by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
MCT oil is just one of the many health and fitness products being sold on the market today that has a lot of hype behind it. There was a huge craze surrounding it, and since then, things have somewhat slowed down.
With claims that MCT oil can help you lose weight and improve your overall health and fitness, many people are curious if the claims are legit or bunk. This article will explore how MCT oil may benefit you and if it’s actually worth trying.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition or supersede the directions of a healthcare professional. As always, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare professional before adding any new supplement(s), such as MCT oil, into your regimen to ensure you are healthy enough to use such a product and that there will be no interactions with any other supplements, drugs, or medications that you may be on.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. These fatty acids are naturally present in coconut oil and palm kernel oil but can also be extracted from other sources like palm fruit or soybean oil.
When consumed, they don’t get stored as fat but instead go directly to the liver, where they’re converted into ketones for energy. MCT oil can be used by the body more efficiently than many other fats. That makes it an excellent addition to any diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health in many different ways.
There are four different types of MCTs: caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid. Except for lauric acid, all of these fats are considered saturated fats.
MCT Oil Uses
MCT oil is often recommended as a supplement for people who have difficulty eating enough healthy fats or have digestive problems that keep them from absorbing fat properly.
It’s also commonly marketed as a weight loss aid because it can help you feel full faster, making it easier to stick to your diet.
MCT oil commonly helps with:
- Difficulty absorbing essential fat or nutrients
- Weight loss
- Controlling appetite
- Boosting energy
How Does MCT Oil Work?
MCTs are a type of fat that is metabolized differently than other fats. They don’t require bile acids for digestion and absorption, meaning they can be absorbed directly by the small intestine without going through the liver first.
They don’t need pancreatic enzymes for digestion and absorption either. When other fats are eaten, they must first be broken down into smaller particles by lipase enzymes before being absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine. MCTs can pass directly through the gut wall without having to be broken down first because they are already at a small enough particle size to pass through cellular membranes without assistance from bile or pancreatic enzymes.
6 Proven Health Benefits of MCT Oil
MCT oil is a popular dietary supplement that can give you the energy boost you need to get through your day. Here are some of the most common benefits of MCT oil that can improve your overall health and fitness:
- Helps in Weight Loss
MCTs are easily digested and absorbed, so they provide quick energy. This makes them ideal for controlling hunger pangs and boosting metabolism to help with weight loss. They also increase thermogenesis, the body’s process of generating heat internally, which helps burn more calories.
- Increases Energy Levels
MCTs have been shown to increase energy levels when consumed by people following a ketogenic diet. One study showed that people who consumed MCT oil increased their ketone levels after consuming it. This means that they could use the fats as fuel instead of glucose, which happens in most diets.
- Helps Manage Epilepsy
MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides are easily digested and absorbed by the body. This means they can be used by people with epilepsy or other neurological disorders.
One of the most important benefits of using MCT oil is that it can help reduce seizures. When added to someone’s diet regularly, they may experience fewer seizures than before starting treatment with MCT oil. This is because this type of saturated fat is easily digested by the body and quickly absorbed into cells, which can be used as an energy source instead of stored as fat cells.
- Fights Bacterial Growth
Research has shown that MCT oils can help fight bacterial growth in the body due to their anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain antimicrobial properties that help prevent viruses from spreading through your system and bacteria from attaching to your intestinal walls.
- Reduces Risks of Heart Disease
People who consume Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are at a reduced risk of heart disease. MCTs have been shown to reduce serum total and LDL cholesterol levels and decrease fat accumulation in the liver. They can help prevent fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack risk factors, and strokes.
- Helps Manage Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is dementia that results in memory loss and other cognitive impairments. Brain cell death is one of the primary characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain cells die because they can no longer function properly due to inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. This causes neurons in the brain to stop communicating with one another effectively, leading to memory loss and other cognitive issues.
MCT oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain by increasing ketone levels in the bloodstream, which can help improve memory loss and protect brain cells from damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease.