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AIDS and MonoLaurin


AIDS - Coconut Oil & Monolaurin to the Rescue


From Bruce Fife, N.D.
(Excerpts and Condensed from Healthy Ways Newsletter)


The Problem with Treating HIV

   Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, antiviral drugs can only reduce the severity of infections; they do not eliminate them completely.  To date, no drugs have been developed that can effectively eradicate viruses and cure the illnesses they cause.

   HIV attacks and weakens the immune system. As the efficiency of the immune system decreases, other viruses as well as bacteria and fungi are able to take hold and infect the body.  These secondary infections are what cause most of the pain and discomfort and ultimately the death of AIDS victims.  For this reason, HIV patients are given drug cocktails consisting of a mixture of antibiotics, antiviral and antifungal agents.  Anti-cancer drugs are usually included in the mix because the weakened immune system often allows cancer to develop.  Adverse reactions and toxic side effects often result.

   Over the years medical science has made great strides in AIDS treatment.  With the proper treatment and lifestyle choices, life expectancy for HIV infected individuals has increased.  Antiretroviral drugs are able to slow down the progression of the disease.  But for the vast majority of HIV infected people drug therapy is not a viable option.  The cost to control the virus using standard HIV medications for one person can easily amount to over $15,000 a year.  This is far beyond the ability of most of those infected to pay.

   Finding a safe and effective, yet affordable, natural treatment is the only way to bring relief to the millions who suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Coconut Oil and Monolaurin to the Rescue

   Fortunately, researchers may have now found a potential solution to this problem from, of all things, coconut oil.  Although coconut oil may appear to be an unlikely hero, recent medical research shows that it holds great promise in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  More accurately, it isn't coconut oil itself - but what our body does with it after eating it.  Coconut oil is composed of a unique group of fats known as medium chain triglycerides (MCT).  When eaten, our bodies transform MCTs into medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) and monoglycerides.  (These become the Monolaurin, Monocaprin, etc. in our Ultimate Monolaurin) - which possess powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties!

   Knowledge of coconut oil’s effect on HIV has been circulating in the AIDS community ever since Icelandic researcher Halldor Thormar began publishing studies on this topic in the early 1990s.  Since then, HIV-infected individuals have reported success lowering their viral loads and improving their overall health by adding coconut oil or coconut products (such as monolaurin) into their diets.

   HIV attacks white bloods cells known as T4 cells. The severity of the virus can be determined by measuring the number of T4 cells in the body.  This is called a CD4 count.  On average, a healthy individual will have a CD4 count between 535 and 1,145.  HIV infected individuals usually have CD4 levels below normal.  As the disease progresses CD4 levels continue to drop.

How Monolaurin Works

   Viruses that are the most vulnerable to the killing action of monolaruin are those which are encased in a lipid membrane (envelope, or skin).  When monolaurin comes into contact with these viruses, they are absorbed into their outer membranes, then into the bacteria or virus.  This destabilizes them to the point that the membrane disintegrates, killing them.  HIV has a lipid coat, thus making it vulnerable to the action of MCFA.  Studies have shown that when monolaurin is added to human blood and semen infected with HIV, the virus is effectively killed.  Dr. Thormar and colleagues report that MCFA formulated into a hydrogel for effective delivery are “highly virucidal in vitro and cause a greater than 100,000-fold inactivation of viruses in human seamen in 1 minute.”  The researchers add that they are “potent inactivators of sexually transmitted viruses.”

   Studies have shown that monolaurin is not only effective at killing HIV but also a large number of other lipid-coated viruses that cause a number of diseases, including:

          measles virus,                   herpes simplex virus,         hepatitis,

          stomatitis virus (VSV),       cytomegalovirus (CMV),   most Flu and colds

    MCFA also kill lipid-coated bacteria as well as some fungi and parasites including:

          Chlamydia trachomatis,   Neisseria gonorrhoeae,    Staphylococcus aureus,

          Helicobacter pylori,         Candida albicans,               Giardia.

   Coconut oil is composed predominately of MCFA (and the conversion to monolaruin) also alleviates many of the opportunistic infections that commonly afflict AIDS patients.  Unlike the drug cocktails used to treat HIV/AIDS, coconut oil is a completely harmless, natural product that has been used safely as a food for thousands of years.  It has no harmful side effects.

   C.A. Wanke and colleagues took 24 adult patients with HIV who were suffering from chronic diarrhea, fat malabsorption, and weight loss.  The researchers reported that those that received the MCT demonstrated significantly decreased stool number, stool fat, and stool weight, indicating a marked improvement in their nutritional statues.  Along with improved digestion and weight gain, CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratios also improve in MCT fed patients, indicating improved immune function.

   The organization Keep Hope Alive has documented several cases in which HIV/AIDS patients have reported marked improvement after consuming coconut products (especially monolaurin).  In some cases all evidence of the infection were removed.

   The first clinical study using coconut on HIV patients was reported by Conrado Dayrit, MD in 1999.  In this study 14 HIV infected individuals were given daily 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (equivalent to less than 1/2 tsp. of Monolautin).  No other antivirals or treatment was used.  Six months later 60 percent of the participants showed noticeable signs of improvement.  Improvement was measured by increased CD4 count, lowered viral load, and better overall health.  This was the first study to demonstrate in a clinical setting that coconut oil does have an antiviral impact and could be used successfully to treat HIV infected individuals.

   Since coconuts can grow in many of areas of the world where HIV is a major health problem, coconut oil appears to be a feasible and exciting solution to this worldwide epidemic.   Obviously, our concentrated monolaurin pellets are much easier to take.  They can equal taking a couple cups of coconut oil - without the discomfort! 

Selected References:

Craig, G.B., et al. Decreased fat and nitrogen losses in patients with AIDS receiving medium-chain-triglyceride-enriched formula vs those receiving long-chain-triglyceride-containing formula. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;97:605-611.

Hierholzer, J.C. and Kabara, J.J. In vitro effects of monolaurin compounds on enveloped RNA and DNA viruses. Journal of Food Safety 1982;4:1-12.

Kabara, J.J. Antimicrobial agents derived from fatty acids. Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society 1984;61:397-403.

Neyts, J., et al. Hydrogels containing monocaprin prevent intravaginal and intracutaneous infections with HSV-2 in mice: impact on the search for vaginal microbicides. J Med Virol 2000;61(1):107-110.

Thormar, H., et al. Inactivation of enveloped viruses and killing of cells by fatty acids and monoglycerides. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 1987;31(1):27-31.

Wanke, C.A., et al. A medium chain triglyceride-based diet in patients with HIV and chronic diarrhea reduces diarrhea and malabsorption: a prospective, controlled trial. Nutrition 1996;12:766-771.


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