Are you looking for a way to improve your cognitive function, manage your weight, and improve your energy levels?
If so, mct oil might be your answer. It provides numerous health benefits and can take your health to a whole new level.
What is mct Oil?
The letters “mcts” stand for “medium-chain triglycerides.” Most foods contain lcts, which are long chain triglycerides. mcts, on the other hand, are a form of saturated fatty acid that has the ability to turn your body into a fat burning machine. mct oil is composed of mostly caprylic and capric fatty acids. When this oil is at room temperature, it is a yellow and odorless translucent liquid. mcts are naturally found in foods such as coconut and palm kernel oil. Dairy products can also be a natural source of mcts.
mcts can even be found in infant formulas – it’s commonly added to increase the caloric density of the formulas. Continue reading to find out more about mcts’ energy and metabolism boosting powers.
Connection Between mcts & Lauric Acid
One main reason that mcts (especially from coconut oil) are so beneficial for your body is that it contains lauric acid.
Lauric acid has a 12-carbon atom chain, so it falls into the medium chain triglyceride (mct) category. Lauric acid makes up around half of the fatty acid content found in coconut milk, coconut oil, and palm kernel oil.
Other than that, lauric acid is pretty uncommon. The only other foods you can get lauric acid from are human breast milk, some organic dairy products, and goat’s milk.
Pure coconut oil is by far the best source of lauric acid. It contains around 50% lauric acid and is the most abundant natural source available.
Benefits of Lauric Acid
When lauric acid enters the body, it gets converted to monolaurin. This is a monoglyceride compound that displays antiviral, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties.
It fights off all these viruses, fungi, and germs by disrupting the lipid (fat) membranes in these harmful organisms. Thus, lauric acid destroys them.
Lauric acid can even kill some cancer cells (this specific study explains how lauric acid kills colon cancer cells).
The monolaurin in lauric acid is great for targeting lipid-coated viruses such as herpes, influenza, the measles, and hepatitis C.
Many researchers in the Philippines are working on proving how lauric acid can even be effective against hiv/aids due to its powerful antiviral properties.
mct Oil & Weight Gain Prevention
mcts are very easy for your body to break down and use as a source of energy. Especially when you compare them to lcts.
lct s can be compared to a whole piece of fruit where you have to do all the chewing yourself. mcts, on the other hand, can be compared to a smoothie.
With a smoothie, the blending process basically takes over the chewing process so you can just drink it right away.
You might think that the simple absorbency of mcts would promote weight gain, but it’s actually the opposite. mcts do not cause weight gain, they only benefit weight loss.
For example, this study found that subjects who consumed mct oil over a 12-week period lost 2 pounds more than a group who didn’t consume any mct oil.
mct Oil and Heart Health
Heart disease kills more people in the United States each year than any other disease. It is true that saturated fats from heavily processed foods such as pizza and cheese can contribute to an unhealthy diet.
However, saturated fats that come from plant-based sources, such as coconut oil and mct oil, can actually prevent this disease and improve your overall heart health.
mct oil also contains antioxidants which are beneficial for your heart and every single cell in your body.
Here is a study that explains the benefits of coconut oil as a beneficial saturated fat for your heart, cholesterol levels, and overall health.
Adding mct Oil to Your Diet
One great way to add mcts to your diet is through foods that naturally already contain it – specifically coconut oil.
You can also buy pure mct oil. You can cook with mct or coconut oil, bake with it, blend it, or fry with it. Instead of making a veggie stir fry with vegetable oil, use coconut oil instead.
When a cookie recipe calls for oil, use mct or coconut oil. Why not make a delicious salad dressing out of it?
You can also stir in a teaspoon of mct oil into your morning tea, or add a teaspoon to your fruit smoothie.
Basically, wherever you would normally use oil in your diet, try to replace that with either mct or coconut oil.
How Exactly Does mct Oil Promote Weight Loss?
The reason why mct oil promotes weight loss is that the body burns it for energy instead of storing it as fat.
lcts are always stored as fat, whereas mcts rarely ever are. mcts are sent directly to the liver, where they have a thermogenic effect.
Here, they positively alter your metabolism and make it work a bit faster. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories and energy that you effortlessly burn throughout the day.
Therefore, when you consume mcts, they are used and burned by your body as fuel, instead of being kept in fat storage.
This study called Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men proved how mcts can be considered agents that help prevent obesity and stimulate weight loss.
mct Oil and Ketosis
mct oil is very commonly used in ketosis. This is because they have an incredible ability to stabilize blood sugar while enhancing ketone body production.
This study explains how mcts also increase nutrient absorption, including protein absorption. This is important because it means that the body will become more effective at both preserving and building lean body tissue when mct oil is used.
People who follow a ketogenic diet normally focus on fat sources that contain lcts (long chain triglycerides). Most ketogenic and low carb diets are made up of 87% of the calories from fat because they are lct-based.
However, if mcts are used instead, they only need to depend on 60-70% of calories from fat. This allows people to handle more nutrient dense sources of carbs and proteins than if they were eating a ketogenic diet focused on lcts.
Therefore, mcts are better to consume for ketosis because they make the overall diet more enjoyable and easier to follow long-term.
mct Oil Vs Coconut Oil
Both mct oil and coconut oil contain numerous benefits. However, in order to truly experience the benefits of mcts, is consuming coconut oil enough or would you be better off ingesting pure mct oil?
There are four kinds of mcts that are found in coconut oil: C6, C8, C10, and C12. The numbers define the length of the carbon chains, and the carbon chains are what determine whether it’s an mct or lct. C6 (caproic acid) C8 (caprylic acid), and C10 (capric acid) are the quickest acting forms of mcts.
They are available for immediate use of energy within the body, and therefore they are the best types of mcts. C12 (lauric acid, which coconut oil is extremely abundant in), take a bit longer for the body to convert.
Coconut oil doesn’t contain a lot of caproic acid, and caprylic acid only makes up around 6% of coconut oil. Capric acid makes up around 9% of coconut oil.
None of these percentages are very high. Therefore, if you are truly looking to benefit from the fast acting fuel of mcts, consuming mct oil would be more beneficial.
However, one thing to note is that pure mct oil doesn’t contain as much lauric acid as you would find in coconut oil.
Thus, if you are looking for the antiviral and antibacterial effects that lauric acid offers, you would be better off consuming pure coconut oil.
It’s important to understand that you don’t have to choose one or the other – you can create a diet plan for yourself where you are incorporating both mct oil and coconut oil into your diet for maximum benefits.