What’s the deal with MCT oil?

What are MCTs?

Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in certain oils. MCT oil is a supplement made of these fats.  MCTs are found in coconut oil and are processed by the body in a different way to long-chain fatty acids. Unlike other fats, they go straight from the gut to the liver. From here, they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones.

What are the potential health benefits of MCT oil?

MCT oil is mainly used by people looking to lose weight, or boost their endurance during a workout.  Some supporters of MCT oil also claim it can improve the ability to think, as well as help with various forms of dementia.

How can they help?

MCTs are found in coconut oil and are processed by the body in a different way to long-chain fatty acids. Unlike other fats, they go straight from the gut to the liver. From here, they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones. Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down a lot of fat, and they can be used by the brain for energy instead of glucose or sugar.

Better brain and memory function

Energy boost and increased endurance

Weight loss and improved weight management

Lowered cholesterol

Lowered blood sugar levels

Studies are linked.

The MCTs I like to use for drinking:

Try my favorite Bulletproof Pumpkin Latte here!

Risks and considerations

MCT oil should not be used for cooking. Solid coconut oil should be used instead.

MCTs from dietary sources and MCT oil may have some health benefits. However, it is important to remember that when a person consumes these, they are consuming fats.  Taking MCT oil adds extra fats and calories to a person’s diet. As such, excessive use of MCT oil may not be beneficial and could lead a person to gain weight.  MCT oil supplements are created from versions of food oils, and so are not considered a natural product.

Sources of MCTs

MCT oil supplements are available in many health food stores and are available for purchase online.

Some people prefer, like me, to consume MCTs in their diet, which may be more natural than taking supplements. MCTs are found in:

  • coconut oil
  • palm kernel oil
  • milk
  • butter

Sources: The National Center for Biotechnology Information

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