Monolaurin: Better than you ThoughtOctober 11, 2020
Monolaurin - Better than you Think
You've heard of some of the back and forth about coconut oil, but have you heard of monolaurin? It turns out to be quite an interesting compound. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid. It is the 12 carbon chain in coconut oil that has a melting point just at your skin temperature, so is ideal for being a foundational fat for many beauty products. The other two main ingredients are shorter fatty acids being 10 and 8 carbons long. They are liquid at room temperature so make up the ingredients of MCT oil. When you eat coconut oil or any coconut, you will make some monolaurin in your natural digestion of it. But the actual product monolaurin is the product of binding lauric acid with glycerin, the otherwise foundation of "triglycerides". It's easy to manufacture and has its own powerhouse of benefits.
Here are some of them. For example, the scourge of MRSA in hospitals with its terrible antibiotic resistance has been found to be markedly helped by taking monolaurin in addition to vancomycin (in lab rats). Mortality dropped from some 88% to about 40% when monolaurin was added. That's quite a benefit.
But let's talk autoimmune (AI) illnesses. Here is a Gordian knot that we have a terrible time controlling. What is the most common autoimmune illness? If you consider eczema to be an autoimmune illness, that's it! Some 25% of children and 10% of adults have it compared to Rheumatoid Arthritis, the "most common" mainline AI disease. You can treat eczema with a new antibody (dupilumab) targeting IL-4 and IL-13, two inflammatory cytokines meant to attack bacteria and viruses but get mistakenly turned on to attack your skin. When you give folks with eczema dupilumab, eczema gets better and the genes that are turned on in eczema get turned off. Magic. Works. Expensive.
Did you know you might get the same effect with monolaurin? There is precious little published research so I'm going on single-author and personal experience. I've had several clients spontaneously report to me that monolaurin helped their eczema. "When I take it, it goes away! When I stop, it comes back." The stuff is way too cheap. It will never be funded for research in our current medical world. What I suspect is going on is that the secondary skin infections that occur with eczema have staph and strep bacteria in them. Two forces at work. The monolaurin probably inhibits the bacterial infections enough to be helpful. And the emollient quality of the oil increases the skin moisture and decreases skin cracking and opening up to allow bacterial invasion. That's my hypothesis. And support for that might be from its activity against candida as well. In that study, IL-1, another inflammatory cytokine was shown to be markedly downregulated with monolaurin.
Dr. Jon Kabara has been the inventor and chief promulgator or monolaurin and sells it under the label Lauricidin. His list of testimonials on his web site is about as good as you can get to see folks detailing how it has helped their skin. Of note, this is the classical unresearched scenario with only high-pressure testimonials and no randomized controlled trial. But with a compound that is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) with exceedingly rare allergy or toxicity, trying it isn't so awful for you.
WWW. What will work for me. I was so startled by my client who had such an amazing response to it, I wanted to read more. I get the conundrum of no research, but for the obvious reason that it's way, way, way too cheap. There isn't enough money in it. And there is a reasonable biochemical hint in some research that there are plausible reasons for how it might work. I had a horrible skin infection on my knees with dozens of abscesses back in the 1950s in India. I suspect monolaurin would have helped that. That would possibly be called erysipelas today. I remember as a 6-year-old in boarding school in India treating it with daily Mercurachrome (iodine). Yuck. Glad that's over.
1. What is monolaurin? Answer: Simple combination of the 10 carbon chain called lauric acid that comprises 50% of coconut fat with glycerin.
2. Can you make it naturally? Answer: Well yes. It's in mother's breast milk, in tiny amounts.
3. Is there any research on it to explain how it might work? Answer: A few tiny studies that show some modest effect in rats.
4. And, anything else? Answer: Well, yes. Monolaurin appears to help prevent candida and has been shown to down-regulate a variety of inflammatory cytokines.
5. Where can I get it if I want to give it a whirl? Answer: Look up Lauricidin and buy it from the original developer of it. Or from any of 100 other sellers. I suspect you have to try the dose that works for you. And I would love to hear your story of how it helped you.