Unlike many natural oils renowned for their health benefits, MCT oil is not 100% natural. It’s a by-product of coconut oil with a higher concentration of caprylic and capric acid. Discover what MCT Oils are and how it can improve your health.
What is MCT?
MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides and triglycerides is just a big word to describe fat molecules. The chain part in the name refers to the amount of carbon atoms along a chain of fat molecules.
The longer the chain is, the longer the body takes to process the food. Long chain triglycerides take longer to absorb as the fats need broken down before it’s converted into energy. The body absorbs and oxidizes medium chain triglycerides much faster as it reaches the liver directly where it’s then converted into glucose and released into your body to use as fuel. For that reason, MCTs are often referred as the natural source of instant energy and as such, they’re highly favored by athletes – among others who prefer a natural energy booster.
The Debate about Lauric Acid as an MCT
C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid) are definitive MCTs. C12 (lauric acid) is up for debate because of how the body absorbs it. When MCTs are absorbed, they’re directly transported to the liver, without being broken down the way LCTs are. But, lauric acid is a bit of both MCT and LCT. Up to 30% will go directly to the liver with the rest being absorbed in the digestive system needing broken down before being converted into fuel. Because lauric acid is a bit of both MCT and LCT, there’s split debate on whether it’s an MCT or not. The difference affects the quality of MCT oil you buy. The most beneficial MCT oil (or powder) are higher in C8 and C10, whereas high sources of C12 can dilute the effectiveness. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid so while you are getting some MCT benefits from coconut oils, it’s less effective than a potent MCT oil that’s rich in the two primary MCTs of caprylic acid (C8) and capric acid (C10).
To get the most and fastest benefits of MCTs, use a quality product and don’t solely rely on coconut oils as a source of dietary fats.
With a quality MCT oil (or powder in capsule form), you’ll experience…
The Top 6 Benefits to Your Health by Using MCT Oil Daily in Your Diet
Fast, Efficient and Natural Energy Booster Both Mentally and Physically
LCTs rely on bile production in your gut to break down fatty acids then transport those to your liver, resulting in synthesis to produce ketones and release glucose. MCTs don’t need broken down in the gut, so instead they can travel directly to the liver. A key molecule the body needs for metabolism is Acetyl-coA. MCTs increase the livers efficiency to produce coA, providing the instant energy both physically and mentally. Physiologically, the energy effect is similar to carbohydrates, only without the blood sugar increase. It’s a healthier way to boost energy and enhance cognitive performance.
Healthier Weight Loss with Lowered Levels of Bad Cholesterol
There’s two types of cholesterols – one good, the other isn’t.
- LDL: low-density lipoproteins = bad cholesterol
- HDL: high-density lipoproteins = good cholesterol
The vast majority of confusion around cholesterol stems from the lack of knowledge surrounding healthy fats. Saturated fats will increase cholesterol, however, despite the sources of MCT oil being coconuts containing as high as 90% saturated fats, it’d be assumed that’s bad. Turns out, it’s not because the saturated fats in coconut oils actually boost the bodies HDL cholesterol, so overall, it can contribute to weight loss by helping you feel fuller for longer and benefit your cholesterol profile.
Better Brain Health
The MCT diet was originally developed to treat epilepsy in the 1970’s and has undergone some modifications through the years and is now known as the ketogenic (keto) diet.
The same MCT diet is also beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. With Alzheimer’s Disease, the brain can’t product sugar. MCT oil provides an alternative energy source, which is most effective as part of an MCT diet as it helps protect brain cells and block the receptors in the brain that’s responsible for memory loss.
In addition to epilepsy management and Alzheimer’s Disease, there are some preliminary data indicating that a ketogenic diet with MCT regularly and alongside a gluten-free diet may be beneficial in the treatment of Autism in children. More research is needed in this area so clinical advice will be needed before experimenting with nutrition to manage autism.
It’s Good for Your Heart
Arteriosclerosis and obesity are two main culprits contributing to ischemic heart disease. As MCT oil supports health weight loss by improving your metabolism, it is a healthy option for both weight loss and weight management. Additionally, research supports the fact that coconut oil does help reduce arteriosclerosis, which is the narrowing and thickening of arteries causing both heart attacks and strokes.
Much of the studies surrounding coconut oil and its effect on cardiovascular health are based on studies in Sri Lanka, as coconuts are an integral part in Sri Lankan diets. In one study of 207 people aged from 20 to 83 years old, showed heart disease was non-existent.
Improve Gut Health
Studies show that regular consumption of MCTs in people with Gastrointestinal Disorders can improve their immune system and aid in the absorption of minerals and nutritional values to improve the gut microbiome.
Potential to Help with Diabetes Management
Research into MCTs and its effect on those with type 1 diabetes show that it has the potential to preserve brain function during hypoglycemic events and without the side effect of raising blood glucose levels.
Roughly 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. The increase in fat cells reduces the effectiveness of insulin to be used as energy, causing the body to develop a resistance to insulin, which raises the blood sugar levels. As MCTs help the body to burn fat naturally, it may be beneficial to lower insulin levels.
MCT oils benefits brain, heart and gut health. The faster metabolism and its ability to cross the blood brain barrier makes it a powerful and effective energy source. The primary benefit is weight management as maintaining a healthy weight is the only way to maintain a healthy mind and body with all the nutrients required for a proper functioning immune system and digestive system.
People with existing medical conditions may find MCT beneficial, while everyone can benefit from MCTs ability to block receptors in the brain responsible for memory loss – something that’s always going to happen as part of the natural aging process. MCTs help brain cells survive.