If you've missed the hype around MCT-oil going on right now, where everyone from pro athletes, biohackers, health junkies to celebrities and top performers around the world are praising these healthy fats for their many health and performance benefits, we’ll fill you in.
MCT-oil and MCT-powder are staples in the pantry of anyone following the popular Ketogenic diet, a low carb high fat diet, where you replace carbs with healthy fats from whole foods.
But you don't have to be on a low carb high fat diet to experience the many benefits of MCTs. The truth is that everyone has a LOT to win by adding MCT oil to their diet.
WHAT IS MCT?
But first, let just make sure that everybody knows what MCT actually is. MCT is a supplement than normally is added to your coffee, shakes or other drinks. Also known as Bulletproof coffee. MCT is a type of fatty acids and get their name from their chemical structure. All fats consist of chains of carbon molecules connected to hydrogen atoms. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides which is not more complicated than fatty acids with medium length (medium number of carbons).
There are short-chain fats with 6 carbons or less. Medium-chain fats contain between 6 and 12 carbons, and long-chained fats have 13 to 21 carbons. Because of their shorter length MCT's are processed differently and more easily in the body compared to long chain fats and that's also the reason to many of it's health benefits. The most effective MCT for instant energy is the MCT with 8 carbons, because it's quickly absorbed and instantly can be used as energy.
MCT's can mainly be found in coconut oil or palm oil but due to the controversy of using palm the most respected brands use MCT's from coconut. Small amounts of MCT can also be found in butter and high fat dairy.
WHAT IS THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MCT's?
OK, so let's get to the good stuff here. The main reason many people take MCT-oil is because it can be used as an instant source of energy without the following crash you normally get from carbohydrate rich foods. IN other words it will keep your blood sugar stable and give you more lasting energy and keep you focused for longer. But there are also many other benefits you get as a bonus.
Some of the health benefits of MCT's are similar to the benefits of coconut oil but because coconut oil only contain a partial amount of Medium Chain Triglycerides, using pure MCT-oil in it's concentrated form is much more effective. Coconut oil only contain about 6% of the most effective MCT with 8 carbons (C8 MCT) and to get the proper amount you would have to eat a lot of unnecessary calories.
Following is a summary of the main science-backed benefits you can get from adding MCT-oil to your diet:
- Increased energy levels and improved athletic performance and endurance
- Increased mental clarity and focus
- Improved cognitive and neurological function (brain health)
- Appetite reduction and weight loss
- Improved mitochondrial function and there of reduced risk for diseases such as diabets, cancer and cardiovascular heart disease
- Speeds up transition into ketosis
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties promoting a healthy gut bacteria.
HOW DO I USE MCT?
The easiest way to consume MCT-oil is by adding a spoon (10g) of MCT-powder in your morning coffee to get instant energy and focus. Or add it in your afternoon coffee or shake before hitting the gym for some extra energy to boost your workout and increase your endurance.
Using MCT-powder instead of pure MCT-oil is easier on your stomach and more convenient to mix in drinks. Pure MCT-oil can be drizzled over salads and used in dressings.
HOW DO I FIND THE BEST MCT POWDER?The most used MCT fats are C8 and C10 (the number explains how many carbons the fat chain has). Most commercial brands of MCT-oil contain close to a 50/50 or a 70/50 combination of C8 and C10 fats. Straight C8 (caprylic acid) is typically preferred as it converts to ketones/energy far more efficiently than C10 fats do because of it's shorter length.
MCT Oil benefits - Healthline
MCT Oil health benefits - Dr. Mercola
Written by Camilla Henriksen