Facts and Food Sources of Caprylic acid (C8)


Caprylic acid is a medium chain fatty acid which is found in coconut oil, palm oil and milk of humans and bovines. It is the common name for eight carbon saturated fatty acid known by systematic name octanoic acid.  The compounds are found naturally in milk of various mammals and as a minor constituent of coconut oil and palm kernel oil. This oily liquid is minimally soluble in water having a slight unpleasant rancid like smell and taste.


Food Sources of Caprylic Acid

Food name Weight (g) Caprylic acid  (g)
Coconut milk 240 4.008
Coconut oil 13.6 0.925
Babassu oil 13.6 0.816
Feta cheese 150 0.755
Vegetable oil 13.6 0.449
Cheddar cheese 132 0.445
Port de salut cheese 132 0.444
Swiss cheese 132 0.432
Colby cheese 132 0.428
Fontina cheese 132 0.414
Muenster cheese 132 0.363
Sheep’s milk 245 0.338
Parmesan cheese 100 0.300
Mozzarella cheese 112 0.288
Ice creams 148 0.278
Pina colada 32.6 0.186
Spinach souffle 136 0.158
Gouda cheese 28.35 0.121
Margarine 232 0.109
Ocean pout 137 0.100

Health Benefits of Caprylic Acid

Discussed below are the health benefits of Caprylic acid:

  1. Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral activity

Caprylic acid is a natural immune booster which is used as an ingredient in topical fungicides, perfumes, household cleaners and dyes. Let’s not wonder that caprylic acid is getting so much popularity for healing body inside as well as outside.  When taken internally, it lowers growth of yeast within gastrointestinal tract by assisting beneficial bacteria to thrive. Caprylic acid is natural and does not has same risks as antibiotics and chemical treatment does. Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria in gut environment but caprylic acid does opposite by preventing imbalance between presences of various bacteria.

In the gut, good bacteria enhances immune function and helps to lower inflammation levels, better brain function, less risk for allergies, low risk for obesity and improve hormonal health. Caprylic acid could combat depression, headaches, bloating, diarrhea, gas and vaginal yeast infections. It is recommended to take probiotic foods, omega-3 fish oil supplements and oregano oil with caprylic acid to assist gut with healthy bacteria, lower inflammation and restore healthy gut-brain connection.

  1. Combat candida

Caprylic acid is the natural way to combat candida, which occurs when overgrowth of yeast fungus develop in gut. It is common in woman and is related with uncomfortable Candida symptoms such as constipation, abdominal bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, sugar cravings and depression. Caprylic acid has natural yeast combating agent and it could penetrate cell membranes of candida yeast cells and destroys them, detoxify digestive tract and speeds healing process. When taken orally, it lowers symptoms related with viral or fungal infections such as Chlamydia and Candida.

  1. Treatment for yeast infections

Besides candida, yeast causes other external or internal infections which show up on skin, toes, genitals and elsewhere. It treat yeast infections such as oral infections, toe fungus, jock itch in men, vaginitis in women and ringworm which could be prevented or treated with little or no side effects.

  1. Treat acne and skin infections

Caprylic acid has antimicrobial and antibacterial effects which have been proven in many animal and human studies which show up on skin. With derivatives such as sodium caprylate and monocaprylin, caprylic acid is able to counteract bacteria that live on skin and cause infections such as acne and Dermatophilus congolensis.

Dermatophilosis is a skin problem which affects domestic and wild animals like cattle, horses and humans. It causes bacterial infection which forms painful dry scabs on skin and could be embarrassing and irritating similar to acne and eczema.

Coconut oil is a great source of caprylic acid which helps to improve acne and lower skin inflammation. It is a great natural skin moisturizer with beneficial properties such as promotes hair health.

  1. Treat digestive problems

Recently, little is known about the effects of MCFAs and MCTs on intestinal inflammation but studies shows that it help to suppress secretion of inflammatory enzymes or cells, lower Chrohn’s symptoms such as pain, bloating, bowel and bleeding problems.

MCTs help to protect epithelium which is a line of defense living in gut acting like a border against various substances in the intestines that includes toxic residents or pathogenic micro-organisms. MCT s inhibit inflammatory cytokine gene and reduces body’s immune responses which aggravate gut lining.

  1. Lowers chances for Antibiotic resistance

The use of chemical antibiotics for treating infections or viruses raises chances for antibiotic resistance over time. Harmful pathogens and bacteria in the body resist on drugs and mutate to survive, so one has to adopt other options for treating illness. Sometimes, these options come at much higher price, require longer duration and also cause serious side effects. Caprylic acid and its monocaprylin and monoglyceride compounds exert antimicrobial and antibacterial activity against various microorganisms. It inactivates common mastitis pathogens including Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Study shows that after treating contaminated milk samples, both monocaprylin and caprylic acid lower five types of harmful pathogens including E.coli.

  1. Mouth Health

Acid treated animals restrain the growth of fungus on tongue surface. It suggests that caprylic acid helps to support anti-Candida treatment. It enter microbial cell across plasma membrane and affect biological function of Candida fungus. At low concentration, it could prevent oral infections.

  1. Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which causes lining inflammation in digestive tract resulting severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue and malnutrition. IL-8 has a crucial role in inflammatory bowel disease and is produced in areas with signs of inflammatory activity and mucosal destruction.

  1. Heart health

Coconut oil has fatty acids which offer protection from heart problems. In rats, it protect mitochondria in heart cells. It promotes blood circulation.

  1. Gut health

Caprylic acid lowers stickiness of blood platelets, supports digestion by enhancing flow of stomach and its secretions lower cholesterol in blood and liver and enhance uptake of calcium.

Side effects

  1. Liver problems

People with liver disease should avoid it. Liver break down the acid. But it may not happen in people with liver problems, it could lead to build up of acid in blood which could be fatal.

  1. Excessive Low Blood Pressure

Caprylic acid can reduce blood pressure. People with low blood pressure or on blood pressure medications should avoid it.

  1. Mcad Deficiency

People with medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency may find it hard for people to break down caprylic acid.  They should avoid this acid, as its intake could promote blood levels of caprylic acid and result coma in severe cases.










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