Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), are a manmade saturated fatty acid combination. It was created in a lab by combining medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil and palm oil. The substance is composed primarily caprylic and capric fatty acids. Compared to other oils, the 6 to 8 carbon molecules that make up medium-chain triglycerides are digested more rapidly and with greater ease by the body
The MCT oil health benefits are undeniable because the body creates energy using the medium chain triglycerides without utilizing sugar and other unwanted processed substances that are frequently found in other types of oils.
MCT oil vs Coconut oil
You might be wondering why you can’t simply use coconut oil since MCT is made from coconut oil. However, MCT is created only from the medium-chain triglycerides which feature 6 to 8 carbon molecules and not coconut’ oil’s long-chain triglycerides which have 10 to 12 carbon molecules. The human body quickly digests and uses medium-chain triglycerides for energy but the long-chain triglycerides are frequently stored as fat. Approximately, 62 to 65 percent of the fatty acids of MCT are found in coconut oil but the remaining percentages in coconut oil are made up of long-chain triglycerides.
Ideally, a healthy diet should consist of both coconut oil and MCT oil. For centuries, islanders in tropical regions have consumed a diet rich in coconut oil and they have reaped considerable health benefits.
MCT Offers Less Fat and More Energy
MCT oil is rapidly digested by the body and quickly used as fat. Coconut, olive, peanut, lard, butter, and palm are not easily digested by the body’s digestive tract. The slow digestion rate means that the oil gets stored as unwanted, and often unhealthy, fat.
Where do MCT’s Occur Naturally?
MCT’s, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, occur naturally in limited supplies in grass-fed beef, butter, whole milk, whole-milk yogurt products, cheeses, and palm oil. However, without being created in a lab, the full benefits of MCT oil cannot be enjoyed because in nature they occur naturally in such low percentages.
MCT Oil and Your Cells
MCT is readily absorbed by your body’s cells because the body does not need to break apart the carbon bonds because of their naturally small size. The human body also doesn’t need any specialized enzymes to make use of the oil.
Understanding Medium Chain Fatty Acids in the Body
When medium chain fatty acids enter the body they perform as carbohydrates and not like typical fats. The body prefers carbohydrates as a fuel source. Once MCFAs enter the liver they start to immediately act like a carbohydrate and rapidly create lots of ketones for energy.
14 Health Benefits of Adding Medium Chain Triglycerides To Your Diet!
- Metabolism: No other oil has such a positive impact on your metabolism than MCFAs. They are believed to not only rev up your system but also alter your metabolism in a positive way. The body readily turns to the beneficial oils as fuel. This is positive for your body because it means less stored fat.
- Harmful Bacteria: MCT’s readily battle harmful bacteria found in the gut. The oil works hand in hand with beneficial probiotics in the digestive tract’s flora. Besides fighting bacteria, it also battles viruses, fungi, and parasite to create a healthier you.
- Aids in Feeling Full After Every Meal: Consuming MCFAs makes you feel full and satisfied. This is very beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. Ideally, you should consume small meals throughout the day and not partake of only two or three large meals. A diet high in medium chain fatty acids makes you feel full longer so you can consume smaller meals more frequently.
- Digestion: Unlike other oils, medium-chain triglycerides require no bile salts to digest. The oil readily passes from the body’s digestive tract straight into the bloodstream. It is ideal for people who have difficulty digesting other oils such as people suffering from digestive problems or the lack of a gallbladder.
- Hormone Balance: People suffering from hormone imbalances especially benefit from medium-chain triglycerides. In order for the body to correctly balance hormones, it requires adequate fat. Medium-chain triglycerides improve the body’s insulin sensitivity, according to research done by the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, School of Public Health at the Nanjing Medical University in Nanjing, China.
- Weight Maintenance: Medium chain fats assist the body in maintaining a healthy weight. If you are not overweight or underweight but you want to not gain or lose any pounds then focusing on a diet that consists of abundant MCTs will help you maintain your target weight. Even as the years pass and your body ages, consuming MCFAs helps ensure fewer weight fluctuations.
- Immune System: During cold and flu season the body needs all the help it can get to boost its immune system and make it abstain from getting sick. The oil’s antiviral and antibacterial properties assist the immune system on a daily basis. MCFAs have proven to be highly beneficial in boosting the immune system.
- Gut Bacteria: Gut bacteria is a key player in many digestive tract problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and a variety of other problems. Medium chain fats boost the good bacteria in the digestive tract while combating harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
- Stable Energy: Consuming sugar-laden energy drinks and caffeine may initially boost your energy but the energy ebbs and flows. They are not a reliable source of energy. Typically, you will feel energized for a limited amount of time and then crash rapidly. However, medium chain fats boost stable energy in the body so you won’t experience the crash. MCT flows rapidly from the digestive tract to the liver. Once it hits the liver it rapidly raises your drive. The body efficiently breaks it down for fuel and there is no fat conversion. MCFAs enter the mitochondria within your cells which are found in your muscles, heart, and brain. The flooding of the cell’s mitochondria with medium chain fats gives you instant, stable pep and also boosts your brain’s performance.
- Lose Weight: If you replace the fatty acids in your diet with MCTs then you will more than likely start to lose weight and keep it off. Athletes, bodybuilders, and diet advocates are turning to medium chain fats to lose weight. In extensive research carried out by the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and New York Obesity Research Center, St Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital in New York, NY (M-PS-O), and the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, AL, it was found that consumption of MCT oil as part of a weight-loss plan improves weight loss.
- Improved Memory and Mood: A diet rich in MCT and coconut oil has been shown to improve memory even in Alzheimer’s sufferers, according to James E. Galvin, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Director of the Pearl S. Barlow Center for Memory Evaluation and Treatment; and Director of Clinical Operations at the Center of Excellence on Brain Aging, New York University Langone Medical Center in New York, New York. The brain is composed of a high percentage of fatty acids, adding medium chain fats to the diet feed your brain’s cells and may improve your overall mood and increase your cognitive abilities with continued use.
- Heart Health: Use of medium chain fats in a diet appears to decrease cardiovascular disease by combating metabolic syndrome which is made up of such disorders as abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and impaired fasting glucose. All aspects of metabolic syndrome contribute to cardiovascular disease so fighting metabolic syndrome helps improve the sufferer’s overall cardiovascular health. Medium chain fats reduce the risk of obesity, provide a full feeling, help with weight loss, are easy to digest, and act as an anti-inflammatory which have all been shown to fight metabolic syndrome according to studies done by the Laboratory of Nutrition Biochemistry, Department of Applied Biochemistry and Food Science, Saga University in Japan.
- Antibacterial, Antiviral and Antifungal Properties: MCT features natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Consuming the medium-chain triglycerides is like fueling your body with a powerful antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal medication. Harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi are often immediately dealt with by MCTs. Research has shown that medium-chain fats fight and kill neisseria (which causes pelvic inflammatory diseases, gonorrhea, and meningitis), staphylococcus (which causes urinary tract infections and food poisoning), streptococcus (which causes sinus infections, sore throats such as strep, and pneumonia), and ulcers, stomach viruses, candida, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Many infant formula manufacturers now add MCTs to formula because it has been proven that they are especially usual in providing increased protection especially in milk, according to studies done by New York State Institute of Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York.
- Stabilizes Blood Sugar: Medium fatty chain acids encourage the body to store excess sugar in muscle instead of fat reserves. This helps improve sugar metabolism and can be beneficial for diabetic sufferers.
How to Cook With MCTs
MCT oils are excellent for cooking because they feature a high smoke point which means they don’t oxidize easily so can withstand high heat temperatures. This makes them superb for frying foods. They can also be used in baked goods, stir-fries, and sauces.
Taste and Odor of Medium-Chain Triglycerides
One of the main benefits of medium-chain triglycerides is the fact that they have no discernible taste. They are also odorless. They generally appear as a golden, translucent liquid when maintained at room temperature.
How to Use Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil
Many people simply take a spoonful of the oil as a daily supplement. If you want to take a spoonful a day, then you should start out slow and only take a teaspoon of the oil. However, it is a cooking oil and should be used as such instead of just ingesting. According to drugs.com the optimum dosage per day is 15 mL orally 3 to 4 times per day.
Here are a few other ways to reap the benefits of MCTs:
- Add to your morning coffee
- Add to your salad dressing
- Add to your mayonnaise
- Make a smoothie
- Mix in yogurt
- Use in all your baked goods
- Mix with fruit juice
- Use on vegetables
Uncommon Uses for MCTs
There are a few uncommon ways to utilize MCTs. It can be mixed with toothpaste for added whitening power. Sunscreen, lip balm, skin moisturizer, hair products, bath additive, skin moisturizer, facial masks, and body scrubs all benefit from the addition of medium chain fatty acids.