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What is Caprylic Acid?

Caprylic acid against candida Among the many natural cures for candida, caprylic acid is one of the most commonly cited.

This is a medium chain fatty acid (C8H16O2), also called octanoic acid, that is found naturally in coconut oil, palm oil, butter fat as well as in human breast milk. It is known to have anti-fungal as well as some anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Caprylic acid is used to enhance other types of therapy, including the following:

a yeast control diet: boosting favourable micro-organisms within the digestive tract e.g. bifidus and acidophilus

usage of Garlic as a food ingredient or as a supplement

an antifungal prescription, such as Nystatin.

Usage: Caprylic acid is known to have anti-fungal properties, and is often recommended by nutritionists for the treatment of candidiasis. Caprylic acid is excellent for dealing with candida in the intestines, which are frequently colonized by candida.

Caprylic acid is also used in the treatment of some bacterial infections. Due to its relatively short chain length it has no difficulty in penetrating fatty cell wall membranes, hence its effectiveness in combating certain lipid-coated bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and various species of Streptococcus.

Caprylic acid, aka, octanoic acid, must be covalently linked to the serine residue at the 3-position of ghrelin, specifically, it must acylate the -OH group, for ghrelin to have its hunger-stimulating action on the feeding centers of the hypothalamus, though other fatty acids may have similar effects.

Clinical Studies: Some medical doctors argue that the anti-fungal properties have only been proven in vitro that is, in an artificial laboratory environment but there is no significant clinical evidence to support its use against candida or yeast infection.

Many nutritionists and natural health practitioners, however, have reported excellent results with caprylic / octanoic acid for the treatment of candidiasis.

Found In:

Caproyl: One brand of caprylic acid that it highly regarded by many natural health practitioners is Caproyl. This combines the acid with psyllium husk and safflower oil.

Psyllium is a seed grown commercially in India, where it is also called isabgol. The husk is very high in fibre and widely used as a bulk forming laxative. When psyllium absorbs water, it expands greatly and forms a gel. People who take psyllium often report passing out very large, well-formed stools.

Psyllium or isabgol is thus very effective as a colon cleanser and cleaning the colon is one of the most effective ways to fight candida infection. Safflower oil is high in oleic acid, another medium-chain fatty acid which, like caprylic, is known to have anti-fungal properties.

The three substances thus interact in an interesting way to enhance the anti-fungal effects of any single component.

Firstly, as the psyllium expands and presses against the intestinal wall, the caprylic acid is released at a rate determined by the gel, not by the acidity of an individual's intestinal environment. Thus, the caprylic acid is released slowly, along the entire length of the colon.

Secondly, the fibre acts as a brush or scrub to clean the intestines while, at the same time, it delivers caprylic acid to intestinal walls. This is like using a toothbrush with toothpaste. The brush does the cleaning job, the paste acts on the gums and teeth to deliver whatever benefits it may have.

And because candida yeast is often buried deep in the slimy toxic substances that accumulate in the intestines, this brushing action helps ensure that the caprylic / octanoic acid reaches the candida.

Summary: As with all medicines and remedies, whether natural or otherwise, there is no guarantee that one particular treatment will work on all people all the time.

We have to bear in mind that candida infection is a difficult condition to treat and an important part of the treatment involves changing the diet to avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates and other foods that tend to promote the growth of candida yeast.

Thus, the best approach to caprylic acid is to regard it as a highly useful remedy, to be used in conjunction with an anti-candida diet, probiotics supplements and other natural cures for candida apart from caprylic acid.

It is not a cure-all. But it is one of the first remedies to consider before resorting to powerful anti-fungal drugs that might produce harmful side effects.

No known toxicity: Caprylic / octanoic acid is not known to be toxic and is generally safe to use. However, it has an unpleasant rancid taste and may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea.

Infants, children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those prone to stomach upsets are generally advised to avoid taking caprylic acid supplements.

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