Endurance athletes, bodybuilders, and many health conscientious people are excited about MCT oil and for good reason. Fat is one of the body’s main building blocks and fastest sources of energy for your body and brain.
There are four categories of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fat. Saturated fats have been demonized for decades under USDA and Human Services Dietary Guidelines for Americans. After the release of the proposed healthy guidelines, the health of the American public declined. Healthy fats were replaced by high-sugar, refined grains, and processed vegetable oils.
We know now that good oils - such as coconut oil - should ideally be consumed every day. U.S. dietary guidelines have recently reversed their advice, eliminating the call to lower cholesterol and fat intake as the research does not support any link to cardiovascular disease.
Good fats construct protective cell membranes and absorb particular vitamins and minerals. Healthy fat is needed for so many of our bodily processes to achieve homeostasis.
An Immediate Energy Source
MCT – short for medium-chain triglycerides – also known as “MCFAs” – are an amazing form of purified saturated fatty acid. Amazing, because, MCT oil provides some unique benefits especially when compared to other fats.
Take a look at Omega 6 fats. Omega 6 fats are found in seeds, beans, and grains. When ingested, these inflammatory oils travel to the lymphatic system and are absorbed into the fat tissue. On the other hand, having more carbons and being smaller with a shorter chain length, MCT’s do not have to have bile to break it down as a long-chain fat does, so it goes directly from the small intestine to the mitochondria within the liver. From the liver, it requires minimal action to convert to an immediate source of energy in the form of ketones.
Good For Brain Health
Ketones are one of the two primary sources of fatty acid fuel for the brain. The brain is by and large made up of fatty acids. For clear cognitive thinking, and memory retention, you need a steady supply of fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids are also believed to be the easiest fatty acid in existence, to utilize and digest. MCT oil passes through the blood-brain barrier, turning them into a convenient energizing fuel for the a sharp, focused brain.
Reduces Fat Storage
The cells love MCT oil. This precious oil is what can be called a “super fuel.” MCT oil utilizes heat energy – (aka calories) – improves athletic performance and reduces the storage of fat. You can also go for longer lengths of time without eating or having an energy crash. The science behind it is: MCT oil raises ketones, ketones curb ghrelin - your hunger hormone – increasing your cholecystokinin hormone, which makes you feel full and satisfied longer.
Studies have shown people who took MCT oil – with no calorie restrictions, no difference in daily exercise or consumption of protein, fat or carbohydrates – lost more weight than subjects on the same diet who did not take any MCT oil. It isn’t about the calories; it is about the information in the food.
No matter what kind of a diet you follow, MCT oil has been shown to significantly reduce waist circumference, and weight at a faster rate. Some research reports say it can even help in the prevention of obesity.
Even Without The Keto Diet
ATP energy is the energy that moves your muscles. Ketones are a vital source of ATP energy. If you have heard of the ketogenic diet, it is a diet designed to use ketones from fat for energy rather than glucose. This happens when the body is in what is call a ketosis state. With MCT oil, you can benefit from ketones even if you are not on a full ‘keto’ diet.
Whole Body Benefactor
Besides the brain, MCT oil is also a great support to the immune system and a valuable aid to the alimentary canal. You could say MCT oil is the brain-gut connection. MCT oil supports the lining inside the gut optimizing good bacteria growth. MCT oil contains antioxidant properties with anti-inflammatory benefits, and the ability to battle against harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses, without harming “good bacteria.” Protecting our good bacteria is important for our digestive functioning and intestinal health.
Coconut Is Best For MCT Oil
There are several foods such as olive oil, avocados, grass-fed animals, nuts, full fat: butter, milk, yogurt, and cheese, rich sources of MCT, aka MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids). Pure coconuts, hands down, offer the highest levels of MCFAs, approximately 45-53% of total content. Human breast milk contains monolaurin with antimicrobials that stabilize the cell wall, strengthen the immune system, and maintain optimized gut health. Lauric acid is the raw material in the production of monolaurin; which is inherent in the milk we were introduced to as newborns.
Studies have also shown MCT oil derived from coconut to include benefits such as:
- Potent Antioxidants
- Anti-Microbial Properties
- Balance Hormone Levels
- Improve Mood
- Absorb Fat-Soluble Nutrients
- Better Digestion
Is MCT Just Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil does have MCT. The difference is that MCT oil is more concentrated – containing different proportions – almost entirely medium-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil contains four MCTs, Lauric Acid (C12) being the most prevalent. The Lauric Acid found in coconut oil, is the reason many companies that produce coconut oil say their oil is better than MCT oil. This is because many MCT oils are not manufactured to contain Lauric Acid.
MCT oil with Lauric Acid is arguably the most beneficial due to its immune and brain function benefits. Lauric Acid acts in the body as a medium chain acid combined with a long chain fatty acid, digesting at a slower rate. As always, we believe, quite simply, in the best health choices, (e.g. least processed fats, and organic). The best MCT oil is oil that contains Lauric Acid, with a little slower rate of digestion.
MCT oil is easily digestible and more absorbable than straight coconut oil. Pure coconut oil is excellent, but if you want all the benefits of targeted, impactful, faster action MCT oil, choose purified MCT oil.
Ways To Add MCT Oil:
For a dietary supplement, you can take one tablespoon 1 to 4 times a day.
- Add to your coffee, Matcha or morning drink
- Add it in your salad dressing
- Add to your base in a marinade
- Add to a smoothie, protein shake or yogurt
- Add to Morning Oatmeal
The options are endless.
Note: MCT oil is not advisable to use in any Styrofoam or foam-based material.
MCT oil is scientifically proven to improve mood and energy levels, aid digestion and weight loss, support nutrient absorption, with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Adding MCT oil is an excellent and powerful addition to your daily intake of food.