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Natural Cure Labs is the premier manufacturer of Monolaurin - an antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial supplement derived from coconuts. Discover how we use science and research to produce the finest supplements available.

Monolaurin: A natural, powerful antiviral from coconut

Monolaurin, derived naturally from coconut, is a source of the medium chain fatty acid ‘lauric acid’. Lauric acid has been the subject of published research which explores the ability of the acid to break down and destroy the lipid layer of enveloped viruses. Monolaurin occurs naturally in mother's breast milk and in certain plants (ig: palm kernel, coconut), and is classified by the FDA as "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS). Monolaurin may be taken as dietary supplement or for general health. 

To help you better understand a bit more about Monolaurin, we've put together the Top 10 things you should know about Monolaurin. Further explanations and direct quotes from scientific studies can be found on the Research page. Every statement below has been taken from published research studies and papers, which are cited using [Ref #: _], and all articles have been reviewed by our medically certified research team.

1. Monolaurin and Viruses

  • Monolaurin studies shown in-vitro the ability to inactivate a wide range of DNA and RNA enveloped viruses by breaking down the outer lipid membrane and destroying the virus. Viruses inactivated by Monolaurin include [Ref #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 37]:

    • Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1)

    • Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2)

    • Measles

    • Vesicular Stomatitis

    • Visna Virus

    • Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV)

    • Cytomegalovirus

    • (SIV) Simian immunodeficiency virus

2. Monolaurin and Bacteria, Yeast, Fungi, & Protozoa

  • Monolaurin has also been shown effective in vitro and in vivo against a number of bacteria (both Gram Positive and Gram Negative), yeast, and protozoa by disintegrating the cell membrane and blocking signal transduction. Microbes killed by Monolaurin include [Ref #: 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 31, 32, 35, 36]:

    • Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii (the bacteria which cause Lyme disease in humans)

    • Chlamydia

    • E. coli (responsible for food poisoning)

    • Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)

    • Candida albicans (commonly associated with urinary tract and yeast infections)

    • Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori)

    • Entamoeba histolytica (causes stomach and intestinal problems)

    • Giardia lamblia (causes diarrhea)

    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    • Staphylococus aureus (Staph infection and MRSA)

    • Enterococcus faecalis (urinary tract infections)

    • Streptococcus agalactiae (also known as Group B streptococcus or GBS)

    • Biofilms

3. Monolaurin is Generally Regarded as Safe

  • Monolaurin is listed on the FDA's "Generally Regarded As Safe" (GRAS) list, and has been studied in the lab for decades. It is currently used in food production in items as common as ice cream and pasta. Monolaurin can be taken in high doses and has not been shown to irritate sensitive organs such as skin or mucus membranes [Ref #: 17, 23, 33, 34]

4. Monolaurin is Naturally Occurring

  • Monolaurin is derived naturally from coconuts. It is a medium chain fatty acid which occurs naturally in human breast milk and in some plants (ie: coconut and palm kernel). It is produced in humans when the appropriate medium-chain fatty acid is ingested such as Lauric Acid [Ref #: 23]

5. Monolaurin can be More Effective than Coconut Oil Alone

  • People have been consuming coconut oil for therapeutic reasons for many years. Because Monolaurin provides a more concentrated dosage of the medium chain fatty acid Lauric Acid, Monolaurin has been shown to be more effective than just coconut oil alone in lab tests against bacteria [Ref #: 24]

6. Monolaurin may Disrupt the "Bad" Bacteria, Not the "Good"

  • Monolaurin may be effective in supporting the immune system to target infections and inactivate harmful viruses and bacteria without impacting healthy flora. Unlike antibiotics which are considered "wide spectrum" and indiscriminately kill good bacteria along with the bad, in-vivo Monolaurin research suggests the product to be harmless to bacteria found naturally in the gut. Monolaurin may support the ability to rid bad bacteria, and also may work to promote good digestive health. [Ref #: 25]

7. Monolaurin is Easier to Take than Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil naturally contains around 40-50% Lauric Acid, the principal ingredient in Monolaurin. To get an equivalent dose of Monolaurin, you may need to take many tablespoons (or even milliliters!) full of oil. Some people may find this inconvenient or unpleasant. Monolaurin in capsule form is naturally tasteless, colorless, and odorless. It can be easily transported and taken virtually anywhere with any liquid, with or without food [Ref #: 26]

8. Monolaurin Does Not Contribute to Drug Resistance

  • Many bacteria and viruses can develop resistance to antibiotics or antivirals over time. This means that the prescription drugs may become less effective in treating or preventing the spread of the disease. Monolaurin has been shown in the lab to not create resistant bacteria or viruses, and may even be effective at inactivating antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and viruses where traditional drugs are ineffective. [Ref #: 18, 27, 28]

9. Monolaurin may Support Healthy Immune Response Before and During Infection

  • Monolaurin is commonly taken during existing viral or bacterial infections. Laboratory research suggests that Monolaurin may also be effective in supporting immune response when taken before exposure or onset of symptoms to help against infection [Ref #: 17]

10. Monolaurin may be Effective Over Long Periods

  • Monolaurin may be safe to take in a variety of doses and lengths of time. Monolaurin can be used to maintain good health over time, as research shows that the inhibitory benefits from Monolaurin can be reversed when the supplement is removed. Furthermore, Monolaurin has been shown to possess additive benefits, meaning when Monolaurin is combined with additional supplements or therapies health benefits are also increased [Ref #: 29, 30]


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

As with any nutritional supplement or medicine, it should be administered and monitored by a healthcare professional. 


REFERENCES:

 

  1. 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.

  2. Bergsson G, Arnfinnsson H, Karlsson SM, Steingrímsson O, Thormar H. In Vitro Inactivation of Chlamydia trachomatis by Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. American Society for Microbiology 9 February 1998

  3. Isaacs CE, Kim KS, Thormar H. Inactivation of enveloped viruses in human bodily fluids by purified lipids. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1994 Jun 6;724:457-64.

  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. 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. "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 Novel H1N1 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. Isaacs CE, Thormar H. Membrane-disruptive effect of human milk: inactivation of enveloped viruses. Journal of Infectious Diseases 1986; 154:966-971

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Kabara JJ, Swieczkowski DM, Conley AJ, Truant JP. Fatty acids and derivatives as antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 1972 Jul;2(1):23-8.

  11. Kabara JJ, Vrable R. Antimicrobial lipids: natural and synthetic fatty acids and monoglycerides. Lipids. 1977 Sep;12(9):753-9.

  12. Beuchat LA. Comparison of antiviral activities of potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and glycerol and sucrose esters of fatty acids. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1980; 39:1178

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

  14. 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

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ruzin A, Novick RP. Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Bacteriology. 2000 May; 182(9):2668-71

  19. Projan SJ, Brown-Skrobot S, Schlievert PM, Vandenesch F, Novick RP. Glycerol monolaurate inhibits the production of beta-lactamase, toxic shock toxin-1, and other staphylococcal exoproteins by interfering with signal transduction. Journal of Bacteriology. 1994 Jul;176(14):4204-9.

  20. 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. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods. 2005; 15(4):279-85

  21. Boddie RL, Nickerson SC. Evaluation of postmilking teat germicides containing Lauricidin, saturated fatty acids, and lactic acid. Journal of Dairy Science. 1992 Jun ;75(6):1725-30.

  22. Isaacs CE, Thormar H. The role of milk-derived antimicrobial lipids as antiviral and antibacterial agents. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 1991; 310:159-65

  23. Enig M. Lauric oils as antimicrobial agents: Theory of effect, scientific rationale, and dietary application as adjunct nutritional support for H_V infected individuals. In: Watson R, ed. Nutrients and Foods in AIDS. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1998.

  24. Manohar V, Echard B, Perricone N, Ingram C, Enig M, Bagchi D, Preuss HG. In vitro and in vivo effects of two coconut oils in comparison to monolaurin on Staphylococcus aureus: rodent studies. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2013 Jun; 16(6):499-503.

  25. Huang CB, Alimova Y, Myers TM, Ebersole JL. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids exhibit antimicrobial activity for oral microorganisms. Archives of Oral Biology. 2011 July; 56(7):650-4

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

  27. 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. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD [2007, 6(10):991-998]

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

  29. Hornung B, Amtmann E, Sauer G. Lauric acid inhibits the maturation of vesicular stomatitis virus. The Journal of General Virology. 1994 Feb;75 ( Pt 2):353-61.

  30. Isaacs CE. The antimicrobial function of milk lipids. Advances in Nutritional Research. 10:271-85, 2001.

  31. Shilling M, Matt L, Rubin E, Visitacion M. P, Haller N. A., Grey S. F., and Woolverton C. J. Antimicrobial Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Medium-Chain Fatty Acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of Medicinal Food. December 2013, 16(12): 1079-1085.

  32. Goc, A., Niedzwiecki, A. and Rath, M. (2015), In vitro evaluation of antibacterial activity of phytochemicals and micronutrients against Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia garinii. J Appl Microbiol, 119: 1561–1572. doi:10.1111/jam.12970

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

  34. Thormar H, Bergsson G, Gunnarsson E, et al. Hydrogels containing monocaprin have potent microbicidal activities against sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria in vitro. Sexually Transmitted Infections 1999;75:181-185.

  35. 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.

  36. Seleem D, Chen E, Benso B, Pardi V, Murata RM. In vitro evaluation of antifungal activity of monolaurin against Candida albicans biofilms. Goyal P, ed. PeerJ. 2016;4:e2148. doi:10.7717/peerj.2148.

  37. Haase AT, Rakasz E, Schultz-Darken N, Nephew K, Weisgrau KL, Reilly CS, Li Q, Southern PJ, Rothenberger M, Peterson ML, Schlievert PM. Glycerol Monolaurate Microbicide Protection against Repeat High-Dose SIV Vaginal Challenge. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 9;10(6):e0129465. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129465. eCollection 2015.

 

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