MCT Oil: 5 Proven Benefits (and How to Get Them)
MCTs are "medium-chain triglycerides", which are a special kind of fat found in plant-based oils and milk products (especially coconut oil). These fats boast properties not seen in other fats, especially related to ketone production.
MCT oil is considered an exogenous ketone, like BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), which can support ketosis and provide a highly ketogenic source of quality fats that many keto-ers prefer.
Benefits of MCT Oil
1. Increases Ketone ProductionAccording to a study reported in The Journal of Nutrition, MCT oils increased blood levels of ketones 18-fold after one hour of eating them[*]. What’s more, caprylic acid (C8 MCT oil) may play a role in treating brain diseases, such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's[*][*].
A study compared a ketogenic diet with MCT oil to a keto diet without MCT oil in treating epilepsy. It showed that using MCT oil makes the ketogenic diet tastier because participants were allowed to eat more protein and carbohydrate foods. The study also found that the MCT ketogenic diet could benefit people suffering from epilepsy[*].
2. Improves Brain FunctionMCT oil plays a role in enhancing cognitive performance. According to a 2009 study published in the journal Obesity, MCTs helped maintain cognitive function during hypoglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes[*]. Hypoglycemia is a deficiency of glucose in your blood and impairs cognitive performance. It has been shown to impair cognitive functions such as information processing, attention, spatial ability, and memory[*].
Brain Bonus: MCT oil improves your brain structure by increasing the brain’s network connections[*].
3. Helps Prevent Life-Threatening DiseasesCancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are the main causes of death throughout the world. Luckily, dietary changes and healthy lifestyle can help prevent these life-threatening diseases. MCT oil can also help fight these diseases through important biochemical mechanisms:
- Decreasing inflammation – Chronic inflammation has been identified as the leading cause of many diseases[*]. According to many studies, capric acid and caprylic acid reduce inflammation by blocking pro-inflammatory compounds[*].
- Balancing blood sugar levels – MCT oil helps balance out your blood glucose levels. This, in turn, decreases oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. High blood sugar has been associated with major diseases because it causes inflammation. According to a study, diets high in MCTs increased insulin sensitivity in people suffering from type 2 diabetes[*], thereby improving their prognosis.
- Boosting autophagy– Autophagy is a natural mechanism of cell recycling. Poor lifestyle habits and unhealthy diets hamper autophagy, causing the onset of diseases and premature aging. According to many studies, capric acid increases autophagy[*]. However, low carb diets also increase the cell recycling system.
- Fighting Free radicals – Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that possess an unpaired electron. They damage your DNA, proteins, carbohydrates, and other important molecules. Antioxidants help your body fight free radicals. MCTs act as antioxidants, and protect against damage caused by free radicals.
4. Helps Reduce WeightThe keto diet can help you reduce weight by increasing fat oxidation and suppressing your hunger. However, MCT oil can also help boost weight loss.
A study found that overweight people who took MCT oil for 16 weeks lost more weight than their counterparts who took olive oil[*].
Another study compared the effects of diets high in long‐chain triglycerides (LCT) and medium‐chain triglycerides (MCTs) on appetite and energy expenditure in overweight individuals. Researchers found that consumption of a diet high in MCTs resulted in greater energy expenditure and weight loss compared with LCTs. The study concluded that MCTs may play a role in stimulating weight loss and preventing obesity[*].
A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior examined the effects of coconut oil and MCT oil on satiety (the feeling of being full) and food intake. It found that MCT oil has greater satiating properties than coconut oil[*].
5. Boosts EnergyYour body uses MCTs as an instant energy source, so they are less likely to be stored as fat[*]. What’s more, MCTs can help keep your body in a fat burning state. MCT oil has also been found to increase exercise performance and endurance[*].
Best Kinds of MCT Oil for KetoFor argument's sake, there are four types of fatty acids that make up MCTs[*][*] (although some studies don’t seem to include caproic acid-C6 as a medium-chain fatty acid[*][*]):
- Caproic acid (C6)
- Caprylic acid (C8)
- Capric acid (C10)
- Lauric acid (C12)
Normally, MCT oils are composed of 100% caprylic acid (C8), 100% capric acid (C10), or a combination of these two kinds of MCT oil. That’s because they seem to be the most metabolically active. Although, caprylic acid C8 is regarded as the most ketogenic kind of MCT since it seems to result in the most ketones entering the bloodstream the fastest (when measured from 0 - 8 hours after ingestion)[*].
BewareBefore buying an MCT oil, you should learn about its ingredients and how it was created. High-quality oils are produced through a triple steam distillation process. Beware of cheap fillers.
How to Use MCT Oil
- You can take one teaspoon of the oil in the morning and one teaspoon in the afternoon to keep yourself in a fat-burning state all day.
- Take the oil before intermittent fasting. This will give your body healthy fats to make ketones and suppress your appetite while fasting.
- You can also add MCT oil (as an ingredient) to your keto meals. Add it to your salads, coffee, soups, tea, and smoothies or drizzle the MCT oil over any dish to add good quality fats to your dishes.
MCT Oil for the Keto DietKeto diet and MCT oil work together. MCT oil helps boost the production of ketones and is an instant energy source for your body and brain. Moreover, MCT oil is a good source of healthy fats that your body can readily turn to ketones.
Some of the benefits of MCT oil include boosting energy levels, suppressing hunger, fighting life-threatening diseases, enhancing brain health, and reducing body weight. Studies also indicate that MCT oil is more effective in suppressing appetite than coconut oil.
You can easily add MCT oil to your ketogenic diet. Sprinkle the oil over your favorite dishes or add it to your morning cup of joe on fasting days. Don’t have any on hand? Try KetoLogic’s special C8/C10 blend of MCT oil now. Or grab the full started kit to supercharge ketosis!
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