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Caprylic acid
Natural Standard Flashcard. Copyright © 2013 ( Commercial distribution prohibited. This flashcard is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Patients should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.


  • Caprylic acid is an eight-carbon fatty acid naturally found in palm and coconut oil, and in the milk of humans and bovines. Caprylic acid is classified as a medium-chain fatty acid and chemically known as octanoic acid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved caprylic acid as generally recognizable as safe (GRAS) status. It is used as parenteral nutrition in patients who require nutrition supplementation, as well as in some drugs, foods, and cosmetics.


These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.



Epilepsy in children



  • Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to caprylic acid and its derivatives, such as caprylate salts. Avoid with medium-chain acyl-CoAdehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency, kidney stones or a tendency to developing kidney stones. Use cautiously in infants, children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those prone to get an upset stomach.

Possible side effects

  • Accumulation of acid, belching, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, growth retardation, heartburn, calcium deficiency, low uric acid, increased rate of infection, indigestion, kidney stones, lethargy, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting.

Possible interactions

  • Albumin-bound agents, carbaryl, indomethacin, inotropic agents (alters muscle contractility), nimodipine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NAOIs), phenylbutazone, warfarin (blood thinning drugs), and herbs and supplements with similar effects.


Adults (18 years and older)

  • 300-1,200 milligrams daily, preferably 30 minutes before meals, has been ingested; duration was not noted.

Children (younger than 18 years)

  • Not enough scientific data available.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.