Interest in MCT Oil benefits has skyrocketed in recent years, partly due to the popularization of the keto diet, which is based on being low in carb intake, moderate in proteins, and high in fats.
MCTs have become a staple in the keto diet. The acronym stands for “medium-chain triglycerides”, which are a type of fat molecule traveling through our bloodstream which our bodies break down and use for energy.
Triglycerides are fats obtained from meals that our bodies store for energy.
Fats with a medium chain length are more easily digested.
Many foods have long-chain triglycerides (LCT) fats, which are more difficult to digest and require longer to break down in the body once consumed.
This is why MCT oil has grown in popularity within the diet industry, as medium-chain fats are easier for the body to digest and absorb into the bloodstream.
Different from other fats, medium-chain triglycerides are ingested and transported directly to the liver, where they are immediately burnt for energy or converted to ketones.
Ketones are frequently regarded as advantageous since they provide a sustained energy source and aid with weight maintenance, as the fat derived from MCTs does not accumulate in the body.
Rather than that, it is burned for energy.
Nevertheless, in an attempt to answer the question; what are the benefits of MCT oil?
Various research studies have been conducted.
According to results, MCT oil appears to be beneficial for a variety of other health conditions, including heart disease, digestive problems, and neurological diseases.
These medium-chain fatty acids have between 6 and 12 carbon atoms, while “long-chain triglycerides”, which are richer saturated fats, have between 13 and 21 carbon atoms.
Because of the shorter chain, MCTs do not have to be processed as thoroughly by the liver and can thus be utilized by our bodies more quickly for energy.
These leaner fat molecules are naturally found in many types of foods, such as wild caught salmon and sardines, olive oil, avocados, coconuts, chai seeds, grass-fed butter and yogurt, goat milk, and palm kernel oil.
The total MCT fat content of both coconut oil and kernel oil are around 50%, making these two the most commonly sourced oils that manufacturers can use to distill into 100% pure MCT supplements.
But there are actually 4 types of MCT molecules, and each with a different number of carbon atoms: Caproic acid has 6 carbon molecules (C6), caprylic acid has 8 (C8), capric has 10 (C10), and lauric acid has 12 (C12). While coconut and kernel oil are high in MCTs, they also are high in lauric acid, the longest chain of the medium-chain variety.
While some companies don’t differentiate between these four unique molecules, more sophisticated solutions cut out the 12-atom lauric acid in order maximize the percentages of the other three because, you guessed it, 6,8 and 10 chained molecules are metabolized quicker than 12-chain.
This has created a competitive market for these energy boosting oils in recent years. Some supplements include artificial fillers to add flavor (hazelnut, vanilla, etc.) while other companies have branched into powdered forms of pure MCTs.
Health Benefits of MCT oil
While many claims have been made about eating specific combinations of saturated and unsaturated fats, there are many proven health benefits of MCT oil. Some of these include weight and appetite management, maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels, a healthy gut flora, managing diabetes, and improved mental clarity and cognition.
Supports Weigh Loss
Studies have shown ingesting MCTs increases the release of two hormones that promote the sensation of fullness: Peptin YY and leptin. MCTs also contain 10% fewer calories than LCTs.
When ingested by the liver, the MCTs are processed much quicker than LCTs and are quickly turned into ketones. Ketones are chemicals that are the result of a process called ketosis, which is the body turning fat into a useable energy source. Once the fat has become a ketone it can be sent to other parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, muscles, and kidneys.
Carbs are a form of glucose which serve as another type of fuel for the body. People who cut out carbs from their diet are stimulating the ketosis process in the liver, which is taking excess fat being stored in the body and burning it instead of burning the carbs for energy. In this way, people who ingest fewer carbs are able to efficiently burn their excess fat and thus lose weight.
MCTs appear to have beneficial impacts on energy expenditure, fat metabolism, and weight loss.
MCT oil has been shown in animal tests to boost satiety and even the body's metabolic rate when consumed as part of a nutritious diet.
Dietary MCTs reduce fat accumulation by increasing thermogenesis and fat oxidation in animals and humans.
Because they are considered to help your body manufacture ketones, you can reap the same health benefits of a keto diet without having to sharply restrict your carbohydrate intake.
MCTs are sometimes referred to as "the ultimate ketogenic diet fats" due to their warming effect on the body and rapid conversion to energy, which is particularly beneficial when an individual is not eating a lot of carbs.
This makes them ideal for the keto diet, as they aid in the body's transition to ketosis and are among the finest foods to ingest on the Paleo diet.
Excellent for Athletic Performance
Athletes who take MCT before working out have been shown to produce less lactic acid in their muscles during and after a work out. Lactic acid is what makes the muscles feel tired and is a normal process of physical exertion, but with poor hydration or improperly resting the muscles can lead to soreness and stiffness after exercising.
Medium-chain fats are able to reduce the speed of lactic acid buildup which can increase the overall stamina during workouts.
Various studies have been conducted on MCT oil and its potential to prolong our energy.
MCT oil users and advocates say that it can be utilized for energy endurance, allowing you to maintain energy for longer periods.
A study discovered that athletes who eat MCT-rich diets rather than LCT-rich foods could perform longer than usual.
The athletes engaged in high-intensity activities and had success.
Probiotic for Gut Health
Coconut oil is commonly used for it antibacterial and anti-fungal effects, and MCT oils derived from coconut oil have been shown to reduce certain yeast growths and overcome other common yeast-based skin infections.
The lauric acid (C12) in coconut oil has shown to be especially beneficial for preventing harmful bacterial growth, so some supplements choose to not remove it from their formulas. MCTs also improving the impermeability of the intestinal walls which is another way they are able to fight off such infections inside the body
Helps protect heart health
Research suggests that MCTs may help prevent the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of illnesses that includes obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and impaired fasting glucose.
Generally, MCTs appear to be helpful in the prevention of heart disease and death by reducing the likelihood of obesity.
These benefits are most likely due to the fact that they are low in inflammatory compounds, simple to digest, and readily available as a source of energy.
What are the benefits for MCT oil?
Another important but controversial benefit of this oil is its use in treating brain related diseases and conditions, such as autism, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy.
While the keto diet is commonly used for losing weight, stimulating the ketosis process in the liver was used all the way back in the 1920s as a way to treat children having epileptic seizures. Gradually the use of pills became more widespread, but recent studies have shown increased capric acid (C10) intake prevented epileptic seizers better than common prescription drugs used to treat epilepsy.
Ingesting Caprylic (C8) and capric acids (C10) were correlated to an immediate improvement in memory retention in slight to moderately affected Alzheimer’s patients. Ketosis has also been shown as a process that combats against deteriorated glucose functioning that is common in Alzheimer’s patients, and longer-term studies are being called for by the science community to solidify these results and treatments.
Helps with epilepsy
For a long period, research has indicated that ketogenic diets and increased ketones in the body are useful for individuals who suffer from epilepsy.
This is because it has been demonstrated that greater ketones result in fewer epileptic episodes.
Given that MCTs are converted to ketones, MCT oil has the same health benefits as a ketogenic diet due to the release of ketones into the body.
Because ketogenic diets can be difficult for certain people to maintain over time, particularly children who suffer from epilepsy, MCT oil is recommended as the ideal alternative.
Interestingly, one study discovered that MCT oil with a high concentration of capric acid (C10) aids in the reduction of epileptic seizures and provides better seizure control than a commonly used anti-epileptic medicine.
Helps patients with type 2 diabetes
MCT oil is frequently touted as a diabetes treatment alternative.
According to one study, patients with type 2 diabetes who received MCT oil had lower insulin resistance and body weight than those who took corn oil, an LCT.
Additionally, most type 2 diabetic patients deal with being overweight, and because MCT oil has been shown to help reduce fat, fat storage, and body size, it may aid individuals struggling with weight loss.
This has the effect of alleviating the consequences of diabetes.
MCT oil also aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels, which is critical for diabetic patients.
After taking MCTs, one study discovered that diabetic people need 30% less sugar in their bodies to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
MCTs may be an excellent dietary substitute for LCTs in order to assist in maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels, particularly in diabetic people.
Helps with autism
For autistic people, a ketogenic diet has been shown to improve overall symptoms when followed for at least six months.
MCTs were proven to significantly alleviate autism and behavioral difficulties in many patients when added to a ketogenic and gluten-free diet.
As autism is a spectrum disorder, it can manifest itself in a variety of ways, which means that MCTs and particular diets may not always be beneficial.
As a result, MCT oil may be beneficial to some extent, significantly, or have no impact.
Assists with digestive problems
Healthy fats, such as MCT oil, may help sustain the gut bacteria, which aids in the appropriate digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
While studies on digestion and MCT oil have been conducted exclusively on animals, most animal studies have yielded encouraging findings in human tests.
MCT oil was proven to help improve digestive performance, strengthen the gut, and aid in the digestion of vital nutrients in one study.
MCT oil has so many beneficial effects on the digestive system because it is easily digested and absorbed.
MCT oils do not require the gut to work extra to absorb them, which makes them advantageous for easy digestion.
This may be beneficial for persons who suffer from gastrointestinal issues.
Reduces lactate accumulation
Lactate accumulation, which correlates with athletes' energy levels, can affect their performance.
As blood flow declines, lactate buildup can have an effect on their exercise.
A study discovered that ingesting approximately 6 grams of MCT oil prior to exercise helped reduce lactate levels and made exercise simpler for the athletes.
MCT was found to be more effective at lowering lactate accumulation when compared to athletes who took LCT prior to exercise.
Enhances mood, energy, and productivity
You need a consistent supply of fatty acids in your diet to feel your best, think properly, perform well at work, and maintain mental sharpness well into old age because your brain is mostly made up of them.
One of the most readily absorbed, useful, and beneficial fatty acids is medium-chain triglycerides.
The ketogenic diet and other low-carb diets can benefit from these supplements, which have been shown to decrease the negative effects of keto induction and speed up the time it takes to enter ketosis.
According to some research, MCTs may even benefit people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia with their memory problems.
When your brain gets the fuel it needs, and your body absorbs the vitamins and minerals it needs, you'll feel more alert, energetic, and optimistic.
Reduces bad bacteria
MCTs have been shown to have significant antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Coconut oil, the primary source of MCTs, has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of yeast, the cause of thrush and other skin diseases.
It is believed that the reduction in yeast formation in the body is due to the capric, caprylic, and lauric acid levels of MCTs.
MCTs have also been found to significantly reduce the transmission of microorganisms in pharmaceutical environments such as hospitals and medical surgeries.
They are critical for antibacterial action and aid in reducing harmful germs both within and outside the body.
Can endure cooking at high temperatures
A high "smoke point" makes MCT oils ideal for cooking, as they don't quickly oxidize when heated.
Avoid using high-temperature cooking oils like extra virgin olive or flaxseed oil to prevent rancidity.
Baking, sautéing, stir-frying, and grilling work well with MCT oil because it doesn't oxidize easily.
MCT oil powder benefits
This supplement is an excellent complement to a ketogenic diet that emphasizes a low-carbohydrate diet.
Manufacturers have started producing MCT oil powder in order to alleviate gastrointestinal distress.
The powdered form of MCT oil offers some benefits, including:
Convenience — This supplement is considerably easier to use on the go and incorporate into any beverage or meal when it is in powder form. The oil might be burdensome and overpowering in terms of flavor.
Improved digestibility — The powder is gentler on the digestive system, allowing you to consume a greater quantity at once. This increases energy and ketone levels. Additionally, a preliminary animal study indicates that the powder may improve nutrient digestion.
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Coconut MCT Oil is an excellent "high-octane" fuel for the brain and body; you will feel the difference!
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MCT oil is also beneficial for the skin and hair.
It can be used to create homemade teeth whitening treatments, moisturizers, lip balms, sunscreen, shaving creams, conditioners, face masks, salt scrubs, and essential oil mixes.
Get yourself one today and enjoy MCT oil benefits.
The list of MCT oil powder benefits is even longer than when ingested as an oil because other supplements can be easily added to a powdered formula, specifically superfoods and nutrients that go the extra mile for the above mentioned benefits of MCTs.
One formula in particular, which uses it as a powder with additional superfood supplements, is the Smart Cream Coconut Creamer by Medicinal-Foods.com. Specifically designed to add a boost to morning coffee, a creamer is a way to ingest healthy saturated fats in higher concentration than the classic cream or milk based coffee creamers.
Many mass produced varieties of MCT coffee creamers have artificial flavorings or fillers, but the Smart Cream Coconut Creamer adds Lion’s Mane Mushroom powder to the mix, which has beens shown to specifically boost mental clarity and cognitive energy.
So all the MCT oil benefits of this powerful supplement are compounded with 100% organic, nootropic (brain energizing) Lion’s Mane Mushroom powder, which has also been shown to promote nerve growth hormones, all available in a fresh morning cup of coffee!