The Ultimate Guide to Mct Oil and Its Health Benefits

Updated on April 16th, 2020
benefits of mct oil

MCTs, a right kind of saturated fatty acid, has been related to several crucial health benefits — including improved cognitive abilities and helping with weight control. Coconut oil is also reputed for its MCTs — around 63 percent to 66 percent of the fatty acids found in it are MCTs.

MCTs are found to be mostly missing from the menus of people consuming conventional western foods, most likely because the people have been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially dangerous. However, recent studies have shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.

What Is MCT Oil?

Medium-chain triglycerides, also called MCTs, are a form of saturated fatty acids. They are often referred to as medium-chain fatty acids(MCFAs). They get their name because of the nature of their chemical configuration. All kinds of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected hydrogen and carbon.

Fats are categorized based on how many carbons they have: SCF (short-chain fats) like butyric acid have fewer than 6 carbons, MCF (medium-chain fats) have between 6 to 12 carbons, and LCF (long-chain fats) like omega-3s have from 13 to 21.

With respect to longer-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed more efficiently since there’s little work for the body to do, apart from breaking carbon bonds. MCTs are tiny, so they can penetrate your cell membranes more quickly and don’t require special enzymes in order for your bodies to use them.

[Read: Soybean Oil Benefits on Skin]

What makes MCT oil the best source of healthy fats?

Medium-chain fats are digested quickly and sent directly into your liver, with a thermogenic effect and the ability to alter your metabolism for good. This is one reason why experts claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for fuel or energy instead of being deposited as fat.

Populations living in tropical areas have been taking saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for hundreds of years without any side effects — so the idea that a low-fat diet is healthy to be one of the most critical nutrition lies ever!

[Read: Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Oily Skin]

Health Benefits

1. Can Help with Weight Loss

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Scientific studies show that dietary MCTs suppress fat accumulation through fat oxidation and enhanced thermogenesis in both humans and animals. It’s believed that they assist the body produce ketones, which gives you similar benefits as the keto diet without the need to cut carbs to extremely low levels.

2. Helps Protect Heart Health

MCTs seem to be able to decrease cardiovascular disease(1) and mortality risk in specific due to lessening chances of becoming obese. Most probably, they have this positive effect because they are easy to digest, anti-inflammatory, satiating, and easily used for energy as described above.

[Read: Olive Oil Benefits for Nails]

3. May Improve Energy Levels, Mood, and Performance

Medium-chain fats are reputed to be one of the well utilized, easily digested, and protective fatty acids that exist. Research groups have found that MCTs can support performance levels during moderate to high-intensity exercises.

4. Supports Nutrient Absorption and Digestion

Improves Digestion
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Both coconut oil and MCT oil are useful for balancing bacteria in the gut, which in turn has positive effects on the digestive system(2), energy expenditure, and the ability to absorb minerals and vitamins and from the foods you consume.

Medium-chain fats can help destroy a wide range of bacteria, pathogenic viruses, strains that trigger digestive problems, including candida, constipation, diarrhea, food poisoning, stomachaches, and so on.

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5. Has Antiviral, Antifungal,  and Antibacterial Properties

MCTs have intrinsic antimicrobial properties and may help balance bacteria in the gut. Another good thing about MCTs is that they are capable of reducing “bad bacteria” without harming or removing “good bacteria.” That’s important, considering we need a proper kind of intestinal health and digestive functioning.

[Read: Sunflower Oil Benefits]

6. Can Withstand High-Heat Cooking

MCT oils are particularly useful for cooking because they have a high “smoke point,” meaning they don’t oxidize from heat quickly. This is vital because even certain cooking oils that have good fats are not well-suited for high-temperature cooking (like flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil or, for example) and can become rancid oils somewhat quickly.

What does MCT oil do to your body?

Proven benefits of MCT oil are its ability to help with heart health protection, weight loss or maintenance,  improved energy levels and mood, and digestion and nutrient absorption support.

In addition, MCT oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, and it can withstand high-heat cooking.

It’s become fashionable to use MCT oil in coffee when following a high-fat diet, such as the keto diet.

Final Thoughts

The difference between Coconut oil and MCT oil is that MCT oil is highly concentrated and includes different proportions of MCTs. While coconut oil does have MCTs in it, concentrated MCT oil is entirely made of MCTs.

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