Benefits of MCT Oil & Why You Should Use ItEveryone has heard, read and talked about the hype of coconut oil. Most people have already incorporated it into their diet or health regime because of its health benefits. There has been an emergence of health advocates claiming the benefits of MCT are greater than that of coconut oil. This article will discuss the benefits of MCT oil and how to effortlessly incorporate these healthy fats into your life. Bottom line: “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCT) can offer the same benefits as coconut oil in a more concentrated form. But first, let’s look at the basic building blocks of how MCT oil can help you.
Are cells need healthy fats to regulate normal cellular functions. When we eat, our bodies digest and break down the fats from foods into "fatty acids". Fatty acids are the foundation of cell membranes and provide energy for various functions in our bodies. What separates different fatty acids is the number of carbon molecules in their cellular structure. MCTs are fatty acids that have anywhere from 6 to 12 carbon atoms.There are four common types of MCTs:
- Caproic acid (C6): Contains 6 carbon atoms
- Caprylic acid (C8): Contains 8 carbon atoms
- Capric acid (C10): Contains 10 carbon atoms
- Lauric acid (C12): Contains 12 carbon atoms
How to get the MCT Oil benefits from foodsYou probably eat foods that already have MCTs in them without even knowing MCT oil's benefits. However, depending upon your nutritional plan of choice, you may not get enough MCT oil to feel its benefits. Here is a list of common foods that can provide you with MCT oil benefits:
- Coconut oil
- Red palm oil
- Grass fed butter
- Organic grass fed whole milk
- Organic grass fed yogurt
What is MCT OilMCT oil is a more concentrated supplement of those fatty acids typically featuring more prevalent amounts of caprylic and capric acids than caproic and lauric acids. It is a healthy fat.
The Benefits of MCT OilBodybuilders swear by MCT oil benefits and runners see improved energy levels from it...but what are the MCT oil benefits for you? The benefits of MCT oil may manifest in various notable improvements: it can boost brain function, help digestion, increase immunity and accelerate metabolism and weight loss.
Brain functionThe brain can work 25% better on ketones. When these fats are absorbed by our mitochondria – the power plants of the cell – they are absorbed and they produce less free radicals than a molecule of a carbohydrate or protein!! Ketones can improve mental clarity and reduce brain fog. This is an area where MCT oil benefits will shine. In a recent study, it was found that increased levels of C8 and C10 MCTs may show improvements in cognitive recall. (1) The benefits of MCTs can also help those who have experienced difficulty with memory or who have early onset Alzheimer’s disease.(2) Once MCTs are broken down by the liver and converted into ketone bodies, the ketone bodies cross the blood-brain barrier to act as an alternate energy source to fuel neurons. Data has shown that this may improve overall cognitive function.
DigestionA key benefit of MCT oil is how easily it is digested as it takes the body less work to break down the carbon bonds within its chemical structure. MCT supplements are perfect for people with digestive issues like a leaky gut, Crohn’s disease or people who have had their gallbladder removed. A big benefit of MCT oil is it allows people with no gallbladder the advantage of still eating fat. Because MCTs enter the stomach and small intestine very quickly, they do not need bile or pancreatic enzymes for digestion.
ImmunityMCTs have great anti-viral/bacterial/fungal benefits that can help protect your body from viruses, germs and disease. Lauric acid has the most powerful effect on immunity (it naturally occurs in a mother’s breast milk in order to protect her growing infant from potentially harmful diseases). The body converts lauric acid to monolaurin, which can stop bacteria from multiplying. Lauric acid makes it easier for your immune system to battle the presence of bad bacteria and yeast. MCTs can also minimize candida and yeast throughout the gut. These fatty acids can combat against yeast growth that is triggered by sugar and simple carbohydrate foods. This could be a lifesaver for someone dealing with yeast or candida overgrowth.
MetabolismBecause MCTs have shorter structure chains, they can be absorbed quickly into the body. These short chains metabolized faster than long chain triglycerides. MCT oil has a very specific advantage, they can’t be stored in the body as fat. This allows these healthy fats to be used efficiently by the body for fuel. Although MCT’s are processed in the small intestine unlike other fats, they are absorbed immediately for energy. They do not require transport by the liver, bile breakdown or other enzymes for use. This benefit of MCT oil can provide the body immediate fuel for more intense physical exertion – or help you burn more fat for energy while exercising.
MCT oil can be effective helping with weight loss. The chemical structure of these fatty acids can’t be stored as fat and results in an immediate breakdown for energy. Usually, the main source of energy for the body is carbohydrates. When there are no carbohydrates for the body to use as energy, the body then takes stored fat and converts it into ketones, an alternative source of energy. A benefit of MCTs for weight loss is that they are essentially converting directly into ketones and tricking the body into thinking that it needs to use the already stored fat for energy instead of the carbohydrates.MCTs can also increase thermogenesis within the body(3), and subsequently, burn more calories to decrease overall body fat.