By now, you have probably heard about MCT oil – a fat-burning, metabolism boosting miracle. Miracle or not, MCT’s are rising in popularity and together with that, coconut oil has been often preferred over the MCT oil for many reasons like health and effectiveness. MCT’s have long been used as a nutrition therapy for different medical conditions, but lately, it has gained a lot of interest thanks to its weight loss and other benefits. In this article, we go over what is the deal with the MCT’s in general and which one should you prefer or not.
What Is MCT?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and it is a form of saturated fatty acid. In more simpler terms, they are partially man-made fats. MCT’s have many health benefits from appetite suppression and weight management to improved cognitive function and physical performance. Most dietary fats are long-chain triglycerides, with more than 12 carbon atoms. Medium chain triglycerides at the other end contain 6 to 10 carbon atoms in their skeleton. And everything with fewer than 6 carbon atoms is short chain triglycerides.
There are different forms of MCT oils, some are more effective than others. The four types of MCT’s are caproic acid (C6:0), caprylic acid (C8:9), capric acid (C10:0) and lauric acid (C12:0). In general, the lower the number of carbons the faster the body can turn the fatty acids into energy in the form of ketones. Ketones are the form of energy the body uses when it is in ketosis (uses fat as the main fuel source, instead of glucose). Regardless of the type of MCT oil, all of them are beneficial for health.
But What Makes Them So Healthy?
Thanks to their shorter chain length, they are way more easily and quickly digestible than longer chain fats and they are directly sent to your liver. At the start, they were meant to be as a medical treatment for people, who for whatever reason, cannot digest and absorb fat.
The Benefits Of MCT’s
Metabolism – Studies have shown that adding MCT to your diet will help your body to burn more energy. It seems to be especially effective with overweight people. At the same time, tests have shown that women seem to get less metabolic boost than men. MCT oil and coconut oil are both shown the beneficial for your gut microbiota. This helps your body to improve digestion system and energy expenditure.
Weight management – MCT oil has shown to be beneficial for fat burning and weight reduction. That is because MCT oil can increase satiety and raise metabolism. Some studies have shown that MCTs can help in the process of excess calorie burning. This, of course, doesn’t mean that this is a miracle tool for fighting with fat loss, but it can be an effective tool to help to manage your appetite and energy levels and getting faster into ketosis if you follow the ketogenic lifestyle.
Brain function – MCTs produce ketone bodies, which is used as an alternative energy source for your body and brain. This is also a state which improves your cognitive abilities and brain function. Research has also shown that MCTs are beneficial for treating brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Bottom line is that MCTs can improve your cognitive abilities and brain function.
MCT Oil Vs. Coconut Oil
Okay, but what is the deal with MCT oil and coconut oil? As we previously mentioned, MCT’s are medium-chain triglycerides, a man-made form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits. Coconut oil is one great source of MCT’s. It consists roughly around 65% of MCT’s.
The difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is that MCT oil is a more concentrated form of product and it contains different proportions of MCTs. At the same time, coconut oil consists roughly around 65% of MCTs and the remaining 35% are other ingredients. As stated previously there are 4 types of MCT’s. The MCTs in coconut oil are made up around 50% of one kind of fatty acid which is lauric acid. This means that the coconut oil is mostly just one type of MCT while MCT oils consist of all 4 types of MCTs. This can be difficult to get from foods.
The problematic part about fatty acids is that not everyone can efficiently break down fat, not even coconut oil, because of improper digestive habits. Bad digestive habits include eating too quickly, stress and toxic lifestyle. All these contribute to poor fat digestion.
On the other hand, coconut oil does have some benefits that MCT oils may be lacking. The biggest downside is that you will not always know what you are getting when you are buying MCT oil, because of the little telling ingredients label, additional refinement because of the preservation or the proportions are not in place. Often many marketers also claim that their MCT oil consists more MCTs than real coconut oil does, the reason behind it could be because it’s chemically altered and there’s absent of lauric acid. Either way, coconut oil and MCT oil has their ups and downs and one should always be sure to buy only high-quality MCT oil, which clearly states the ingredients.
In general, both of them are good ways to consume MCTs, but coconut oil comes with some drawbacks. The MCT oil is just faster and easier way for your body to consume and benefit from it. MCT oil nor coconut oil are a miracle weight-loss pill by themselves, but there is evidence that they provide many benefits from the fast energy source and appetite control to minimal fat storage and faster way to ketosis.
Author Bio: Alex Reed is a health enthusiast, whose mission is to help to change lives, using the ketogenic lifestyle. So everyone can benefit from ketosis and the magical effects it has on the human body. Find out more about him here.