MCT is an abbreviation for Medium-Chain-Triglyceride. Triglyceride is one type of fatty acid. Medium-Chain means that the fatty acids have a medium length chain.
Palm oil and coconut oil are the most important sources from which MCT oil originates. The amount of MCT’s in coconut oil equals about 65%. MCT can be considered a healthy saturated acid. Contrary to the presuppositions in the 1980’s and 1990’s, saturated fatty acids do not have negative consequences for heart and blood vessel health.
Different kinds of MCT oil
MCT oil’s can be divided into four subcategories. These are:
- C6 (also called Capron acid or Hexanoic Acid)
- C8 (also called Caprylic Acid or Octanoic Acid)
- C10 (also called Capric Acid or Decanoic Acid)
- C12 (also called Lauric acid or Dodecanoic Acid)
These numbers show how long a fatty acid chain is. In this case, C6 would be the shortest chain, while C12 is the longest chain. The length of the chain determines how quickly the fatty acids are metabolized as energy. Different kinds of MCT oil have their specific benefits. We will tell you all about these benefits later on.
MCT oil yields stable energy for hours on end
The advantage of MCT oil is that it is quickly metabolized into energy. As mentioned before, MCT oil has a medium chain length. Fatty acids that have a long chain are harder to convert into energy, and therefore do not have the effect that MCT oils have. Nonetheless, you still need long chain and very long chain fatty acids for achieving optimal health. However, we cannot use these fatty acids for quick energy.
The advantage of MCT oil is that it is immediately transported from the stomach to the liver. For that reason, MCT oil quickly raises energy levels. Because the fatty acids are immediately broken down, they will never be stored as body fat. Contrary to medium chain fatty acids, long chain fatty acids need bile from the gallbladder to break them down. Furthermore, long chain fatty acids can be stored as body fat. If you want quick and stable long term energy, pick MCT oil because it is broken down very efficiently.
Another mechanism whereby MCT oil has a positive effect on our energy levels is by influencing our mitochondria. Mitochondria are “energy factories” within our cells. These energy factories are not only present in muscle tissue, but also in the heart and brain.
MCT oil helps you lose weight, and keep it off.
Like stated before, MCT oil is directly converted to energy in the liver. For that reason, it cannot be stored as body fat. In one scientific study, participants were divided amongst two different groups. One group received a placebo of long chain fatty acids, while the other group received MCT oil.
The participants consumed their allocated supplement every day for twelve straight weeks. After twelve weeks, the MCT oil group lost significantly more body weight in comparison to the long chain fatty acid group. What is even more important, is that the MCT oil group mainly lost weight around their waist. Abdominal fat is the hardest fat to lose in general but is also considered the unhealthiest type of body fat.
People that replace other fatty acids in their diet with MCT oil lose more bodyweight than when they consume an equivalent amount of olive oil. While extra virgin olive oil is very healthy, MCT oils would be the preferred choice for fat loss. MCT oil even seems to directly stimulate the fat loss process. This means that body fat itself will be broken down while consuming MCT oil.
Another mechanism whereby MCT oil decreases body fat is by increasing the production of heat by the body. More heat production means that calories are burned to a greater extent. This process is active, even while you might not do anything at all at that moment. This effect does not result from the consumption of other types of fatty acids. The mechanism whereby MCT oil increases energy levels is not precisely known yet.
MCT oil decreases appetite and feelings of hunger
There are scientific studies that show that MCT oil reduces the amount of appetite and feelings of hunger. If you are satiated, then you will automatically eat lower amounts of food. This makes it easier to follow a diet when you use MCT oil as part of your diet. An example would be people that add MCT oil to their breakfast, consume less food during lunch. The Bulletproof Lifestyle stimulates people to consume MCT oil for breakfast, amongst other foodstuffs. Usually, the followers of the Bulletproof Lifestyle add MCT oil to their Bulletproof Coffee. Scientific studies show that MCT oil suppresses hunger for a far longer term than other types of fatty acids.
MCT oil spares muscle mass during periods of fat loss
When you are on a low carb diet and add MCT oil, this will have a positive effect on the amount of muscle mass. People that use MCT oil during a period of fat loss have more muscle mass in comparison to people that do not use MCT oil in their diets.
For that reason, MCT oil is very interesting for athletes. This is particularly the case for endurance athletes because MCT oil is very easy to consume during competitions or training sessions.
MCT oil helps stabilize blood sugar levels
Having a healthy metabolism means having healthy regulation of blood sugars. The most important blood sugar regulating hormone is called insulin. Insulin causes potential sugars that are in the bloodstream to be stored in the muscle tissue. Within certain pathologies such as diabetes, overweight or Alzheimer, the metabolism of blood sugars is impaired. Luckily, MCT oil can help even in this area. MCT oil causes sugars, when they are present in the blood circulation, to increase the chances that these sugars are stored in muscle tissue as opposed to be stored as fat mass. Scientific studies show that this advantage pertains to both ill (diabetes, Alzheimer) as healthy people. Another advantage of MCT oil for diabetics is that it can improve the sugar metabolism in the long term as well!
MCT oil has benefits for the immune system
First of all, MCT oil has benefits for the stomach and colon. In order to experience these benefits, it is essential to slowly increase MCT consumption. When one consumes too many MCT oil at one sitting, this will lead to stomach issues and diarrhea. In order to convert MCT oil to energy, lower amount of bile from the gallbladder is needed compared to when one consumes other fats. MCT oil has the greatest benefits for yeast infection such as Candida, and stomach and colon problems that are caused by e. Coli bacteria. Furthermore, people that have problems breaking down food because they have stomach or colon issues also benefit from MCT oil consumption. These benefits extend to both C8 as well as C10 MCT forms of MCT oil.
Secondly, C8 MCT oil has some independent benefits as well. C8 consumption is beneficial for bacterial infections, for example. It can also act against toxic substances. Furthermore, C8 MCT oil has benefits for improving the immune system in general, as well as having some longer term anti-aging benefits as well.
Thirdly, C10 MCT oil has specific benefits for yeast infections. It causes the cell walls of yeast to disintegrate. Lastly, C10 MCT oil can have significant anti-inflammatory benefits for Crohn disease patients. C10 MCT oil then, is an exemplary fatty acid for people that have stomach issues.