What is MCT oil and how does it work?

With the rise of the keto diet you might have heard about or seen people adding a weird oil to their smoothies or adding it to their morning coffee.

This is usually MCT oil, a high quality fat that is derived from coconuts or palm kernel oil. You can also find MCTs in butter and whole milk.

It is a dietary supplement with a variety of health benefits along with giving you fewer cravings for the foods that may negatively impact your health. In this guide we are going to go into exactly what MCT oil is, how it works, how you can use it, and which we recommend.

What are MCTs?

MCTs stand for medium-chain triglycerides, a small molecule of saturated fat that is absorbed and digested by the body much faster than long-chain fatty acids (LCTs), the type found in most of the fats you eat.

LCTs - carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded to a long chain of carbons - are frequently referred to as free fatty acids of nonesterified fatty acids, and are the usual dietary fat, being bulky, taking time to be properly broken down by the body to be used as a source of energy.

MCTs have a shorter chain of carbon atoms, and so digest a lot quicker, being able to be absorbed into your bloodstream more promptly to then be turned into energy you can use.

When MCTs are consumed they go directly to the liver to be rapidly digested, or turned into ketones, which the body can use in place of carbohydrate as an energy source and then helping you get into a state of ketosis.

MCTs are extracted most commonly from coconut oil and palm kernel oil and people can take them either orally, or via injection (less frequent, primarily for medical use).

What is MCT Oil?

MCT oil is the most commonly used source of MCTs for people, and is one of the fastest sources of clean fuel for the body and brain.

It is a highly concentrated source of MCTs, that is man-made through a process called fractionation, which involves extracting and isolating the MCTs from coconut or palm kernel oil.

Though there are some MCT oils that are sourced from palm oil, KetoKeto’s 100% Premium MCT Oil is made from pure coconut oil to minimise impact on the environment.

MCT oil serves as a food and dietary supplement that looks like, and has the texture, of any other type of food oil, but gives you more energy, helps curb cravings plus boosts ketones if you’re on a ketogenic diet and trying to get to a state of ketosis.

The two MCTs that tend to account for the majority of MCT oils are 100% caprylic acid (C8) 100% capric acid (C10), or a mixture of the two - like KetoKeto 100% Premium Coconut MCT Oil.

Note that MCT oil is not just liquid coconut oil - and has gone through a specific process to make it more concentrated and powerful.

Benefits of MCT Oil

Weight loss

Due to MCT oil satiating you, studies have found people who take MCT oil to eat less food later in the day, which can then have a positive impact on their weight.

Researchers have reported it could help prevent obesity, whilst MCT oil has about 10% fewer calories than LCTs meaning you can eat the same quantity but actually consume less calories.And because MCTs can be converted into ketones, MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state of ketosis and facilitate weight loss.

Increased Energy

Because MCT oil is so easily absorbed and transported throughout the body, it can be used as an instant source of energy or can be converted into ketones.

Many people report feeling more energised after their MCT oil consumption.

Reduction in lactate build up

Rising lactate levels during exercise have been shown to negatively impact performance, meanwhile, MCTs could actually help reduce that lactate build up.

A study found that athletes who supplemented with MCTs before cycling, found it easier to exercise and had lower lactate levels, whilst also indicating they may help you use more fat instead of carbs for energy.

Condition management - epilepsy, alzheimers, autism

It is no surprise that conditions involved with the discovering of the keto diet - like epilepsy, are positively impacted by MCTs due to MCTs being able to be converted into ketones.

This encourages the state of ketosis which has proven to be so beneficial for so many. Studies have been done showing positive associations with alzheimers, epilepsy, and children with autism.

Antimicrobial and antifungal effects

Though we are still awaiting more high-quality human studies, signs are positive. MCT oil contains fatty acids that been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria; including reducing the growth of candida albicans by 25% - the common yeast that causes thrush and various other skin infections, whilst MCTs have also been shown to suppress widespread infectious fungus growth in hospitals by up to 50%.

Reduction in heart disease risk

There are a number of heart disease risk factors, such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation and MCT oil could help reduce all of them.

We’ve already discussed MCT oil being shown to support weight and fat loss, one of the big risk factors of heart disease, whilst other studies have shown MCT oil to reduce total cholesterol, increase the production of heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and significantly reduce the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein.

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100% Coconut MCT Oil

100% Coconuts and free from palm oil! (500ml)

MCT oil is a MUST for anyone following the Keto lifestyle. Super rich in medium chain triglyceride (MCTs), our MCT oil will help boost your ketone levels and increase your fat burning state.

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Blood Sugar Levels

MCT oil could also be an asset in the fight against diabetes, by reducing fat stores, increasing fat burning and managing blood sugar. For example, a small study of 40 people who were diabetic, found those who consumed MCT oil daily, saw reduced body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance in comparison to those taking LCTs.

Reduces cravings

There are two hormones that can promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin, research has shown MCT oil increases the release of both of these hormones.This feeling of fullness, should reduce your cravings for whatever your vice may be, allow you to stay on your keto diet and maximise weight loss and/or health benefits.

Better workouts

Research has shown that MCT oil can improve your endurance, allowing you to exercise longer and potentially improving your stamina. A study done in 2009 found recreational athletes who consumed food rich in MCTs as opposed to LCTs improved the time they could endure high intensity exercise.These findings have been replicated with studies in mice, meanwhile, anecdotally, many supporters of MCT oil claim it boosts a person’s energy for working out.

How does MCT Oil work?

If you are new to MCT oil, we would recommend starting with small amounts, up to 1.5 teaspoons a day slowly increasing intake as your body adapts to MCTs.

Once your body adapts, you can up your dosage to up to 4 tablespoons a day without issues, though usual dosage is normally 1-2 tablespoon per day. You can consume it in a variety of ways - drink it neat if that’s your jam, or can add it to your hot drinks, your smoothies, pre and post-workout shakes, or in your dressings and condiments.

Once consumed, the MCTs go to work, being absorbed and digested by the body quickly, to be converted into energy you can use.They will either go directly to the liver to be rapidly digested, or turned into ketones, which the body can use in place of carbohydrate as an energy source and helping you get into a state of ketosis.

Different Types of MCT

There are four different types of MCTs: C6, C8, C10 and C12. They are named numerically because of the number of carbon atoms (which is between 6 and 12). The C stands for carbon.

C6 - Caproic Acid:

Though it converts to ketones quickly, there is not enough in coconut oil to really make a difference and is predominantly sourced from animal fats. Unfortunately, it has an unpleasant odour, and often can result in stomach upset. If your MCT oil has a weird flavour or upsets your stomach, it could be because it has too much C6 in it.

C8 - Caprylic Acid:

C8 is generally considered the all-around best MCT for ketogenic energy. It produces four times more energy than coconut oil, really facilitating the benefits of ketone production

C10 - Capric Acid:

Though it takes more time for C10 to turn into a source of ketone energy than some of the other MCTs, it is more affordable. a href="https://ketoketo.co/products/100-coconut-premium-mct-oil">KetoKeto’s 100% Premium MCT Oil is a blend of both C8 and C10 MCT Oils, making it not only optimal in terms of impact but also budget-friendly.

C12 - Lauric Acid:

C12 is largely what you find in coconut oil, but your body does not treat it like the other MCTs, because instead of being converted immediately into energy, it requires passing through the liver. Many argue it should be considered an LCT because of this, instead of an MCT.

In summary: C8 and C10 are the best types of MCT oils overall, whether you just want the energetic/health benefits from MCT oil, or you are following a keto diet. a href="https://ketoketo.co/products/100-coconut-premium-mct-oil">KetoKeto’s 100% Premium MCT Oil combines the two for optimal efficacy and affordability.

What does MCT oil taste like?

Don’t like coconut? No problem - some MCT oils - like our a href="https://ketoketo.co/products/100-coconut-premium-mct-oil">KetoKeto’s 100% Premium MCT Oil, are totally tasteless. It means you can add MCT oil to whatever you like to make it more palatable if you don’t like the idea of drinking straight oil shots - pour it over your salad, add it to your coffee or porridge, or whatever other meal you might be enjoying.

It is worth noting that MCT oil has a low smoke point, so it is not suitable for cooking - put it on your food after you have cooked it, not before.

Some other MCT oils are flavoured to improve palatability and taste - you might see coconut, vanilla, strawberry and a variety of other flavoured MCT oils available to buy, depending on your own personal taste.

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100% Coconut MCT Oil

100% Coconuts and free from palm oil! (500ml)

MCT oil is a MUST for anyone following the Keto lifestyle. Super rich in medium chain triglyceride (MCTs), our MCT oil will help boost your ketone levels and increase your fat burning state.

Shop Now

MCT Oil vs MCT Powder

Another way of consuming MCTs is in powder form. MCT powder is actually MCT oil that has been transformed into powder via a process called spray drying - evaporating the moisture in the particles with hot air which causes the MCT oil to bind to a carrier powder and then officially becoming a powder and no longer an oil.

MCT in powdered form has its benefits; it is easier on the digestive system, easier to pack and transport around with you on the go, and can be easier to to mix into keto recipes because of its dry texture.However, MCT oil is considerably cheaper, is perfect as a substitute for recipes including other oils, and is also a lot more widely available and accessible.It is for this reason, we generally recommend MCT oil - the health benefits are the same but in most cases you are saving at least 50% in price (and you can use that money to put towards some KetoKeto bars!).

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The KetoKeto Mix Box

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To Conclude

MCT oil has all sorts of wonderful benefits and should be incorporated into any keto diet - however, don’t trick yourself into thinking they are a shortcut to sustainable ketosis and weight loss. MCT oil should be a supplement to a robust diet plan, not *the* plan.