What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil consists of medium chain fatty acids which are extracted from coconut oil or palm oil. The official name given to the medium chain fatty acids is ‘medium chain triglycerides,’ which is where the acronym ‘MCT’ comes from.
MCT oil is a liquid when at room temperature, and is colorless as well as odorless. It is a healthy fat which may be added to food or drink to promote brain-boosting properties and provide additional energy. Many MCT oil devotees enjoy adding the supplement to their morning coffee or smoothie to enjoy its health benefits as soon as the sun rises.
The Benefits of MCT Oil
MCTs are unique in the way that they are metabolized within the body. They possess a unique structure which can provide a selection of benefits for the consumer. Benefits include:
- Easier to digest in comparison with some other fats.
- Being able to suppress hunger.
- Enabling fast, clean energy.
- Providing a quick brain boost.
- Antiviral properties.
- Antibacterial features.
- Boosting weight loss.
- Improving insulin sensitivity.
Is MCT Oil The Same As Coconut Oil?
MCT oil is derived from coconut oil. While coconut oil provides many health benefits and is also good for you, it should not be confused with branded MCT oil. Coconut oil contains some useful MCTs, but it is often diluted and despite that, it is often marketed as an MCT oil while containing the less effective C12 MCT strain. Many MCT oils contain different variations of the MCT strains, which is what you should look for and consider before purchasing.
What Are The MCT Strains Within The Oil?
There are four strains of MCTs:
- Lauric Acid (C12)
- Capric Acid (C10)
- Caproic Acid (C6)
- Caprylic Acid (C8)
While the C6, C8, C10 and C12 strains are all classified as MCTs, the C6, C8 and C10 strains are able to quickly convert fat to ketones in order to provide the body with a boost of energy. This is because these strains of MCT bypass the digestive tract and travel straight to the liver. They are then able to break down into ketones which are sent through your bloodstream, providing energy to the rest of the body.
In contrast, the C12 strain acts like any standard fatty acid which travels through the stomach and breaks down in the small intestine, before being absorbed within the bloodstream and used for energy.
What Is Contained In The Average Dosage Of MCT Oil?
Many types of MCT oil are harvested from coconut oil, although a cheaper variety is produced from palm oil. Typically, a brand of MCT oil may consist of a combination of around 41% of the C8 strain along with around 27% of the C10 strain. These inclusions ensure fast burning properties. Some MCT oil brands may then contain around 30% of C12, or Lauric Acid, which complements the quick burning properties with a slower burning source of fuel.
Can MCT Oil Work If The Body Is In The State Of Ketosis?
MCT oil is a perfect supplement for anyone who is following a low-carb lifestyle or a ketogenic diet. A low-carb, or ketogenic diet involves consuming very little, or no carbohydrates while eating a moderate amount of protein. Once the body has no carbohydrates to use, it reverts to the body’s fat stores, turning fat into ketones which are then used as alternative energy. MCT oil subsequently complements ketosis, being able to convert directly into energy in the form of ketones with little input from the liver.
Should I buy MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm oil?
Palm oil is a much cheaper variety, although it is much more friendly to the environment to purchase coconut oil. Palm oil is harvested from native palm forests, which is a practice which is contributing to the destruction of orangutan habitats. When alternatives are so readily available, there really is no need for the MCT oil to be derived from palm oil.
Other Uses For MT Oil
While MCT oil has taken the health supplement and the low-carb lifestyle trend by storm, aiding weight loss and boosting energy and performance, there are some other uses for MCTs also. Medical uses of MCTs include preventing the breakdown of muscles in critically ill patients when inserted intravenously. MCTs can also aid patients with Waldmann’s disease, and it can also provide benefits for children who experience some types of seizures.
Possible Side-Effects When Using MCT Oil
MCT oil is taken by the mouth and is generally safe to do so. However, as with other supplements, there are some possible side-effects. Side-effects include:
- Intestinal gas
- Essential fatty acid deficiency
- Discomfort in the stomach
Who Should Not Use MCT Oil?
While there is little known about the side effects of using MCT oil when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid using to ensure the safety and well-being of both yourself and your baby.
Any individual who is diabetic should also avoid using MCTs because a build-up of ketones within the body can offer some problems for diabetics. It is therefore advised to avoid using if you are diabetic.
Furthermore, any individual who suffers from liver problems such as cirrhosis should avoid using MCTs. This is because MCTs are processed by the liver and therefore may cause such an individual many problems.
How Much MCT Oil Should I Consume?
It is important to remember that MCT oil is very powerful and can provide you help with losing weight and enabling a sharper focus. As the oil is colorless and odorless, it is easy to use and consume and can be effortlessly added to food or drinks, such as coffee.
However, it is important to remember to take the correct dosage so that you do not take too much but that you also take enough in order to feel the benefits. Remember to read the instructions of your MCT oil bottle, although there is some general guidance below:
- Beginners using MCT oil should start off slow and then build up their dosage. This is because the body is not used to the MCT strains and therefore will need to gradually get used to the effects.
- For days 1 – 3 of trying MCT oil, consume around 1 teaspoon of MCT oil.
- For days 4 – 6, increase your dosage to 2 teaspoons of MCT oil.
- On day 7, attempt to consume the full dosage of 1 tablespoon of MCT oil. Your body should now be used to the full dosage of MCT oil.
- If you feel any side-effects increase as you increase the MCT oil dosage, scale back your dosage for a short while and see if that makes a positive difference.
- After a while of using 1 tablespoon of MCT oil daily, you will become an experienced user who can attempt a higher dosage if desired. You could try a dosage of 2 tablespoons daily to feel maximum benefits.
How Can I Consume MCT Oil?
You consume MCT oil by mouth with many users preferring to add the oil to a drink such as their morning coffee or smoothie. For seasoned users of MCT oil, they may add their second tablespoon of MCT oil to a pre-workout smoothie or other drink, 30 minutes before the gym to ensure maximum energy performance is achieved.
In addition to MCT oil, it is also possible to purchase an MCT creamer which is a great MCT addition to coffee.
Best MCT Oils Available
For individuals following a low-carb or keto diet, the option of consuming the MCT oil supplement adds a great layer to your lifestyle. Boosting brain power and physical endurance along with aiding weight loss and curbing hunger, MCT oil is the perfect choice to add to your healthy lifestyle. Simply adding a tablespoon of MCT oil to your coffee every morning will ensure that you start the morning the right way, enabling your brain to function effectively while complementing your body.
What To Look For When Purchasing MCT Oil
MCT oil has no taste or smell, ensuring that it is easy to drink or add to your favorite food or drink. There are many options for the consumer to choose from, including the standard oil in bottle form, to MCT oil powders which are great when combined with coffee. Or you may prefer travel bottles or sachets which are pre-measured for ease of use and can be taken with you anywhere you go.
The main feature to look out for when considering purchasing MCT oil is the percentage of C8, C10 and C12 strains of MCT which make up the components of the liquid. C8 and C10 are the fast acting MCT strains, and so are the effective components to look out for, ensuring that you receive quick results from your product. The better MCT oils will contain none, or very little of the C12 strain which is also known as lauric acid. The best performing MCT oils will contain high percentages of C8 and C10. And with that, we conclude our overview. We wish you much success in choosing, and using, your favorite MCT oil!