What is MCT OIL?
MCT oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil that is typically flavorless, odorless, and commonly extracted from coconut oil. MCT oil is considered a functional food, and as its name says, is made up of medium-length chains of triglycerides. Medium chain fatty acids are fatty acids that contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains. Their short length makes MCTs easier to digest, accounting for many of the health benefits of consumption.
BENEFITS OF MCT OIL
MCT oil is most used in ketogenic diets, but can be used by those not following a ketogenic diet. MCTs can help stabilize blood sugar and most notably can be converted into ketones, which provide the body with immediate energy and have also been implicated with brain health and even athletic performance.
MCTs are regarded as a functtional food capable of reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and enhancing cognitive function. Check out some specific benefits below.
MCT oil has been shown to improve satiety, by increasing the release of leptin, which is the “fullness” hormone in the body (1) which helps to decrease appetite (2). Additionally, MCT oil was connected to improved fat loss (4). By losing weight, inflammation is decreased, along with the risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease. Overall consumption of MCTs was also found to promote digestion, energy expenditure and weight loss (3).
Experimental studies demonstrate that dietary MCFAs/MCTs suppress fat deposition through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation in animal and human subjects. (6)
REDUCED RISK OF ChRONIC DISEASE
Consumption of MCTs was shown to reduce triglycerides (stored body fat) and C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease (5).
By increasing fat burning and reducing fat storage or triglycerides, MCTs have been shown to be beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes (6). The same study also showed that MCTs had a positive role on blood sugar control. In general, weight loss and reduced body fat encourages less inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of chronic disease.
MCTs with the short chains, are able to bypass chylomicrons to go directly to lymphatic transportation, which provides the liver with an immediate supply of energy (1). By not requiring bile (fat) in order to be digested, this improves energy production in the cell mitochondria.
CONSIDERATIONS and DOSAGES
High doses of MCT oil could potentially lead to a fatty liver. Not enough research has been completed on humans to determine long term effects. A dose of 1-2 tablespoons a day is recommended as part of, but not in addition to, your normal daily fat intake. Many people consume MCT oil by itself, and it is also popular to blend into black coffee to start the day. When choosing a MCT oil, look for a glass bottle.
Do you use MCT oil? How do you consume it?