Monolaurin – A Natural Immune Boosting Powerhouse

By Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

October 31, 2008

Monolaurin – A Natural Immune Boosting Powerhouse
Monolaurin is a 12-carbon long fatty acid, derived from coconut oil but prepared into a mono-ester of lauric acid. Decades of research has demonstrated the immune properties of this natural compound. It should be pointed out that monolaurin is a component of breast milk, part of Mother Nature's immune support that is passed from mother to child and vital to the survival of the human race. Anything in breast milk must be very gentle on the baby, yet effective at boosting immunity. This helps you to understand the safety and non-toxicity of this simple fatty acid nutrient. Well, if it is nothing but a fatty acid with no toxicity then how on earth does it help immunity? After all, all the antibiotics in use by Western Medicine are essentially killing germs with toxic force. What trick does Mother Nature have up her sleeve?

Mapping the human genome was indeed a major breakthrough that has opened many doors to understanding how things work in your body. Scientists are now on to mapping the genomes of the contents of your digestive tract, the hundreds of trillions of foreign cells that have a huge bearing on your health. This is the frontier of medicine for the next 50 years that will eventually result in the development of non-toxic antibiotics and safe treatments for autoimmune diseases. In the mean time, many pieces of the puzzle are beginning to fit into place – information you can use to keep yourself and your family in better health.

This new science is reporting fascinating immunologic discoveries almost on daily basis. For example, in the October 31, 2008 issues of the journal Cell, scientists report that bacteria spores grow1 and spread by talking to dormant bacteria nearby, in essence motivating them to come join their cause (which is to infect your body). This turns harmless digestive contents into active combatants. The hostile bacteria release fragments from their cell membranes called muropeptides – a carbohydrate-based communication molecule that signals dormant “friends” to join the battle. The researchers believe this is a universal principle of bacterial infections. We already know that Candida albicans behaves this way. What tools do you have to keep this type of problem in check?

These findings mean that the balance of power residing in your digestive tract, as well as on the surfaces of your sinuses, lungs, and skin, has a profound influence on your immunity and health. If your baseline of health is too many bad gangs already active in your neighborhoods, as reflected by the nature of ongoing symptoms, then your immune system is already struggling to keep up with the challenges within your own cities. What happens if you get attacked by something truly hostile that you breathe in and swallow or eat and swallow? Obviously, the healthy terrain of your digestive tract determines your baseline of immune system competence, and your ability to directly fight a true challenge – such as a hostile flu virus which must first incubate in your digestive tract before spreading to some other area of your body.

And think about a baby just coming into the world who has no digestive competence or balance and no immune cells based on experience – how do they survive an infection if they get one? This helps you to understand the true power of monolaurin and other immune support components that are naturally found in breast milk.

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