Caprylic acid is a medium chain saturated fatty acid found in high concentrations in coconut and palm oils, and to a lesser extent in butter. Caprylic acid has strong antifungal action and nutritional supplements containing caprylic acid are therefore used in the treatment of intestinal and systemic yeast and fungal infections. It is one of the most common non-drug treatments used for the treatment of intestinal Candida overgrowth.
Early research carried out in Japan showed that fungicidal (fungus killing) and fungistatic (inhibitor of fungal growth) properties of caprylic acid against Candida Albicans are exceedingly powerful.
Caprylic acid is also effective against various bacteria as it has no difficulty in penetrating fatty cell wall membranes due to its relatively small molecule size. Research has demonstrated its effectiveness as an antibiotic in combating certain lipid-coated bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and various species of Streptococcus. It has even recently been found to have activity against salmonella and E.coli.
Nutritional supplements containing caprylic acid alone or in combination with other antimicrobials are widely available and relatively cheap, especially when compared to antifungal and antibiotic drugs.