MCT oil is a supplement that is often added to salad dressings, smoothies, and bulletproof coffee. It’s also one of the key ingredients often found in CBD oil. MCT oil is everywhere at the moment because trendsetters and companies claim that it’s brain-nourishing oil that can be extremely beneficial to one’s health. But what exactly is MCT oil, and what are its benefits and common uses?
MCT is the abbreviation for medium-chain triglycerides, and as the name suggests, MCT oil contains medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. MCT molecules are smaller than those found in most other fats you eat (long-chain triglycerides – LCT). This means they’re easier to digest. MCT is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, turning it into energy you can use.
In this article, we will tell you everything that you need to know about MCT oil and why it’s one of the hottest new trends in the health and wellness world.
What Is MCT Oil?
As we already mentioned, MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are molecules that make up most fats. Medium-chain refers to the length of the fat molecule’s trail.
MCT oil is typically made from coconut or palm kernel oil. Both contain MCT. Dairy products also often contain MCT. But it’s most commonly extracted from coconut oil because more than 50% of the fat in coconut oil comes from MCTs. MCT oil is made up of one or more MCTs – a type of saturated fatty acid that contains 6-10 carbons.
MCT oil is commonly used to help people with weight loss, appetite control, inflammation, problems taking in nutrients or fats, and to get extra energy for exercise. However, more research is needed to determine how effective MCT oil is in treating these ailments.
If you’re following a high-fat, low-carb diet like the bulletproof diet, using MCT oil to supplement your diet will ensure that you’re getting enough fat to stay in ketosis.
But this is not the only reason that people use MCT oil. It’s also a great supplement if you’re looking to boost your brainpower and lose weight, among tons of other benefits.
The Benefits of MCT oil
Aside from being used in CBD products, MCT oil is also often used as a supplement on its own. Typically, MCTs are missing from the Western diet. Adding MCT oil to your daily routine can be a very effective way to obtain the benefits of multi-tasking smart fats.
Here are some of the most common benefits of MCT oil.
Promotes Weight Loss
There are several ways that MCT oil may be helpful when trying to lose weight. For starters, it could boost the body’s ability to burn calories. A 24-hour study done on healthy young men found that they burned an extra 120 calories when they consumed 2 tablespoons of MCT oil, in comparison to those who consumed a dosage of 2 tbsp LCT.
A similar 27-day study done on overweight women found that they burned an extra 50 calories a day when they substituted 50% of their fats with MCT oil. Furthermore, various other rodent experiments have discovered the same thing – MCT oil helps to burn more calories and gain fewer body fats.
Another weight-loss property of MCT oil is that it’s reported to make people feel more full and therefore consume fewer calories. A few human studies have confirmed these findings – a little MCT oil in the morning reduces feelings of hunger throughout the day.
Additionally, consuming MCT oil may significantly reduce waist circumference and reduce body weight. Some researchers have even reported that it could help prevent obesity.
MCT oil is a super fuel, and the digestive system can absorb it more quickly because it contains more carbons in the fatty acid chain. MCTs have a shorter chain length, which means that they don’t require bile to break down food. They travel straight down from the gut to the liver. The fats are broken down in the liver to either be used as fuel or stored as body fat.
MCT is perfect for an instant source of energy because the MCTs can easily enter the cells without any breakdown. If you’re on the ketogenic diet, MCTs can be converted into ketones in the liver. The ketones can pass through the blood-brain barrier, making them a convenient source of energy for the brain.
Fights Yeast and Bacterial Growth
MCTs contain powerful fatty acids and have been shown to have antifungal and antimicrobial effects.
Research has found that coconut oil (which contains a large amount of MCT) may reduce the growth of candida albicans – a common yeast infection – by 25%. A test-tube study also found that coconut oil could reduce the growth of Clostridium difficile, a disease-causing bacteria.
The ability that coconut oil has to reduce bacterial and yeast growth may be due to the capric, lauric, and caprylic acid in MCTs. Furthermore, MCTs have been shown to suppress the growth of a widespread infectious fungus in hospitals by up to 50%.
Strengthens the Gut
Research suggests that MCT oil may balance beneficial gut bacteria and therefore support the gut lining. When you have holes in your intestine, bacteria, toxins, and food particles can escape and enter the bloodstream. This puts you at risk for serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders like food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Boosts Your Workout
Studies have shown that MCT oil can improve stamina and help you exercise for longer. For this reason, it’s become especially popular among athletes.
MCT oil may reduce lactate buildup, which could be very beneficial. During exercise, rising lactate levels can have a negative impact on exercise performance. Furthermore, consuming MCT oil before exercise may help you to use more fat instead of carbs for energy.
Control Sugar Level
MCT oil can be very beneficial for diabetes patients because it reduces fat storage and enhances the burning of fat. If you are consuming MCT oil daily, it can help you to lose weight and control your insulin level.
What Is the Role of MCT Oil in CBD Products?
One of the most popular ways to consume CBD is in the form of softgels, tablets, and tinctures. While sublingual methods of ingesting CBD are an easy mode of delivery, it’s one of the slower methods of ingestion. This is because the CBD first needs to pass through the digestive tract and liver before it reaches the bloodstream.
Not only could the CBD take longer to work, but some of it may get lost in the digestive process. When you consume an oral supplement, the active ingredients are absorbed within the digestive process. The compounds are broken down in the stomach and then absorbed by the small intestine before they make their way to the liver.
This is where the MCT oil comes in. MCT oil acts as a CBD carrier to ensure more of the beneficial cannabinoid reaches the bloodstream. The blending of MCT oil and CBD is specifically done to increase the bioavailability of CBD.
The MCT helps the CBD to completely avoid the first-pass metabolism process. This allows more of the CBD to reach the bloodstream. Because CBD is fat-soluble, it’s most effective when taken with saturated fats, like MCT oil.
Simply put, MCT oil allows a larger concentration of CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream and begin acting quickly.
Final Thoughts on MCT Oil
We all know that CBD is incredibly beneficial, and most of us want to get the best out of the magical compound. MCT oil helps us to do just that. Not only does MCT oil help increase the bioavailability of CBD, allowing for better absorption and quicker delivery, but it also happens to be very good for your health.
MCTs are a powerful source of energy and may help fight bacterial and yeast infections. In addition, MCT oil can promote weight loss and may be very beneficial for the health of the gut. MCT oil is a convenient way to take full advantage of all the health benefits MCTs have to offer.