MCT oil, or medium-chain triglyceride oil, is often used to aid individuals who have difficulty in absorbing fat when parts of their stomach or even their intestine are removed. Today, however, MCT oil can be seen everywhere thanks to the appearance of bulletproof coffee which is basically a combination of grass-fed butter, brewed coffee, and MCT oil. When this type of coffee became a trend, so did the use of MCT oil, with people claiming that it helped improve their metabolism, burned their fats, and even increased their energy levels just to name a few. But what exactly is MCT oil?
What You Need to Know About MCT Oil
MCT oil is a compound containing medium-chain fatty acids which are fat molecules that have carbon molecules ranging from 6 to 12. The fats that are present in the plants and animals that we eat are often made from long-chain triglycerides which have more than 12 carbon molecules.
The oil is made from saturated fat which is created by processing both coconut and palm oil. Although these two oils are used interchangeably, they are not really the same. For one thing, coconut oil is made from both LCT and MCT while MCT oil only has medium-chain triglycerides in it. Compared to LCT, MCT gets absorbed quicker because it does not need pancreatic enzymes or bile even for it to be digested since it is delivered straight to the liver to be used as an energy source. Long-chain fatty acids have to go through various steps before it reaches the liver.
Are there Health Benefits to MCT Oil?
For those who have come across MCT oil for the first time, you’re probably thinking that this is just a fad diet that people are hooked to. Well, there are benefits linked to the use of MCT oil and these are:
- Good sources of energy. MCT oil has been found to be a good source of energy since it is absorbed by the body quickly and will not require bile for it to be broken down. With MCTs being able to get absorbed into your cells without getting broken down, they can be used as source of energy. If you are following the keto diet, MCTs are transformed into ketones when they reach the liver which can help improve brain function once the ketones reach the blood-brain barrier.
- Combats bacterial and yeast growth. Another benefit that is linked to MCTs is that they show antifungal as well as antifungal effects. In the case of coconut oil, which has been found to contain a good amount of MCTs, it can help minimize the growth of Candida albicans. MCTs, on their own, has also been found to keep infectious fungus found in hospitals reduced up to 50%.
- Regulate blood sugar levels. It is possible for MCT oil to be beneficial to those who have diabetes. Most patients with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or are already obese which can make it difficult for them to regulate their blood sugar. The use of MCT oil has shown a decrease in fat storage while increasing the body’s ability to burn fats. A Chinese study that was conducted on 40 patients with diabetes showed that those who took MCT oil on a daily basis showed significant reducing to their waist circumference, weight, as well as insulin resistance.
- Promotes weight loss. MCT oil can also have several benefits to those who are trying to shed weight. Consuming this oil can help release leptin and peptide which are known to help make you feel full. Like it was mentioned before, MCT oil can help reduce your weight and your waist circumference which can contribute to reducing one’s risk of obesity. Another reason why MCT oil can help you lose weight is because it can be used as a source of energy in an instant so fat is not stored anymore. Take note that your body may adapt to the changes to your diet thus making the effects of MCT oil short-lived.
- Help manage autism, epilepsy, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. There are studies that show that MCT oil, together with ketogenic diet, can help you manage Alzheimer’s, autism, and even epilepsy. As a matter of fact, the keto diet was created to help those with epilepsy. By raising production of ketones, the occurrence of seizures has been lessened. In Alzheimer’s, sugar is not properly utilized by the brain for energy. With an MCT keto diet, there is an alternative source which is ketones which can help the brain function better. The MCT has been found to help prevent memory loss.
Possible Risks of MCT Oil
MCT oil is basically fat in pure form just like canola and olive oil and is typically used by teaspoon or tablespoon. When you consume too much, it may cause stomach issues from bloating, nausea, diarrhea, to cramping even. Using MCT oil is not advised to those who have liver problems.
We do need fat for us to stay alive as it helps us absorb important vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, as well as K. However, you shouldn’t rely on MCT oil alone when it comes to your diet since it cannot provide you with all the essential fatty acids that you need.