MCTs aren't just for Athletes
MCT what? Please explain...
If your new to the world of MCT don't be embarrassed. I've heard this term thrown around myself for many years but I didn't pay it much attention until recently...
There's been a buzz around this new health trend and even more lately as folks are finding out the incredible benefits. It's actually quite amazing.
MCT oil became most popular due to bulletproof coffee, though it's favoured amongst athletes and people living a paleo or keto lifestyle.
It's not just for coffee lovers, don't be misled into thinking so. It is being enjoyed by millions of people globally now and people are using it in their smoothies etc. instead of just plain coconut oil.
You can add it to coffee, tea, dressings, porridge and much more and it's wonderful to cook with. I love that it virtually has no coconut taste which is nice for a change considering just how much I use coconut in my cooking (there are some things you just don't want to taste coconutyy!)
So What is MCT Exactly then?
This is a great question and I'm glad you telepathically asked me ;) Let me help to shed some light on what it is and it's long list of potential health benefits...
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, which means it's an oil that contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides.
Because of their shorter chain length (MCTs), they travel straight to the liver and don't need bile to break down (like LCTs/longer-chain fats do).
It's in the liver that these fats are broken down to be utilised as an instant energy source so you can see why MCT oil is popular amongst athletes, busy people or anyone seeking more energy. (1)
Why It Can Be Better than Coconut Oil
This is hard for me to say as someone who has always been a massive fan of pure coconut oil but the more I learn, the more my eyes open up to the discoveries of modern science and possibilities...
"The moment we think we know everything, is the moment we become unteachable" ~ unknown
If you're looking to feel fuller for longer then skip the coconut oil and grab yourself a bottle of pure MCT oil. Keep on reading to find out...
The following abstract was taken from a scientific article to demonstrate how MCT oil can help satiety (fullness) more effectively than just straight coconut oil.
So as you can see, not only can MCT oil help you to feel fuller and more satisfied but this can also be helpful with reducing body weight and the circumference of your waist.
Due to the fact that your body can use MCT oil as an instant energy source, the fat is not stored in your body... hello to staying in great shape!
With millions of people worldwide suffering from some sort of gut issue for various reasons, it's important that we shed more light on how to achieve better gut health...
While diet and lifestyle is important it's also key to look at improving our gut environment and one way we can help nourish our gut habitat is by taking a high quality MCT oil. MCT oil can help to optimise good bacteria growth and support the lining of the gut.
Something cool to know if you're trying to lose weight (and yes this is related to gut health) is that the healthier the gut lining, the easier it can be to lose weight!
If we have intestinal permeability (Leaky Gut) we are more prone to metabolic disease and weight gain so improving the health of this lining is very important (4).
Adding MCT oil and taking a good collagen supplement can be part of your gut-healing strategy.
Want to Reduce Lactic Acid from Exercise?
MCT oil is creating a buzz amongst athletes and it's easy to see why...
If you've ever exercised vigorously and felt sore muscles the next day you will probably understand that this is due to lactic acid build up that's not been released. When you exercise, lactic acid levels rise and this can also have a negative effect on your performance (5).
What's interesting is that MCTs can help reduce this lactic acid build-up. Try this for yourself! Next time you are about to train or engage in vigorous or intense exercise like cycling, running, swimming, dancing, skipping rope, tennis, hiking or even heavy gardening, try taking a some MCT oil prior to...
How Much MCT Oil Should I take?
If you're a newbie to MCT then start slow and gradually so you don't shock the system! Here is a guideline for taking MCT oil:
- For the first three days, take ~ 5-7g of MCTs. That’s one teaspoon of pure MCT oil
- For days 3-6, bump up to ~ 10g of MCTs. That’s 2 tsp of pure MCT oil
- On day 7, try a full 14g dose of MCTs. 1 tbsp of pure MCT oil
In a study found on PubMed, an investigation was conducted where for 2 weeks a person was given a small amount of MCT (6g) on energy metabolism this was their conclusion:
"In conclusion, our data suggest that short-term ingestion of food containing a small amount of MCT suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and RPE during moderate-intensity exercise and extends the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise, at levels higher than those achieved by ingestion of LCT-containing food" (6).
Summary: MCT oil can suppress the increase in blood lactate.
Kick Yeast and Bacterial Growth to the Curb
Just like pure coconut oil, MCT oil can have some serious butt-kicking super powers when it comes to microbes and bacteria in the gut!
Some of these include Candida albicans (common yeast when overgrown can cause thrush and certain skin conditions) and Clostridium difficile (the bacteria that causes the bowel disease; Colitis).
Don't you just love knowing that nature can provide so many disease preventatives?? I sure do!
Can Help Reduce Heart Disease
We all know heart disease is on the rise but what can we do about it?
Well firstly we can educate ourselves so we can help inform our loved ones and we can take preventative measures because heart disease really is a disease of our modern times and it is due to poor diet, lifestyle and not managing stress.
Diet is key. Not smoking is key. Watching alcohol intake is key. Exercise is key. Managing our weight is key. Reducing stress is key.
In regards to diet and also weight management this is where taking a good quality MCT oil daily can really help us. This is because a good MCT oil can help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol to enjoy a healthier heart and a longer, happier life! (7).
Did you know that MCT oil can help protect the heart? It is true because they help increase the good cholesterol (HDL) and this can help protect the heart (8).
What's cool to know also is that MCT oil can help reduce C-reactive protein (CPR) significantly! CPR is an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease (9).
Diabetes and MCT Oil
If you or someone you know has Diabetes you may wish to consider taking a high quality MCT oil?
This is because MCTs can help reduce stored fat and increase fat burn. It also may be interesting to mention that many Diabetics are either overweight or obese.
A study in China found that when 40 people with Diabetes consumed MCT oil everyday, they had noticeable reductions in body weight, circumference of waist and a reduction in insulin resistance compared to those taking LCTs (long-chain fatty acids) (10).
Mood & Depression
Now this excites me almost as much as filling my fridge with organic veggies every Sunday! ;)
As someone who has suffered for many years with mood issues and bouts of depression I am excited to just learn that MCT oil can help me to improve and hopefully prevent these feelings (11).
Because your brain is mostly made up of fatty acids, it's crucial that you get a good intake of the right type of FAs. It's the medium-chain fats (MCTs) that are recommended as they're more easily digested, utilised and protective by nature.
It was a study published in the journal Neurobiology of Ageing that taking MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) improved cognitive function almost immediately in folks with memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (12).
After learning this I will definitely be taking my Perfect MCT oil every single day! :)
The incredible benefits don't end there. Another potential benefit MCT oil can have is with regards to Autism in children. By following a ketogenic diet that includes a daily dose of MCT oil, it can help improve the condition of your child (13).
It's always a good idea to talk to your trusted health professional before altering diet or supplementation when dealing with Autism or any health condition.
How to Use MCT oil
MCT oil is great because it's always liquid so you never need to heat it, just grab your bottle and start using right away!
You can add it to smoothies, porridge, baking, tea, coffee, dressings and much more! Or simply take it by the teaspoon. :)