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Lauric Acid and HIV

Martin Hewlett marty_hewlett at TIKAL.BIOSCI.ARIZONA.EDU
Wed Aug 30 15:13:35 EST 1995

Here's an interesting question.  One of my undergraduate students asked 
me if I had heard anything regarding the effect of lauric acid in the 
diet on HIV infection.  It seems he heard on a radio talk show (great 
source!) that this might explain those children who have recovered from 
HIV infections.  The story is that they were fed formulas high in 
tropical oils, including lauric acid.  Apparently, so the theory goes, 
laruic acid is converted into "monolaurin" which is supposed to be a 
potent inhibitor of HIV assembly.

I had not heard any of this (unfortunately, I don't listen to radio talk 
shows!).  I'd appreciate a response from any retrovirologist in the 

Martin Hewlett
Associate Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Arizona

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