Transcript of Interview with Damon Sununtnasuk from Natural Labs: Monolaurin, Lysine and Herpes
Alexandra Harbushka: Hey there. I'm Alexandra Harbushka, founder of Life With Herpes. I'm really excited to be doing an interview here with my new friend, Damon, wait, I had it perfect. Okay, Sununtnasuk.
Damon Sununtnasuk: Pretty great.
Alexandra: Okay, what was it?
Damon: Sununtnasuk, but Damon is totally fine.
Alexandra: Okay. Sununtnasuk, gosh, I was practicing guys. Okay, we were saying how like he would take Harbushka over his last name any day.
Damon: That's right.
Alexandra: Okay. But I got it Sununtnasuk.
Alexandra: Okay, got it. Got it. All right. Damon is the founder and CEO of Natural Cure Labs. And we're going to get into a little bit about that. And we're going to talk a lot about Monolaurin, it's a new breakthrough in my world. And I think it's still pretty new on the market. And most people have not heard of it. So, we're really going to get into that. He is joining us from Florida. Which is cool. How is it in Florida today?
Damon: Sunny and beautiful as always.
Alexandra: Always. Yes. I'm in Las Vegas and we were just saying, we're going to experience thirty-mile power winds today. So, that's not awesome but I'm glad that you are sunny and beautiful in Florida. So, those are the people that are listening that are in, snow can just be jealous of Damon right now.
Damon: Indeed. I will send good warm thoughts to everyone.
Alexandra: Okay. Thank you and normally when Damon and I talk his cat "Nopalito" is hopping around. So, I don't know if he's going to hop around today or where he's going to be but if you see him in the background, just say "hi" to his kitty. And I always like seeing animals in videos, it makes me happy. So, anyways, okay, Damon enough about where you are calling from about your cat and me butchering your last name. And I swear I practiced. Tell me a little about your personal story, kind of with your health journey, because I know we've talked about it offline, but I want you to share your personal health story.
Damon: Yes, no, thanks for having me. And thanks for providing the opportunity to speak with you today. So, the journey of the company and my own journey really begins back in 2015 in San Francisco, I had been living overseas for several years. And in countries where nationalized health was just part of the experience, right? And moving back to the United States, I was in between jobs and therefore in between insurance coverage and I felt a very strong sense of anxiety.
Alexandra: How old were you at this time?
Damon: Oh, gosh. Early thirties.
Alexandra: Okay. Yes.
Alexandra: We're still young. I mean, we are young we don't really have necessarily the health issues happening.
Damon: That's right, but you never know. Right?
Alexandra: You don't, right.
Damon: And that anxiety, and that uncertainty was weighing really, really heavily on me. And looking at the research, looking at the statistics, there's over twenty eight million Americans that don't have health insurance. There are fifty-eight million adults who suffer from what's referred to as medication insecurity and I was one of those adults, right? Faced with this challenge and one of the nice things about being in San Francisco is being surrounded by really passionate people, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts for health and natural health, right? And so, that was the combination of my experience and my location and my influence that really make me want to start something that is a little bit different, start a mission-driven company that's able to produce solutions that aim to support those fifty-eight million adults who have suffered from that medication insecurity and that's how we got started.
Alexandra: Cool. Yes, I mean, the medication insecurity or not having an answer or not having a result, like you said, we think we're invincible, especially coming out of our 20s right? Nothing probably has really happened to us yet, maybe a broken bone or maybe something like that, but we're usually able to rebound as if nothing happened, and then all of a sudden, when you get a diagnosis of something, it is like, "Wow, now what?" and that happens a lot for herpes diagnosis, a diagnosis is, this is typically one of our first big, "Oh, this is real, this is a real thing. What am I going to do now? I didn't plan on this in my life. I calculated this or calculated that and I made these choices or those choices in order to try to avoid certain things in my life and boom, this just happened. Now what do I do?" and being able to be healthy is, I think, one of the greatest gifts.
Damon: That's right. And, I think, one of the challenges that a lot of people here in the United States face when they receive these diagnoses is that the traditional approach is really around medication-based, right? And these medications come with a cost, both physical costs, like the money you have to pay for it, but also a secondary cost, which may be allergic reactions, rash, hair loss, or headaches or as extreme as things like digestive problems or even depression. And so, I think that one of the things that we struggle with here is an immediate rush to over subscribe to some of these medication therapies without exploring other potentially less harsh alternatives.
Alexandra: Or letting it compound and not realizing until you realize like, "Wow, I'm taking this many different prescription drugs, and I take this one that takes care of this one, but then I have to take this one that covers up that one, and this one's causing this and so I'm going to have that." Or "Blah-blah-blah-blah" and we do not realize that it also compounds which does not solve it. So, I like to ask a question whenever I interview someone, okay? So, and it is my signature question, and I change it for everybody. So, what does a healthy immune system smell like to you?
Damon: Oh, my gosh, I did not see this one coming.
Alexandra: I know.
Damon: Unfortunately, Monolaurin doesn't have a smell.
Alexandra: Right, no.
Damon: For me, potentially, it just means like you are liberated to do things that you enjoy in life and things that give personal pleasure. So, for me, it might be the smell of being on a beach, being out and about exercising or enjoying time with loved ones. I think that for me might be it.
Alexandra: Right. I was thinking when I was preparing for our interview, I was like, "What is a healthy immune system or health smelled like to me?" and the thought that came to my mind was Sound of Music. When she's out there on the hill just singing, I was like, "That is how healthy--" if I were to smell it, not that I know what Sound of Music smells like but I'm just imagining up in those mountains. So, yours was very similar being in the beach and with family and doing things that you love so--
Alexandra: Yes, it is an interesting twist, right? To ask someone how it smells.
Damon: I love it.
Alexandra: Cool. All right. So, Damon just mentioned Monolaurin. And I want to get to that, that was, again Monolaurin, it's a new topic to me. But first, let me just do a quick background on herpes for those of you that are tuning in and in case we are not as familiar with herpes, so herpes is HSV herpes simplex virus. There's tons of different herpes viruses, the ones that we're specifically going to talk about right now are HSV one and HSV two. Basically, they're the same virus, however, they are categorized differently just because they are slightly different, HSV one typically prefers the oral region and HSV two typically prefers the genital region. So, that is how we get oral herpes, genital herpes but these viruses are interchangeable, they don't really care if you give them an opportunity to go to that place, the unfortunate thing about the herpes, well, I shouldn't say "unfortunate". The cool thing about viruses is once we get the virus we have the virus in our bodies for life, which can be really great for not re-infecting ourselves with other viruses. So, a perfect example is chickenpox, for those of us that are older than the chickenpox vaccine, I know, I had it as a kid I don't know if you had it as a kid but we cannot re-infect ourselves with chickenpox because it is a virus. So, the thing with herpes though, is because of the way that the virus is kind of enveloped or the way it is. It is a DNA virus, which means that it has this shell or a fatty acid that wraps around it. And it makes it difficult for our immune system to keep it suppressed, right? So, I like to use the example if you think of a hard-boiled egg, right? It has a hard shell and then inside or regular egg, right? Inside is kind of the gooey stuff. So, it makes it really hard for our immune system to break through and keep that virus just basically to do a takeover.
Damon: That's right. And I love that you bring this up because I love geeking out on this exact subject.
Damon: You're right and I think it's worth noting that there are many other herpes family of viruses which include varicella, which is chickenpox, zoster which creates shingles, Epstein–Barr which can contribute to mono, and of course HSV which you just talked about, and these are DNA-enveloped viruses, but they're also RNA-enveloped viruses, which include influenza and Hepatitis C, Measles are enveloped viruses as well. So, they are tricky, that fatty lipid sheath that protects the DNA or RNA and the viruses is sort of tough to get past, and you are right, that leads to a chronic impact on the nervous system.
Alexandra: Right, right. So, you did a much better job of explaining that but it is true, right? So, our immune system is basically enable, is not able to, let me repeat that, it makes it very difficult for our immune system to keep it dormant if we have a weak immune system. And that is really the key here is with herpes or any other virus for that matter, any other bacterial infection, the stronger the immune system we have, the better off that we're going to be out there at the beach or me and Sound of Music and just having beautiful smells of health.
Damon: Exactly, exactly. And that's a perfect segue of how some natural products may help support a healthy immune system or help maintain a healthy immune system so you don't feel immunocompromised, and you don't succumb to potentially dormant things in your body, right?
Alexandra: Right. And the key is to keep the herpes virus dormant. So, we will never get rid of it the way that our technology works at this point in science is viruses will be in our body for life, we cannot get rid of them. However, the key is to make it go dormant in our system, which means we do not get outbreaks, if we're not having outbreaks, we're not in pain.
Damon: That's right. And that's exactly the traditional approach. That's how suppressive therapies work. They limit the frequency and duration of outbreaks. And that's what science is able to offer today through traditional medicines, right? But we'll try today to explore it carefully and as in a compliant manner as we can what the science may be saying about Monolaurin.
Alexandra: Yes, so tell me about it. So, I have it here, right here for those of you that are watching this, if you are listening to it, I have the natural cure labs, the lysine plus Monolaurin dietary supplement, its immune system support. And this is what we're talking about, I'm going to let Damon take it over, I just want to show you guys what it looks like in case you are watching. Okay.
Damon: That's right. And that's a fantastic combination product that brings a lot of science to the table, and we can unpack that science, we can unpack some of the research behind lysine, which is an incredible essential amino acid that has to be obtained through diet or supplementation, your body doesn't produce it, and Monolaurin, which can be obtained through diet as well or supplementation. So, Monolaurin is a really interesting compound and it may be new to many people today but it's not necessarily new to the the dietary supplement space. It was first synthesized and discovered in the 1960s. And from what I understand, there was this interesting hypothesis regarding infant health and infant immune response, right? The hypothesis was that something must be supporting infant immune health because when a baby is born, they don't have a lot of the immune system responses that an adult does after acquiring a lot of externalities, right? So, something may be contributing to the health of the infant. And so an analysis of breast milk, human breast milk, unveiled that breast milk contains 6.2% lauric acid and lauric acid is the real hero of the story here today, lauric acid is a twelve-carbon atom chain fatty acid that is found in human breast milk, but also in some plant fats, right? So, principally coconut oil, which is around 50% lauric acid, and palm kernel oil, which is also around forty-eight or 49% lauric acid. And this lauric acid is really what's the focus a lot of these health studies and these research studies, right? And it's a fascinating compound, there are over two hundred references to monolaurin specifically and lauric acid on research sites like NCBI, the National Institutes of Health PubMed, right? This is a government-run website that surfaces publicly available, peer reviewed research, and it is fascinating to sort of dig into, and I encourage everyone who is listening or watching today to explore some of that research because as a representative of a transparent and compliance-based company, there's not a lot that I can explicitly share today. But I wouldn't ask anyone to take my word for it anyway, right?
Damon: I would really encourage people to go out, do the research and just a quick search on Google Scholar or on PubMed, NCBI will result in some incredible studies that explore what is Monolaurin? What is lauric acid, and what are some of its applications and laboratory studies both in vivo which mean in the body. And in vitro, which means sort of in a lab condition, right? And in vivo doesn't necessarily mean a human body, it could mean a laboratory animal, like a poor hamster or something like that but it's really interesting proxy almost for what the potential might be with further scientific exploration. So, those studies are phenomenal and a lot of the studies explore Monolaurin specifically with those enveloped viruses, right? As we just stated enveloped viruses are ones that have a fatty or lipid capsule that surround and protect the DNA or RNA of the virus, and the research there is worth noting.
Alexandra: So, okay, so I want to back up, because I have a couple of questions for you on this, because I know when we first talked. So, I'm a nursing mom, my baby right now is thirteen months, I don't know when I'm going to give it up. It's not weird yet. So, what you're saying is that in human breast milk or human milk, we are this anomaly, right? That create this lauric acid that then goes to our youth our young, our offspring and gives them basically an immune boost or allows them to to develop their immune system, it is what you're saying?
Damon: Yes, that is what the research suggests, right?
Damon: And there's research that goes beyond just analyzing the composition of human breast milk. Of course, the percentage on average is 6.2% but that can range depending on the ethnicity of the mom their location, their diet, their age, a lot of things impact that composition but at the end of the day a lot of the research is pointing to and suggesting that lauric acid does have immune supporting and regulating capabilities, help maintain and support digestive health and immune health.
Alexandra: So, we can't get this from cow's milk?
Damon: No, bovine milk is different, it doesn't contain, and there are other studies that pit non-human milk, so bovine milk against plant-based food alternatives for nursing infants. So, common formulas will rely on animal lipids, right? So, fats that come from cow's milk, this study pitted those lipids that come from cow's milk against lipids that come from plant sources and by plant-source, I really mean coconut fats, right? Plant fats, healthy plant fats, and it is suggested--
Alexandra: Also, fall in there olive oil and avocado oil or just it’s coconut?
Damon: I'll have to go back and find the research. But I remember that it was specifically around coconut for this particular study.
Alexandra: Cool, okay.
Damon: And the results were fascinating, because the impact that the formula or the nutrient source had impacted the digestive health of the nursing infant, right? So, the results of the study indicated that plant-based fats from coconut were actually healthier for the infant than the bovine-based fats, which I found really interesting.
Alexandra: That's wild because I know that it's important to make sure that your baby has full fat. And that's an important thing. I also, this is a little off topic about nursing mothers but I watched this documentary and if your firstborn is a daughter, is a girl, you make more milk.
Alexandra: Right? And it's because the women need, as we age, right, as a little girl turns into then a mom, she just needs more nutrients, I guess, was the breakdown. So yes, even if you have a girl and boys, you will still produce more milk than a firstborn son mom, which was very interesting, I thought.
Damon: It's incredible how responsive the human body can be to be sort of the inherent needs of the infant. I’ve also read studies that indicate that breastfeeding is not a one-way exercise, that the mom takes into account certain chemical signals from the saliva of the infant during breastfeeding, and that saliva can indicate to the mom whether the infant is healthy, is sick, is underweight and the body responds to that in real time and produces a different type, a different mixture almost of milk to support the infant.
Alexandra: Yes, that is wild. I know, I did know that. And I can look at my different milk and see, like, "Oh, this one's super fatty." Or, "This one's not as fatty." Or, "This one's like a super, almost like a rich yellow and this one is white, like a cow's milk." It’s very interesting, very interesting. But again, we're not here to talk about my breast milk. I just thought that it was some interesting facts that we learned about breast milk. And basically, I had no idea that this Monolaurin or what we're talking about, again, comes from human breast milk and coconut oil. I mean, those are he two sources and coconut oil has been, I would say, what? The last ten years, maybe fifteen, maybe going on fifteen years. It was like the Holy Grail. It was like, never on a shelf, no one ever bought it to like, everybody has an every cabinet now.
Damon: It’s very popular, indeed.
Damon: And there are some really interesting studies on coconut milk as well. And its potential therapeutic benefits from skin and hair health to digestive health as well, the curious thing about coconut flesh or coconut oil, though, is it comes with some secondary considerations, right? Its fat content is one and, I think, what your listeners might be most interested in is the, was it Arginine, I think? Maybe a secondary chemical found in coconut flesh or coconut oil. And if people are looking to increase their intake of lauric acid, the coconut-type products are a great way to do that but it is not very convenient if you’re looking to get higher levels of lauric acid or Monolaurin, right?
Alexandra: Not all of us have a coconut tree.
Damon: That's right, none of us wants to take, that's right, we have plenty down here but I'm not going to scale a tree every day to take it down. And also I don't think I would feel comfortable taking several like dozen tablespoon or teaspoon of coconut oil to get to that level that I need. A six-hundred-milligram capsule of Monolaurin equates to around six and a half teaspoons of coconut oil, right?
Alexandra: Okay. And each one is six hundred milligrams?
Damon: For that particular product it's two capsules, is six hundred milligrams of Monolaurin and six hundred milligrams of lysine. There are several alternatives on the market for a six-hundred-milligram capsule and above or smaller if the individual needs but for example, I think a standard dose may be not standard but someone may choose to take six of those capsules per day, right? That’s equivalent of almost a cup of coconut oil, right? And I don't know many people who would feel good taking down a cup of coconut oil a day.
Alexandra: I don't think that would be good. I was just picturing, I don't know, one of those commercials where coats or stomach or something. Yes, no.
Damon: Yes, the capsules you could argue are a little bit easier.
Alexandra: Yes. Okay. So, okay, and back to Arginine because we were talking about that, coconut flesh, so the meat and coconut milk is high in Arginine. And that's something that is a little bit where we get a little bit worried about with people that have herpes, when we hear the word "Arginine", it's like, "Oh, I don't want to have too much Arginine." And just to give, for those of you that are listening, like "Arginine, never heard of this, what is it?" basically, it's essential amino acids. It's important, we do need it, it’s a building block to our health, cardiovascular health, is very important in building blocks to our muscles. It's important, it's an essential amino acid, I mean, it's essential and we have to get it from our food sources. But what it is, it's basically a lighter fluid for the herpes virus to replicate. And when we have the herpes virus replicating, that's what causes us to get outbreaks. So, again, we tend to stay away from Arginine or be conscious of the Arginine intake that we're having. So, back to you and coconut and getting the the Monolaurin or the natural supplements here. Should we worry about Arginine?
Damon: Yes, no, I'm happy you bring that up. The short answer is "no", I don't believe that Monolaurin itself contains any Arginine, Monolaurin is extracted from the coconut oil using a rather simplistic method of a hot water bath and a chemical to help separate the lauric acid out. So, it is my understanding that lauric acid comes out and the Arginine stays behind.
Alexandra: Awesome. So, that's great, we need to know that. And then I like to hear that we have the lysine included with the Monolaurin and again to back up and just give a little quick lesson on lysine. So, lysine and Arginine, lysine is also an essential amino acid, again, meaning essential, meaning it is important and we have to get it from food sources our bodies not make it or create it, we get it from eating things like fish, dairy, eggs, I think potatoes, so we get it from a lot of other food sources, now this is the exact opposite from lysine or, excuse me, from Arginine in our bodies when it comes to the herpes virus, it actually is like a fire extinguisher to the herpes virus. they have done studies and basically when it's in a petri dish or doing the experiment on it in a petri dish, not in our bodies but in a petri dish you’re able to suffocate the virus and keep it from replicating. So, it is a very hostile environment for herpes virus in your body if you have a high lysine diet, which is what we want to make, we want to make it uncomfortable for those herpesvirus, right? It's not a a trip to Disneyland where, I get on all the rides free and get to replicate. It is, "Let's keep you suppressed and hibernated."
Damon: Yes, I would like to support that comment and also add to it a little bit, from the studies that I've read, there are in in vivo studies that explore lysine and its impact on HSV one and HSV two in the human body, in fact, we have as part of our company, we have a team of medical professionals that perform research that create dossiers of supporting materials that influence our product formulation and our ingredients that we choose and from what I've come across, there are ample studies that, again, anyone listening or watching can find on Google Scholar or PubMed that support what you’re saying that in these studies, that lysine has a significant impact potentially on HSV.
Alexandra: Yes, I'm a huge fan of lysine. It's something that I wasn't aware of it until probably about like five, maybe five, six years ago. And as soon as I added it to my diet or was more conscious about the foods I consume that were high in lysine when I had outbreaks, it really did make a world of a difference and it was a huge impact. So, okay, but I want to get back to Monolaurin because, again, this is such an interesting topic to me. I had not heard of it, when we first talk to you, you got my curiosity going because you're talking about breast milk. And, obviously, I'm a breastfeeding mom, so it was very interesting for me to be able to relate this to what I am currently doing and what I'm doing for my child. So, the Monolaurin has the ability to, again, okay, I am going to have you re-explain it but when we have a strong immune system, we're able to keep the herpes virus dormant and Monolaurin has the ability to help us boost our immune system.
Damon: I think that Monolaurin has taken and has shown to support and maintain immune health. As someone who has to run everything by a team of legal experts, I can never say words like "boost" because it infers something that the FTC and FDA consider a "no, no" and again--
Alexandra: So, it’s just a bad word, okay.
Damon: It’s a common word that's easily thrown around and unless you're deep in the industry, you wouldn't really recognize that that's like a "no, no" but just to reiterate the fact that we are super proud to be really transparent, quality-based, compliance-based company. And the difficult part about this is like, we're so passionate about these subjects and these ingredients and we put so much time and effort into helping people get educated and learn about the complexities and the considerations. But we're also governed by what we can and can't say but yes, to answer your question, more specifically, Monolaurin is taken as a dietary supplement for immune health, but it's not, I mean, the curious thing about Monolaurin is it's well beyond dietary supplements. It's not an ingredient that is a top of everyone's mind, but it's used in other industries as well for similar effects, you could say, for example, it's used in cosmetics as a surfactant and shelf stabilizer, it is used in food production, pasta, ice cream, again, to help keep it shelf safe.
Alexandra: Wait, wait, wait. So, they put Monolaurin, so it's obviously not taken from breast milk, it's probably taken from coconut, and they use it in our pastas?
Damon: That's right, yes. It is used coat the outsides of fruits and vegetables to help make it.
Damon: No. To help it with its journey between the farm, or the production facility and shelves, because, again, fruits and vegetables can be susceptible to the bacteria and other pathogens that happen when it gets bruised in transportation because of the potential antimicrobial effects of Monolaurin. That's what the industry uses it for. It goes even further, when you look at some industries like meat industries that want to be as natural or organic as they can and they don't want to use things like harsh chemicals to clean flat surfaces. I've read studies that suggest that these industries use Monolaurin to clean flat surfaces as a natural alternative to harsh chemicals. So, it's been used for several years or decades. Just now, I think, coming to the forefront from a dietary supplement perspective.
Alexandra: Fascinating. Do you know if other countries are using it?
Damon: Yes, well, Monolaurin, specifically, I couldn't say I know from our own internal sales that a lot of Western countries enjoy Monolaurin, we get lots of requests from people in Australia and Europe, the UK, North America, I believe a very interesting suggestion came out of a university in the Philippines actually to utilize Monolaurin derived specifically from coconut to help support or at least explore its impact on health challenges today. I didn't write the article, it was as a professor at a university from the Philippines, alongside another professor from the United States that basically proposed this research study that I don't know if they found a grant or a sponsor or a lab to take it on. But they said, "Listen, the research here is really, really interesting. It's an interesting alternative to explore that doesn't include some of those harsher medical alternatives that we talked about at the top. And it's definitely worth further exploration." And so, that just goes to show that the interest lies not just here in North America, but also in the east as well.
Alexandra: That's great. Yes, it's so interesting too when when we find something we're like, "Oh, you got to try elderberry." And all of a sudden, elderberry is the hot thing. This is nothing new, it's just new to us, right? It’s just new to the market, people have been using elderberry for years or essential oils, those aren’t new, they were like the big hit in the last ten years, but essential oils were nothing new. People have been using them since the biblical times. You know what I mean? So, that's kind of what I was asking, Monolaurin like you were saying, it's not new. It's just the idea of how it's being used for a dietary supplement is more of a newer. It's new to me, that's all I'm trying to say, it's new to Alexandra.
Damon: It's gained a lot of popularity recently, quite frankly, the market has has gone from zero to a hundred. The Google Search data suggests that Monolaurin interest is up 300%, last year alone. Yes, and a lot of these companies have been around for decades and one of the nice things about Monolaurin is that it's on the FDA’s GRAS list, GRAS is an acronym for Generally Recognized As Safe. And because of that I think people have found confidence in supplementing their diet and their health protocols with Monolaurin. And knowing that, again, it's used in other aspects of food production, and it's been around for a long time, and the FDA recognizes that it is safe.
Alexandra: Wonderful. So, I did some digging on you. And I did some digging on your company and I was looking at the Amazon reviews and I was was sitting here reading them. And I was like, "Wow." I was like, "This is cool. Wow." One of the things that I really want to acknowledge that I read through quite a few, was your customer service and from a lot of the people were very, very pleased with your customer service. And I think that that is always a very important thing as a company because if you don't have a product, you have nothing to sell, well, you could have the best customer service but you have no product but if you have a product and no operational side and no customer service side, then, obviously, we're not having happy customers both are equally important but I just wanted to give you like a high five and kudos that I saw lots of great things about your company and the ethics and the infrastructure and things like that. So, I just wanted to high-five you on that.
Damon: Thank you.
Alexandra: Yes, yes. But some of the testimonials that I came across that were awesome. I just want to read through them so that we can kind of talk about it here, it says, "I've had cold sores, HSV one on and off since I can remember. I read about the therapeutic properties of Monolaurin coconut oil against all herpes strains including HSV two, shingles, Epstein-Barr, mono, so on. So, I gave it a try, no more outbreak since taking this product and just a couple of capsules a day is far better than painful outbreaks." So, for us with herpes one of the things when we're first diagnosed is like, "How do I get rid of this outbreak? How do I get rid of this right now? What do I need to do to not get this again?" So, when I see something like this and seeing like, "Wow, this person was saying they've had no more outbreaks." Now there could be other things involved such as other, we don't know what they're doing. But if adding Monolaurin to their daily routine and their daily supplements then this is something that is helpful, this is really encouraging for me.
Alexandra: So, I just heard from Damon, his power went out, I was telling him that my power might go out. So, I just want to read through a few more of these testimonials I saw, hopefully we can get him back but if not, I will complete this interview on my own. So, again, another thing that I heard, another testimonial I read that was really interesting to me was, "This product is a miracle worker, I take a daily smaller dose to ward off HSV breakouts and a larger dose when I feel a tingle or I suspect I'm coming down with something. I even give it to my friends during cold and flu season to prevent infections. This brand is really pure without any fillers and the best part it's made in the USA." So, that is another great testimonial, I'm going to read one more so that we can know us with living with HSV is something, what works for one person may not work for you but it also may be like "Wow, this is what I needed to add to my regime in order to keep myself healthy." So, it says, "I've been a chronic sufferer of herpes, HSV, for years and will try anything at this point, I am very active on forums of people suffering for HSV. And more than one user suggested this Monolaurin brand of treatment for their outbreaks. I started taking two pills with each meal and then the result, at first, was their herps die off reaction." So, in other words, this person is saying they have the flu-like symptoms, which means it's working. "But after a while, a reduction in the number of outbreaks, the intensity and duration, it's been so much more effective than any creams or drugs for this person. You're starting to pay attention to when something's tingling or symptoms are flaring up and the increase the dosage to stop it in its tracks. It's helped my stress levels, which is awesome, because that's a cause for outbreaks and finally feel like I have things under control, so relieved, I found this product, we'll see if I can get by with the maintenance dose of two caps per day after a few more weeks because this product has been a lifesaver." So, again, these are just some things. What I wanted to do guys was I wanted to bring it to attention. This is something that's new to me, I never heard of Monolaurin, obviously, being a nursing mom, I was like, "Whoa, my body's a badass and it creates lauric acid, and I'm giving it to Clinton. That's awesome." Right? So, what I'd love to invite you guys to do is kind of like what Damon was saying earlier, do your own research on this. I am not a doctor, that is not my education level but it's important for me to be able to bring things to your attention and to my attention. So, I invite you to do your own research and go find out, I am trying to think, we did have some questions on the slack group. I don't know if Damon's going make it back on in order to answer them. We may do a follow-up call guys. Again, this is like, "Hey, power goes out, it happens, no Wi-Fi." Again, I just want to thank you guys for listening. If you have not subscribed, go ahead and subscribe. I don't know where the button is, subscribe. I wouldn't be here without you and I appreciate every single one of you for being a subscriber and for viewing and for asking questions also our secret society community, which is the online secret community of people living with herpes, we have people from all over the world, all different languages, all different cultures, all different time zones. And, to me, is such a beautiful community of people that are living with herpes that are getting off that roller coaster of other diagnosis, and they are going back and living beautiful, beautiful lives. So, I will have links for you to do your own research as well below, of course, I don't have Damon here to reference right now, I know he made the references in the beginning of the podcast and, oh here he is. Let's see. Here we are. We did it.
Damon: You plan for everything and what you can't expect is when there's construction across the street and your power goes out, I hope you can edit this.
Alexandra: No worries, no, well, I actually kept going. I kept going, I kept reading my testimonials. And one of the things that I did not have the opportunity to ask you so I'm so stoked you're back. We posted some questions or we open this up to the slack group, it's the secret society community that I have for the Life With Herpes community and Damon was so kind to go in there and answer questions directly and just get people to the right resources. So, let's go through and kind of look at some of the questions that people were asking, one of the questions that was asked was, "It should be ingested or is this a topical or both?" she said that she's heard conflicting info that coconut oil is a great moisturizer and lube, but also can disrupt the flora of the vagina, can't wait to hear what you have to say. So, what do you recommend here? What's going on with it, is it a topical?
Damon: Yes so, that's great. There are two things to unpack here. One is that, "Can you use Monolaurin as a topical or ingested?" and then, "How does that compare to coconut oil?" because it sounds like the user is interested in the application of coconut oil in this particular aspect, right? So, unfortunately I can't answer the coconut oil component but what I can do is suggest that there are a few resources to investigate for the Monolaurin component, right? So, clearly, we've spent a lot of time on today's podcast talking about Monolaurin as a dietary supplement which is ingested and time permitting, we can talk about the different ways to get Monolaurin. Because not all Monolaurin is created equal.
Alexandra: And I don't have enough breast milk to go around guys.
Damon: That's right.
Alexandra: Maybe my first two weeks I did, but now I'm not sharing.
Damon: Luckily, there's plenty of coconuts to go around.
Damon: The second thing is, yes, so there are some companies that make some topical creams that include Monolaurin. I have even seen lip balms that include Monolaurin. Some selves that you put on your skin that may contain Monolaurin, we don't produce it but that's something that it seems very, very popular and clearly, you can ingest it as a dietary supplement. Now, what's curious about this is the user's comment about irritating the vaginal canal? And there's actually research on that in rhesus monkeys, I think, they use Monolaurin and rhesus monkeys in one study to look at the sensitive mucous membranes, which include the vaginal canal. I don't remember sufficient enough details about the research study, but what I can do is I can dig it up and send it to you and share with the group but yes, I mean.
Alexandra: Great. Yes, well it's in slack.
Damon: The research indicated that it was not an irritant at the end of the day.
Alexandra: That's great. So, a question about Monolaurin topically then, because I use lysine in a lot of my secret society products, in fact, I have this lip balm and I have a hundred milligrams of lysine in it. What does Monolaurin do topically? Does it help combat, obviously, if you ingest it, you're combating it both ends you're taking it internally, and also putting something topical. So, how does Monolaurin help topically?
Damon: Yes, and I don't know enough to speak to that component. But all I can say is again, point to the research, because there has been research on skin health and Monolaurin. And again, mucous membranes and Monolaurin, which may be part of the topical application because your nose is a good example of mucous membrane or oral cavity, et cetera. So, there's research out there that explores that component and what I can do is follow-up specifically on that.
Alexandra: Cool. Okay, the next one is someone saying, they started taking Monolaurin recently, "I read that there's dosing for general immune support and other for HSV and other viruses. Is there a higher dose to be used during outbreaks? Or all the time with HSV positive?" that's a great question because a lot of times you have the maintenance of, "Hey, I'm just going to take my car in for an oil change." And then sometimes you're like, "Oh, it's the, twenty-thousand mile." And you need new brakes, and you need a new all that, right? So basically, do we increase the Monolaurin intake because we have herpes or was it just an outbreak or how does that work?
Damon: Yes. And I can't be overly prescriptive, again, trying to be as compliant as possible here.
Alexandra: Of course.
Damon: But what I can offer is that there are a few generally accepted or generally agreed upon delivery mechanisms for Monolaurin, right? And you named a couple of them, actually. One is maintaining general health. So, it's taking a dosage, which you think is more your body responds to from a general health perspective, some people choose to up the dose when exposed to immune compromised and others want to introduce any new dietary supplement, Monolaurin being no different in a sort of low and slow methodology and let's unpack that a little bit because some of your readers may have heard of a reaction called The Herxheimer Reaction or some people call it a die off experience or symptom and it's when your body, when taking an antibacterial medication or antiviral medication potentially, the rapid die off of the pathogen releases these like endotoxin proteins into your immune system, which can trigger an immune response an inflammatory response which has ironic, or symptoms that are ironically similar to happen like a cold or a flu, right? And this is a reaction in your body that was first discovered by someone I think, named Joseph Herxheimer and some people think that that is something that they want to avoid when introducing a new supplement, maybe something like Monolaurin and so they might introduce it, again, sort of a low and so method as they sort of introduce a new supplement into the routine and into their body, but frankly, everybody's body is different. Everyone's body reacts differently, and people have have different individual needs and so, I don't think just giving a general statement about dosage would be helpful. I think I would encourage everyone to work with their primary care physician and their general practitioner to explore, is this a supplement that's right for you? If so, how might you consider introducing it into your routine and go from there, but the supplements also are not a magic bullet, right? They're not going to cure anything, they don't treat anything, they don't diagnose anything. Supplements by their very definition are supplementary to healthy lifestyle choices, which include eating really well exercising, getting plenty of sleep. So, I want to be clear that the things that we're talking about today, they had some really interesting research behind them. Yes, a lot of people choose to take them as part of their overall health protocol but nothing that we're describing today is going to cure or fix anything like overnight, right?
Alexandra: Absolutely. And I want to talk a little bit about the cure idea here. Because a lot of us when we're first diagnosed with herpes, or I'm sure any sort of chronic illness or something, "Where's the cure? How do I cure it? How do I cure it?" And I just want to invite you, listeners that, "Don't be waiting for this cure." It's like the saying, like, "Oh, well, if I lose ten pounds, I'll be happy." Yes, your clothes will feel better, 100%, there's no doubt, right? Obviously, your jeans will fit a little bit better but you can still enjoy that journey and you can still find happiness where you are right now because when you get to those ten pounds later or you get herpes outbreak free or you're waiting to be herpes cured or whatever it is, we can pass up a lot of joys in our life. And that's something that I really hone in on with my community is like, "I'm not necessarily looking for a cure, I'm looking for ways to boost my immune system. I'm looking for ways to keep this virus dormant. I'm looking for ways to improve my overall well being." But to try and like, "I got to have this cure." Get that out of our minds and, again, finding supplements like Monolaurin, vitamin C, vitamin D, elderberry, lysine, multivitamins, fish oil, I'm just going down the list, these are all things that can compound and truly help our overall well being. So, I just wanted to hone in on that because you brought up a really good point.
Damon: Absolutely. And I second that as well, it's all around making conscious choices to support your mental and physical well being and finding the things that work best for you. For some people, it may include dietary supplements, for some people it doesn't have to, right? But as long as you have--
Alexandra: Great. For Clinton, my son, it's breast milk.
Alexandra: He's good to go.
Alexandra: Yes. So Damon, what can people do to do their own research, get their own information, make their own decisions on this? Where should we send them? Where should we direct them?
Damon: Perfect. Thanks, Alexandra. And like I said earlier, I don't want anyone to listen to me or take my word for it, right? I encourage everyone to go and do the research. Some of the websites I mentioned previously were the National Institutes of Health, the PubMed directory it is fantastic there, a simple search will uncover a couple hundred references to Monolaurin and lauric acid, some specific to things like HSV and Google Scholar is another trusted resource which helps sort of pull in data stores from other parts of the world, which can uncover some really interesting articles as well. And then there are some other interesting, I don't want to call them influencers but their nutrition experts and specialists, there are many people who are really big advocates of Monolaurin. And maybe you can learn something from them as well, Alyssa Goodman is one that we know and really appreciate and Dr. Axe, Alex Reinhardt, all these nutritionists and dietary experts, I suppose, all have some interesting things to say about Monolaurin. So, go check out and listen to what they're saying and to your earlier point and it's probably where I unfortunately had to drop for a little bit is peer reviews, are an interesting way to explore how other people use or find the supplements to be helpful. Take those with a grain of salt, frankly, everyone has an opinion, some may be motivated by different things than others. But it's another data point, right? And so, getting educated, talking to the experts, talking to your own doctor, doing the research, that's really going to help you give the most rounded viewpoint to make the right educated decision for you as an individual.
Alexandra: I love that. Period. The end. I love it. All right guys, well, thanks so much for listening. Damon, thanks for joining me, I was the one that's supposed to lose power and you're the one that lost power.
Damon: I'm sorry.
Alexandra: No. Hey, it's life, that stuff doesn't stress me out. It's life, it happens. This is part of being virtual. I think it's amazing that we can be virtual, you can be on the other side of the country, I can be on the other West Coast and we can make this happen. It's kind of like beaming people. It's kind of cool. Anyways, for those of you that are listening, that are like, "What is the secret society and this online community." That I was talking about, I just want to encourage you to check it out yourselves. Again, like Damon said, "Hey, check it out yourself." Don't take my word for it but I'm pretty proud of it. I think it is the best online herpes platform, for people living with herpes, we have people from all over the world. And it warms my heart to see so many people having successful disclosures or saying, "Gosh, when I first joined I was alone or not feeling confident or never thought I'd be sexy, or thought anybody would touch me or kiss me." And to see people transformed, I just read a message this morning saying this one woman had not had sex with her husband since she had been diagnosed and didn't feel that she was sexy. And all of a sudden they decided she worked through it on her own. And she's like, "I had no idea that I had these silly ideas in my mind. And it was putting a toll on my marriage." So, this is the stuff that we talked about in the groups. I'd love to invite you all to come over and check it out. I have it linked somewhere, I don't know where. Thanks, Damon.
Damon: It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me today.
Alexandra: You're welcome. I'll see you soon.
Damon: Count on it.
A collection of Monolaurin research and summaries
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