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What Is Lorenzo's Oil?


Updated June 11, 2014

Question: What Is Lorenzo's Oil?

Answer: Lorenzo's oil is a treatment developed for childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a degenerative myelin disorder. According to The Myelin Project, Lorenzo's Oil is a combination of a 4 to 1 mix of erucic acid and oleic acid, extracted from rapeseed oil and olive oil, respectively. The oil, if started early in boys with this type of ALD but no symptoms, may have some benefit in preventing the disease.

It is called "Lorenzo's oil" after Lorenzo Odone, a boy with ALD whose parents, Michaela and Augusto, refused to accept that there was no treatment for ALD and that Lorenzo was certain to die within a few years of his diagnosis in 1984. Through research and persistence, they helped developed the oil. The family's story was portrayed in the 1992 movie, "Lorenzo's Oil."

In the United States, Lorenzo's oil is currently only available to patients taking part in a clinical trial. It has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing. The oil is jointly manufactured by Croda International of Britain and SHS International. SHS International is the worldwide distributor of the oil.


"Information About Lorenzo's Oil." The Myelin Project. 13 Feb 2009

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