There is a good chance you have heard of MCT Oil, but what does “MCT” really mean? Well, it stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, which is a form of saturated fatty acid that has quite a few health benefits, including improving the gut microbiome and providing an easy energy source. These are just a few of the MCT Oil benefits that we can expect to see.
MCTs are naturally found in quite a few foods, such as coconut oil and butter. For many people on a standard Western Diet, not enough natural MCTs are found in the diet. This is mainly because of the anti-fat fad that started back in the 1950's. Now, research is showing that these saturated fats are needed in the diet to improve overall health.
It is important that we get some saturated fats into our diet every single day. MCTs and other healthy fats that can be found in foods like grass-fed butter and coconuts are much easier to digest than long-chain fatty acids. As you continue to read, you'll discover how MCT Oil benefits the entire body!
Why is MCT Oil So Special?
Medium-Chain Triglycerides are very easy to digest compared to other fats that contain longer chains. They are sent directly to the liver where the liver then converts it to energy for the body to use. This can improve your overall metabolism and provide a thermogenic effect to the body. This allows the fat to be used strictly as fuel instead of being stored within the body.
These fats are also a great way for those coming off of the standard Western diet to start integrating healthy fats back into their diet. It also helps to restore proper gut bacteria by fighting off the bad bacteria while not harming the good ones.
Some Ways MCT Oil Benefits the Body
- Provides support for a healthy gut microbiome
- Helpful for Weight Normalization- helps you to feel more satiated throughout the day
- Fast increase in energy
- Improvements to overall cognitive function and allows you to think more clearly
- Provides nutrients to balance hormones
- Fights bacteria and viruses
Different Types of MCTs
One of the benefits of using MCTs is that it creates a quick form of energy. This is because the MCTs go directly to the liver, and are then converted to an energy source the body can use.
This energy source is known as ketones. If you have heard about the Keto Diet, this is what the main focus of the diet is based around (click here to learn more about what Keto is). Ketones are an absolute amazing source of energy compared to the traditional glucose energy forms that we tend to rely on nowadays.
There are 4 different forms of MCTs found in food:
- Caproic Acid (C6- six carbons)
- Caprylic Acid (C8- eight carbons)
- Capric Acid (C10- ten carbons)
- Lauric Acid (C12- twelve carbons)
The fats with the least amount of carbons are the easiest to digest and fastest to convert to ketones. There is actually a lot of debate about whether Lauric Acid should even be considered an medium-chain triglyceride because of its length, therefore many MCT Oils do not contain Lauric Acid.
Coconut Oil vs MCT Oil
While coconut oil does contain MCT Oil, it actually is only about 55% MCT while MCT Oil is 100%. Coconut Oil is also full of Lauric Acid, which takes more time to digest, but is fantastic for the health of the gut. Lauric Acid is known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties.
Because MCT oil is made from the fats that convert into energy faster, it has become very popular as a way to boost energy. We saw this when Bullet Proof Coffee became a household name a few years ago.
What Are the MCT Oil Benefits
Coconut Oil and MCT Oil each have their own place in the diet. I love to use coconut oil as a way to improve the gut health as well as a longer burning energy source. MCT Oil on the other hand is a great way to get back into the fat-burning mode, and provides a nice boost to overall energy.
1. Improves Energy Levels
Since MCTs go straight to the liver, the liver then converts them into ketones to increase energy levels. This can kick your body into ketosis which is the ultimate fat-burning mode (want to get started on the Keto Journey, learn more here).
MCTs have a thermogenic effect, which also helps to boost the metabolism in the body. And because they can cross the double membrane of the mitochondria, they can go straight into the cells!
2. Helps for Weight Normalization
MCTs are a great way to re-train your body to burn fat instead of glucose. In this re-training process, the body will learn to burn off the excess fat stores, which can lead to weight loss.
Since this is a fatty acid, it will help with increasing overall satiety throughout the day. This will make you less likely to snack on foods that aren't good for you because you don't feel hungry.
MCTs aren't stored on the body as fat either because of how readily available they are for energy. Since MCTs convert over to ketones really easily, it is very popular for the Keto Diet and the Paleo Diet.
3. Supports a Healthy Gut
MCTs are naturally an antibiotic. They can kill off any harmful bacteria in the body without damaging the good bacteria in our guts. This will create a much healthier gut environment which can reduce inflammation, and improves our immune system.
Lauric Acid (found in coconut oil) can be a great antifungal agent against overgrowths such as candida.
4. Improves Cognitive Health
It is no surprise that MCT Oil can greatly increase cognitive function. We see this all the time with the Keto Diet, which was originally created to help epileptics by providing a different fuel source to the brain.
MCT Oil converts into ketones, and ketones can pass straight through the blood-brain barrier and into the cells of the brain. This is extremely important for diabetics or those suffering from any kind of cognitive decline (such as Alzheimer's).
What we tend to see happen when the body is elevated in glucose for a long period of time is what's called Insulin Resistance, meaning the glucose has a hard time getting into cells. When this happens, then we don't get the energy needed into the cells, and therefore the cells don't work properly.
But because ketones can pass through these walls and into the cells, it can restore cellular function!
5. Hormone Support
Here is a little known secret that was completely ignored when the whole “low-fat” craze was going on: fats are needed for proper hormone production!
That's right, in order for hormones to function correctly, we need fats. Using MCT Oil as a way to get saturated fats needed to build hormones is a fantastic option.
How I Use MCT Oils
There are many different ways that I have used MCT Oils. You can add liquid MCT Oils such as this to salad dressings and dips. You can even add it into cooking as long as you aren't cooking at high temperatures (under 320º).
Now for all my outdoorsy backpacker and hiking friends, you know as well as I do that carrying extra liquid is just more weight than is necessary. This is why I use the Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder. It is so much lighter, mixes extremely well, and can be added to anything. I also know that the Perfect Keto MCT Oil Powder doesn't have any added fillers or additives, which some other powdered MCT Oils do.
I use the powdered form of MCT Oil a lot more now because it is convenient to take with me anywhere I go, is very easy to use in cooking such as baking, and tends to be a lot easier on the digestive system than liquid MCTs.
I have a 15% discount for the Perfect Keto MCT Oil if you want to try it. Use the coupon code KETOTIME15 at checkout to receive the 15% off!
Caution When Starting MCT Oil
It is important to start using MCT Oil slowly because it can definitely get “things” to start moving. It is generally safe to start with 1/2-1 tsp and work your way up as your body and digestive system permits.
These are just some of the MCT Oil Benefits that you may receive, but there could be a lot more benefits. Have you used MCT Oil before? What are your experiences with it? Leave your comment below!