MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating

MCT oil athletes

Last Updated May 30th, 2019

MCT Oil: What’s all the buzz about?

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) is a dietary supplement and is usually used along with medications for treating food absorption disorders including diarrhea, steatorrhea (fat indigestion), celiac disease, liver disease, people suffering from digestion problems due to gastrectomy (partial removal of stomach and intestine) and also short bowel syndrome.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are triglycerides composed of glycerol and three fatty acids.  MCT usually has 2 or 3 of the fatty acid chains belong to medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA).  MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure.  Fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen.  Fats are categorized by the number of carbons they have namely short-chain fats and long-chain fats.

How is MCT oil produced?

MCT oil athletesThe main production of MCTs is by processing coconut and palm kernel oils in the laboratory.  MCTs are a fat source for patients, who cannot tolerate other types of fats.  MCT plays a role in lowering weight, and decreasing metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity and inflammation.  MCT containing diet improves high temperature induced exercise performance impairment.

MCT regulates the expression of protein levels of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and metabolism.  MCTs have numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management.

One of the main sources of MCT is coconut oil.   Coconut oil has around 62% to 65% of the fatty acids, which are MCTs, but more concentrated MCT oil is also available in the market these days.  Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in products like coconut oil are easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention, and brain health.

Other than coconut oil, small amounts of MCTs can also be found in other foods with saturated fats, including butter, cheese, palm oil, whole milk, and full-fat yogurt.

What are the medical applications of MCT oil?

MCTs are also used to help in chyluria (a medical condition involving the presence of chyle in the urine stream, which results in urine appearing milky white), chylothorax (lymph formed in the digestive system called chyle accumulating in the pleural cavity due to either disruption or obstruction of the thoracic duct).

It is also used in the treatment of gallbladder disease, AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer disease, and seizures in children.  Athletes use MCT as nutritional support during training, which helps to increase exercise performance, decrease body fat, increase the lean muscle mass, and help in weight loss.  They are also used for diabetes and a rare disease called Waldmann disease, which is characterized by enlargement of the lymph vessels supplying the lamina propria of the small intestine.

Sometimes MCTs are used as a source of fat in total parenteral nutrition (TPN).  TPN is a process in which all food is delivered intravenously, which is necessary for people whose gastrointestinal tract is no longer working.  It also helps prevent muscle breakdown in critically ill patients.

MCT oil is helpful to patients, who are unable to digest or absorb conventional fats.  MCTs are more readily hydrolyzed and absorbed than long-chain fats.  MCTs are absorbed directly into the portal circulation and do not require bile salts for emulsification (digestion).

The numerous ways MCT oil can be used…

Promote weight loss

MCT oil increases the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body namely peptide YY and leptin.  Consumption of MCT oil helps in lowering the rise in triglycerides and glucose.  It has about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados, which helps in reduction of body weight and waist circumference, which in turn can cure obesity.

MCT oil benefitsThe human body can use MCT oil as an instant source of energy, which minimizes the storage of fat in the body.  MCTs can be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carbohydrate intake is low when following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbohydrates yet high in fat, and consuming MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis.

MCT oil can help optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining, which could also help people lose weight.  Research has proven that people, who consumed two tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch.

An instant source of energy

MCT oil is rapidly absorbed by the body, as it contains more carbons in their fatty acid chains and acts an instant source of energy and also fuels the brain to maintain normal functioning.  Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break down like longer-chain fats. 

In the liver, the fats are broken down to be either used as energy or stored as body fat.  Since MCTs can easily enter cells without being broken down, they are used as an immediate source of energy.  These days it has been a trend among people to follow a ketogenic diet (low carbohydrate diet).

MCTs can also be converted into ketones in the liver.  These ketones can pass through the blood-brain barrier, making them a convenient source of energy for your brain cells.

Reduce lactate build-up

During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance and MCTs may help reduce lactate buildup.  Athletes have highly benefited from consuming MCT oil and research has proved that athletes, who consumed around 6 grams of MCTs with food before cycling, had lower lactate levels and found it easier to exercise.

Furthermore, it was found that taking MCT oil before exercise may help people use more fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.  Another research also proved that taking MCT oil does not negatively affect exercise performance.

Management of Epilepsy, Alzheimer disease, and Autism

MCT oil benefits brainScientists have found that fasting increases ketone production and this may reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures and since MTCs can be converted into ketones, they may be beneficial in managing epilepsy.  One study has shown that MCT capric acid improved seizure control better than a widespread anti-epileptic drug. 

Alzheimer’s disease impairs the brain’s ability to use sugar.  An MCT ketogenic diet offers an alternative energy source called ketones, which allows brain cells to survive better.  It also blocks a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss.  Evidence suggests that 20–70 grams of supplemental MCTs, which include capric acid can improve the symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease. 

Studies have also proved that a single dose of MCTs improved short-term cognition with people suffering from Alzheimer disease.   MCT oil may also help children with autism.  Addition of MCTs to a ketogenic and gluten-free diet can substantially improve autism behaviors.  Since autism is a spectrum condition, which is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior, it can affect people in different ways. 

Fights Yeast and Bacterial Growth

MCT oil also has antimicrobial and antifungal effects.  Coconut oil, which is a rich source of MCTs, has shown the ability to reduce the growth of Candida albicans opportunistic pathogenic yeast that is a common member of the human gut flora) by 25%, which is a common yeast that can cause thrush and various skin infections.

Studies have shown that coconut oil reduced the growth of disease-causing bacteria called Clostridium difficile, which is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis.  Coconut oil’s ability to reduce yeast and bacterial growth is due to the presence of capric and lauric acid in MCTs.

Reduces risk factors for heart disease

Factors affecting heart disease include obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  MCT oil has been shown to support weight and fat loss. This may, in turn, help reduce the risk of heart disease.  Studies have proven that MCT oil combined with phytosterols (plant sterols) and flaxseed oil for 29 days can help reduce cholesterol by 12.5%.

It was also found that there was a reduction in LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or bad cholesterol when the MCT oil mixture was added to the diet.  MCT oil also has the ability to increase the production of heart-protective HDL (high-density lipoproteins) or good cholesterol.  It has the ability to even significantly reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease.

Help control blood sugar levels

MCT oil may also have benefits for those with diabetes Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which makes diabetes harder to manage. However, MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burning.

One study related to people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCT oil daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and insulin resistance. It was also found that people, who took insulin due to diabetes, needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they consumed MCTs but had no effect on reducing fasting blood sugars.

In a nutshell, MCT can help you in …

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Specifically, reduce stored body fat
  • Have more energy
  • A better level of cognition
  • Experience better digestion
  • Balance hormone levels
  • Fight bacterial infection, yeast, and viruses
  • Absorb fat-soluble nutrients from various foods

Side effects of MCT oil you should be aware of

MCT oil benefits heartMCTs are safe for most people when taken orally or administered intravenously.  Consumption of MCT oil directly can have some side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, irritability, nausea, stomach discomfort, intestinal gas, essential fatty acid deficiency, and other side effects, but consuming it with food reduces the side effects.

Some of the potential side effects of MCT oil are they can cause certain chemicals called ketones to build up in the body, which can be a problem for people with diabetes, and the best way is to have an appropriate amount of MCTs, who have diabetes.

MCTs may also cause some liver problems because MCTs are processed primarily by the liver and high doses of MCT can lead to fat build up in the liver, which can cause serious problems in people with liver disease.  It is advisable to avoid MCTs with people suffering from cirrhosis or other liver problems.

MCT oil: How to consume it safely?

MCT oil could have many benefits and very few risks.  It contains fatty acids that can promote weight loss by reducing body fat, potentially improving the gut environment.

They are also a great source of energy, fight bacterial growth, help protect our heart, and aid in the management of diabetes, Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, and autism.  Risks may include increased hunger and possible fat accumulation in the liver. However, appropriate consumption under medical supervision leads to a healthy lifestyle and negative side effects are likely minimal. 

Finally, it can be concluded that MCT oil can be used in a convenient way to obtain maximum advantage of all the health benefits MCTs have to offer.


TL;DR?

MCT oil infographic

 

Display this infographic on your website

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how…
Benefits of exercise: Top reasons why you should be sweating it out more in the gym Are you leading a sedentary life and still not motivated enough to get up from…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Melatonin: Fascinating facts on the hormone that brings you the Zzzs Did you know, melatonin - the chemical that puts you to sleep every night is…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy?…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
Hemp Seeds: The actual science behind this controversial crop Inspite of being credited as a superfood, hemp seeds are still shrouded with layers of…
Guaranteed ways to lose weight fast and shed those extra pounds! Read more to find a guaranteed step-by-step method to lose weight permanently. Losing weight was…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This…
Cranberry: Top reasons why you should grow this “superfruit” in your own backyard Cranberry is a favorite among foodies and health enthusiasts alike. Read more on how it…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
Burpees: World’s most challenging fitness routine now made simple for you The majority of the fitness regimens mainly concentrate on a particular muscle group whereas Burpees…
Aromatherapy: Can this sense-stimulating therapy help you? Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment method with several benefits, and not just for humans but…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
Fibromyalgia fatigue
HCG Diet: The dangers of using this diet to lose weight HCG is a natural hormone produced by both men and women that corresponds to fertility.…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too!…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Anticholinergics: The diverse range of diseases a single drug can easily treat What started as a novel treatment for Parkinson' disease has now become an all-encompassing drug.…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
glutamine workout
Glutamine: Why is this the right choice for muscle-gain supplement? Glutamine can help you gain muscles and build higher immunity. Read more to find out…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
calorie counter
Calorie Counter: Count your calories before they flab Is calorie counting good? Are calories always bad for you? How do you if you…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to…
L-arginine: Your search for the ultimate fitness booster ends here L-arginine is an amino acid necessary for the body to perform various functions.  It is…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance…
The complete fitness guide on how to perform Tabata This fitness routine is called Tabata workouts, which is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata who…
Burn those years of stubborn fat-deposits with a few minutes of HIIT! HIIT or high-intensity interval training seems to be the right type of fitness training that…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.