Caprylic acid is believed to be an extraordinary fatty acid, possessing therapeutic properties. It has the ability to treat a number of infections such as ringworm, gastroenteritis, salmonella infection, and candidiasis.
Also known as octanoic acid, caprylic acid is a saturated fatty acid, that is found naturally in the milk of various mammals. It is also one of the constituents of coconut oil and palm kernel oil.
It is an eight carbon saturated fatty acid, in which all the carbon atoms are linked together by strong covalent single bonds and flanked by covalently bonded hydrogen atoms. One of the terminal carbon is linked to a carboxyl group, which is a functional group that provides the acidic character to the compound. At room temperature, it is present in the form of an oil and is sparingly soluble in water. It has a slightly unpleasant, and rancid smell.
The compound has several medicinal and industrial applications. It has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, and it is one of the most effective cure for candida infections. Nutritionists often recommend this saturated fatty acid for the treatment of chronic yeast infection. Some studies suggest that, this fatty acid has the ability to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, topically as well as orally. The mechanism of action of this acid is not completely known; however, it is believed that the acid enters the fungal cell wall in undissociated form, and dissociates inside to cause acidification. The acidity breaks the fungal cell walls easily, thereby causing the complete breakdown of fungal colonies.
It can be an excellent cure for several bacterial infections, such as that of Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. Its short chain structure allows it to penetrate the cell membrane easily and destroy the bacteria. This acid is also effective against several enveloped viruses.
It is used as a food contact surface sanitizer in breweries, wineries, and beverage processing plants. As a result of its antimicrobial property, it is also used as a disinfectant in health care facilities, animal care, veterinary facilities, industries, office buildings, schools, and colleges. A lot of nurseries, green houses, and garden centers also use this supplement to destroy the harmful algae, bacteria, and fungi. It is also used in the manufacture of dyes, and is one of the ingredients in the production of esters that are used to make perfumes.
Caprylic acid is available in the form of tablets, capsules, or also in liquid form. Most health practitioners recommend these supplements for the treatment of various conditions. Numerous health benefits are associated with its regular consumption. This compound is generally considered safe for use, however, like any other drug, there are some side effects associated with it. Some of the common side effects include:
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
These are some of the common gastrointestinal problems that may occur after the use of this acid. However, these are temporary side effects and disappear when the supplements are discontinued. People allergic to caprylic acid or its derivatives should avoid its use. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers should refrain from taking these supplements. Always remember to consult your health care provider before using these supplements.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.