Aside from naturally obtaining caprylic acid through eating real food (coconut cream, coconut milk, etc.), supplements are an easy way to obtain a high-potency dose of caprylic acid without having to consume an excess of saturated fat.
Depending on what kind of health concern you’re addressing, healthcare practitioners – naturopaths, typically recommend consuming 500 mg to 1,000 mg up to three times per day in a capsule form. When treating Candida or a yeast infection, studies actually appear to indicate that capsules are more effective than liquid. Usually, we recommend the opposite. In this case, the capsule helps to better enable a slower release of the fatty acids into your bloodstream. This prevents a higher incidence of side effects, along with providing the most robust benefit. We would also advise to take caprylic acid capsules around 30-45 minutes prior to a meal.
What is Caprylic Acid?
Caprylic acid is one of the primary fatty acids in coconut oil, which lend it well-known anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. It is also commonly supplemented as a part of MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides).
It is consumed naturally in food sources, from things like coconut and palm oil.
People regularly take caprylic acid as a supplement, or in the form of MCT oil, to combat Candida infections, yeast infections, thrush, high cholesterol levels, epilepsy, and digestive issues caused by bacterial imbalance or overgrowth (SIBO).
Does Caprylic Acid Really Work for Candida and Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections, and Candida infections are common. Particularly among recent bouts of antibiotic use with the cold/flu season. Reduction in good strains of gut bacteria and oral bacteria through the use of antibiotics, diets high in refined sugars + refined grains, and alcohol can dramatically reduce good strains of bacteria, and cause proliferation of pathogenic yeast.
Other studies reaffirm caprylic acid’s ability to reduce symptoms of Candida infections, along with proven efficacy at inhibiting yeast infections, thereby preventing recurrence or stopping the progression.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of caprylic acid can help to manage digestive disorders and conditions such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and IBS. We would recommend trying to incorporate more medium chain fatty acids such as caprylic acid, either in food form or supplement form, while cutting back on animal foods (red meat) for those with digestive disorders. Cutting out and eliminating problematic proteins such as gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) can also help to quell symptoms.
For those concerned about coconut oil’s health properties as a highly saturated fat – studies seem to suggest that caprylic acid, as an isolated supplement, has a positive overall impact on LDL or “bad” cholesterol and total lipids. Caprylic acid was also correlated with increased HDL or “good” cholesterol levels.
If you’re someone who is new to taking caprylic acid, we recommend starting slowly and easing into a higher dose. This will help to prevent any sort of stomach pains, nausea, or stomach upset. This means taking a 500 mg capsule once or twice a day with meals to start with, and slowly increasing from there to up to 2,000 mg spread out across 3-4 doses.
Caprylic acid is generally safe, with minimal side effects reported. This is a natural fatty acid that is found in food and regularly consumed. Some people with a more sensitive stomach may notice mild gastrointestinal sides – common for people new to MCT oil as well. Considering it is even recommended as safe by the FDA, there is little to worry about. However, we still always recommend consulting with a professional prior to use if you have pre-existing health conditions. We also would not recommend the product for those who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding.