Table of Contents
- 1 What exactly is MCT oil?
- 2 The health benefits of using MCT oil in your diet
- 2.1 MCT oil serves as an instant energy fuel
- 2.2 MCT oil can improve your memory and overall brain function
- 2.3 MCT oil has potent antimicrobial and antifungal effects
- 2.4 MCT oil helps manage the biggest heart disease risk factors
- 2.5 MCT oil supports the management of diabetes
- 2.6 Can you use MCT oil to achieve weight loss?
- 3 The science behind MCT oil for weight loss
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 References
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MCT oil has been promoted as one of the best and healthiest weight loss tools in the last couple of years.
What is MCT oil really, and what health benefits are hiding behind it.
And most importantly, will it help you get that beach body of yours?
Let’s find out.
What exactly is MCT oil?
Fats, as we know them, are made up of chains of 13 to 21 carbon atoms, like most of the fats found in our diet. These are called long-chain fatty acids. We also have the so-called short-chain fatty acids, which are made of 6 or fewer carbon atoms.
MCT oil, which is the topic that brought us here today, is short for medium-chain triglycerides, which refers to the middle of the two types that we just discussed. Since MCTs are made up of chains of 6 to 12 carbon atoms, they are of a medium length. [i]
Around 50% of the coconut oil comes from MCTs, which is why MCT oil is most often extracted from coconut oil itself. But MCT oils are also found in other foods, including palm oil and many dairy products as well.[ii]
There are four different types of MCTs known to men, with those being capric, caprylic, caproic, and lauric acid. Of these four, it is the capric and the caprylic acids that are most commonly being used. The reason for that is because MCTs are considered to have many positive effects on our health, many of which have been supported by science.
We mentioned MCTs being medium-length chains of triglycerides. Due to their shorter length, MCTs are easily digested in our system. They are also processed in a different way than most fatty acids, especially those long-chain fatty acids. Unlike most fats, 95% of the MCTs are believed to head straight from the gut to the liver which is where they will be either used as a powerful energy fuel of being converted into ketones – with both options being quite the ideal ones, seeing as the chance for the MCTs to be stored in the form of fat is lower as compared to the long-chain triglycerides.[iii]
If they are used as an energy fuel, they will keep your body functioning and healthy all throughout the day. On the other hand, if they are converted into ketones, they can be used by the brain instead of glucose or sugar, which are ideal effects that will benefit your body greatly. This is why MCTs fit great in a ketogenic diet, seeing as their principle is based on the principles that a ketogenic diet is based on.
The health benefits of using MCT oil in your diet
As a supplement, MCT oil is often added to smoothies, salad dressings, and even the popular bulletproof coffee recipe.
Many seem to believe that one of the greatest beneficial effects of MCT oil is an effective and healthy weight loss that will deliver noticeable and long-lasting results, which is what we will discuss shortly.
But first, let’s list all of the additional health benefits that are expected to occur with the help of MCT oil.
MCT oil serves as an instant energy fuel
We mentioned this earlier, but it is worth explaining it a bit more deeply. MCT oil is thought to be a super fuel because of its short-length chain. Since MCT oil contains fewer carbon atoms as compared to the long-length chain of fatty acids, it does not require the bile to break it down, enabling it to travel from the gut to the brain, passing the blood-brain barrier without a problem, serving as a healthy food for your brain.[iv]
MCT oil can improve your memory and overall brain function
Because of the ability of MCT oil to be converted into ketones that can be later used by our brain as an energy fuel, according to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, MCT oil can be used to improve brain and memory function, showing especially beneficial effects within Alzheimer Disease patients.[v] Apparently, ketosis has a positive effect on the memory and thinking abilities for these patients, according to a 2016 review.[vi]
MCT oil has potent antimicrobial and antifungal effects
MCT oil seems to have some powerful antimicrobial and antifungal effects.[vii] Due to the caprylic, capric, and lauric acids found in MCT oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil, for that matter, can be used to reduce the growth of yeast and other bacteria in the body.
MCT oil helps manage the biggest heart disease risk factors
With heart disease being presented as a continuously growing problem, we need all the help that we can get in terms of prevention and treatment. It is a good thing that we have MCT oil, knowing that. MCT oil has efficiently reduced the “bad” cholesterol levels in the past, thus improving the potentially compromised heart health.[viii] We can add its ability to reduce weight to this as well, which we will discuss soon, knowing how great of a role does obesity play as one of the many risk factors for heart disease.
MCT oil supports the management of diabetes
MCT oil may also have potential beneficial effects for those of you who are struggling with diabetes. MCTs have been proven more effective than LCTs while trying to improve the insulin resistance and manage the blood sugar levels within healthy ranges, according to a 2007 review.[ix]
Many other health benefits happen thanks to the use of MCT oil. You are expected to have a greater metabolic function along with a normal hormonal function and healthy digestion as well, but it is time to discuss the biggest question of them all, which brought us here in the first place.
Can you use MCT oil to achieve weight loss?
So now to the biggest question of them all – Can you actually achieve weight loss by the simple use of MCT oil, and if yes, how exactly is that possible? Many supporters of MCT oil seem to claim that weight loss is yet another beneficial effect that we can add to the long list of positive effects of the popular MCT oil. Understandably, researchers went on the investigate its true effects on the weight loss process to offer us a piece of our mind.
MCT oil can be used to achieve a weight loss with long-lasting, noticeable results when paired with a healthy diet, and a proper workout routine, that is. MCT oil has helped millions of people around the world to reduce their body weight while lowering their total fat mass and reduce their abdominal fat and waist circumference at the same time, all of which are the much-needed positive effects that any effective weight loss journey is based on.
But that is not all. Not only will MCT oil help you lose that extra body weight with which you have been struggling for so long now, but it will also help you prevent any future weight gain efficiently as well. MCT oil helps increase the ability to burn fat, improving energy expenditure, and reduce more adipose body fat than ever. And it is all supported by numerous reviews and studies which have been done over the years.
All in all, MCT oil will help you to feel fuller for longer periods of time, thus helping you reduce the intake of empty calories throughout the day. In addition, it will help increase your metabolic rate at the same time, which will help you to burn more calories than ever, leading towards a successful weight loss.
The science behind MCT oil for weight loss
One study that we can rely on is a study done back in 2010. The researchers investigated the effects of a medium-chain triacylglycerol oil in the weight loss process while comparing them to those achieved with the use of olive oil. The results showed that MCT oil had shown greater weight loss effects as compared to olive oil, reducing the total body weight, total body mass, and abdominal fat and waist circumference.[x]
The use of MCT oil as a part of the weight loss program was supported by the authors of a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. It was the lack of adverse effects, the low risk of increasing any metabolic risk factors, as well as the low risk of contributing to weight gain, paired with the obvious weight loss effects that made researchers believe that they have a strong weight loss management tool in their hands.[xi]
How to use MCT oil
MCT oil is fairly easy to be incorporated in your everyday diet. For starters, you can try adding a tablespoon on MCT oil to your pre-workout shake to give you that energy boost that you need to complete the planned workout ahead of you successfully. MCT oil is expected to improve your endurance and overall performance during your workout. But you can also include it in your post-workout shake as well since it is expected to help speed up the recovery process.
As mentioned earlier, MCT oil can also be used as a primary oil or in combination with other oils of your choice to prepare your homemade salad dressings, sauces, and keto condiments. There are millions of delicious recipes that you can explore online to find the one that best soothes your needs and wishes.
You can also drizzle it on top of your meals such as pasta and salads to improve their taste and get your daily fat requirements satisfied. You can even add it to your morning coffee and get a jump start on your energy levels that we all need in the morning. And last, you can choose to take your MCT oil straight as it is. MCT oil is odorless and tasteless, so you can take it without mixing it with anything.
For the best effects, make sure that you purchase a pure, 100% triple-distilled MCT oil that has been completely extracted from coconuts, without any added chemicals whatsoever. There are many brands that offer an MCT oil of that kind, and you will take the time to explore your options before you make a final decision.
And to maximize those effects, we recommend paring your daily dose of MCT oil with a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet. Trust us – you will be amazed by the results that this combination has to offer you regarding your health and your weight loss process.
MCT oil, extracted from the delicious and highly beneficial coconuts, is a great addition to your weight loss plan due to its science-supported beneficial effects that it has.
Once incorporated in your diet, MCT oil will focus on satisfying your hunger, reducing your daily calorie intake, and reduce your total body weight, all of that while it boosts your metabolism, burning more calories than ever and working to improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
And these are just some of the greatest health benefits that MCT oil has on your body and on your weight loss journey.
[i] Brown, M. J. (2016, May 21). MCT Oil 101: A Review of Medium-Chain Triglycerides.
Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-101#mcts-and-exercise
[ii] Rial, S., Karelis, A., Bergeron, K.-F., & Mounier, C. (2016). Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals. Nutrients, 8(5), 281. doi: 10.3390/nu8050281
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882694/
[iii] Eyres, L., Eyres, M. F., Chisholm, A., & Brown, R. C. (2016). Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans. Nutrition Reviews, 74(4), 267–280. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuw002
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892314/
[iv] Mccarty, M. F., & Dinicolantonio, J. J. (2016). Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart, 3(2). doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2016-000467
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27547436
[v] Medium Chain Triglycerides. (n.d.).
Retrieved from https://www.alzdiscovery.org/cognitive-vitality/ratings/medium-chain-triglycerides
[vi] Cunnane, S. C., Courchesne-Loyer, A., St-Pierre, V., Vandenberghe, C., Pierotti, T., Fortier, M., … Castellano, C.-A. (2016). Can ketones compensate for deteriorating brain glucose uptake during aging? Implications for the risk and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1367(1), 12–20. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12999
[vii] Rial, S., Karelis, A., Bergeron, K.-F., & Mounier, C. (2016). Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals. Nutrients, 8(5), 281. doi: 10.3390/nu8050281
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27187452
[viii] St-Onge, M.-P., Lamarche Benoı̂t, Mauger Jean-François, & Jones, P. J. H. (2003). Consumption of a Functional Oil Rich in Phytosterols and Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil Improves Plasma Lipid Profiles in Men. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(6), 1815–1820. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.6.1815
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12771322
[ix] Han, J. R., Deng, B., Sun, J., Chen, C. G., Corkey, B. E., Kirkland, J. L., … Guo, W. (2007). Effects of dietary medium-chain triglyceride on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in a group of moderately overweight free-living type 2 diabetic Chinese subjects. Metabolism, 56(7), 985–991. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2007.03.005
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17570262
[x] St-Onge, M.-P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87(3), 621–626. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.3.621
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874190/
[xi] St-Onge, M.-P., Bosarge, A., Goree, L. L. T., & Darnell, B. (2008). Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(5), 547–552. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2008.10719737
Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18845704