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Lauricidin – Technical Information on Monolaurin

Technical information on Lauricidin® (monolaurin) for the Health Professional

Med-Chem Labs, Inc.

The antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties of lauric acid and monolaurin have been recognized for nearly three decades by only a small number of researchers: their work, however, has resulted in 50 or more research papers and numerous U.S. and foreign patents. Prof. Dr. Jon J. Kabara performed the original seminal research in this area of fat research. Kabara (1968) first patented certain fatty acids (FAs) and [found] their derivatives (e.g., monoglycerides (MGs) can have adverse effects on various microorganisms. While nontoxic and approved as a direct food additive by the FDA, monolaurin adversely affects bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.

Prof. Dr. Jon J. Kabara
Prof. Dr. Jon J. Kabara

Kabara found that the properties that determine the anti-infective action of lipids are related to their structure: e.g., free fatty acids and  monoglycerides. The monoglycerides are active; diglycerides and triglycerides are inactive. Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity than either caprylic acid (C-8), capric acid (C-10), or myristic acid (C-14).

Fatty acids and monoglycerides produce their killing/inactivating effects by several mechanisms. An early postulated mechanism was the perturbing of the plasma membrane lipid bilayer. The antiviral action attributed to monolaurin is that of fluidizing the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the virus, causing the disintegration of the microbial membrane. More recent studies indicate that one antimicrobial effect in bacteria is related to monolaurin’s interference with signal transduction/toxin formation (Projan et al 1994). Another antimicrobial effect in viruses is due to lauric acid’s interference with virus assembly and viral maturation (Hornung et al 1994). The third mode of action may be on the immune system itself (Witcher et al, 1993).

Hierholzer and Kabara (1982) first reported the antiviral activity of the monoglyceride of lauric acid (monolaurin) on viruses that affect humans. They showed virucidal effects of monolaurin on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. This work was done at the Center for Disease Control of the U.S. Public Health Service. This study was carried out using selected virus prototypes or recognized representative strains of enveloped human viruses. All these viruses have a lipid membrane. The presence of a lipid membrane on viruses makes them especially vulnerable to lauric acid and its derivative monolaurin. These initial findings have been confirmed by many other studies.

Research has shown that enveloped viruses are inactivated by added fatty acids and monoglycerides in both human and bovine milk (Isaacs et al 1991). Others (Isaacs et al 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992; Thormar et al 1987) have confirmed Kabara’s original statements concerning the effectiveness of monolaurin.

Some of the viruses inactivated by these lipids are the measles virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and -2), herpes family members (HIV, hepatitis C, vesicular, stomatitis virus (VSV), visna virus, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Many of the pathogenic organisms reported to be inactivated by these antimicrobial lipids are those know to be responsible for opportunistic infections in HIV -positive individuals. For example, concurrent infection with cytomegalovirus is recognized as a serious complication for HIV positive individuals (Macallan et al 1993).

Thus, it would appear imperative to investigate the practical aspects and the potential benefit of a nutritional supplement such as monolaurin (Lauricidin) for microbial infected individuals. Until now few nutritionists in mainstream nutrition community seem to have recognized the added benefit of antimicrobial lipids in the support of infected patients. These antimicrobial fatty acids and their derivatives are essentially nontoxic to man. According to the published research, lauric acid is one of the best “inactivating” fatty acids, and its monoglyceride is even more effective than the fatty acid alone (Kabara 1978, Sands et al 1978, Fletcher et al 1985, Kabara 1985).

Lauricidin (Monolaurin)It should be emphasized that lauric acid cannot be taken orally because it is severally irritating. Lauricidin® on the other hand, a derivative of lauric acid chemically bonded to glycerol to form monolaurin, can be taken orally without any problem.The lipid-coated (envelope) viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms are dependent on host lipids for their lipid constituents. The variability of fatty acids in the foods of individuals as well as the variability from de novo synthesis accounts for the variability of fatty acids in their membranes.

Monolaurin does not appear to have an adverse effect on desirable gut bacteria, but rather on only potentially pathogenic microorganisms. For example, Isaacs et al (1991) reported no inactivation of the common Esherichiacoli or Salmonella enteritidis by monolaurin, but major inactivation of Hemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus epidermis and Group B gram positive streptococcus.

The potentially pathogenic bacteria inactivated by monolaurin include Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Groups A, streptococci-gram-positive organisms, and some gram-negative organisms (Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Helicobacter pylori).

Decreased growth of Staphylococcus aureus and decreased production of toxic shock syndrome toxin-l was shown with monolaurin (Holland et al 1994). Monolaurin was 5000 times more inhibitory against Listeria monocytogenes than ethanol (Oh & Marshall 1993). In vitro monolaurin rapidly inactivate Helicobacter pylori. Of greater significance there appears to be very little development of resistance of the organism to the bactericidal effects (Petschow et al 1996) of these natural antimicrobials.

A number of fungi, yeast, and protozoa are also inactivated or killed by monolaurin. The fungi include several species of ringworm (Isaacs et al 1991). The yeast reported to be affected is Candida albicans (Isaacs et al 1991) The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia is killed by monoglycerides from hydrolyzed human milk (Hemell et al 1986, Reiner et al 1986, Crouch et al 1991, Isaacs et al 1991).

Chlamydia trachomatis is inactivated by monolaurin (Bergsson et al 1998). Hydrogels containing monocaprin/monolaurin are potent in vitro inactivators of sexually transmitted viruses such as HSV-2 and HIV-1 and bacteria such as Neisserian gonorrhea (Thormar 1999).

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Testimonials for Lauricidin Monolaurin


• My daughter and I start taking Lauricidin when we feel like we are getting a cold or sinus infection. I am proud to say that I suffered with the sinus problem quiet frequently until I started the Lauricidin. I did not have one the entire year of 2002 and 2003. We were out of Lauricidin just recently and my daughter got a full-blown sinus infection. It really works for us. – Beavercreek, OH

• My wife and I take Lauricidin when we feel a cold on sickness coming on.  About 5-6 times we both felt a sickness coming on and we took it (one scoop) at 6:00 PM and one at 10:00 PM, before bed. Every time we wake up with no symptoms, my wife calls them the magic pebbles. – Woodside, CA

• I have ordered and am currently using Lauricidin, as is my wife and 4 year old child. We have been enjoying a flu and cold free winter so far for the most part. My four-year-old was starting to take Lauricidin 8 to 10 tablets once or twice a day for only 2 or 3 days. When he got a slight cold that lasted for only 2 days instead of the normal 2 to 3 weeks. He is extremely asthmatic when he gets colds and usually ends up on inhaled steroids and inhaled albuterol for almost a month when he gets any respiratory condition. This time the sick plan was ended after 2 days of preventative treatments. – Weatogue, CT


• I've been using Lauricidin for about 2 years now and I'm extremely happy with the results. I've had no side effects at all, and have not had one outbreak since taking it. Every once in a while when I feel I may be close to an outbreak, I increase my dosage for a couple of days and it goes away. – Chatsworth, CA

• I am a 54-year-old woman and have had major outbreaks of genital herpes since I was 20.  I've gone through all the drugs trying to keep it under control but was not too successful. I started Lauricidin about 1 year ago. The only outbreak I've had was when I was feeling so good I forgot to take it. In fact I've told everyone that I can think of that might benefit. Thank you for this wonderful supplement that has changed my life! – Grand Ronde, OR

• I was one of those cases who had constant breakouts with miserable pain. I think I now have the best formula for me I take 2 scoops of Lauricidin 3 times a day and now have no outbreaks (I mean none). I'm extremely grateful for this natural alternative to (drug) antivirals. – The Villages, FL


• I am so grateful there is a product out there like Lauricidin that could help me get healthy in a safe way.  Within a month of using Lauricidin my energy level tripled, and as a result I'm a much happier person. – Jamaica Plain MA

• I have been using Lauricidin since 10/2001. My experience has been very positive with my fatigue issues.  I've tried to stop using Lauricidin several times and my fatigue comes right back. I now continue to use Lauricidin on a daily bases and it has allowed me to get back to a fairly normal life. – Nottingham PA

• The first 3 days of one scoop twice a day produced immediate increase in energy lasting all day, along with clearer thinking and deeper, longer sleep. I listened to my body in how much and how often I ingest Lauricidin. The results have been excellent and I am very grateful for this wonderful product. – San Anselmo CA


• I have used Lauricidin as a preventative, and have gotten the nice side effect of no longer having toenail fungus.I feel better and have more energy. I think it's an amazing product, and I am grateful to Dr. Kabara for having discovered it, found a way to make easy to take, and especially for making available at such a low price to the public.

• I have a large breed dog that has had a problem of getting an infection between the toes of her foot. The veterinarian had treated this with antibiotics, but it would soon return as soon as the antibiotics were withdrawn. There is a product for Livestock that is used for treating foot conditions that has Lauricidin. This is a topical spray.   We started using the topical spray on my dog's foot and within a few days the condition was gone. It would reappear when we stop treatment so I started putting Lauricidin “pellets” into the dog's food on a daily basis.   It has been months since we have had a reoccurrence.

• I have had a history of toe-nail fungus. I have taken Lamisil in the past but I am a heart patient so, I decided to take Lauricidin orally instead. I have had more results in three months, taking Lauricidin, than in a year taking Lamisil. I am very pleased with my results with Lauricidin and I intend to continue using these products. – Springfield, MO


• I saw my doctor when I was taking one scoop of Lauricidin BID.  He tested me and upped my dosage to one full scoop TID.  I immediately broke out with a rash which went away in a few days.  I seem to be tolerating about 2 1/2 scoops a day.  Bottom line, my Hep PCR count is down and is in large part responsible for the ever-increasing drop in my viral load. It's by far the most amazing supplement I've ever been on.  I believe I have even dissolved a nuisance fibroid recently, and I attribute it to the Lauricidin, without a doubt. – Somersworth NH

• When he first started taking monolaurin 8 years ago, his ALT went from 562 to 120 in about 2 years. This last test was the biggest jump we've seen from 238 to 469 in 6 months. These past 6 months were the only time he WASN'T using monolaurin. We were trying a different approach with alpha-lipoic acid and selenium. Obviously this didn't work. Michael has no symptoms at all. He used to deal with fatigue and depression before we started monolaurin therapy, but that is long gone. – North Aurora


• My son, who is now 12, has really benefited from Lauricidin®. He began taking it just over a year ago and continues to take a scoop twice a day. After an initial three-week die-off period, he stabilized at a much healthier level than before. It has not cured him but does seem to be an important part of his overall ongoing treatment for a dysregulated immune system, including a viral overload, by keeping him on more of an even health level as opposed to previous wild swings in health. If he skips a dose, we do notice that he shows more signs of allergy/immune weakness for a few days. – Piano, TX

• Hi. I just wanted to thank you for your prompt shipment to us this past week. I have a 23-month-old PDD/NOS son who is close to losing his diagnosis due to diet/supplement /enzyme intervention., and the wonderful grace of a loving God. One of the most heart breaking parts of this disease is when the child cannot reciprocate with affection. I miss my child putting his head on my shoulder for comfort but there has been a “wall” there now for months. To me it is the most difficult part of this. Tonight he sat in my lap and allowed me to cuddle him without being “stiff for the first time in months. What a gift and way to start the New Year. I truly believe your product was a big part of this latest improvement. – Auburn, AL

• I want to share with you some of the changes we have already seen in our son (dx’d with autism, aged 8), which I had at first not attributed to the monolaurin. As I expected changes to come in the area of speech, but now have no reason to believe it was, as I have added no new supplements. He has increased focus and showing new interest in books and interactive computer games (sometimes he had only two, a very limited degree) He also has been much happier and vocalizing more (he was nonverbal). – Buena Park, CA

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 Selected References

Kabara. J.J, Swieczkowski, D M. Conley. A J and Truant, J P Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2(l):23-28 (1972).

Kabara. J.J.. Conley. A J.- Swieczkowski. D M. Ismail, I.A . Lie Ken Jie and Gunstone, F D Antimicrobial Action of Isomeric Fatty Acids on Group A Streptococcus J. Med Chem 16:1060-1063 (1973).

Conley. A J and Kabara. J.J. Antimicrobial Action of Esters of Polyhydric Alcohols. Antimicrob. Ag and Chemother 4:501-506 (1973)

Kabara, J J and Conley. A J A Non-Caloric Role for MCT and Other Lipids In: Mittelkettige Trigiyceride (MCT) in der Diat. Zur Zeitschrih Fur Ernahrungswissenschah Supplenta No 17. H. Kaunitz K Lang and W Fekl, eds pp 17-26 (1974)

Kabara. J.J. Lipids as Safe and Effective Antimicrobial Agents for Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals. Cosmetics and Perfumery 90:21-25 (1975).

Kabara, J.J. Monolaurin as an Antimicrobial Agent. U.S. Patent Number 4,002,775. Med-Chem Laboratories, January 1977.

Kabara. J.J., Vrable, R. and Lie Ken Jie, M.S.F Antimicrobial Lipids: Natural and Synthetic Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. Lipids 12:753759 (1977).

Kabara, J.J. Synergistic Microbiocidal Composition and Method. U.S. Patent Number 4,067,997. January 10, 1978

Kabara, JJ Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents-A Review. In: The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Jon J. Kabara, ed Champaign, Illinois: The American Oil Chemists’ Society (1979),pp. 1-14

Li, C.Y. and Kabara. J.J. Effects of Lauricidin-on Fornes Annosus and Phellinus Weirii. In The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids. Jon J. Kabara, ed. Chamaign, Illionis: The American Oil Chemists’ Society (1979). pp. 45-50.

Kabara, J.J. Toxicological, Bactericidal and Fungicidal Properties of Fatty Acids and Some Derivatives JAOCS 56:760-767

Kabara, J.J., editor The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids I . American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois (1979).

Kabara. J.J. Lipids as Host Resistance Factors of Human Milk Nutrition Reviews 38:65-73 (1980).

Kabara, J.J. Antimicrobial Compositions. U.S. Patent Number 4,189,481 February 19 1980.

Chipley. J R . Story. L.D.. Todd, P,T. and Kabara, J.J. Inhibition of Aspergillus Growth and Extracellular Aflatoxin Accumulation by Sorbic Acid and Derivatives of Fatty acids. J. Food Safety 3:109-119 (1981).

Kabara, J.J. Medium-Chain Fatty Acids and Esters as Antimicrobial Agents. In: Cosmetic and Drug Presentation: Principles and Practice, Jon J. Kabara, ed., New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., pp. 275-304 (1984).

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

Kabara. J.J. Antimicrobial Agents Derived From Fatty Acids. J. American Oil Chemists’ Society 61:397- 403 (1984).

Fletcher, R.D., Albers, A.C., Albertson, J.N. Jr. and Kabara, J.J. Effect of Monoglycerides on Mycoplasma pneumoniae Growth. In: The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids 11, Jon J. Kabara, ed. American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois, pp. 59-63 (1985).

Chipley, J.R., Todd, P.T., Atchley, F. and Kabara, J.J. Effects of Fatty Acid Derivatives on the Release of Extracelluiar Enzymes from Bacteria. In: The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids 11, Jon J. Kabara, ed. American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois, pp. 97-102 (1985).

Kabara, J.J. Ohkawa, M., Ikekawa, T., Katori, T. and Nishikawa, Y. Examinations on Antitumor Immunological, and Plant-Growth Inhibitory Effects of Monoglycerides of Caprylic, Capric, and Lauric Acids and Related Compounds. In: The Pharmacological Effect of Lipids 11, Jon J. Kabara, ed. American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois, pp. 263-272 (1985). Kabara, J.J., Editor. The Pharmacological Effects of Lipids II, American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois (1985).

Flournoy, D.J. and Kabara, J.J. The Role of Lauricidin® as an Antimicrobial Agent. In: Drugs of Today 21(8):373-377 (1985).

Kabara, J.J., Editor. The Pharmacological Effects of Lipids III, American Oil Chemists’ Society: Champaign, Illinois (1989).

Confirmatory references by other investigators:

Bergsson G, Amfinnsson J, Karlsson SM, Steingrinisson O, Thormar H. In vitro inactivation of Chlamydia trachomatis by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 1998;42:2290-2294

Crouch AA, Seow WK, Whitman LM, Thong YH. Effect of human milk and infant milk formulae on adherence of Giardia intestinalis.; Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1991;85:617-619.

Dodge JA and Sagher FA. Antiviral and antibacterial lipids in human milk and infant formula. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1991;66:272-73.

Enig, MG. Lauric oils as antimicrobial agents: theory of effect, scientific rationale, and dietary applications as adjunct nutritional support for HIV-infected individuals. in Nutrients and Foods in AIDS (RR Watson, ed) CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1998, pp. 81-97.

Epstein SE, Speir E, Zhou YF, Guetta E, Leon M, Finkel T. The role of infection in restenosis and atherosclerosis: focus on cytomegalovirus. Lancet 19%;348 Supplement 1:513-17.

Holland KT, Taylor D, Farrell AM. The effect of glycerol monolaurate on growth of, and production of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 and lipase by, Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Anti-microbial Chemotherapy 1994;33:41-55.

Homung B, Arntmann E, Sauer G. Lauric acid inhibits the maturation of vesicular storriatitis virus. Journal of General Virology 1994;75:353-361.

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

Isaacs CE, Schneidman K. Enveloped Viruses in Human and Bovine Milk are Inactivated by Added Fatty Acids (FAs) and Monoglycerides (MGs). FASEB Journal 1991;5: Abstract 5325, p. A1288.

Wang LL and Johnson EA. Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1992;58:624-629.

Witcher KJ, Novick RP, Schlievert PM. Modulation of immune cell proliferation by glycerol monolaurate. Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology 1996;3:10-13. Lauricidin® is a trademark of Med-Chem Labs, Inc. Galena, IL, USA and is registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Health Disclaimer: Claims made about specific products have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. FDA and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for product label information or advice from your health care professional. Aviva recommends that you consult with your physician or healthcare professional prior to starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, and before discontinuing or changing your use of any medications. For any suspected or known illness or health concern always consult with your healthcare provider prior to the purchase or use of any health related products. Lauricidin® is a registered United States Patent and Trademark Office trademark. The trademark is registered to Jon J. Kabara and licensed only to Med-Chem Labs, Inc.

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