In the last couple of years, MCTs (Medium-chain triglycerides) gained a lot of attention from medical experts and the public. MCTs provide benefits to the body including an increase in energy, a healthier heart, body fat reduction, and more. With science backing up these benefits, more and more people are now interested in MCT and would like to learn more.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is a type of healthy fat that commonly comes from or is extracted from coconut oil. This supplement, as the name suggests is filled with medium-length of triglycerides. MCT is a manufactured, not natural, source of saturated fat. One of the most common questions about MCT oil is whether it is healthy for humans to take or not given that it contains saturated fats. According to well-known dietitian nutritionist Jackie Newgent, “Animal research has suggested that MCTs may offer protective effects on cardiovascular health by improving the serum lipid profile.”
However, there is new research from Oxford Academic that MCT has no effect on cholesterol levels and that it can even result in “slightly higher triglycerides.” There are still a lot of things to be studied when it comes to MCT but many experts believe that it is indeed good for the body.
Another important thing to know about MCT oil is that there are four types of it – C6: caproic acid, C8: caprylic acid, C10: capric acid, and C12: lauric acid. Their differences lie on the number of carbon atoms.
Benefits of MCT Oil
Fast energy source
MCT oil is popular, especially for bodybuilders and athletes. Compared to other fatty acids, MCT oil is easier and quicker to digest so it is a good source of energy. LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) contain more carbons in the chains. When being broken down in the liver, fats are either stored as body fat or used as energy fuel. Since MCTs are again easier to digest and can easily enter cells, they are used as the latter.
Ketones (acids produced by the body) can reduce epileptic seizures for people living with epilepsy. MCT oil other than just being a good energy source can also improve the body’s production of ketones. Fasting is also a good way to increase ketone production. That is why the keto or ketogenic diet was first introduced as a treatment to help manage epilepsy. However, as mentioned above, there are different types of MCT oil, C10: capric acid according to studies works better in reducing seizures.
Strengthens the heart
Fat loss results in weight loss, resulting in a stronger heart. There have been studies that showed promising results of MCT oil being used for total cholesterol and bad cholesterol reduction.
These are just some of the benefits of MCT oil and there are more. There are still a number of studies being conducted about this supplement. If you are planning to take MCT, it is important first to visit your doctor, dietician, or nutritionist. It is important that you be able to determine if it is safe for you to take it or not.
Of course, if you want more natural ways of improving your health, you can never go wrong with exercising, taking up different types of experiential therapy, and even as simple as getting a good night’s sleep.