Last updated June 25, 2019 by Lisa Richards, CNC   Reviewed by Katie Stone, ND.

Caprylic Acid: Benefits for Gut Health, Candida, and Immunity

Coconut oil

The natural health world has been buzzing about coconut oil for some time now. No doubt you’ve heard that it’s great for the hair, skin, and on salads. But did you know it also contains a potent antifungal?

Coconut oil is made up of three important fatty acids: caprylic acid capric acid and lauric. Of these, caprylic acid is its prized active ingredient.

Caprylic acid is renowned for its ability to kill Candida cells, and also for restoring normal acidity levels in the stomach. Taking caprylic acid during your treatment can get your intestinal tract back in shape and help to prevent cells from growing again.

How Does Caprylic Acid Work?

Here are a few of the benefits of caprylic acid:

  • It kills yeast like Candida albicans
  • Studies have shown its potency to be similar to prescription antifungals
  • It helps to regulate the acidity in your stomach and gut
  • It boosts your immune system

Natural antifungals like caprylic acid work best in combination with other natural ingredients. This creates a more powerful, multi-faceted approach to killing off Candida yeast, as well as reducing the chance for the yeast to adapt to a single agent. For maximum effect, natural health practitioners recommend combining caprylic acid with other antifungals such as oregano oil, garlic, and grapefruit seed extract.

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For lots more information on how to choose between antifungals like caprylic acid, black walnut, and garlic, take a look at my Ultimate Candida Diet treatment plan.

Although the main objective of your treatment is to kill Candida cells, remember that the more effective it is, the more likely you are to experience a Candida Die-Off reaction. To reduce the chance of this happening, you can take a liver-protective supplement like milk thistle or molybdenum.

How Does Caprylic Acid Help With A Candida Overgrowth?

Yeast Killer

Like other antifungals, caprylic acid works by interfering with the cell walls of the Candida yeast. Thanks to its short chain length, caprylic acid is able to penetrate the cell wall of the yeast relatively easily. It’s then able to inhibit the growth of the yeast by incorporating itself into the cell membrane and causing it to rupture. This effectively destroys the yeast cell.

High Potency

Repeated studies have shown caprylic acid to be an effective treatment against Candida. A study conducted by Japan’s Niigata University found that the fungicidal effect of caprylic acid on Candida Albicans was “exceedingly powerful”. More recent studies have found that oral supplementation with caprylic acid reduces the symptoms of Candida more quickly and efficiently than some pharmaceutical drugs such as Diflucan. It’s also much more affordable!

Acidity Regulator

By helping to normalize the acidity in your stomach, caprylic acid allows your body tissues to become more alkaline.

Candida dieters are often confused as to whether they should be trying to make their gastrointestinal tract more alkaline or more acidic. In order to break down food properly, the stomach and gut are naturally more acidic than the rest of the body.

An acidic environment in the stomach and gut is also required for the immune system to function properly. This helps you to fight back and prevent infections from opportunistic pathogens like Candida albicans. Caprylic acid helps to restore a natural, acidic environment to your stomach. You can read more about this on our Acid or Alkaline page.

Immune Booster

Caprylic acid is also known for its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can help treat skin disorders and acne. It’s also useful for treating urinary tract infections, bladder infections, STIs, and even gingivitis.

How Do You Take Caprylic Acid?

Caprylic acid is best taken in concentrated capsule form. Here is a good example from Pure Encapsulations. You should take these capsules with meals, twice daily. These gel capsules are particularly effective because they slow the release of the caprylic acid, allowing its antifungal properties to take effect in your intestinal tract.

Gel capsules have been shown to be more effective than taking caprylic acid in liquid form, as there is less chance of the active ingredient being delivered straight to the liver and flushed out of the body before it can exert its antifungal effects.

Another effective antifungal supplement is Candida Support. Candida Support contains a combination of anti-fungal ingredients, including Caprylic acid, oregano oil and black walnut. As explained above, it’s advisable to take two or three anti-fungal supplements at any one time in order to maximize the anti-fungal effect. This also reduces the chance of the Candida yeast building up a resistance to a single agent.

Of course, it’s also possible to get your dose of caprylic acid straight from the natural source: coconut oil. Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid, three potent antifungals that work great in combination. It’s advisable to start by taking 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil each morning, then building up the dosage to 5 tablespoons per day if you don’t experience any Die-Off symptoms.

Who Should Not Take Caprylic Acid?

Pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and those prone to stomach upsets should not take Caprylic Acid. Caprylic acid may sometimes cause mild gastrointestinal complaints, like nausea or diarrhea. If you are in any doubt, consult your doctor.

Filed under: Antifungals
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