Caprylic acid, or octanoic acid, comes in the form of an oily liquid and is used for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. The best way to get the benefits of this fatty acid is by eating foods rich in caprylic acid: certain types of milk such as full fat cow's milk, coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and peanut butter. From its natural immune boosting abilities to its cardiovascular benefits, the health benefits of caprylic acid make it well worth adding to your diet.
Caprylic acid's antibacterial properties help fight the bacteria responsible for urinary tract and bladder infections. A urinary tract infection afflicts the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Research shows caprylic acid can tackle other urinary tract problems as well, such as Candida albicans, Helicobacter pylori, and Cytomegalovirus. Drinking full fat cow's milk and consuming coconuts or coconut oil will protect against these ailments.
The antibacterial properties of foods containing caprylic acid help eliminate bad bacteria that can lead to disease and other health issues. However, your body needs a certain amount of good bacteria, called probiotics, to function efficiently. Caprylic acid is capable of reducing bad bacteria without killing good bacteria. This ensures the immune system can perform optimally, improving hormonal health, lowering inflammation, and reducing the risk of allergies.
Due to its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, caprylic acid is a good deterrent to acne and other skin problems. Acne results when oils from the skin combine with bacteria and dead skin cells to clog the pores of your face or body. Use coconut oil as a natural moisturizer to combat the bacteria and reduce the presence of acne and inflammation.
Caprylic acid is a medium-chain triglyceride that is often used to treat people with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract that results in diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, and weight loss. The National Institutes of Health concluded the positive effect of caprylic acid comes from its ability to inhibit IL-8, an enzyme at the center of inflammatory bowel disease.
Caprylic acid contains ketones that are beneficial to proper brain function in healthy adults as well as those with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease causes the mitochondria to absorb and use glucose less efficiently. Brain functions, such as memory and learning, are dependent upon sufficient glucose levels. The ketones in the caprylic acid act in place of the dwindling glucose and allow the brain to function at a higher capacity, positively affecting memory, concentration, and learning.
Coconut oil may efficiently burn calories and promote weight loss thanks to caprylic acid and its effect on the body's metabolism. Because caprylic acid is a medium-chain triglyceride, it is metabolized differently than most other fatty acids. Research suggests the body does not store medium-chain triglycerides as efficiently as other fats, and instead uses them for energy immediately or turns them into ketones. Studies found that rats fed medium-chain triglycerides gained 20% less weight than rats fed regular or long-chain fats.
Candida occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast-like fungus in the intestines, particularly in women. Candida can result in fatigue, recurring infections, sinus infections, and joint pain. The antifungal properties of caprylic acid give it the ability to fight yeast naturally and reduce the symptoms and severity of candida.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when overuse of antibiotics enables the adaptation by the organisms they once targeted. As such, medications become less effective. According to the CDC, each year at least two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and are left vulnerable to infectious organisms. Because of this, the scientific community must look to solutions beyond pharmaceuticals, such as caprylic acid. Research shows the fatty acid is effective against streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Streptococcus uberis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.
Research suggests caprylic acid leads to lower occurrences of fungus on the tongue and in the mouth. While Candida is naturally occurring and healthy at low levels, it tends to overgrow on the lining of the mouth. This ailment is called thrush and results in redness, pain, sores, and loss of taste. Caprylic acid's antifungal properties combat thrush and allow a healthy amount of bacteria to exist. Caprylic acid can also prevent oral infections like gingivitis. Consuming foods with caprylic acid will promote the health of the mouth and teeth.
Consuming caprylic acid may lower the risk of heart disease because of its ability to protect the mitochondria of the heart's cells, key players in providing energy to the cells through respiration, and regulating cellular metabolism. Caprylic acid improves blood circulation, supplying oxygen-rich cells to the brain, heart, and other organs; this promotes skin health and cell growth, in general.
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