Every natural climatic regions of the world has its own secrets in many aspects like vegetation, fauna, precipitation and landforms. What is coconut to tropics is beer to Mediterranean. For the people of the tropics, coconut is the staple diet. Almost all folks in this region are aware of some of the medicinal properties of the coconut oil. But what is seldom known is the secret ingredient that makes coconut special. Here is the journey around this secret ingredient - caprylic acid.
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To scientific community, caprylic acid is a saturated fatty acid belonging to the class of medium-chain saturated fatty acids with eight carbon atoms and octanoic acid, being the systematic name. It is found in medium-chain triglyceride oil that is manufactured by processing the kernel oils of coconut and palm. Around 75% of triglyceride oil is comprised of caprylic acid. Apart from it, coconut oil also contains two other fatty acids i.e. capric acid and lauric acid.
To the layman, it is an oily liquid with unpleasant smell and taste which does not dissolve in water. It is naturally found in dairy products, palm oil, coconut oil and milk of a number of mammals, including humans and bovines. To make it clearer, caprylic acid is an active ingredient of human breast milk and cow's milk as well.
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Without beating around the bush, let us come straight to the point. What makes caprylic acid so special? Well, experts say - it poses anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It is affirmed that caprylic acid has the potential either to prevent or to treat many medical conditions like sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, Candida virus and oral infections like gingivitis; overgrowth of yeast, such as vaginal yeast infections, and thrush, fungal infections, such as ringworm, high blood pressure, Crohn's disease, high cholesterol levels and bacterial infections among others.
To make things simple, let us examine the health benefits in an orderly fashion.
Consuming caprylic acid will avail you many health benefits including lower risk of obesity, better brain functions, lower irritations levels, improved hormonal health, and less risk of allergies. Caprylic acid can help you to fight gas, depression, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, vaginal yeast infections and fatigue. Unlike the popular diet in vogue i.e. antibiotics and other chemical medicines which pose multiple kinds of risks to human health and the environment, caprylic acid is purely natural substance and safe.
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Being one of the most common infections among women, Candida yeast infections are followed by many irritating and uncomfortable symptoms like sugar cravings, depression, fatigue, the irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal bloating. For women suffering from Candida yeast infection, caprylic acid turns out to be a life-saviour. It enters the cell membranes of the Candida yeast cells and kills the infection-causing cells. It also detoxifies the digestive tract and accelerates the digestive process. It is found that the product is able to significantly alleviate the symptoms and lessen the pain associated with fungal and viral infections when ingested orally.
Yeast also causes other internal and external infections which are encountered on toes, genitals and skin. Caprylic acid acts as an efficient antidote as well as preventive agent for yeast infections manifested as toe fungus, ringworms, vaginitis, and jock itch in men. The icing on the cake is that all these benefits are without side effects.
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Coconut oil, comprising caprylic acid, has emerged as a very popular product that is used in the treatment of various skin ailments. In fact, the sheer efficacy of its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties has been proven to treat skin infections in not only humans but different animals too.
The powerful compounds present in caprylic acid can ruthlessly suppress the bacteria that may be living on your skin that causes a plethora of infections including acne. Acne is a common skin condition wherein hair follicles plug with dead skin cells and oil. It is evident that coconut oil with rich amount of caprylic acid content keeps a check on skin inflammation preventing the occurrence of acne. In fact, this is exactly the reason for using coconut oil as natural skin moisturizer. It also boosts the health of your hair.
Apart from acne, caprylic acid stands out to be extremely useful in the treatment of other skin ailments such as dermatophilosis, eczema and psoriasis. Dermatophilosis is a bacterial disease with the symptoms like development of pustules on arms and hands. Eczema is a long term skin ailment wherein the skin may break, peel and appear red with blisters or pus-filled. Psoriasis is a condition resulting in itching due to the development of dermatitis in various parts of the body.
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The patients with the short-bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease can now have a sigh of relief. Crohn's disease being a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, can affect gastro-intestinal tract. But experts are of the opinion that this acid can help cure this condition as it clamps down on the release of a protein called interleukin 8 which is considered to be responsible for inducing Crohn's disease by causing inflammation in the intestines. Thereby, this anti-inflammatory property of caprylic acid comes handy in assuaging the Crohn's disease symptoms like bowel problems, pain, bleeding and bloating.
Furthermore, the substance acts as the guardian of the lining of your digestive tract by providing optimal protection against many substances in the intestines such as harmful toxins and micro organisms. When ingested, on one hand, the product helps to naturally reduce yeast growth in the intestinal tract while on the other hand, helps the beneficial bacteria to thrive. Higher the number of these good-bacteria in the digestive tract, better will be the immune function.
Like Crohn's disease, many of the digestive disorders are usually the results of inflammation and bacterial infections. As caprylic acid is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, it is the perfect solution to many of the digestive disorders.
The most pressing concern in using chemical antibiotics for treating viruses and infections is the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Medical fraternity may consider using caprylic acid in avoiding the risk of antibiotic resistance which is rampant throughout the world including developed nations and third world countries.
Although it can be used to combat wide variety of medical ailments, it has its own side effects if not used in line with dosage requirements. Though generally considered to be safe if consumed in proper dosage, there can be ways when it can adversely affect the patient.
Even nectar is poison if taken to excess. Caprylic acid is no exception. As caprylic acid is a fatty acid, sudden increase in its dosage may lead to various side effects such as indigestion, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, bloating, belching among others. Dehydration is the common result of diarrhea. It is important to note here that the side effects may not be limited to the ones that are mentioned here as this matter is presently a research area which is not yet dug deep enough.