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Lorenzo's Oil

What other names is Lorenzo's Oil known by?

13-Docosenoic Acid, cis-9-Octadecenoic Acid, Aceite de Lorenzo, Acide Érucique, Acide Oléique, Erucic Acid, Glycerol Trierucate Oil, Glycerol Trioleate Oil, Huile de Lorenzo, Huile de Trioléate de Glycérol, Oleic Acid.

What is Lorenzo's Oil?

Lorenzo's oil is a combination of two chemicals called erucic acid and oleic acid. People use Lorenzo's oil as a medicine.

Lorenzo's oil is used as a treatment for two related inherited conditions that affect the nervous system. These very rare conditions are called adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), which occurs in children; and adrenomyeloneuropathy, which occurs in adults.

Lorenzo's oil is named after a child, Lorenzo Odone, who developed ALD. His parents discovered a mixture of fatty acids that seemed to slow progression of the disease. The mixture became known as “Lorenzo's oil.”

In the US, Lorenzo's oil is only available to patients participating in a clinical trial. For more information, contact the Kennedy Krieger Institute at 1-800-873-3377.

There is currently an effort to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Lorenzo's oil as a prescription drug.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). Lorenzo's oil might help prevent nervous system problems in children who have ALD, but haven't yet shown any symptoms. Lorenzo's oil probably does not help children who already have symptoms of ALD.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Adrenomyeloneuropathy. Taking Lorenzo's oil does not seem to improve symptoms or slow the progression of disease in patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

How does Lorenzo's Oil work?

Adrenoleukodystrophy and adrenomyeloneuropathy are two rare genetic disorders that cause a large build-up of certain chemicals called very long-chain fatty acids. Lorenzo's oil might help prevent some of this build-up. The build-up of these fatty acids is thought to cause many serious problems throughout the brain and body.

Are there safety concerns?

Lorenzo's oil seems to be safe when used under the care of health professionals. Side effects of Lorenzo's oil can include bruising and bleeding.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Lorenzo's oil during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Blood disorders that cause a decrease in blood platelets needed for clotting (thrombocytopenia) or a decrease in white cells needed to fight infections (neutropenia): Lorenzo's oil might make these conditions worse.

Dosing considerations for Lorenzo's Oil.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD): a dose of Lorenzo's oil that provides about 20% of daily calories has been used. In another study, 300 mg/kg/day of erucic acid and 1.7 grams/kg/day of oleic acid (both contained in Lorenzo's oil) were used.

SLIDESHOW

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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 6/18/2019
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