In a little game of digestive-tract magic, fats -- specifically medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs -- pretend to be carbohydrates. Unlike other fats, MCTs, which include caprylic acid, are absorbed and transported to the liver, where they become immediate sources of energy, just like carbs. Foods rich in caprylic acid and other MCTs may benefit individuals who need to gain weight but can't metabolize other fats properly. MCTs may also be useful for athletes who need to have dietary energy readily available.
Caprylic acid is found naturally in only a few foods, including coconuts and breast milk. Animal and vegetable fats may contain small quantities of MCTs. You can buy purified caprylic acid, which is also known as octanoic acid, but you should do so only after talking to your doctor.