6 Benefits of Caprylic Acid
1. Contains Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Properties
As a natural immune-booster, caprylic acid is commonly used as an ingredient in topical fungicides, household cleaners, perfumes and dyes. Considering all the known coconut oil uses there are, it’s not surprising that caprylic acid is gaining popularity on its own for healing the body inside and out.
Taken internally, it helps naturally reduce yeast growth within the gastrointestinal tract while helping beneficial bacteria thrive. At the same time, caprylic acid is completely natural and doesn’t pose the same risks as harsh antibiotics or chemical treatments. While antibiotics can kill off all bacteria in the gut environment — both good and bad — caprylic acid can actually do the opposite, helping prevent an imbalance between the presence of various bacteria.
A higher population of “good bacteria” in the gut raises immune function and has numerous implications: lower inflammation levels, less risk for allergies, better brain function, improved hormonal health, lower risk for obesity and much more.
Because gut health is intrinsically tied to many functions throughout the body, caprylic acid’s effects might help fight headaches, depression, fatigue, diarrhea, bloating, vaginal yeast infections and gas. To further boost its effects, some experts also recommend taking in natural immune-enhancers like probiotic foods, oregano oil and omega-3 fish oil supplements along with caprylic acid to help repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, reduce inflammation and restore a healthy “gut-brain connection.”
2. Fights Candida
When it comes to fighting candida the natural way, look no further than caprylic acid. Candida is a condition that occurs when an overgrowth of yeast fungus develops in your gut. It’s very common, especially among woman, and is associated with uncomfortable Candida symptoms like abdominal bloating, constipation, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and sugar cravings.
Because caprylic acid acts as a natural yeast-fighting agent, it’s believed that it can penetrate the cell membranes of candida yeast cells and cause them to die off, detoxifying the digestive tract and speeding up the healing process.
Researchers have found that caprylic acid taken orally rapidly reduces symptoms associated with viral and fungal infections like Candida and Chlamydia. A 2001 report published in Acupuncture and Electrotherapeutic Research found that caprylic acid is superior in terms of efficacy, and also less expensive, than drugs such as Diflucan for treating these infections.
The same study suggests that the best treatment for these types of conditions is a combination of concentrated caprylic acid taken orally along with omega-3 fish oil supplements. Together these act as strong antiviral agents and increase normal cell telomeres (NCT).
3. Helps Prevent and Treat Yeast Infections
Aside from candida, yeast can cause other types of internal or external yeast infections that show up on the skin, genitals, toes and elsewhere. Caprylic acid can help get rid of yeast infections — as toe fungus, oral infections, vaginitis in women, jock itch in men and ringworm are all examples of yeast infections that can be prevented or treated with little to no side effects.
4. Treats Skin Infections and Acne
Considering how popular various coconut oil uses for skin have become, it’s no surprise that the strong antibacterial and antimicrobial effects of caprylic acid have been proven in many human and animal studies to help improve infections that show up on the skin. Caprylic acid, along with its derivatives called monocaprylin and sodium caprylate, are capable of fighting bacteria that live on the skin and cause infections, including Dermatophilus congolensis and acne.
Dermatophilosis is a skin disease that can affect many species of domestic and wild animals like horses and cattle, in addition to humans. It results in a bacterial infection that forms painful dry scabs on the skin and can be irritating and embarrassing, similar to eczema and acne.
Coconut oil, the best source of naturally occurring caprylic acid, is known to naturally improve acne and reduce skin inflammation. This is why coconut oil makes a great natural skin moisturizer, addition to homemade scrubs or lotions, facial cleanser, and shaving balm. Additionally, it has beneficial properties for improving hair health when used in coconut oil form (check out these coconut recipes for hair to see what I mean).
5. Helps Treat Inflammatory Digestive Disorders
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs or MCT oil) are often administered to patients with Crohn’s disease or short-bowel syndrome. Up until recently, little was known about the effects of MCFAs and MCTs on intestinal inflammation, but studies now suggest that these fatty acids help suppress secretion of inflammatory enzymes and cells, reducing Chrohn’s symptoms like pain, bloating, bleeding and bowel problems.
MCTs seem to help protect the epithelium, a line of defense living in the gut that acts like a border against an array of substances in the intestines, including toxic residents and pathogenic micro-organisms. In people who have inflammatory conditions where a healthy mucus barrier is lost, including those with Crohn’s disease, their intestinal epithelial cells secrete a wide array of cytokines after stimulation with pro-inflammatory cytokines or bacterial products.
Although the precise mechanism that leads MCTs to suppress this process is still not fully understood, it’s believed that they help inhibit inflammatory cytokine gene inhibition and, therefore, lower the body’s immune responses that further aggravate the gut lining.
6. Reduces Risk for Antibiotic Resistance
Concerns regarding antibiotic resistance worldwide are on the rise, which has led health experts to seek out natural alternative therapeutic approaches to antibiotics for treatment of infections in both humans and animals.
One of the main concerns for using chemical antibiotics to treat infections or viruses is that it raises the risk for antibiotic resistance over time. As harmful pathogens and bacteria in the body become resistant to drugs and mutate in order to survive, we have to turn to other options to treat illnesses — sometimes these options come at a much higher price, require a longer duration and cause serious side effects.
A variety of safe, natural, free fatty acids and their monoglyceride derivatives have been reported to exert antibacterial and antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microorganisms, including caprylic acid and its monoglyceride and monocaprylin compounds. These appear to inactivate common mastitis pathogens including Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus uberis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
One study found that after treating contaminated milk samples, both caprylic acid and monocaprylin reduced five types of dangerous pathogens, including E. coli just like antibiotics would, without the risk for bacterial mutations developing