The 15 Benefits of MCT or Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil
Have you seen MCT oil and wondered whether it’s really worth all the rave reviews? I think there are many great advantages of using MCT oil and supplementing with it while doing keto and intermittent fasting. In this article, I’ll cover some of the top health benefits of MCT oil and why you might want to consider using it.
I will cover:
What is MCT oil?
MCT refers to medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are unique types of fats that can be extracted from foods like coconut oil or palm oil. Many people add MCT oil to things like coffee (i.e. bulletproof coffee), smoothies, or even salad dressings as a dietary supplement.
But why is MCT oil good for you? There are a few things that make MCT oil unique:
- First, MCT oil turns into ketones very rapidly in the body, and it gives you energy quickly.
- MCT oil also can bypass certain digestive processes as compared to other types of tats. You don’t need bile from your gallbladder to digest MCT oil – it just goes straight into your body where it needs to go so that you can use it for fuel.
Ultimately, the advantage of MCT oil is that it has the ability to spike ketones in the body and provide an alternative fuel source.
This can lead to several different health benefits of MCT oil.
15 Benefits of MCT oil
Here are some of the top MCT benefits:
1. Better brain function
MCT oil benefits brain health in a big way. The ketones generated from MCT oil penetrate into the brain and fuel it, providing you with increased cognitive function, memory, focus, and more. This is especially true if the brain is damaged. For example, if you have conditions like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or others you may benefit from using MCT oil.
2. Increased energy
Because MCT oil provides ketones directly to your brain and body, you can experience a boost in energy – especially mental energy – when you take MCT oil.
3. Better lipid profile
MCT oil has no carbs, but it is a healthy source of fat. You’ll likely find that when you take it, you notice MCT benefits like healthy cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels. You’ll find it won’t increase Fat Storing Hormone levels, but your lipid profile numbers will look a lot better.
4. Lowered blood sugars
A major health benefit of MCT oil is that it can help to stabilize your blood sugars. This is especially true if you have Fat Storing Hormone resistance, prediabetes, or diabetes. When you use MCT oil, your body is running on ketones as fuel rather than blood sugar. This takes stress off of the pancreas and can balance your blood sugars back to a healthy place.
5. Reduced hunger
Keeping your appetite low is a huge benefit of MCT oil. It really helps you stay full and satisfied. And when your hunger is gone, you can increase the time you go between meals. This is particularly helpful when you are doing intermittent fasting, helping you to fast longer even when you are just starting out. This is one of the reasons many people take MCT oil for weight loss support.
6. Decreased lactate and improved endurance
Lactate is the substance that is produced after you exercise, and it is the one that can cause cramping in the muscle. If you are an athlete or want to improve your endurance, MCT oil can help. If you can run more on ketones from MCT oil, that can decrease lactate production, allowing you to go longer and harder. Getting to peak performance is one of the great benefits of using MCT oil.
7. Fewer epileptic episodes
As mentioned previously, ketones are great fuel for the brain. The ketones from MCT can bypass the damaged part of the brain if you have epilepsy, which may be able to help you decrease seizure episodes.
8. Improved cardiovascular function
I recommend MCT oil for heart health, especially if you have heart problems such as congestive heart failure, angina, atrial fibrillation, or any problem with the heart muscle itself. The ketones from MCT oil can bypass the damaged heart cells and feed the heart ketone fuel directly. Your heart will end up very happy and may be able to function better.
9. Decreased symptoms of autism
With autism, there is usually a part of the brain that is damaged and that causes the problem. Adding ketones via MCT oil can be very beneficial in reducing symptoms.
10. Antimicrobial properties
MCT oil has antimicrobial properties, making it great for combating things like candida, viruses, and fungi. If you have toenail fungus or a candida overgrowth, for example, then this would a good thing to add to your routine.
Side note: coconut oil has MCTs and something called lauric acid which has additional immune-boosting qualities. If you have a problem with microbial overgrowth, you may want to try coconut oil for that added benefit.
11. Anti-inflammatory qualities
Ketones are anti-inflammatory in nature, meaning that they can help to combat inflammation in the body. By taking MCT oil, you can help to lower levels of inflammation. This is very important for preventing health problems and disease.
12. Antioxidant effects
One of the benefits of MCT oil is that MCTs are antioxidants. This allows MCT oil to help you counter free radical damage in the body. Keeping oxidative damage low helps to prevent disease and long-term health problems.
13. Increased mood
There is a big link between mct oil and brain health. Just as it can help to increase your cognitive function, MCT oil can also help to boost your mood. When your brain is happier and running on great fuel, you’ll feel happier overall.
14. Increased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins can only be absorbed when you consume oils and fats with them. So if you are taking fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E or vitamin K2, taking MCT oil can really help with their absorption. MCT oil also supports the absorption of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
15. Eases transition into full ketosis
Sometimes when you are first starting out on keto, it can take some time to transition into full ketosis. This period of time is referred to as keto adaptation. During this time, your body has to get used to using ketones as fuel, and you usually won’t be in 100% ketosis. Providing your body and brain more ketones through MCT oil can help to make this transition much smoother, easing keto side effects like brain fog.
MCT oil side effects and drawbacks
The benefits of MCT oil definitely outweigh any drawbacks. But that being said, there can be a couple of side effects of using MCT oil.
Here are some things to be aware of:
- Digestive trouble. When you first start out with MCT oil, you may feel some digestive trouble or pain in your abdomen. To combat this, be sure to start small and work up your dose slowly. Try ½ a teaspoon at first, then gradually increase to 1 teaspoon or tablespoon.
- Laxative effect. MCT oil can have a laxative effect for some people. Luckily, this is usually a very mild side effect that doesn’t cause any major problems.
- Slowed weight loss. When you provide your body with an external source of ketones, your body will turn to those ketones as fuel first and it may not burn your own body fat to produce fuel. As a result, it may slow down your weight loss. That being said, I do think MCT oil benefits weight loss overall when you are doing intermittent fasting, because it can help you go longer without having to eat. If you take it with your coffee in the morning, for example, you can go several hours without having to eat a meal.
- Lack of nutrients. MCT oil is a refined product, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of nutrients in it. It is basically used exclusively for fuel and not for nutrition. So in addition to eating MCT oil, you’ll want to pack your diet with nutritious vegetables and superfoods.
MCT oil is a popular dietary supplement, and for good reason. There are many health benefits of MCT oil including boosting brain health, heart health, energy, and mood, and decreasing hunger, inflammation, blood sugars, and free radical damage.
MCT oil benefits keto and intermittent fasting in particular, helping to keep your blood sugars stable, reducing hunger between meals, easing the transition to full ketosis, etc.
If you want to consider using MCT oil, find a high-quality product from a source you trust. Learn about the different types of MCTs here.
Have you tried MCT oil? What MCT oil effects did you notice? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.