Check out these 6 MCT Oil Benefits and Side Effects
Posted on February 4th, 2022
Are you curious about possible MCT oil benefits and side effects? We’ll share what you need to know. But first, let’s learn more about this oil, which we often use in CBD oil tinctures.
MCT Oil stands for medium chain triglycerides. It’s a popular supplement for individuals following ketogenic diets. And it’s different from popular healthy oils, such as olive oil, which are rich in long chain triglycerides. You see, long-chain fatty acids have 13 to 21 carbon atoms. These are everywhere: you’ll find them in popular food items such as meat marinades, salad dressings, soybean, canola, and a vast majority of premade foods.
MCT Oil is different as these fatty acids are made up of molecules containing 6 to 12 carbon atoms. In simple terms, fewer carbon atoms make it easier for the human body to digest them. (Which can contribute to MCT oil benefits and side effects.)
The biggest difference between medium chain triglycerides and long chain fatty acids is the way your body metabolizes them. Medium chain triglycerides or MCTs are used as an instant energy source by the body which means they work like carbohydrates and are not stored for later use.
There are 4 main varieties of MCT oil, including lauric acid C12, capric acid C10, caprylic acid C8, and caproic acid C6.
MCT Oil consists entirely of medium chain triglycerides fatty acids. It is flavorless, odorless, and colorless and maintains liquid form at normal temperature.
Main Sources of MCT Oil
Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids. In fact, 54% of coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides. Palm kernel oil is also used for deriving MCT Oil as almost 50% of the compounds in palm kernel oil are medium chain triglycerides. Dairy products are also used as a source.
MCT Oil Benefits and Side Effects: 6 Positive Effects
MCT Oil offers a variety of proven, science-backed health benefits. Here is a list of the major benefits:
1. May Help with Weight Loss
More research needs to be done but some studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that MCT Oil may prove effective for weight loss. That’s because research studies show that it helps enhance the release of 2 hormones associated with satiety in the human body.
These 2 hormones are leptin and peptide YY. One study shows that individuals who took 2 tablespoons of MCT Oil along with their breakfast needed less food for lunch as compared to individuals who took coconut oil. There are also some research studies that show that MCT Oil may be useful in preventing obesity.
In terms of caloric value, MCT Oil has 10% fewer calories than the long-chain triglycerides commonly found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil. The human body can also convert MCTs into ketones.
This is why MCT Oil is the preferred choice of individuals following a ketogenic diet which is a diet high in fat and low in carbs. MCT Oil can help these individuals stay in ketosis which is the fat-burning state.
2. Reduces Lactate Buildup
Rising levels of lactic acid in the body negatively impact exercise performance. However, regular use of MCTs may help in reducing this buildup. One study has shown that individuals that consumed around 1.5 teaspoons of MCT oil along with food found it easier to exercise and had lower lactate levels after cycling as compared to individuals that consumed LCTs.
3. Instant Energy Source
Since the human body finds it easier to absorb MCTs as compared to LCTs, MCT Oil works as a better energy source for the body. MCTs are able to move quickly from gut to liver as they have a shorter chain length.
Also, bile isn’t needed for breaking down MCTs which is not the case with LCTs. MCTs easily enter cells without the need to be broken down which means the human body can use them as an instant source of energy. When on a ketogenic diet, the liver can convert MCTs into ketones. Ketones can go through the blood-brain barrier which means they can act as an energy source for the brain cells.
4. Diabetes Control
Hundreds of millions of people around the globe suffer from diabetes. One of the major reasons behind the rise in diabetes patients is the change in the human diet combined with lack of physical activity. It is estimated that around 10% of the global population will suffer from diabetes in the next decade. However, MCT Oil intake can help maintain regular blood glucose levels.
5. May Improve Heart Health
Some of the main factors that increase the risk for heart disease include inflammation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Since MCT Oil has been known to be effective for weight loss, it also reduces the risk of heart disease.
Some researchers discovered that regularly consuming MCT Oil combined with flaxseed oil can help reduce total cholesterol levels as well as bad cholesterol levels. MCT Oil is also associated with increasing good cholesterol levels in the body.
6. Better Gut Health
MCTs also help in enhancing the proportion of good bacteria in the gut which, in turn, helps in improving digestion as well as absorption. In short, these work as probiotics and help in improving overall health.
MCT Oil Benefits and Side Effects
As we just reviewed, MCT Oil offers a variety of health benefits. However, everything is good in moderation and excessive use might lead to a number of side effects as discussed below:
1. Increase in Bad Cholesterol
Consumption of too much MCT oil is associated with an increase in the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. As you know, bad cholesterol is not good for heart health and might lead to cardiovascular diseases. This is why MCT Oil should be consumed in moderation.
2. Upset Stomach
Consuming too much MCT Oil can upset your stomach, causing diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain as well as vomiting.
3. Weight Gain
One of the biggest risks associated with any kind of beneficial supplement is that people treat it as a magic bullet. It’s natural to think that when a small amount of something provides some health benefits, more of it is going to provide a lot more health benefits. Unfortunately, biology works in a different manner.
If MCT Oil forms more than half of the daily fat calories of an individual, it could lead to the storage of fat in the liver. This is why MCT Oil should never exceed 10% of the total daily caloric intake of an individual.
It is also important to keep in mind that it has a low smoke point and should never be used as a cooking oil.
Where to Buy MCT Oil
MCT Oil is good for your health when taken in moderation. However, a common problem with all the popular supplements is that it is difficult to source pure supplements. Online shops are full of fake brands and watered-down versions. This is why it is important for you to buy it from a trusted retailer with an excellent reputation in the community.
In short, do not buy a brand only because it’s the cheapest available option. Make sure you check customer reviews and the reputation of the brand as well as the retailer before clicking that buy button.
MCT Oil can be extremely beneficial for people who are suffering from diabetes, cognitive impairment or excessive weight. However, it needs to be used in moderation. Too much of anything isn’t good for your health and if you consume too much MCT Oil, it will definitely affect your well-being and health. Think of it as a source of instant energy with other benefits such as improvement in cognitive performance and heart health. Also, make sure you buy it from a trusted retailer to experience the desired health benefits.