MCT Oils and the Keto Diet

Diet and Supplements

What is MCT Oil?

MCT stands for “Medium Chain Triglycerides” or “Medium Chain Fatty Acids.” Due to their shorter length as compared to Long Chain Triglycerides (another healthy fat) they are easily absorbed by our bodies and provide many health benefits by the way our body processes these fats. MCTs are predominantly found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and some dairy products. MCT Oil is a health supplement made by isolating these healthy MCT fats from their original food source.

MCT Oil versus Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is the most well-known source of MCT fats. However, there are a ton of different types of healthy fat present in coconut oil and recent studies are showing that you simply can’t get enough MCTs from utilizing coconut oil alone in it’s normal form. So, supplement companies have developed a process to isolate the MCT fats from things like coconut oil to make them more readily available for us to consume in order to reach the maximal benefits. 

What are the Benefits to MCT Oil?

1. Promotes Weight Loss In Several Different Ways

MCT oil has been shown to increase the amount of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness: leptin and peptide YY. MCTs also have about 10% fewer calories than the more commonly occurring healthy fats in the diet. Not only that, our bodies can use MCTs as an instant source of energy, making them unnecessary to store as fat. If they aren't used as immediate energy, then they’re converted to ketones and excreted from the body. In fact, if you’re following a keto diet then consuming MCT oil can help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis. 

2. Instant Source of Energy That Can Also Fuel Your Brain

Since MCTs don’t need to be broken down before being used for energy like the more common LCT fatty acids, they can be used quickly and efficiently for energy. Any MCTs that aren't immediately used for energy go straight to the liver and then are converted to ketones and are excreted by the body, which means none of these MCT fats are actually ever stored in your body as fat. 

3. Reduces Lactate Buildup and Promotes Fat Burning During Exercise

Recent studies have shown that taking MCT Oil before exercise actually reduces lactate buildup, reduces muscle fatigue, and promotes fat burning during exercise as compared to those who supplement LCTs or carb load before exercise. 

4. Improve Brain Function

Certain diseases in the brain impair it’s ability to use glucose (sugar) as a fuel source. Supplementing MCT oil gives your brain an alternate fuel source to utilize and thrive in. Recent preliminary studies have shown MCT oil may help with Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and other sensory processing disorders. 

5. Reduces Risk Factors of Heart Disease 

New studies have shown that MCT oil may actually reduce total cholesterol while promoting the formation of HDL (good) cholesterol. It can also reduce C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker that increases the risk of heart disease. 

The Keto Diet and MCT Oils

Supplementing with MCT Oil directly supports the ketogenic (keto) diet . Without going into major detail, the keto diet works well when trying to lose weight because you effectively eliminate your sugar and processed carbohydrate intake. Doing this forces your body to break down fat stores into ketones which are then used as a readily available energy source. 

Supplementing MCT Oil in the morning will help your body feel full without actually consuming any carbohydrates. This continues to promote a ketogenic state in your body where it is forced to break down fat stores to use as fuel for the body. 

Are There Side-Effects?

MCT oil supplementation very rarely causes side-effects and is totally natural. In rare cases symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been reported, but these can be reduced by slowing introducing and then increasing the amount of MCT oil you take. 

How Do I Take MCT Oil?

MCT oil is best taken in the morning to promote a feeling of fullness and to support fat breakdown for energy production. The general rule is to add approximately 1 tablespoon to your morning coffee or smoothie. Consult your health provider if you have specific questions. 

Where Can I Get MCT Oil?!?

You can find MCT oil in nearly any health food store. We also carry some in our office for sale. Because MCT oils are extracted from natural food sources in a laboratory setting, ensure you purchase from a reputable brand with professional grade equipment and distillation processes.