Caprylic Acid


Caprylic acid is a saturated fatty acid containing eight carbon atoms, making it one of the family known as medium-chain fatty acids. Test tube and animal research has shown caprylic acid to have antibacterial,1 antiviral,2 and antifungal properties.3 Preliminary reports from the 1940s and 1950s indicated that caprylic acid may be effective against yeast (Candida) infections in humans.45

What Are Star Ratings?

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
1 Star
Chronic Candidiasis
500 to 1,000 mg three times a day
Based on some historical use and theoretical research, caprylic acid is sometimes recommended as a treatment for yeast. 
Test tube studies and case reports from the 1940s and 1950s indicated that caprylic acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid) was effective against yeast (Candida) infections of the intestines. However, these effects have not been studied or proven in controlled trials. Doctors sometimes recommend amounts of 500 to 1,000 mg three times a day.

How It Works

How to Use It

Doctors sometimes recommend amounts of 500 to 1,000 mg three times a day.

Where to Find It

Relatively large amounts of caprylic acid are found in coconut oil. Smaller amounts are found in  cow’s milk and human breast milk.

Possible Deficiencies

Humans have no nutritional requirement for caprylic acid, so deficiency is not possible.


Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

Large amounts of caprylic acid in mixtures of medium-chain triglycerides has caused gastrointestinal upset in some people.6 Caprylic acid has received Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status from the U.S. Food and Drug A.7


1. Nair MK, Joy J, Vasudevan P, et al. Antibacterial effect of caprylic acid and monocaprylin on major bacterial mastitis pathogens. J Dairy Sci 2005;88:3488-95.

2. Isaacs CE, Litov R, Thormar H. Antimicrobial activity of lipids added to human milk, infant formula, and bovine milk. J Nutr Biochem 1995;6:362-6.

3. Liu S, Ruan W, Li J, et al. Biological control of phytopathogenic fungi by fatty acids. Mycopathologia 2008;166:93-102.

4. Keeney EL. Sodium caprylate: a new and effective treatment of moniliasis of the skin and mucous membrane. Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 1946;78:333-9.

5. Neuhauser I, Gustus EL. Successful treatment of intestinal moniliasis with fatty acid resin complex. Arch Intern Med 1954;93:53-60.

6. Sills MA, Forsythe WI, Haidukewych D, et al. The medium chain trigylceride diet and intractable epilepsy. Arch Dis Child 1986;61:1168-72.

7. Nair MK, Joy J, Venkitanarayanan KS. Inactivation of Enterobacter sakazakii in reconstituted infant formula by monocaprylin. J Food Prot 2004;67:2815-9.

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