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 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 used commercially in the production of esters used in perfumery and also in the manufacture of dyes. Caprylic acid is the common name for the eight-carbon saturated fatty acid known by the systematic name octanoic acid. It is found naturally in coconuts and breast milk. It is an oily liquid that is minimally soluble in water with a slightly unpleasant rancid-like smell. 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.
Among the many natural cures for candida, caprylic acid is one of the most commonly cited. This is a medium chain fatty acid, 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. 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. One of the difficulties with caprylic / octanoic acid is that, being a medium chain fatty acid, it is very easily digested and absorbed by the body. Thus, it often gets absorbed in the stomach and small intestines before it reaches the large intestines, where it it most needed – because that is where most of the candida overgrowth is found.
Caprylic / octanoic acid comes in both liquid form (sold in capsules) and tablets and the general agreement among natural health practitioners is that the liquid form is better. The tablet form is usually derived from dairy products and might not be suitable, since people suffering from candida infection are often sensitive to products like diary and wheat. The better brands of caprylic acid come in enteric coated or timed-released capsules to ensure that it gets released only when it reaches the colon – and that it is released slowly there, so that it goes through the entire length of the large intestines. 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. Safflower oil is high in oleic acid, another medium-chain fatty acid which, like caprylic, is known to have anti-fungal properties. 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. The three substances thus interact in an interesting way to enhance the anti-fungal effects of any single component.