Why MCT Oil Is Good for You

by Eric Gordon on July 28, 2020

What You'll Learn

  1. What Is MCT Oil?
  2. How Are Medium-Chain Triglycerides Metabolized?
  3. Where Do MCTs Come From?
  4. Benefits of MCT Oil
  5. What Is the Difference Between MCT Oil and Coconut Oil?
  6. MCT Oil in Coffee
  7. Does MCT Oil Break a Fast?
  8. What Is the Best MCT Oil?
  9. The Bottom Line
MCT Oil is made from medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oils have been found to have many benefits, and they are becoming popular. MCTs are saturated fatty acids that come from coconut and palm plants, and they are becoming popular. Read on to learn why people are using MCT oil in their diet.

What Is MCT Oil?

People often wonder, “What is MCT Oil?” MCT oil is derived from palm and coconut plants, and they are saturated fatty acids that are known as medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are either used as energy or stored as body fat. They are named for their chemical structure, which is the length of the chain of fatty acids.
Long-chain triglycerides have between 13 and 21 carbons, and short-chain fatty acids have less than six. MCTs have between six and twelve carbon atoms, and include the following:
  • C6 includes caproic acid or hexanoic acid
  • C8 includes caprylic acid or octanoic acid
  • C10 includes capric acid or decanoic acid
  • C12 includes lauric acid or dodecanoic acid
MCT oil is a supplement that is made using these medium-chain triglycerides. They are easy to digest, and you can absorb them into your bloodstream quickly. Once there, you can use them for energy.

How Are Medium-Chain Triglycerides Metabolized?

Because MCTs have a shorter chain, they are broken down and absorbed more quickly than long-chain triglycerides. They usually go straight to the liver, where they can be turned into ketones or used for energy right away. The liver produces ketones by breaking down fat.
In addition, medium-chain triglycerides can cross from the blood to the brain, where they can be used for energy in the brain in place of glucose. It is important to note that your body will only use ketones, such as those in MCTs, when you reduce your carbohydrate intake and the body is depleted of its store of glucose. For example, when you are on the keto diet, your body runs on ketones instead of glucose.
You can use MCTs as energy, but you should limit your intake because excess can be stored as fat. However, the fact that they have a shorter chain-link means that they can be broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly. They are less likely to be stored as fat.

Where Do MCTs Come From?

You can get MCTs from food sources or from supplements, such as MCT oil. Food sources that contain MCTs include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, whole milk, and butter. MCT oil is a concentrated source for MCTs. It is made by separating the MCTs from either palm kernel oil or coconut oil. Normally, MCT oil is 100% C8, 100% C10, or a combination of both. Normally, C6 is not used because it tastes and smells bad, and C12 is only found in very small amounts.
When you look at MCT vs. coconut oil, many people claim that MCT oil is better because C8 (caprylic acid) and C10 (capric acid) are usually absorbed more quickly so that they can be used as energy right away. You can use coconut oil for cooking, but you can mix MCT oil in drinks or drink it directly, as it has no real smell or taste.

Benefits of MCT Oil

When you consider MCT oil benefits, there are quite a few. Take a look at the following.
  • MCT Oil Can Assist in Weight Loss
There are several different ways that MCT oils help with weight loss. They are used as energy before they are stored as fat because they are rapidly absorbed and digested. They can also help your body burn fat and calories. One study actually found that they help your body produce two hormones that reduce your appetite and make you feel full faster.
Most importantly, they reduce your calorie intake and the amount of fat your body stores while allowing you to feel full, burn calories, and have higher ketone levels if you are on a low carb diet. When you reduce your carb intake to under 50 grams of carbs a day, your body will transition from using glucose for energy to using ketones that come from burning fat. MCT oil can be beneficial as a supplement to help your body use energy more efficiently.
  • MCT Oil Can Boost Athletic Performance
Athletes often use MCT oil as a supplement to boost their athletic performance. It can be particularly effective when taken in conjunction with the keto diet. Some athletes use MCT oil as a supplement for their workouts to increase performance, decrease body fat, and increase lean muscle for better weight loss.
One of the reasons athletes use MCT oils is that they have shown that they can decrease the lactic acid buildup, which makes it seem as though an athlete doesn’t have to work as hard. This helps to increase stamina during exercise. 
  • MCT Oil May Improve Brain Health
MCT oil is able to cross through the blood-brain barrier, which means that it can be used as energy for the brain. It can also act as energy for the central nervous system. In fact, one study found that MCT oil helped patients with Alzheimer’s Disease improve their cognitive function.
  • MCT Oil Might Help Hold Off Cancer
One study shows that MCTs might have the ability to aid in suppressing tumors. In this study, they exposed human tumor cells directly to MCTs in a laboratory, and they found that it had an anti-tumor effect.  More studies need to be done, but they have had promising results.
  • MCT Oil Can Benefit Gut Health
MCT oil is able to provide probiotic assistance in the gut. This aids digestion, and it helps to improve gut health. It can boost immunity by targeting harmful bacteria without damaging good bacteria. In fact, MCTs in MCT oil are able to stop the bacteria that are able to resist antibiotics from growing. These are the bacteria that lead to diarrhea.
In addition, another study shows that MCT oil can make the intestines more permeable and improve gastrointestinal health. This can help people who have gallbladder infections, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease.
  • MCT Oil May Help People Control Diabetes
People who have controlled diabetes may experience benefits from MCT oil. A China study found that MCTs can be useful for people with Type 2 Diabetes to manage body fat mass. The people in the study experienced a reduction in their cholesterol levels, weight, and waist circumference.
  • MCT Oil May Have Antimicrobial Properties
The different acids found in MCT oil have known antimicrobial properties. In fact, it can be used as a topical treatment for acne and other skin irritations. In addition, it can help limit the growth of some oral bacteria.
  • MCT Oil with Keto Diet Can Prevent Seizures in Children
The keto diet was developed in the 1920s to prevent seizures in children. It was later replaced with drugs that reduce seizures, but in the keto diet, when 60% of the fats are MCTs, seizure patients can benefit by having fewer seizures.
  • Other Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil has no color, odor, or taste, and it can be added to a number of different beauty products. Take a look at the following uses:
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Hair conditioner
  • Massage oil
  • Natural throat lozenge
  • Makeup remover
  • Lip balm
  • Shaving oil
  • Shun burn relief
  • Cuticle oil

What Is the Difference Between MCT Oil and Coconut Oil?

People often use the terms coconut oil and MCT oil interchangeably, but they are not the same. The main difference between the two is that MCT oil is pure medium-chain triglycerides, and coconut oil is about 60% MCTs, but other fats make up the other 40%. In addition, coconut oil has a strong odor and a unique taste. It is also a solid when it is stored at room temperature. However, MCT oil has no taste, no odor, and stays in a liquid form at room temperature.

MCT Oil in Coffee

Many people are transitioning their morning coffee to coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil. They call it Bulletproof coffee, which can serve as a replacement for breakfasts heavy in carbs. When you add MCT oil to coffee, you get a drink that boosts mental focus and gives you energy.
The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee already help you focus and help your body fight free radicals. Free radicals are known for damaging DNA and proteins, which causes you to age earlier and increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration. In addition, this drink can help boost short-term memory, regulate blood sugar, fight inflammation, and prevent damage to tissues. These benefits help to improve your overall health.
When you add MCT oil to your coffee, it can also help you to feel full for a longer time. Combined with the boost in energy, this is a beneficial drink that allows you to be more productive at work.

Does MCT Oil Break a Fast?

One question that people often ask is, “Does MCT oil break a fast?” Many people use intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight, and this can be accomplished in several different ways. This type of fasting can help people control their blood sugar and insulin, and it can help to increase your body’s ability to burn fat.
You can use a schedule where you fast for certain hours of the day, or you might fast one or two days a week. This helps to let your body deplete its glycogen reserves so that it can use ketones for energy. Your body has to access stored fat to use the ketones, which can help with weight management.
MCT oil does not automatically break a fast. In fact, it will help you to feel full while you are fasting, and it will allow you to have greater mental clarity. Not only this, but you can drink coffee with MCT oil and still stay on your fast.
There are additional benefits to consuming MCT oil while you are fasting. In addition to managing your hunger, it fuels fat burning because it can be absorbed so quickly. You can have a cup of coffee with MCT oil for breakfast while you are fasting, and it will not break your fast.

What Is the Best MCT Oil?

There are many different MCT oils on the market, but one of the best MCT oils is Maximum MCT 99% Caprylic Acid. It is made from palm kernel and coconut sources, and it is kosher and halal certified. This is an MCT oil that is 99% Caprylic acid. There are many different MCT oils on the market, but you should choose one that is natural and doesn’t have added sweeteners or flavors. To get the most out of MCT oil, you want to use it in your coffee or on its own.

The Bottom Line

MCT oil is made of medium-chain triglycerides by extracting the MCTs from coconut or palm kernel plants. The body is able to use it for energy, and it can help you with the keto diet. If you drink MCT oil, you will notice that it has no flavor or smell. This makes it versatile and beneficial to add to other drinks.
There are different benefits associated with taking MCT oil. It can be especially beneficial when you are on the keto diet. Because it makes you feel full, it can help you to maintain your mental focus and keep moving forward until it is time to eat.
If you are fasting, you can drink MCT oil without breaking your fast. In fact, it will help you keep your fast until it is time for your next meal. It gives your body and brain the energy necessary to keep going without having to eat another meal. You can take it on its own, add it to coffee, or add it to another dish.