MCT Oil is all the rage these days, especially within the Keto community. But what exactly is MCT oil? MCT oil is generally a coconut or palm oil derivative. MCT, medium-chain triglyceride, contains medium length chains of healthy fats that are more easily digested than their longer-chain counterparts that are most often found in the Standard American Diet. How can adding MCT oil to your diet benefit you?
MCT and Weight Loss
Some research suggests that MCT oil can increase the release of peptide YY and leptin, two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness in the body. One study found that participants that took 2 tablespoons of MCT oil with breakfast tended to eat less for lunch. MCTs can be easily converted into ketones, which break down fat for energy when carbohydrate intake is very low. MCT oil may also support healthy gut bacteria!
MCTs are more easily absorbed by the body and converted to energy than longer-chain fats and even carbohydrates. MCTs also do not require bile to break down and can be easily enter your cells without needing to be broken down, making for a readily available energy source to fuel your body.
Reduces Lactate Buildup
For those of the athletic persuasion, lactate buildup is what causes those awful muscle cramps, otherwise known as a “Charlie horse”, and overall negatively impact athletic performance. Adding MCT oil to your pre-workout regimen may reduce lactate buildup.
MCT oils may support brain health and aid in managing neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and autism. Increased ketone production has been found to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. With Alzheimer’s, the ability to use sugar for fuel is impaired. Research suggests that a ketogenic, MCT rich diet could deliver an alternative source of energy for brain cells, ketones! This alternative fuel for the brain can help stave off memory loss and improve symptoms in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
Because autism is a spectrum disorder, more research needs to be done on the potential benefits of MCT oil, but early studies have suggested that symptoms are reduced in roughly half of participants when taking MCT for 6 months.
MCTs are antimicrobial and antifungal and have shown to reduce (by 25%!!!) the growth of Candida albicans, the cause of thrush and other yeast and bacterial skin infections.
Using MCT oil to replace longer-chain triglycerides may reduce your risk of high blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL), inflammation, all of which affect your cardiovascular health.
Large and continuous doses of MCT oil may still contribute to the fatty liver in the long term. Safe limits are around 4-7 tablespoons per day.