Research has found that glycerol monolaurate was one of two metabolites found in the breath of patients that could help distinguish between healthy people and COVID-infected patients.

December 14, 2021

2 Min Read
Active ingredients in swine products could identify COVID infections

New research points to a potential role of glycerol monolaurate (GML) in supporting good health, even against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Research published this week in the journal Metabolites ( ), found that glycerol monolaurate, the primary active ingredient in Prolaeis and Optishield, was one of two metabolites found in the breath of patients that could help distinguish between healthy people and COVID-infected patients.

The research, published by a group from the University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy, collected the vapor (condensate) from breath exhaled by healthy people or patients infected with COVID-19 and subjected the samples to untargeted metabolomic profiling. This testing is not searching for particular classes of metabolites, but rather looking for whatever is identified.

Since COVID-19 is transmitted by and affects the respiratory system, the researchers reasoned that exhaled breath would provide non-invasive insight into the lung environment and could contain metabolic markers which would be of diagnostic value.

The metabolomics search identified some 322 different molecules in subjects’ breath, including a unique “signature” which was associated with COVID-19 infection. Of those, 26 metabolites were differentially expressed between the healthy and infected patients. However, the two metabolites that best differentiated between healthy and infected patients were the monoglycerides of lauric acid (C12) and myristic acid (C14), with much higher quantities of these two metabolites in the breath of healthy subjects. Of interest, about half of the healthy subjects had previously had COVID-19, but had recovered and were in good health at the time of sampling.

Natural Biologics’ research has demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity of GML. Published work ( with GML and African Swine Fever Virus completed by Natural Biologics was cited as evidence of GML’s efficacy in modulating the degree of inflammation and viral load in infected tissue.

Like African Swine Fever Virus, SARS-CoV-2 is a lipid-enveloped virus and would likely be susceptible to the membrane disruption caused by GML, as documented in the Prolaeis and Optishield research. This work does not prove that healthy patients were healthy because of the higher levels of GML or monomyristate in their lungs, but the researchers speculate that these metabolites might have a protective effect and could be used as a preventive strategy.

This additional research strengthens our knowledge of the potential benefits of GML in protecting livestock from viral and inflammatory challenges, said Natural Biologics, a provider of innovative, natural solutions for agriculture producers to manage risk and improve the health and productivity of animals and crops across the world.

SOURCE: Natural Biologics


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