As one of the fastest energy sources to fuel your body, MCT oil is gaining recognition for being significantly beneficial for your metabolism. No doubt you’ve heard about the advantages of coconut oil – the benefits of MCT oil are similar. So, what exactly is this "super-fat", and what can it offer your body?
What is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is otherwise known as medium chain triglycerides. These are a saturated fatty acid – MCT oil contains one or more medium chain triglycerides and appears as a colourless liquid at room temperature. MCT oil is not to be confused with coconut oil, although it’s often extracted from coconut or palm oil – coconut oil itself is a source of medium chain triglycerides with around 44 to 53% of its fatty acids found to be MCT’s.
Medium chain triglycerides are a highly beneficial nutrient which is lacking in many diets. While many assume that saturated fats are unhealthy for your heart, MCT is considered a ‘good fat’, offering many health benefits.
How Do Medium Chain Triglycerides Compare with Long or Short Chain Triglycerides?
The varying types of triglycerides differ by the number of carbons. All fats are made up of carbon and hydrogen. Short chain triglycerides are composed of up to 5 carbons, medium chain triglycerides boast between 6 and 12 carbons, and long-chain triglycerides have over 12.
Medium chain triglycerides are easy to digest as they’re processed in the liver. They increase energy levels quickly and are easily absorbed.
What Fatty Acids are MCT’s?
These fatty acids are all medium chain triglycerides;
Medium chain triglycerides may be one or more of these fatty acids.
Is MCT Oil Better Than Coconut Oil?
While MCT oil is extracted from both coconut and palm oil, coconut oil is naturally an excellent source of medium chain triglycerides. MCT is more concentrated than coconut oil and it mainly contains capric acid or caprylic acid. Coconut oil, on the other hand, boasts medium chain triglycerides mainly from lauric acid.
MCT oil is composed of concentrated caprylic acid or a combination of capric and caprylic acids, which provide energy quickly. Coconut oil contains small amounts of these acids in addition to lauric acid. Lauric acid boasts antibacterial and antiviral properties which is why many people use coconut oil topically to treat certain skin conditions.
Both MCT oil and coconut oil are highly beneficial, but if you’re looking to increase your energy levels, MCT oil is the effective solution.
MCT Oil Benefits
If you’re searching for the best MCT oil, you’ll probably want to know about the amazing MCT oil benefits;
MCT’s are easier to digest than long chain triglycerides. This is because MCT’s don’t require bile salts for digestion, directly passing into the bloodstream to be absorbed. If you suffer from digestive issues, you’ll find MCT’s are a great option.
MCT oil is able to balance bacteria in the gut to provide a positive impact on the digestive system. Additionally, MCT’s are able to fight an array of viruses and bacteria that result in digestive issues, such as constipation and diarrhea.1
Good fats also aid the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, including calcium and magnesium.
MCT oil acts in a similar way to glucose or carbohydrates rather than fat. As it's processed by the liver, it releases energy quickly. If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you’ll find MCT oil is extremely beneficial as the liver processes MCT’s straight into ketones with minimal effort. Ketones are required for energy for the whole body. Even if you’re not following a keto diet completely, anyone following a high-fat diet, such as athletes, will find MCT oil is a valuable energy source during tough workouts.
The brain is mainly made up of fatty acids, so a constant stream of fats is required to stay focused and alert. A study in 2004 revealed that MCT’s found in coconut oil enhanced memory and improved Alzheimer’s disease.2
Medium chain triglycerides have a positive effect on fat burning and weight loss. This is because MCT’s help you to feel fuller for longer to decrease your appetite. One research study demonstrated that MCT’s had a better effect on fat oxidation and body composition in obese women than long chain triglycerides. MCT’s were found to be more beneficial for fat burning for weight maintenance.3
Another study revealed great weight loss in subjects consuming MCT’s (in comparison to subjects taking LCT’s) over a 12-week period.4 Research has shown that MCT’s suppress fat deposition by delivering a similar effect to the keto diet in producing ketones for energy.5
Research suggests that MCT’s may help reduce cardiovascular disease due to weight loss. Furthermore, MCT’s have anti-inflammatory properties and are used easily for energy to protect the heart.6
A study in 2010 revealed that MCT’s may stop the development of metabolic syndrome; issues such as hypertension, impaired fasting glucose levels, and abdominal obesity.6
MCT’s can kill different types of bacteria, including streptococcus which is responsible for pneumonia and sinus infections, as well as Staphylococcus which causes food poisoning. MCT’s have also been shown to kill bacteria that result in candida and sexually transmitted diseases.7
Medium chain triglycerides have also been shown to provide better protection against infections than long-chain triglycerides.8
MCT oil is an excellent supplement to consume. Whether you want to improve your overall health, lose weight or gain more energy, adding MCT oil to your daily routine will allow you to experience positive effects that benefit your well-being.
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