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MCT oil is an oil concentrated from coconuts, which has a lot of good quality medium-length omega fatty acids. MCT is currently particularly popular among dieters, athletes and those who follows special diets.
The name of MCT oil comes from the words Medium Chain Triglyceride, which reflects medium-chain fats (C8 and C10). MCT consists of capric, caprylic, caproic and lauric acids. You get energy quickly from MCT oil, as it is absorbed into the body much faster than other fats. The C8 fatty acids in MCT oil are quickly converted into ketones in the body. MCT is therefore particularly suitable for a ketogenic diet and for giving extra energy to those who move a lot.
There is a lot of heated discussion about the use of fat and there is a lot of information on the subject. However, it is known that avoiding fats for weight loss is not necessarily the best solution. To function optimally, the human body needs good quality fat, e.g. for cells, brain, hormones and immunity. Fats are therefore a necessary part of natural well-being.
Other foods that contain medium-long fatty acids (MCT) include e.g. coconut oil, cheese, butter, yogurt, milk and palm kernel oil,
The neutral taste makes it easier to use
Thanks to its completely neutral taste and smell, MCT oil is perfect as a side dish to various foods and drinks. Adding MCT oil to shakes, porridge, soup, tea or coffee is nowadays a very popular way to get more energy, for example in the morning or before sports performance. Fatty coffee is also called butter coffee, strong coffee and bulletproof fat coffee. The fatty acids in MCT oil slow down the absorption of caffeine into the body, so that the stimulating effect of coffee lasts longer.
Adding oil to food and drinks gives texture, but does not affect the taste, and therefore it is easy to experiment and use in a variety of ways. MCT oil can also be consumed as is.
MCT oil dosage and use
Dosage instructions vary case by case, but it is recommended to start using MCT oil with a smaller dose of 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, so that the body gets used to it first. You can slowly increase the dose according to your taste. After getting used to medium fatty acids, the average recommended daily dose can be 1-3 tablespoons once or several times a day.
MCT oil is recommended to be stored at room temperature, protected from the sun. After opening, the oil stays better in a cool place, such as in the refrigerator.
MCT oil and frying
However, the versatile MCT oil is not suitable for frying and it is not recommended to heat it above 160 °C. Too high a temperature changes the chemical composition of MCT in an undesirable direction.
The benefits of MCT oil
The high-quality fatty acids of MCT oil have made this oil very popular in Finland in recent years as well. In particular, many weight-lossers and athletes have taken MCT as part of their diet. MCT oil quickly gives you more energy for training and can also be helpful for older people. In addition to other good properties, MCT oil also accelerates fat burning, so it is an excellent part of a healthy diet.
According to 2016 research, MCT oil had a significant positive effect on muscle function and strength in older people. Visible results were achieved with a daily dose of 6 grams in three months. (1)
MCT oil in coffee suppresses the effect of caffeine, and the invigorating effects of the drink last longer. MCT oil gives you quick energy without the food activating and overloading the digestive system too much.
For weight management, it is sometimes recommended to take MCT oil before going to bed, as it can help reduce the feeling of hunger the next morning. This can be a good way to fast for a short time or otherwise just to extend the intervals between meals, so that the digestion also gets more time to rest and recover.
MCT oil increases the level of alertness
MCT oil is said to improve not only the level of alertness but also the mood. The brain mainly consists of fatty acids and the good quality fats of MCT oil are easily usable food for them. In studies, MCT oil has increased the energy levels of people suffering from memory disorders and has been found to have a preventive effect on memory disorders.
Fatty acid composition of MCT oil
In its natural form, MCT oil made from coconut oil consists of four different fatty acids, which are lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid and caproic acid. Of these, caprylic acid (C8) is the highest quality medium fatty acid, which is absorbed very quickly and goes directly to the liver as fuel for energy.
MCT oil is also made from palm oil. In the name of health, it is good to prefer only MCT oil made naturally from non-GMO coconut. It is also essential to ensure that the ratio of fatty acids in the final product is optimal. This information is usually found on the bottle label.
Higher quality MCT oils mostly contain only the best forms of caprylic and capric acid. Poorly processed MCT oil may contain more caproic acid (C6) and lauric acid (C12) than caprylic and capric acids. In the names of medium fatty acids, the C number refers to the number of carbon atoms.
Capric acid (C10)
Capric acid is a high-quality medium saturated fatty acid, also known as decanoic acid. Capric acid has studied health effects and supports immunity, among other things. It is also used in the pharmaceutical industry and in lubricants.
Caprylic acid (C8)
Caprylic acid is the most essential form of fatty acid in MCT oil, which has been studied to have a wide variety of health benefits. Caprylic acid is absorbed very quickly and burns in the liver, giving energy almost at the same time, which makes it especially suitable for sports performances to give extra purity. Caprylic acid has a warming effect on the body from the inside.
Lauric acid (C12)
Lauric acid is a medium saturated fatty acid. Lauric acid is antibacterial and is found especially in coconut oil, but also in cow’s, goat’s and mother’s milk. It is not converted to energy as quickly as caprylic acid.
Caproic acid (C6)
Caproic acid is the shortest saturated medium fatty acid and no significant health benefits have been found. At room temperature (20 degrees), caproic acid is clear and has a liquid consistency.
LIST OF MCT OIL BENEFITS
- Increase muscle strength (1).
- Burns fat and helps with weight loss (2).
- Reduces the amount of bad cholesterol (2).
- Increases the feeling of satiety (3).
- Eliminates hunger (3).
- Raises the alertness level (4).
- Promotes ketosis (4).
- Improves mood.
- Strengthens immunity (5).
- Prevents memory disorders (6).
- Enhances training and promotes endurance (7).
- Enhances the absorption of omega-3 fats (8).
- Helps balance blood sugar (9.)
- Promotes digestion
- Also suitable for skin care and as a lubricant.
Disadvantages of MCT oil
Even with good quality fats, you should be careful and moderate. Compared to other oils, MCT oil is absorbed very quickly, which means that it should not be used too much. The fatty acids in MCT oil are absorbed through the portal vein directly into the liver. Pay the room to store the extra substances in itself if there are too many of them. A high intake of MCT oil may cause fatty liver, which should be avoided. (10)
Fatty liver means that excess fat accumulated in the liver causes the liver to expand. According to the definition of fatty liver, if more than 5% of the liver tissues are made up of fat, we can talk about fatty liver. Also excessive use of alcohol or 2. type 2 diabetes can cause fatty liver. (10)
With fat coffee containing MCT, you should also observe moderation and drink no more than one cup a day, so that the oil does not become too much in the dosed sump.
Poorly processed MCT oil may contain more caproic acid (C6) and lauric acid (C12), which may cause diarrhea, flatulence, or digestive issues.
MCT oil and CBD oil
CBD oils are usually sold extracted into liquid vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are usually MCT oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil. MCT oil has been found to be the best possible carrier oil also in the ingredients of CBD oils, which is why MCT oil is currently by far the most popular carrier oil in CBD oils.
Why is MCT the best carrier oil for CBD oils?
The fast-absorbing MCT oil enhances the effect of the cannabinoids in the CBD oil. In addition, MCT has a neutral taste and, due to its antibacterial properties, it also improves the shelf life of CBD oils. MCT oil remains liquid even when cool, making it easier to dose and use.
Differences between MCT and coconut oil
MCT oil is extracted from coconut meat, but coconut oil also has similar effects on human brain function and memory as MCT oil. Coconut oil also acts as fuel for the brain, which can affect alertness, the flow of thoughts and clarity. Coconut oil also promotes fat burning.
Most of the fats in coconut oil (93%) are saturated fatty acids. In the same way as MCT oil, coconut oil does not need additives to be preserved, so it is a 100% natural product. Coconut oil is also antibacterial and therefore can be used as well for skin care , irritated or damaged skin, intimate areas and as a deodorant substitute.
The smoking point of coconut oil is 180 °C degrees, i.e. slightly higher than MCT, and therefore it is more suitable for heating than MCT, which is not recommended to be heated above 160 degrees.
Separating MCT oil from coconut oil enables a better fatty acid composition. MCT nightshade naturally contains only C6, C8, C10 and C12 acids. Almost half of coconut oil (42%) is lauric acid.
MCT Oil vs. Hemp Oil
Hemp oil and MCT oil both contain good quality fatty acids. The main difference between these oils is the taste, color and fatty acid composition. Hemp oil provides plenty of essential omega-3 fatty acids in a good ratio to omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil also contains omega-9 fatty acids.
MCT oil contains caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), lauric acid (C12) and caproic acid (C6).
MCT oil has been found to promote the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids, so it is ideal for use in combination with hemp oil.
You can order CBD oils made from MCT oil from Hamppumaa’s online store .
- Abe S. et al. 2016. The Journal of Nutrition. Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Combination with Leucine and Vitamin D Increase Muscle Strength and Function in Frail Elderly Adults in a Randomized Controlled Trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27075909/. Referred on 07.06.2022.
- Ria et al. 2016. Nutrients. Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4882694/. Referred on 15.06.2022.
- St-Onge et al. 2015. Eur J Clin Nutr . Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192077/. Referred on 07.06.2022.
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- Michael Shilling et al. 2013. J. Med. Food. Antimicrobial effects of Virgin Coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24328700/. Referred on 15.06.2022.
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- Nasako et al. 2009. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). Effect of ingestion of medium-chain triacylglycerols on moderate- and high-intensity exercise in recreational athletes . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19436137/. Referred on 07.06.2022.
- Kondreddy et al. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2016. Medium-chain triglycerides and monounsaturated fatty acids potentiate the beneficial effects of fish oil on selected cardiovascular risk factors in rats . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26878786/. Referred on 07.06.2022.
- Eckel et al. 1992. Diabetes. Dietary substitution of medium-chain triglycerides improves insulin-mediated glucose metabolism in NIDDM subjects . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1568535/. Referred on 07.06.2022.
- Turola Ilona. Over. 2014. A new hit oil landed in Finland . https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-7422146. Referred on 15.06.2022.