MCT oil is fast becoming the star supplement for health enthusiasts and also amongst people who want to lose weight. But are there any credible benefits of MCT oil?

This article will give you a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about MCT oil and MCT oil benefits. The association of MCT oil with health benefits is widely publicized. So, let us look into the facts.

MCT oil benefits and how to use it. Includes recipes such as tea and coffee recipe, potential risks and side effects, benefits with ketogenic diet and more. #mct #mctoil #keto

What is MCT Oil?

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a type of fat. The differentiating factor is that they are smaller compared to other triglycerides. Fats or triglycerides can be used by the body either for energy or stored as body fat. 

There are three types of fatty acids. Long, short, and medium. Medium length fatty acids like MCT contain 6 to 12 carbon atoms and are mostly said to have a lot of health benefits.

Where does MCT Oil Come From

You can find MCT oil in different food sources. One of the primary sources of MCT oils is coconut. The process of getting MCT oil from their sources is called fractionation.

The medium-chain triglycerides are separated from these sources and concentrated.

What is the Difference Between MCT Oil and Coconut Oil?

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Some people sometimes confuse MCT oil with coconut oil, but there are some differences between them. The main difference is coconut oils are merely a source of MCT oil but only contain about 54% of MCT oil (source). 

MCT oils, on the other hand, are concentrated and are 100% medium-chain triglycerides. There are different benefits for both coconut oil and MCT oils too. You can use coconut oil for beauty applications, and also helps skin conditions.

MCT oil, on the other hand, is associated with health benefits like weight loss.  That is why MCT oil has been gaining so much attention over the last couple of years. However, are MCT oils really that beneficial, and do they actually help in weight loss? Let us find out.

Benefits of MCT Oil You Need to Know

MCT oil benefits can range from weight loss and also increase your energy levels. Here are some MCT oil benefits you should know about.

1. Promotes Weight loss 

A study of 31 subjects on a weight loss diet that included MCT oil found interesting results. 

The subjects that consumed MCT oil saw a greater loss of fat mass and belly fat compared to those that consumed olive oil. The study concluded that MCT oil does help in weight loss compared to olive oil and can be used successfully in weight loss diets (source).

It does this by essentially releasing two hormones in the body. It releases peptide YY and leptin. Both of these hormones contribute to the feeling of being full, which entices you to eat less. 

Related Post: How to Use Coconut Oil for Weight Loss

2. Helps with Alzheimer’s, autism, and epilepsy

MTC can be converted into ketones, which can help you manage conditions like epilepsy. This one is not as straightforward. The type of MCT also matters here. MCT capric acid has been shown to help with seizures compared to traditional anti-epileptic drugs on the market.

Many people adopt a ketogenic diet to control epilepsy, in fact (source). Ketogenic diets are initially introduced as a way to manage epilepsy. Later on, it became popular for controlling weight.  

For autism in kids, a study found that MCT oil can be added with a ketogenic diet to reduce autism behaviors. In some cases, there were significant benefits in controlling autism. However, further investigation is warranted (source).

MCT oil is also found to benefit cognition functions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  A study found that chronic consumption of MCT-based ketogenic formula led to positive effects on verbal memory and processing speed in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (source).

3. Helps Brain Function

MCT’s shorter length means your body does not require long to break down and goes straight from your guts to the liver. This makes them a very good source of fuel or energy for your brain as well since they can be converted to ketones in the liver. MCT can be converted to energy almost immediately, as confirmed by this study

4. Improves Gut Health  

Another MCT oil benefit is making your gut healthier. It stimulates digestion and promotes movement in your digestive tract. 

Medium-chain fatty acids such as caprylic acid were also found to prevent the growth of bad bacteria by creating an unwelcoming gut environment for them, thereby improving the overall gut microbiome (source).

Related Post: 7 Best Supplements for Gut Health

5. Reduces Heart Diseases and Cholesterol 

Some key MCT oil benefits can also trickle down to help you in other ways. For example, being overweight can be quite risky for your heart. Since MCT oil helps you lose weight, it is great for your heart, too (source)

MCT oil has also been shown to reduce cholesterol. A study done with 24 overweight men showed promising results in decreased cholesterol when MCT oil was mixed with phytosterols and flaxseed oil for 29 days. 

There was a cholesterol decrease of 12.5%. The results also differ if you use olive oil. In the case of olive oil, the decrease was a more modest 4.7%. LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, saw a decrease, which is overall great for your health. 

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Although there are many MCT oil benefits, there are some potential risks involved as well. Two of the most prominent risks are fat build up in the liver and the release of hunger hormones. 

1. High Doses Linked to Fat Build Up 

Long term usage of MCT oils in high doses can increase the fat build up in your liver. Although the study that concluded these results used doses of MCT oils that are not recommended.

2. Can Release Hunger Hormones

Although we have seen above how MCT oil releases hormones to make you feel fuller, in some people, it can release hunger hormones, according to some studies that have shown an increase of ghrelin (source).

However, the notion of does the increase in hunger hormones causes people to eat more needs more research. 

How much MCT Oil Should I Take Daily?

If you are new to MCT oil, start with just 1 teaspoon a day.  Your body will need time to get used to the fast-digesting medium-chain fats in MCT Oil.

You will know you took too much if you start experiencing digestive issues.

Once your body is comfortable with your intake amount, you may want to increase to 1-2 tablespoon to get the desired benefits.  However, it is best to consult with your doctor first.

How to Use MCT Oil and Ways to Add it to Your Diet

Try adding MCT oil into your coffees, teas, smoothies, or salad dressings. Be mindful when cooking with MCT oil as it has a low smoke point of 320°F.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy it straight off the spoon if you like, as it does not have a strong taste or smell.

What time of day should you take MCT oil?

A great time to take MCT oil is in the morning since it’s energizing for both the body and the brain. Also, people who took two tablespoons of MCT oil ended up eating less during lunch.

The easiest way to add MCT oil into your morning routine is by adding it to your morning coffee or tea.  Try these recipes:

There are a lot of MCT oil benefits, and it is no surprise why the supplement has garnered much attention over the years. 

Sharing is caring!  Have you tried MCT oil and what is your favorite recipe with it?  Comment below.

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