What is Capric Acid? High and low values | Lab results explained

Capric acid (also known as Decanoic acid) is a medium-chain fatty acid (=MCFA) abundant in tropical oils such as coconut oil, whereas small amounts are present in milk of goat, cow, and human. The MCFAs are virtually nonexistent in meats because animals oxidize them very rapidly from plants consumed, and do not accumulate in the tissues.


capric acid high low meaning treatment decanoic acid mcfa
Capric Acid


Fatty acids are classified as short-, medium-, or long-chain fatty acids.

– short chain fatty acids (SCFA) contain fewer than six carbons

– medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) contain six to 12 carbons

– and long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) contain more than 12 carbons

In human tissues, capric, lauric, and myristic acids are oxidized by peroxisomal oxidative pathways to a larger extent than the longer chain fatty acids.

Peroxisomes are subunits within a cell that have a specific function. They are present in all human cells except mature erythrocytes. They carry out essential metabolic functions including beta-oxidation (=the process by which fatty acid molecules are broken down).

Higher values:

Fats are important sources of energy for tissues and for the function and integrity of cellular membranes. Deficiencies are commonly caused by inadequate dietary intake of lipids due to an unbalanced diet, long-term parenteral nutrition, or by intestinal malabsorption.

– Excess dietary fatty acids have been linked to the onset of cardiovascular disease.

– Elevated levels could indicate general suppression of peroxisomal oxidation which utilizes riboflavinderived cofactors.

– The MCT ketogenic diet, an established treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy, leads to an elevation of plasma decanoic acid and ketones.

– One preliminary analysis and study are suggesting that altered plasma levels of decanoic acid could be a valuable early diagnostic biomarker of colorectal cancer.


– Plasma capric acid concentrations in healthy subjects determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. [L]

– Comprehensive Profiling of Plasma Fatty Acid Concentrations in Young Healthy Canadian Adults [L]

– Dietary Medium Chain Fatty Acid Supplementation Leads to Reduced VLDL Lipolysis and Uptake Rates in Comparison to Linoleic Acid Supplementation [L]

– Effects of medium-chain fatty acids and oleic acid on blood lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, insulin, and lipid transfer protein activities. [L]

– Medium-chain fatty acids: Functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome [L]

– Seizure control by decanoic acid through direct AMPA receptor inhibition [L]

– Altered plasma levels of decanoic acid in colorectal cancer as a new diagnostic biomarker [L]


The information on is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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