A Comprehensive Guide to MCT Oil and MCT Supplements Benefits
If you are someone who had gone to the internet looking for the best weight loss supplements that can help you achieve your goals, one of the things that you might have come across is MCT oils. MCT oils are added to drinks, smoothies, or taken as it is. MCT oils have a wide range of benefits that can be useful to you–from weight loss assistance to overall better health promotion. But what exactly are MCT oils, and what makes them different from other fatty oils?
Here is a complete guide for MCT oils, where it is from, its many benefits and uses, and how you can responsibly use it to its fullest potential.
What Are MCT oils?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, a type of man-made fat.
This compound got its name from the way its carbon atoms are arranged in their chemical structure. MCT’s are made through coconut and palm kernels oils. These are then processed in a laboratory to extract the fats needed from them. As a product, you can easily obtain them through major distributors, and you can even find MCT oils from Walmart.
There are two types of triglycerides: long-chain and medium-chain. The two differs in composition, function, source, and its uses and benefits upon use.
The Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (Second Edition) defines long-chain triglycerides as: “the most important dietary lipids. Their digestion depends on an intricate interplay among pancreatic lipase, colipase, and bile acids.” On the other hand, Wikipedia defines MCT as: “with two or three fatty acids having an aliphatic tail of 6–12 carbon atoms, i.e., medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).” Long-chained triglycerides are commonly found in dietary fats in whole foods.
If you are to compare the two types of fats in size, MCT is easily smaller than long-chained triglycerides. This means that MCT can be absorbed and burned by the body either as overall energy or be converted as a ketone, as with keto MCT oils products.
What are the benefits of using MCT oils and supplements?
MCT can be taken through the mouth as a food or drink additive, or through injectable means when used as a medicinal prescription.
It helps promote weight loss
Out of all the many wonders of MCT oil usage, weight loss is probably one of the best benefits that it can offer you, if not the best one. This is because MCT can help promote weight loss, not just in one way, but in many ways.
Firstly, the use of MCT oil has been linked to an increased release of peptide YY and leptin, two major body hormones that promote the feeling of satiation or fullness. This, in turn, would lead to less food consumption and thus less calorie intake. There would be less midnight cravings and less unnecessary trips to the fridge! Related studies also linked <the use of MCT oils to the lower rise in triglycerides and glucose, which are factors that also affect the feeling of fullness.
Secondly, MCT oil has around 10% less calories compared to LCTs. It should be remembered that less calorie intake can help in promoting weight loss. Additionally, the body can use MTC oil as an instant source of energy, therefore not giving the opportunity for excess fat to be stored on the body. However, the body may soon adapt to the presence of MCT, and this “instant energy” benefit may only last temporarily.
For those who are into keto, the best keto MCT oils can be your new best friend in diet. Since MCT oils can be converted into ketones, its intake can help you stay in ketosis, the state of the body in which fat is burned as energy, as opposed to the usual carbohydrates.
Last but not the least when it comes to weight loss, MCT oils and MCT oil powder can help promote the growth of good bacteria in your tummy, therefore promoting better digestion and thus can aid in weight loss, too.
It can be a good source of energy and “brain fuel”
There is a reason why a lot of people call the best MCT oils as a “super fuel” for the body. In the same way that superfoods are called as such for the wide range of nutrient content that they have, MCT oils can also give energy with better speed and efficiency as compared to its other fellow triglycerides, LCTs.
Since MCTs have shorter chain length, they can then be easily absorbed by the body and be processed faster and be converted to energy. In the process of intake, the MCT goes straight from your stomach to the liver and does not need bile to break it down, unlike other fats and nutrients. This is what makes MCTs faster and a better source of energy than LCTs.
To those who are on a keto diet, MCTs converted as a ketone can pass through the blood-brain barrier, essentially giving your brain cells more energy in a faster process. So, if you need a good mental boost, MCT oils can help do the job for you.
It can help use fat for energy
Aside from people who are into keto and those who are trying to lose weight, MCT oils also gained popularity among athletes and people who are actively working out. During training sessions and extreme exercise, one of the things that can affect the performance of the body is the increase in the levels of lactate in the body. While this is perfectly normal, it can hinder to the growth and development goals of someone, especially an athlete.
The good news is that MCT oils can help reduce the buildup of lactate during exercise or intense physical activities. A study showed that athletes who had at least 6 grams of MCT oils before working out had significantly lower lactate level and found it easiest to work out more, as compared to those who took LCT-based supplements.
It can help with Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Diabetes, and Autism
Aside from dietary and athletic benefits, MCT oils are also found to help ease the symptoms and effects of certain diseases.
Did you know that a ketogenic diet was not really a way of losing weight at first? The concept was first introduced as a way to help people with epilepsy reduce incidents of attacks. This is because ketones have long been linked to helping reduce epileptic seizures and thus, a keto diet can help manage epilepsy, if not alleviate its symptoms and attacks. However, do remember that the keto diet drastically changes the way you eat and thus changes your pattern of nutrient intake, too. While there have been countless testimonies and stories where a keto diet worked for people, not everyone had success, which presents the idea that keto is not for everyone. Thus, it is always the best idea to consult with a nutritionist or dietician before embarking on a drastic diet change.
As for those with Alzheimer’s Disease, an MCT keto diet may help in reducing the risks and possibly, the effects of the disease on the brain of the patient. Since Alzheimer’s mainly attacks the brain and its ability to utilize sugar as energy, using MCT on a keto diet will give a good supply of energy to the brain cells, therefore preventing them from deterioration. Additionally, the ketones that can come from MCT oils can also help block receptors in the brain that may cause memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s.
While there have been studies that showed positive effects of a ketogenic diet on children with autism, there is yet to be any research with stable findings. For now, keto diet is linked to better and improved overall behaviour to children with autism, although further research is needed before keto, and MCT oils for ketones can be promoted as an aid for autism-induced conditions.
Since MCT oils can help in fat burning and in the utilizing of stored fat as body fuel, patients with type 2 diabetes can take advantage of this.
It promotes resistance against yeast and bacterial growth
MCT oils can also help fight bacterial growth and infection on the body. In one study, coconut oil–and MCT product–helped reduce the growth of the Candida albicans yeast by 25%. This is a common infection that can cause a number of skin problems. While there are other various researches and studies done that show the effectiveness of MCT oils in fighting bacterial infection, these were all done in a test tube experiment and in a very controlled environment. Further research and study are still needed to give more credibility to the antibacterial and anti fungal properties of MCTs.
It helps reduce the risk of having certain diseases
Heart disease is a problem for all races, genders, and ages. There are a lot of health conditions that are linked to increased risks of developing or worsening of heart conditions such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, being overweight, and the respiratory effects of smoking.
Since the best MCT oils can help promote weight and fat loss, it can, in turn, help reduce the risk of heart disease. A study that gave overweight people MCT oils combined with the intake of phytosterols and flaxseed oil for at least 29 days showed at least 12% lower cholesterol levels. By comparison, subjects that were given olive oil for the same span of consumption (olive oil is one type of LCT oil) only showed reduced cholesterol levels of 4.7%. Additionally, MCT oils can help promote the production of heart-protective HDL, the “good cholesterol” that is healthy for the heart.
Are there any side effects?
Although MCT oils are considered safe, and numerous studies have already shown its efficiency and its effectiveness, there are still several possible side effects and adverse reaction that can be triggered by its use.
It can cause weight gain instead
For some people, instead of keto MCT oils releasing hunger-suppressing hormones that can help you feel full for a longer time, the MCT oils that they took instead end up releasing more hunger hormones instead. You know what this means–more food, more cravings, more unnecessary trips to the fridge for more snacks. Certain studies found that people with anorexia may have this adverse effect towards MCT oil and powders and their body end up releasing the hormones ghrelin and neuropeptide Y instead–hormones that induce the feeling of hunger.
However, there is no evidence yet that this can also be a possible adverse reaction for non-anorexic people..
Can cause fat buildup in the liver
Fat buildup on the liver caused by MCT is more of a misuse rather than a side effect or an adverse reaction. As with all things, too much of MCT oils can also lead to unwanted effects. One of these possible effects is the buildup of fat in the liver, which can be the result of long-term high dosage of MCT oils or any MCT-based products.
Where can you get MCT oils?
You can get the best MCT oil products–such as keto MCT oil or MCT oil powder–from establishments where supplements are being sold. Being a non-prescription supplement, you can easily buy an MCT oil from Walmart, too.
Regardless of the type of MCT oil products you need, always make sure that you acquire it form registered manufacturers and trusted distributors only.
Although you do not need a prescription to buy this product, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor first and make sure that you are getting the right product for your needs and the right amount depending on your physical condition.
Before you go
There is no doubt that MCT oil has a wide range of health and medical benefits. Still, always remember to consult with your doctor or physician for advice in the proper use of these products, as everyone has varying needs and reactions to all products and supplements.
*******************************************************************************************NOTE: You can get the link for most of the researches and studies cited in this article from here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits