MCT Oil – The perfect oil for the human engine
Admittedly, MCT oil, that really sounds a bit like car repair. In fact, MCT Oil is able to repair and maintain a lot of things. However, in the human body. MCT is the abbreviation for “medium chain triglycerides”. What are the advantages of medium chain fatty acids, where do they come from and, above all, what do they do?
Fat, Oil, Fatty Acids, MCT Oil
Fat is the nutrient that provides the most energy (calories), about twice as much as protein and carbohydrates. The animal and vegetable dietary fats are composed of different fatty acids. A fatty acid consists of a chain of carbon atoms with an acid group as head. Depending on the length of the carbon chain, the fatty acids are divided into:
- SCFA short-chain fatty acids with up to six carbon atoms
- MCT medium-chain fatty acids have six to twelve carbon atoms
- LCP long-chain fatty acids with more than twelve carbon atoms
In the diet, the long-chain fatty acids are the most common. Short-chain fatty acids are only present in coconut oil, palm oil and butter.
The length of the carbon atoms determines the type of metabolism. The long-chain fatty acids connect with lipoproteins during the digestive process and enter the blood through the lymph.
The medium chain fatty acids are water soluble, they migrate directly from the intestine into the blood. You do not need enzymes from the pancreas or bile acids. The fortveinism continues into the liver. This type of fat metabolism offers some benefits for the body, as you will learn later.
MCT oil is not a natural oil, it is extracted from coconut or palm oil. MCT oil is 96% saturated fat, tasteless and colourless.
The following fatty acids are present in the MCT oil, among others:
- Lauric acid
- Capronic acid
- Caprylic acid
- Caprinic acid
Most MCT oil fatty acids consist of eight or ten carbon atoms. Lauric acid, with its 12 carbon atoms, is a cross-border commuter. Depending on the MCT oil, it is sometimes more, sometimes less or no longer contained in it. From the point of view of metabolism, lauric acid is considered a “slow” fatty acid. Lauric acid has a content of up to 45 percent in coconut oil. It has an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effect.
With high-quality MCT oil, the lauric acid is reduced in favor of caprylic acid, sometimes even completely excluded. Manufacturers, like the customers, are concerned with preserving only the short medium-chain fatty acids, with their positive properties for metabolism, as far as possible. The extent to which this makes sense cannot be determined beyond doubt from the statements and the investigations carried out so far. The statements are often based on the respective (business) interests. Once again, as a consumer, you are required to find the most suitable MCT oil for yourself.
The production of MCT oil
MCT oil is synthetically made from coconut or palm oil. Hydrolysis separates the medium-chain fatty acids from the natural oils. Hydrolysis is a chemical process in which substances are split with water, as well as with the participation of enzymes. In this case, it is the fatty acid chains. The individual raw materials and production routes may vary depending on the manufacturer. For the industrial, cosmetic and medical fields, this process has long been used for the production of neutral oil (another name for MCT oil). Under the term biohacking, the MCT Öl has been given a new sphere of activity in the lifestyle sector.
The so-called C8 oil is considered to be a particularly powerful MCT oil. It consists of 100 percent caprylic acid. This is a medium chain fatty acid made from eight carbon atoms. Caprylic acid is said to be the highest quality of the fatty acids in coconut oil and is only about six percent contained in it. The antibacterial and microbial properties of caprylic acid are also said to be many times higher than with lauric acid.
What does MCT oil bring to health?
In connection with the keto diet, intermittent fasting and the sports scene, MCT Oil has become more and more popular lately. In the clinical field and in dietetics, on the other hand, MCT oil has been used for a long time.
MCT oil is used for the following diseases:
- Diseases of bile, bile ducts
- Pancreatic diseases
- Cystic fibrosis
- when parts of the small intestine have been removed
- in case of problems with lymph flow
- Crohn’s disease
With all these diseases, long-chain fatty acids can be used poorly or not at all. Since the medium-chain fatty acids are water soluble, they enter the blood directly through the intestine and further into the liver. Intolerance reactions and grease chairs are avoided. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be used with MCT oil.
Below is a look at the health benefits that are attributed to MCT Oil today, partly from experience and partly from studies.
Weight reduction and weight loss with MCT oil
MCT oil is intended to boost fat burning, increase basic sales through increased heat production (increased thermogenesis), reduce body fat and soothe the feeling of hunger.
In the meantime, there are some studies on this topic and it can be stated that a planned weight reduction can be supported with the consumption of MCT oil. Under no circumstances will it be possible to reduce the weight with MCT oil alone.
There are no clear explanations yet as to why MCTs promote fat loss. It seems that the MTCs cause changes in the fat cells, which then lead to death. Due to the rapid energy supply, in the liver ketones are formed, the fat from the MCT oil is not stored as fast as with the long-chain fatty acids.
In connection with a weight reduction, the MCT oil became known through the Bulletproof coffee. The inventor is Dave Esprey. For short-term fasting, there is a coffee with butter and MCT oil in the morning. This is supposed to suppress the feeling of hunger, boost fat burning and release a lot of energy.
Weight reduction with MCT oil is intended to have a protective effect against the typical follow-up diseases of obesity. These include heart disease, diabetes 2, fat metabolism disorders and high blood pressure. MCT oil, which is an important factor in heart health, also seems to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels.
The positive properties of MCT oil for weight loss,and to keep an existing weight, in the overview:
- increases energy sales
- lowers the feeling of hunger
- is not stored in fat deposits
- promotes the breakdown of fat deposits
- has only 8 kcal instead of 9 kcal/g, like other sources of fat
More power thanks to MCT oil
Other keywords that keep falling with MCT oil are better brain performance and an improvement in athletic performance.
As far as brain performance is concerned, there are many years of experience with MCT oil from the clinic. There, MCTs are used in patients with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Especially when glucose, i.e. carbohydrates, can no longer be processed properly in the brain, MCTs offer an alternative with their rapid energy supply.
The brain is an energy eater. It constantly requires fast-available energy, mostly in the form of glucose. Glucose is smuggled into the cells using insulin. There may be many reasons why this process is not or no longer so perfect. An ever-increasing blood sugar level, and the associated increase in insulin resistance, may be one of the most common reasons.
The ketones, which are formed in the liver from the MCT oil, are available to the brain cells quickly and without needing insulin. Whether the brain cells are affected by oxidative stress, lack of oxygen or an incipient insulin resistance, ketones can step in very quickly. It has even been found that the ketones can generate more energy than glucose and that this process produces less waste.
The described process in the brain cells also takes place in the other body cells. For example, in the much stressed muscle cells. Here, too, ketones provide energy in an efficient way. Therefore, MCT oil is especially popular with athletes. However, scientifically recognised studies are still pending.
The intestinal flora is largely responsible for an intact immune system. The caprylic acid in MCT oil has an antibiotic and antifungal effect. The medium chain fatty acids ensure a healthy intestinal flora by tackling poor intestinal colonization and protecting the good bacteria. Smaller studies are cautiously optimistic that taking MCT oil could have a beneficial impact on the following infections:
- Candida albicans
- Urinary tract infection
- Food poisoning
MCT Oil, the study situation
Although there are countless studies on medium chain fatty acids and MCT oil, there are also plenty of conflicting statements about the actual efficacy for the above-mentioned areas.
The best examined and positively documented are the areas of application in the clinic. This applies primarily to metabolic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.
When it came to weight loss or as a turbo for athletic performance, the statements are contradictory and range from “MCT oil as the miracle cure” to “without any significant benefit”.
On the scientific side, the short duration or the low number of subjects in the studies is cited as a criticism. Numerous studies on MCT oil can be found on the Internet. Here are some examples:
- Alzheimer ‘s:
A study on the use of MCT in Alzheimer’s
- Antimicrobial effect:
- Dietetics and weight loss:
Study by the DEG (German Society for Nutrition e.V.
Application of Dosage of MCT Oil
The daily dose depends on the type of oil. An MCT oil C8 is correspondingly more careful to dose than natural coconut oil. MCT Oil C8 consists only of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid enters the blood particularly easily, some of them already at the gastric outlet.
For the correct dosage of MCT oil, it is important to find out the individual tolerability. Another factor for the dose and frequency of ingestion is what you want to do with the MCT oil.
But no matter what purpose you decide to incorporate MCT oil into your daily diet, it’s important to get started slowly. If you have never consumed coconut oil before, you should be doubly careful.
Half a teaspoon is enough to start with. At the beginning, digestive problems can easily occur, because the body is not used to this direct fat metabolism via the blood. After one week, the dose can be increased slowly until the optimal dosage is finally reached. Already a quantity of one to two tablespoons (5-10 g) per day can lead to positive changes in the above mentioned areas. Others swear by a 100 g MCT oil dose a day.
It has proved to be beneficial to abstain from simple carbohydrates (sweets, white bread) at the same time as taking MCT oil. A combination of MCT oil and coconut oil, on the other hand, makes sense. With coconut oil you have an unadulterated natural product, with all natural active substances from nature and can effectively supplement it with MCT oil with some MCTs.
The MCT oil can be taken pure or mixed with butter in the morning coffee (bulletproof coffee). Since it is tasteless,MCT oil can be added anywhere, in mayonnaises or dressings, in the muesli or in the smoothie. MCT oil, with a smoke point of 120 degrees, is not suitable for frying, baking and frying. For this, it is better to use the coconut oil, with a smoke point of just over 200 degrees.
Under no circumstances is it advisable to replace all oils with coconut oil or MCT oil. The body still needs long-chain, unsaturated fatty acids.
Side Effects of MCT Oil
In the acclimatization phase, bloating, abdominal pain, stomach pain, heartburn and diarrhea can occur. Therefore, the Advice to start with small doses should be followed. Attention fat trap! Even if you get a high dose of 50 to 100 g per day well, MCT oil is a fat. In addition, the body also needs other fats. So it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of calories.
Purchasing MCT Oil
As it sounded above, the purchase of MCT oil is also a matter of trust. Basically, you should make sure that your MCT oil is made on a coconut oil basis. For environmental reasons, the cheaper palm oil is not recommended.
On site, MCT oil is occasionally found in pharmacies, health stores and specialized shops. In any case, there are many online retailers on the Internet that offer MCT oil. The most expensive is pure C8 MCT oil.
This is the fastest way to circulate the most ketones. A circumstance that is quite desirable for both performance and weight reduction.
But this MCT oil is not automatically the best for everyone and every purpose. Here it only helps to gain your own experience. The average prices for 500 ml of MCT oil are between 15 and 25 euros. With subscriptions or larger containers, some suppliers can achieve cheaper prices.
Further information for your purchase decision:
- Is the origin of the oil, the oils clearly declared?
- Are the MCT shares listed individually (e.g. what is the C8 share)?
- How is the MCT oil bottled (glass, plastic, tinplate)?
- Is the price-performance ratio correct?
- individual tolerability, taste, effect
In fact, the MCT oil promises a lot. You will have to decide whether it can keep this in individual cases. If you try it, be sure to follow the advice to start with small doses. Accompanying the training, for more concentration, for losing weight, for strengthening the immune system or as a prevention against dementia, the fields of application of MCT oil are numerous.