What Are Some Caprylic Acid Side Effects?


Quick Answer

The major side effect of caprylic acid is gastrointestinal upset, according to the University of Michigan Health System. This usually occurs when a large amount of caprylic acid is mixed with other medium-chain triglycerides in a supplement. Caprylic acid is a fatty acid with eight carbon atoms.

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Full Answer

Medium-chain triglycerides, including caprylic acid, are generally safe for patients to consume by mouth or intravenously. Consuming caprylic acid with food may reduce gastrointestinal side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal gas and nausea, notes WebMD. Patients with diabetes and liver problems should avoid caprylic acid supplements because the liver processes medium-chain triglycerides. Caprylic acid has no known interactions with medications as of December 2014, according to the University of Michigan.

Caprylic acid prevents muscle breakdown in critically ill patients that are fed intravenously. The substance may also prevent types of seizures in children, notes WebMD. The weight loss effects of caprylic acid are unknown, as of December 2014. Additional research is needed to study medium-chain triglycerides used to treat Alzheimer's disease, calcium deficiency and chylothorax.

Coconut oil contains large amounts of caprylic acid, while cow's milk and human breast milk contain smaller amounts. Doctors may recommend patients consume between 500 and 1,000 milligrams per day, notes the University of Michigan.

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