I found out about this wonderful product (Monolaurin 600 mg) from a retired nutritionist friend. Now I've been given a page of technical data on it, to share. It's available on Google Shopping, NexTag or Yahoo Shopping, (prices vary wildly, so sort by price). I have been using it (for 2 months now) whenever I feel that I have been exposed to any people that have any flu symptoms. This is my first post, I think it's really worth the time to read, and I look foreward to several dialogs. Teachable What is Monolaurin? Monolaurin is a physiologic anti-microbial agent that protects the immune system from a range of infectious agents. A monoglycerol ester of the fatty acid lauric acid, it can be found in mammalian breast milk, amniotic fluid, and some foods, most notably coconut oil. It has been shown to protect newborns, whose immune systems are underdeveloped, from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and other respiratory tract viruses (1,2). As a dietary supplement, it has been used as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent. Is Monolaurin safe? Not only is Monolaurin included on the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list, but it may, by virtue of its source of origin, be safer than many other food supplements that are designed to boost the immune system. One of the safest substances known to man is breast milk. This is where the monoglyceride of lauric acid (Monolaurin) is found. When an infant is born, it is totally dependent on food factors in the mother’s milk for immune protection. In analyzing the composition of human breast milk, medical researchers found lauric acid monoglycerides in high concentrations, which is what led them to study Monolaurin as an anti-viral agent (4,5). Monolaurin is also found in coconut oil, butter, and heavy cream; only recently has it been isolated and purified. It is highly unusual in pharmacology to find chemicals that are toxic to lower forms of life (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) but non-toxic to man. Monolaurin’s lack of toxicity makes it most promising. Which microorganisms are killed by Monolaurin? While Monolaurin is most widely used as an anti-viral agent, it also has beneficial effects against pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and fungi; other fatty acids such as caprylic and sorbic acids are more effective against yeasts, but ineffective against viruses. In a study performed at the CDC, which focused on Monolaurintested strains of viruses, Monolaurin was able to solubulize the enveloped membrane of 14 human RNA and DNA viruses (3). These include influenza, RSV, Rubeola, Newcastle’s, Coronavirus, Herpes Simplex types 1 & 2, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus. (Monolaurin has no effect on naked viruses, such as polio, encephalitis virus, coxsachie, or pox viruses.) Monolaurin works by disintegrating the lipid envelope coat of viruses. Data from these studies suggest that the loss of virus infectivity is associated with the solubilization of Monolaurin into the envelope. The virus absorbs the fatty acid for its own replication, but winds up destroying its own protective coat. How can I protect myself during the cold and flu season? 20,000 people die each year from the flu, primarily the elderly and immunocompromised. Neuraminidase inhibitors (Influenzaspecific antiviral drugs) such as Tamiflu®, Relenza®, Amantadine, and Rimantadine are important adjuncts but not a substitute for a vaccine. And aside from being an expensive per-course of treatment, they can cause serious side effects. At best, these drugs will cut the illness by a day and a half. If they are started too late, they won’t work at all. Furthermore, there are influenza subtypes and strains that may be non-responsive to drug therapy. There are some new monoclonal antibodies administered by injection that are excellent drugs, and a new inhaled mist will be available in a few years. Drug developers look to the simple mechanism factor of Monolaurin in developing these newer powerful anti-viral drugs. In addition to the commonly known supplements, Vitamin C, Lactoferrin, and Echinacea, Monolaurin serves as a valuable nutritional adjunct for people who feel that they are coming down with a cold or flu. Many physicians have developed their own clinical protocols in their cold and flu prevention program and recommend taking several capsules of Monolaurin on an empty stomach. Monolaurin is not the type of nutritional supplement one has to take on a daily basis, but only when the need arises. If one has a fever or swollen lymph glands, it is always best to see a physician, but if you sense the early warning signs of the flu, like sniffles, sore skin and perhaps a scratchy throat, Monolaurin may offer the first line of defense. How do I know whether bacteria or a virus is causing an infection? Pediatricians often practice the best medicine, performing a differential diagnostic to rule out viruses before prescribing Rx anti-biotics. They’ve seen too many recurrent ear infections and use antibiotics more judiciously. Most family practice doctors don’t perform a differential diagnosis or throat culture to see if the infection is bacterial or viral in origin, and simply prescribe an antibiotic, even though antibiotics will not work for viral infections. The patient is just happy to leave with the prescription in hand. Unfortunately, this is why anti-biotic resistance, resulting from the over-use of prescription drugs, is one of the biggest problems facing the medical community today. Resistance is cumulative (and comes in part from antibiotics in our food supply). That’s why it’s important to consider starting with nutritional agents, such as Monolaurin, first. Uncomplicated flu, while unpleasant, is not life threatening and doesn’t necessitate drug therapy. Nutritional physiologic agents may come first. What is the role of Monolaurin and other nutrients against herpes? Herpes is one of the most ubiquitous viruses, occurring in both oral and genital forms. It is also highly contagious and resistant to conventional pharmacology. Some physicians recommend taking 6 capsules when one has a flare up and 2 capsules as a maintenance dose during quiescent periods. Sometimes the herpes virus can be activated by Monolaurin and then killed, resulting in a Herxheimer-like reaction. Similar protocols have been used with the Epstein-Barr virus (closely resembling the herpes virus), which may be responsible for Chronic Fatigue and even MS (16, 17). Some biotech companies are studying the use of a Monolaurinbased cream for genital herpes. The amino acid Lysine and the preservative BHT have also been studied in herpes with mixed results. Have there been any studies about Monolaurin in medical journals? Most of the studies with Monolaurin have been in vitro, studying the sensitivity of viruses to its effects outside the body; other studies point to its safety and presence in foods. A literature search on Medline will produce a range of published scientific articles in such prestigious journals as: Antimicrobial Agents Chemistry, Science, Nutrition Reviews, J. Food Safety, and Archives of Virology (6-15). The cost of conducting a large scale, multi-centered study and the lack of patent protection has discouraged pharmaceutical companies from developing this product further. However, there are a number of studies pointing to the safety and absorption of Monolaurin and other fatty acid esters. What is the best way to take Monolaurin? For those who feel as if they are coming down with a viral infection, doctors often recommend taking six of the 300 mg capsules (or 3 of the 600 mg capsules) with food, first thing in the morning, and for acute cases, the same dose again at night. The dose can be tapered off as symptoms decrease. Some physicians recommend a maintenance dose of 600 mg daily in the presence of high titers to the Epstein-Bar Virus, Herpes 1 & 2, or other chronic viral conditions, such as Mononucleosis. Of course, one should always seek the advice of a physician in cases of fever and/or pain, or if symptoms persist. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. (I removed the references because the post was too long. They are available if anyone wants them).