Have you heard of MCT oil but you’re not sure exactly what it is or how it could help?
Feel confused no longer—here’s all the lowdown you’ll need on this beneficial fatty acid.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is a supplemental easy-to-use oil that contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). You can add it to drinks, smoothies, and meals without spoiling the flavor.
There are few potential drawbacks associated with this heart health booster, but plenty of perks.
If you aren’t benefiting from MCT oil, it’s time to consider a daily dose.
What Does MCT Mean?
MCT is the acronym for medium-chain triglycerides.
Triglycerides are fatty acid chains found in coconut oil, palm oil, milk, and cheese. In their naturally occurring form, the chain is long; through processing, the atoms change, and medium-chain triglycerides are created.
MCTs are used in medicines and have more recently become a popular addition to bulletproof coffee and the keto diet.
How Does MCT Oil Benefit Health?
Fatty acids are great for your body and brain, and when they’re consumed in the easily digested form of MCT, they become even more potent.
Here’s how MCT oil may benefit your health.
Due to their shorter length, MCTs speed up the fueling process. Studies show that they don’t need bile from the liver to break down, but they enter your cells for an immediate energy boost.
They are also easily made into ketones, so they form a perfect energy boost for a ketogenic diet. Increasing MCT healthy fats and lowering your carbs is a great way to keep a keto diet on track.
Energy is required by your brain as well as your body. The easily absorbed ketone form means MCTs can pass through the blood-brain barrier without a problem to provide mental clarity and a healthy brain boost without caffeine or sugar.
There are lots of studies suggesting MCT oil supplements stimulate weight loss by promoting satiety, increasing metabolic rate, lowering conversion of carbs to fat, and rebalancing the gut biome of overweight individuals.
MCT oil releases the peptide YY and leptin hormones that tell your body you’re full. One study suggested that when consumed at breakfast time, MCT oil decreased the amount of food the subjects needed for lunch.
Recent research has focused on poor gut biomes as a potential source of inflammation and obesity. This study found that MCT supplements help weight loss by remodeling gut microbiota in obese people.
If you need to lose weight or you’ve stalled in your current diet, taking MCT oil may get you back on track.
By helping with weight loss, MCT oil helps fight heart disease, one of the biggest killers in the USA today.
MCTs can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, improve the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, and reduce plasma lipids.
A heart-healthy diet includes fatty acids, but it’s often missing from the standard American diet. MCT oil makes it easy to consume healthy fatty acids without overeating.
The keto diet was originally developed to help manage epilepsy. MCTs are used as a non-pharmacological treatment, as they are easily converted into ketones.
This study shows that MCT stops the brain receptors that lead to seizures. More research is needed, but it’s looking promising, especially for those reliant on drugs to keep seizures at bay.
As well as boosting your mental clarity in the long term, MCT oil can keep your brain on track in later years.
Brain cells need energy to live, and easily absorbed MCT means cells get the energy they need—potentially warding off Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments.
This study indicates that MCT improved impaired brain glucose metabolism that leads to mild cognitive impairment.
MCT oil may have a beneficial effect on children with autism. Studies show that a ketogenic diet with added MCT oil may lead to improvements.
This is a new area of research that provides a promising way of supporting autism without drug intervention.
MCTs have antifungal and microbial powers.
MCT oil supplements are usually derived from coconuts, which are known to reduce the thrush fungus Candida albicans, and in a hospital setting, MCT helps prevent the growth of fungus.
Taking a daily dose of MCT oil can keep your body free from infection and potentially cut out a need for antibiotics.
MCT oil benefits include weight management and can help manage diabetes by reducing fat storage and boosting fat burning.
Studies also show that less insulin is needed in people taking MCTs, which can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels more accurately.
What Are the Dangers of MCT Oil?
MCT oil is generally a safe substance that boosts energy and brain power as well as shifting excess pounds, but there are a few side effects highlighted by studies you should be aware of.
Taking high doses of MCT oil may increase liver fat in the long term, and they may release the hunger hormones ghrelin and neuropeptide Y alongside the hormones that make you feel full.
However, potentially feeling hungry doesn’t mean you have to eat fatty foods, and you should always follow the recommended amount of one or two teaspoons a day to avoid any complications.
How Can I Take MCT Oil?
MCT is found in these naturally occurring foods.
It’s possible to increase your MCT intake through dietary changes, but supplements used in studies have proved effective, and they are easier to take.
Adding MCT oil to your morning coffee, your soup, smoothie, or evening meal is simple, and if you prefer MCT powder, you’ll still get all the benefits.
Overall, MCT oil is a simple way to improve your well-being, kick-start a weight loss plan, and keep your brain and body in top health. Always follow the recommended guidelines and you’ll avoid any potential side effects.