updated 2017 Oct 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan-. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441868/

  2. Tong, S. Y. C., Davis, J. S., Eichenberger, E., Holland, T. L., & Fowler, V. G. (2015). Staphylococcus aureus Infections: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Clinical Manifestations, and Management. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 28(3), 603–661. http://doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00134-14

  3. Hanson BM, Dressler AE, Harper AL, Scheibel RP, Wardyn SE, Roberts LK, Kroeger JS, Smith TC. “Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on retail meat in Iowa.” J Infect Public Health. 2011 Sep;4(4):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

  4. https://medlineplus.gov/staphylococcalinfections.html

  5. Ruzin A, Novick RP. “Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus.” J Bacteriol. 2000 May;182(9):2668-71.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10762277

  6. Preuss HG, Echard B, Dadgar A, Talpur N, Manohar V, Enig M, Bagchi D, Ingram C. “Effects of Essential Oils and Monolaurin on Staphylococcus aureus: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies.” Toxicol Mech Methods. 2005;15(4):279-85. doi: 10.1080/15376520590968833.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20021093

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