Can coconut oil reduce the viral load of HIV-AIDS patients? “Initial trials have confirmed that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients”, University of the Philippines’ Emeritus professor of pharmocology Dr. Conrato S. Dayrit said.

A minimum of 50 ml of coconut oil would contain 20 to 25 grams of lauric acid, which indicates that the oil is metabolized in the body to release monolaurin which is an antibiotic and an anti-viral agent. Among the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has the maximum anti-viral activity, he said. Based on this research, the first clinical trial using monolaurin as monotherapy on some of the HIV patients was conducted recently. Dr. Dayrit’s conclusions after the study: “This initial trial confirmed the anecdotal reports that coconut oil does have an anti-viral effect and can beneficially reduce the viral load of HIV patients. The positive anti-viral action was seen not only with the monoglyceride of lauric acid but with coconut oil itself. This indicates that coconut oil is metabolized to monoglyceride forms of C-8, C-10, C- 12 to which it must owe its anti-pathogenic activity.”

The entire results of Dr. Dayrit’s study can be found here in PDF format.

On July 19, 1995, Dr. Mary Enig, noted biochemist and nutritionist, was quoted in an article published in The HINDU, India’s National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is converted by the body into “Monolaurin” a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig’s presentation at a press conference in Kochi and wrote the following:

“There was an instance in the US in which an infant tested HIV positive had become HIV negative. That it was fed with an infant formula with a high coconut oil content gains significance in this context and at present an effort was on to find out how the ‘viral load’ of an HIV infected baby came down when fed a diet that helped in the generation of Monolaurin in the body.”

The reporter commented on Enig’s observations that “Monolaurin helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes, vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances.”

Enig stated in an article published in the Indian Coconut Journal, Sept. 1995 that Monolaurin, of which the precursor is lauric acid, disrupted the lipid membranes of envelope viruses and also inactivated bacteria, yeast and fungi. She wrote: “Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater anti-viral activity than either caprylic acid (C-10) or myristic acid (C-14). The action attributed to Monolaurin is that of solubilizing the lipids the envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus envelope.”

Being HIV positive myself, and having things very under control, there are a couple of concerns I have and questions. The Virgin Coconut Oil? Absolutely amazing stuff! It has given me back the energy and feeling good that the antivirals can knock out of you. Billfrom The Coconut Diet Forums in answer to someone else’s request for information on coconut oil and AIDS.

Dr. Mary Enig has also written a book entitled “Nutrients and Foods in AIDS,” and one of the chapters is published on her websitehere. (Frequently unavailable – if so try at a later date)

In a July 1997 newsletter entitled “Keep Hope Alive” an interview with Chris Dafoe was recorded. Chris Dafoe of Cloverdale, IN who, based on his lab numbers, thought the end was near in September, 1996. His HIV viral load was over 600,000, CD4 count was 10 and CD8 at 300. He prepaid his funeral and decided to take his last vacation in the jungles of South America with an Indian tribe in the Republic of Surinam. Around October 14, 1996, he began eating daily a dish of cooked coconut which was prepared by the local Indians. By Dec. 27th, 1996, a mere 2 and 1/2 months later, his viral load was at non-detectable levels and he had gained 32 lbs and was feeling great. He had some other people he knew with HIV try using coconuts in their diet, and they experienced the same results. The entire interview is recorded here.

A woman named Betty who buys Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil uses it in her ministry to the sick. She shares the following story of her friend with HIV that wishes to remain anonymous:

My friend B… is an HIV patient. He was dying in the hospital for 3 years and his body was covered with acne. There was also one dollar size boil on his left hip. When I got my first order of Virgin Coconut Oil , I gave him a quart of the oil to try. The result was amazing! After my friend took it for less than 2 weeks, the acne disappeared. The big boil on his hip started to heal and at this time is completely gone. After more than a month on coconut oil, his skin is now baby silk. You would think he is a different person. His recent blood test showed great improvement. The helper cells ( T- cells) which were at level 60 are now at a higher level of 608 after about one and a half months of taking the oil consistently. He is taking the minimum amount of 3.5 tablespoons per day. The viral load is now down to 50. That was almost on the 100 level before he used the oil. My friend is not completely healed yet but he has come a long way from where he was before because of this amazing oil. I will keep on introducing this amazing oil to my friends!

In 2009 a study1 was conducted at the University of Minnesota on the effectiveness of glycerol monolaurate (or monolaurin, a derivative of coconut oil) to protect women from being infected with the AIDS virus through their infected husbands. The monolaurin compound appeared to stop inflammation and helped keep away the cells the AIDS virus usually infects. “Even if it was only 60 percent effective, such a gel could prevent 2.5 million HIV cases over three years,” researchers said. The entire Reuters article is here.

Was diagnosed Hiv+ 6 months ago. I started using VCO (3 tablespoons, three times a day) 2 months ago. Viral load went down from 15,500 to 6,000. CD4 count went up from 615 to 705. I am obviously very excited about these results. Nicola – South Africa, reported on The Coconut Diet Forums


1. Li Q, Estes JD, Schlievert PM, Duan L, Brosnahan AJ, Southern PJ, Reilly CS, Peterson ML, Schultz-Darken N, Brunner KG, Nephew KR, Pambuccian S, Lifson JD, Carlis JV, Haase AT. “Glycerol monolaurate prevents mucosal SIV transmission.” Nature. 2009 Apr 23;458(7241):1034-8.