Caprylic Acid – Natural remedy against candida infection

Caprylic Acid – Natural remedy against candida infection

Caprylic acid comes from breast milk, coconut or palm oil. It is a substance that helps to control the bacteria from the body while preserving the intestinal flora.

What is caprylic acid?

It is made up by carbon and hydrogen chains and its name will change depending on the number of the first molecules.

One of this possible combinations is caprylic acid, also known as octanoic acid (since it is made up by eight carbon atoms). This scale is made up by saturated acids. This feature makes them quite different from mono and poly-unsaturated acids (oleic, linoleic, linolenic) in terms of physical, chemical and nutritional characteristics.

However, the presence of these compounds in food as such, that is, as free fatty acids, is due to an alteration. Usually, they undergo lipid or fat rancidification, since it is not common for them to make up part of their chemical composition.

Food sources of caprylic acid

What are the sources of caprylic acid?

The sources of caprylic acid come from very different places: a fruit, coconut and breast milk. The first one coincides with the presence of capric and lauric acid. The body synthesizes the second one, but in very low amounts.

Although most of the caprylic acid from nature is in these sources, we could also mention other less important ones: palm oil and hemp seeds.

For its use in the pharmaceutical industry, where it is quite relevant, it is obtained by hydrolyzing coconut or palm oil. Afterwards, it undergoes a fractionated distillation process.

Properties of caprylic acid

We will start by mentioning the opinion from the Health Sciences Institute in Maryland (United States). This institution recognizes the multiple benefits of caprilic acid for human health. However, before going further, we want to mention a couple of physical properties of caprylic acid. First of all, it is partially water soluble and it produces a particular smell, intense and rancid.

On the other hand, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cataloged caprylic acid as a GRAS substance (Generally Recognized as Safe”). Therefore, we are dealing with a substance that is easily absorbed by the body, easy to digest and practically non-toxic. This last feature is possible due to the fact that it oxidizes in the mitochondria and other compartments inside the cell cytoplasm. Therefore, the liver, which is the detox organ par excellence, will have less work to do.

Antioxidant absorption

Medium chain fatty acids, like caprylic acid, improve the absorption of antioxidants from food. Moreover, it crosses the cell membranes more easily than long chain fatty acids due to their size. To top it all, the body does not need lipoprotein or other specific enzymes to use it properly.

Antioxidant supplements

Benefits of caprylic acid

The stomach seems to be the organ that benefits the most from this element. First of all, caprylic acid regulates its acidity, whose pH needs to be as constant as possible for the proper functioning of the immune system. Consequently, a caprylic acid indigestion is a practice that improves the gastric environment.

Caprylic acid makes up part of a newborn’s diet by being present in breast milk. Consequently, it is connected to its ability to destroy pathogens like bacteria and fungi. In fact, we could say that nature has enriched the sustenance of newborns with a powerful antibiotic. Consequently, it will protect their weak immune system against harmful microorganisms.


But these are not the only therapeutic applications of this compound. According to the Physicians Desk Reference Guide to Nutritional Supplements, apart from dealing with bacterial and fungal infections, caprylic acid also has a positive effect on hypertension. This is very important, since this problem can trigger many other pathologies.

Moreover, caprylic acid could be useful for treating Crohn’s disease. A team of Japanese researchers conducted studies on human cells that revealed how caprylic acid could support the treatment of this inflammatory bowel diseases. In fact, it works on the root of the problem, no other than the release of IL-8 or interleukin 8. This protein triggers inflammation, but caprylic acid would block it during its synthesis so that the disease does not even take place.

Supplementation and benefits

There are not enough scientific studies to support a systematic supplementation with caprylic acid.

What we know is that including coconut oil in our daily diet is a good choice for our health. In this way, we would benefit from the properties of this acid.

There is concluding evidence in a study publish in the journal Los lípidos hace unos pocos años. In it, the researchers anticipated some of its effects on reducing the abdominal fat and regulating the cholesterol levels.

Coconut oil and caprylic acid

Other benefits

Caprylic acid has also been used in treatments to dissolve kidney stones or to shorten the recovery after a surgery.

Lately, the scientists have considered its use for epilepsy, (it is a reliable alternative against convulsions that do not respond to conventional treatments). Moreover, it can also be injected to those patients who cannot digest or absorb fats properly.

Apart from these uses, it is also used to disinfect the equipment designed for food processing. For example, they are used in beer and wine factories to prevent or combat bacterial, fungal or seaweed contamination.

Caprylic acid, natural treatment against candida yeast

But, without any doubt, its greatest benefit is its ability to control a type of yeast, candida albicans, that tends to settle in the large bowel.

Generally speaking, yeasts are a group that belong to the fungi kingdom. They are uni-cellular beings (at least most of their lives) and they mainly ferment sugars.

Some of them are beneficial and they do not cause problems. In fact, they are used in the food industry to make bread or beer. However, there are other pathogens, like candida, which can cause serious diseases.


The so called systemic candidiasis is an infectious problem that tends to have serious consequences. Actually, its symptoms tend to last several months or years, until it becomes a chronic issue. Conventional medicine does not easily detect this process, which is why many patients look for alternative therapies. The diagnosis is so difficult mainly because it shares some symptoms with different disorders such as fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism.

The origin of this disease takes place in the large bowel due to a candida colony. This circumstance tends to occur due to the excessive permeability of the intestinal mucosa. Said process deteriorates the intestinal walls, and they become less resistant against external elements. Then, candida produce toxins and its antigens are absorbed and they enter the bloodstream, becoming a threat to the immune system.

It is still uncertain how this acid works against fungi. However, the most convincing thesis is that it attacks the structure of the cell membrane. Consequently, it almost dissolves it, altering its permeability which ends up triggering its death. In addition, the remarkable lipotropic properties of caprylic acid are efficient against candida that is hidden inside the epithelium.

Caprylic acid against yeast

For other yeasts

Caprylic acid fits very well in long-term antimycotic therapies due to its practically null toxicity. In fact, it has proven to be effective not only against all candida species, but also against other yeasts such as geotrichium and rhodotorula.

A very interesting aspect is its ability to break down the biofilms that some fungi develop in some parts of the body. These are ultra thin membranes made up by a fungi colony, mostly from the aspergillus genus (a type of environmental fungi), that invades entire tissues.

In order to survive, the fungus inhibits some proteins, specially immunoglobulins or antibodies. To do this, they release a type of special enzymes called endonuclease, which break down specialized antibodies known as IgA. Therefore, the affected tissue becomes vulnerable to the infection.

That is why caprylic acid tends to be used as a natural substance in treatments that are meant to block the expansion of yeasts and fungi in the colon, like candida albicans.

Studies and research

Its antimycotic effect started to be tested decades ago in laboratory animals and in vitro, using a pH between 2.5 and 8.5 to test its efficacy.

Actually, there are other situations that can result in a skin infection caused by yeasts. Moreover, women can also suffer vaginal candidiasis, which triggers an inflammation of the mucosa from this conduct, a vaginitis. For both cases, a caprylic acid treatment provides excellent results.

Side effects of caprylic acid

In the beginning, the patient can experience dizziness, nausea and joint pain and discomfort, but it is just part of the process. It is known as herxheimer reaction and it is due to the progressive destruction of candida cells. Consequently, this releases waste substances that cause toxicity until our body excretes them.

When the yeast cells die, they pour a lot of toxins, cells remains and antigens to the intracellular liquid. This process can lasts up to two weeks, but it usually lasts just one. However, we should not blame caprylic acid for this, in fact, it is a positive sign rather than a side effect.

If we strictly focus on side effects, we can ensure than taking the recommended dose of caprylic acid will not trigger any side effect.

Tablet supplements

Excessive dose

However, if we exceed the recommended dose, we will experience stomach irritation and nausea. We can easily prevent this if we take some food with that overdose.

These side effects should be compared to those of other fatty acids that are less tolerated. In fact, they usually trigger abdominal swelling and pain, vomits and diarrhea with different intensities.

But we should mention those who follow ketogenic diets and who want to control epilepsy. They have reported hypocalcemia, acidosis, drowsiness and kidney stones, although these effects are not directly connected to caprylic acid. However, there might be some interaction with those who suffer some kind of kidney problem.

Those who should not take it

At the same time, those who suffer hypotension, hepatic insufficiency or similar problems should not take this substance, as well as those with a very specific problem: a deficiency of medium chain acetyl-CoA dehydrogenase enzyme, which participates in the metabolism of this acid.

There are few studies regarding the safety of a prolonged and systematic use of caprylic acid supplements. However, the scientists suspect that it could trigger some side effects like the ones from taking high doses of fatty acids. That is, it could trigger nausea, constipation/diarrhea, gastric acidity and bad digestions.

Moreover, caprylic acid is no exception to the precautions that we should always have for children and pregnant or lactating women as well as those who are prone to suffer stomach problems.

Coenzyme Q10 capsules

Interactions of caprylic acid

Caprylic acid could alter our ability to detoxify and eliminate an insecticide called carbaryl although it has not been seriously tested on people. This substance belongs to the carbamate group, which tends to appear in common insecticides.

Although we still need further research, caprylic acid could also interact with inotropic substances (those that support muscle contraction), anticoagulants like warfarin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like indometacin or phenylbutazone.

It can interact with hypotension medications, such as coenzyme Q10 and amino acid L-arginine. That is why we suggest being careful to those who take these substances.

How to take caprylic acid

The therapeutic dose of caprylic acid is usually between 350 milligrams and two grams (the most common thing is not to exceed a gram).

We have to take this dose during the meals and distribute it throughout the day.

To avoid the herxheimer reaction that we mentioned previously, the best thing is to increase the dose progressively until we reach the daily dose. This is due to the fact that the treatment can last several months, specially if we talk about an intestinal infection when the yeasts hide in the colon walls.

Caprylic acid supplements

People usually take slow release formulas because the intestinal walls can absorb it easily. They usually come with a coating that makes them resistant to the gastric juices. Therefore, they are released in the large bowel, where most of the candida is. On the other hand, if caprylic acid blends with other fatty acids, it will lose part of its therapeutic effects. That is why we suggest taking gel capsules or coated capsules.

Coconut oil is a renowned food supplement due to its ability to regulate the digestions and to improve the skin. In fact, it is the main source of caprylic acid from nature.

A good way of including this product in the diet would be adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to your breakfast or dress salads with it.

It is available in capsules and tablets. Those who suffer candidiasis should not take tablets because they come from dairy products. We suggest taking caprylic acid with olive oil, seed oil or omega 3 fatty acids since it is very soluble in fats.

Sugar free products

Combining caprylic acid

One of the things we need to take care of when dealing with candida is the diet. Otherwise, we may be unconsciously hindering the effects of caprylic acid due to the intake of substances that support the growth of the yeast. Moreover, we may not be taking some factors into account that can help us fix this problem:

  • A vital measure is suppressing sugar because this germ feeds from it.
  • Taking probiotics is a great way of fighting against candida. You can take them from foods rich in bifidobacteria, that will support the intestinal flora. Lactobacillus bacteria are also a good probiotic that works in synergy with the previous one.
  • Moreover, it would also be useful to add foods rich in L-glutamine (barely cooked meat and fish, eggs, whole cereals). It is a very necessary amino acid when we need to enhance the immune response from the intestinal epithelium or when there is an excessive intestinal permeability.
  • A basic supplementation with a multivitamin complex rich in vitamin C could also be good.


Even if it works on its own, caprylic acid works better when combined. In this way, the candida yeast will not become used to it. That is why we should combine it with other natural antimycotic elements like garlic, oregano oil or grapefruit seed extract. In fact, garlic extract is very interesting due to its anti-fungal and antiseptic effects. Actually, the Huntington College of Health Sciences conducted a study that proved that garlic had a specific effect against candida.

The best way of planning a treatment consists of taking two or three anti-fungal compounds simultaneously to make candida albicans less resistant. Alternatively, you can take different supplements containing caprylic acid as their main ingredients.


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Caprylic Acid Review

Against candida yeast - 100%

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Combinations and Intake - 100%

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About Alberto Ricón
Alberto Ricón
Alberto Ricón is a specialist in nutrition and food hygiene with large experience in the sector as well as being a Food Health Technician.
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One comment
  1. acid reflux medicine

    Very well explained! I have learned many great things from your articles. I have been checking out all of your blogs as well, thanks for sharing this.

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