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Monolaurin is a powerful antiviral, tested successfully for herpes types I and II, as well as non-specific viral infections. It contains the monoester of lauric acid. Monolaurin has had good results in studies of Shingles, Herpes virus and Epstein Bar virus. It should act against all lipid-enveloped viruses. Monolaurin-based creams are being developed.
Monolaurin works directly on the lipid envelop coat of the virus by disrupting the conformation of the lipid bilayer, preventing attachment to host cells. Not only does Monolaurin exert direct antiviral activity, it also enhances both nonspecific as well as specific host defenses against viral invasion. It potentiates immunological activity by triggering agents as mitogens, antigens, phagocytic stimuli or lymphokines. It does not have an effect on lymphocyte or macrophage functions. Although it is broad spectrum, it has no effect on polio, coxsackie, rotaviruses, Western equine, Venezuela equine or Japanese B encephalitis.
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Antigen: A substance, usually protein or protein-sugar complex in nature, which, being foreign to the bloodstream or tissues of an animal, stimulates the formation of specific blood serum antibodies and white blood cell activity. Re-exposure to similar antigen will reactivate the white blood cells and antibody programmed against this specific antigen.
Antiviral: Any of a number of herbs, drugs or agents capable of destroying viruses or inhibiting their growth or multiplication until the body is capable of destroying the virus itself. Most antiviral agents are members of the antimetabolite family.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Lipid: Fat-soluble substances derived from animal or vegetable cells by nonpolar solvents (e.g. ether); the term can include the following types of materials: fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids, alcohols and waxes.
Lymphocyte: A type of white blood cell found in lymph, blood, and other specialized tissue such as bone marrow and tonsils, constituting between 22 and 28 percent of all white blood cells in the blood of a normal adult human being. B- and T-lymphocytes are crucial components of the immune system. The B-lymphocytes are primarily responsible for antibody production. The T-lymphocytes are involved in the direct attack against living organisms. The helper T-lymphocyte, a subtype, is the main cell infected and destroyed by the AIDS virus.
Lymphokines: Substances produced by the cells of the immune system when exposed to antigens. These substances are not antibodies, but they play a vital role in the on-board defense system.
Macrophage: An immune system cell that scavenges bacterial and other foreign material in the blood and tissues.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Shingles: A severe infection caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV), affecting mainly adults. It causes painful skin blisters that follow the underlying route of brain or spinal nerves infected by the virus. Also know as herpes zoster.
Virus: Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.