The Health Benefits of Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid

Capric and caprylic acids are two saturated fats found in coconut.
Image Credit: mescioglu/iStock/GettyImages

Capric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid found in saturated fats. Small amounts are present in cow's milk and goat's milk, but it is abundant in tropical oils such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil.


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. Find out about the health benefits of caprylic acid and capric acid.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

Capric Acid Benefits

1. Antiviral

Capric acid has strong antimicrobial properties. Capric acid is converted into monocaprin in the body, where it can help combat viruses, bacteria and the yeast Candida albicans.

Solutions containing monocaprin may be used as a denture disinfectant per an older June 2009 study in the Scandinavian dental journal ‌Acta Odontologica Scandinavica.

2. Energy

Saturated fats comprise long-chain fatty acids (LCTs), which undergo a long digestive process in your body and are not a healthy energy source. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as capric acid are broken down quickly and processed in the liver, and can be used as a source of energy to power your workouts.


In fact, when athletes ate food with MCTs instead of LCTs for two weeks, they were able to work out for longer and harder, according to a small, older 2009 study in the ‌Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology‌. However, more research needs to be done to confirm these findings.

3. Weight Loss

MCTs such as capric acid may lead to assist fat and weight loss, according to a January 2023 study in the ‌Journal of Translational Medicine‌. You should discuss any weight-loss plans with your doctor, including proposed dietary changes and exercise. Never take any supplements without your doctor's approval.


4. Acne

Capric acid was shown as an effective treatment for acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, per a March 2014 study in the ‌Journal of Dermatological Science‌.


Caprylic Acid Benefits

1. Intestinal Candida Fighter

Problems associated with an overgrowth of Candida albicans (a yeast fungus) in your gut include worsening symptoms of digestive conditions (think: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease), according to the Mayo Clinic.


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, per an older 2011 study in ‌Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research.

As always, before beginning this or any other supplement, check in with your health care provider.


2. Skin and Mouth Infections

External yeast infections come in various forms, such as vaginitis, which causes vaginal burning and discharge, or thrush (aka oral candidiasis), which leads to white spots in your mouth and tongue, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These, and other infections caused by an overgrowth of yeast, are known as candidiasis.

Taken orally, caprylic acid's yeast-fighting agents may work to dissolve the cell walls of the fungus that cause these external infections.

All in all, more research is needed to confirm these health benefits.




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...