First of all, what is “MCT?” MCT is short for Medium Chain Triglycerides. A triglyceride is a chemical compound that comes from an organic or inorganic acid derived from glycerol (a sweet-tasting liquid that is the backbone of lipids) and three fatty acids. Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat in humans and other vertebrates, as well as in vegetable fat.
MCT molecules are smaller molecules than those found in most type of fats that we eat, which makes MCT easier to digest and absorb. That’s why they are so popular now! They are the perfect combination for those on the ketogenic, or keto, low carb diets or while fasting, by reducing hunger.
In contrast with coconut oil, MCT oils are 100% MCTs, which makes them a concentrated source. Although the MCT oil comes from coconuts (and some from palm kernels), only 50% of coconut and palm kernel oils are actually MCT oil.
MCT are turned into ketones very quickly and serve as a healthy, clean, and readily available energy source for the brain, heart, and body. Our brain uses ketones as fuel over glucose.
Let’s understand some of the benefits of MCT oil:
1. Boosts Energy & Reduces Food Cravings
We already mentioned the fast absorption of medium chain triglycerides. This works due to the shorter chain length, allowing them to not require bile to break down, like required for LCT (long chain triglycerides). Since MCT are “faster” they are used as an instant source of energy or converted into ketones. The ketones can also help improve exercise performance as a quick readily available energy source. Additionally, MCT oil can help in the reduction of food cravings, which allows better tolerance to a low carb diet.
2. May Help Manage Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease & Reduce Brain Fog
Today, the Ketogenic diet is a diet mostly popularized for weight loss. But it was actually first introduced as a way of managing epilepsy. Since MCT are converted into ketones, these have been found to decrease seizure activity.
Its approach to Alzheimer’s disease is similar. Our brain source of energy is glucose, but since Alzheimer impairs the use of sugar, an MCT ketogenic diet offers ketones that could help our brain to survive better. What is actually incredible about this supplement is that, with only one dose of 40 ml (or 2.7 tbs) it can boost cognitive performance significantly.
Because the brain is provided with readily available energy through ketones with the use of MCT, this helps one stay mentally focused, and helps minimize the brain fog that is often experienced with fasting or a low carb diet.
3. Reduces Risk Factors for Heart Disease.
There are several factors that increase the risk of heart disease, such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking and overweight and obesity. Because MCT oil is known to support weight and fat loss, it also reduces the risks for heart disease.
How To Use MCT oil:
You can use MCT oil usually from 4 to 7 tablespoons per day, dividing each dosage between meals. However, start low and go slow. MCT oil does not have side effects, other than a possible laxative effect if too much is consumed initially.
MCT oil should be consumed with other healthy foods as part of a balanced diet.
You can add MCT oil to a variety of foods and beverages, including:
- Fruit and veggie juices
MCT oil has a low smoke point, so it is not suitable for cooking. The high temperature will force the oil to be less effective by harming the chain.
It’s very important to acknowledge that MCT oil should not be a person’s sole source of fat. It is necessary to include the appropriate balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils in our diets for overall health. This is another topic that can be explored at another time.
How To Purchase MCT oil:
When looking for a MCT oil, look for ones that contains either 100% caprylic acid or 100% capric acid, or a combination of both. These two have more rapidly absorbed and processed. Here is a brand I trust. You can purchase it through our Fullscript dispensary.