Health Benefits of Caprylic Acid

Coconut isolated on white background
Caprylic acid is found naturally in coconut oil. (Image: yvdavyd/iStock/Getty Images)

Caprylic acid is a fatty acid that is found naturally in coconut and breast milk. This saturated fatty acid, also known as octanoic acid, is also present in butter and palm oil. According to the Health Sciences Institute, caprylic acid is known to have numerous health benefits. One of the most well known health benefits associated with the ingestion of caprylic acid, is its ability to treat the overgrowth of yeast-like fungus that can live and grow in your intestines. Consult your physician before treating any illnesses with natural supplements, which are not intended to replace traditional medical treatment.

Intestinal Candida Fighter

The overgrowth of yeast fungus in your gut is called candida. Problems associated with candida include abdominal bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a yeast-fighting agent, it is theorized that the anti-fungal activity of caprylic acid dissolves the cell membrane of the candida yeast cells and causes them to die off. Available in pill, tablet or capsule form, because of the fat solubility, it is recommended that you take caprylic acid with either dietary fat like butter or salad oil or in conjunction with omega-3 fatty acids or flax seed oil. It is also recommended that you take the supplement with food to avoid any stomach discomfort.

Skin Yeast Infections

External yeast infections come in various forms, as in vaginitis in women, jock itch in men and ringworm. Taken orally, caprylic acid's yeast fighting agents work to dissolve the cell walls of the bacteria that cause these external infections. Caprylic acid may also be helpful to treat thrush, which is the overgrowth of yeast that causes an infection in the mouth.

Other Benefits

According to the Physicians Desk Reference Guide to Nutritional Supplements, in addition to treating bacterial issues, caprylic acid may also have a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. Other benefits may include helpful relief from those who suffer from Chron's disease, an inflammatory intestinal condition. According to a study conducted by a Japanese team of researchers at the graduate school of medicine at Chiba University, caprylic acid inhibits and suppresses the secretion of IL-8, the gene present in the intestines of Chron's disease patients.

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