Undecenoic acid has wealth of benefits as an anti-fungal, including fighting Candida. But, your first thought may be, what is undecenoic acid?
Undecenoic acid is also known by the names undecylenic acid and 10-undecenoic acid. It is an unsaturated fatty acid that is manufactured from castor oil cracking (adding high pressure and temperature). It has long time uses in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and dermal fungal infection treatments.
During an active infection of Candida albicans in the gut, hyphae form on the yeast cells which burrow into the intestinal walls. This is a mutation of the typical asymptomatic round yeast form commonly seen with changes in pH, temperature, and serum.1 These hyphae structures work to both absorb the nutrients they feed off of and to attach to the intestinal walls making an overgrowth harder to repair. Studies have found that undecenoic acid inhibits this mutation of Candida. Undecenoic acid works best against Candida in a low pH, or acidic, environment.
Since Candida overgrowth cause an alkaline pH imbalance in the gut, it’s best to take this supplement while already taking a probiotic to acidify your gut. It is often suggested to take digestive enzymes at the same time so that it can optimal effect the small intestines where Candida typically lives. Taken properly in the this manner, Undecenoic acid can be more effective in treating Candida than Caprylic acid.
Aside from Candida, undecenoic acid is used in a few other health conditions. It is the main ingredient in any over-the-counter antifungal treatments.
Dermal Fungal Infections – Undecenoic acid has been used for ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot since around the time of World War II. A study by Chretian et al. determined the powder form of zinc salt from undecenoic acid can relieve and cure tenia pedis (athelete’s foot) in 88% in about 4 weeks.
Denture Stomatits – Dental dentures can often become a breeding ground for Candida as many people do not clean them properly or forget to remove them at night. This can lead to denture stomatitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes beneath the denture. McLain et al found the denture liners coated in undecenoic acid were effective in killing this Candida growth.
Thrush – Thrush in infants can be prevented through oral administration of undecenoic acid to the nursing mothers. The benefits are then transferred to the baby in a more gentle way through lactation.
For the treatment of Candida overgrowth in the body, undecenoic acid can be taken as an oil, gel cap or powder (salts).
Undecylenic acid can be found as a liquid, foam, spray, cream, tincture, ointment and powder for topical use to treat and prevent fungal infections.3 Zinc salts are given more often than acid form as they are less irritating to skin and mucous membranes. The salts have also been found have about 4 times more antifungal activity than undecenoic acid and to be roughly 30 times more effective than caprylic acid.
Undecenoic acid is typically given orally for intestinal Candida overgrowth as a gel cap or powdered salts. The adult dosage is 450-750 mg daily given in divided doses. This dose should individually be determined by your doctor depending on your level of overgrowth and tailored combination of other anti-fungal compounds or food.
Undecenoic Acid can be used while on the Candida diet. Just be sure to use it according to recommendations to prevent upset stomach and amplified die-off symptoms. As a naturally occurring fatty acid in the body, it is safe to use this long term, with no studies indicating Candida forming a resistance to it over time.
Fatty acids may also be more effective when taken with a teaspoon of olive oil per day. It is possible to find gel caps that already have undecenoic acid and olive oil combined, but it will not hurt to take a little extra separately. Olive oil has other great benefits on your body such as the ability to improve your cholesterol.
While undecenoic acid is produced from castor bean oil, the Candida benefits will not be achieved through the use of castor oil alone. The process of cracking the oil with high pressure and heat in necessary for these effects. Castor oil is otherwise a fast acting laxative that will simply induce bowel movements.
As a topical treatment, undecenoic acid may cause itching and burning at the site of treatment. It should be diluted in olive oil before applied to the skin to avoid this irritation. Allergic reaction is also possible.
Taken orally, gel caps and capsules should not be opened or mixed with other food and drinks. These capsules are often time released to avoid irritation to the mucous membranes. The taste and smell will also be quite bad if opened.
As undecenoic acid will be working to release the mutated forms of yeast in your intestine, it is likely you will experience die-off symptoms during treatment.
Speak with your doctor before using undecenoic acid during pregnancy.
Caprylic acid is often compared to undecenoic acid. It is easier to take as you do not have to plan taking it with digestive enzymes or probiotics. Another benefit of caprylic acid is that it is tasteless, so it can be mixed into food or drinks if needed. It can also be found in food sources such as coconut oil, milk and palm oil.9 A trade off in caprylic acid, is that it is overall less powerful than undecenoic acid.
Coconut Oil is a similar antifungal that interferes with the cell walls of yeast.9 It contains lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid which all fight against yeast. Coconut oil also provide heart healthy benefits and may assist in weight loss.
Garlic is a strong antifungal that can easily be added to your diet and consumed daily. Garlic contains ajoene which has the strongest effect inhibiting the growth and function of Candida by compromising its integrity and structure (look for this component in garlic supplements).