The Health Benefits of Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid

Capric and caprylic acids are two saturated fats found in coconut.
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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.

Capric Acid Benefits

1. Antiviral

Capric acid has strong antiviral and 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 a 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 2 weeks, they were able to work out for longer and harder, according to a 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 greater energy expenditure and assist fat and weight loss, according to a small March 2003 study in ​Obesity Research​. 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

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, per a 2011 study in ​Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research.

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 flaxseed oil. It is also recommended that you take the supplement with food to avoid any stomach discomfort.

2. Skin and Mouth 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.

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

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