Over the years, many health and wellness trends have come and gone, and many “magic” supplements have risen and fallen as popular tools for weight loss and general health maintenance. Recently, MCT oil has taken over the scene, in part because of its versatility. But how much do you really know about this supplement, and how can increasing fat intake be good for you?
These fast facts about MCT should clear up any confusion. Then, you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth trying.
MCT Oils Use Only Natural Fats
Rather than synthetic fats, manufacturers produce MCT oil naturally from pure coconuts or palm kernels, both of which are rich natural fat sources.
The ingredients undergo a fractionation process; while some companies use chemicals during the extraction and purification phases, others only use pressure, heat, and water to get the job done.
Different Brands Use Different Types of MCTs
Not all MCT oils are created equally; while some brands exclusively use the MCTs that are easiest to digest, other companies use additional MCT types to lower costs. Within the MCT fat category, there are four different types of MCTs, commonly referred to by the number of carbon atoms on the fatty acid chain.
- C6– Also known as caproic acid, C6 is not entirely water-soluble and has a distinct, unpleasant aroma making it unsuitable for MCT oil.
- C8– Premium MCT oil only contains pure C8 MCTs, also known as caprylic acid. Of the four MCT types, the body can break down C8 MCTs and convert the fat into ketones most efficiently.
- C10– Capric acid has many of the same properties as C8, though it takes the body slightly longer to digest C10. Many MCT producers blend C8 and C10 to lower costs.
- C12– Will C12 (lauric acid) has powerful antibacterial properties, the longer carbon atom chain makes it more difficult to digest than C8 and C10, so it’s not commonly used in MCT oil.
Using the Supplement Can Supercharge Your Workouts
When you exercise, you start to feel fatigued when lactic acid builds up in your muscles and then enters the bloodstream. Research suggests that consuming MCTs can enhance exercise endurance by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism.
MCT Oil Burns Fat and Goes Hand-in-hand With the Keto Diet
If you’re on the keto diet, MCT oil can help you achieve ketosis quickly because of how efficiently the body burns it for energy.
In the absence of carbohydrates, the liver quickly converts MCTs into ketones, the body’s backup energy source. To reap all the MCT oil keto benefits early in the day, you can add it to your carb-free breakfast or morning coffee.
MCT Oil May Have Brain Benefits
Though more research needs to be done to draw concrete conclusions, promising studies show that consuming MCT oil could help manage epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism. It may even improve cognitive functions, such as storing memories, for general users.
You Can Use MCT Oil to Suppress Your Appetite
Even for those not on the ketogenic diet, MCT oil has weight loss applications. Consuming medium-chain triglycerides releases the hormones that make you feel full, naturally reducing your appetite and discouraging overeating.
MCT Oil May Improve Gut Health
Studies suggest that MCTs inhibit the growth of “bad” bacteria that disrupts the gut’s natural microbiome. At the same time, MCTs support the growth of “good” gut bacteria.
Maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria is essential to proper digestion and can indirectly improve immune function as well.
Food for Thought
Is MCT oil a cure-all supplement that will help you lose weight with little additional effort? No.
But, if you understand the science behind this supplement and set your expectations based on its intended uses, you may come to love it and how it makes your body feel.
Whether you want to enhance your workouts or make following the keto diet easier, adding MCT oil to your diet is both inexpensive and easy.