MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) refer to a type of fat that can be found in various dairy products and oils, especially palm kernel oil and coconut oil. MCT oil refers to a dietary supplement that is made up of these fats.
MCT oil is considered to be highly advantageous for health and is used by those interested in weight management and those keen or improving their stamina while working out.
In fact, MCT oil is also commonly used as a supplement in bulletproof coffee (high-calorie coffee used as a meal replacement), and salads, by those who care about their weight.
Here are 10 key health advantages of using MCT oil that will encourage you to buy a bottle today!
1.Weight Loss and Management
Typically, many people around the world struggle with obesity and maintaining healthy body weight. Maintaining a decent weight doesn’t just look good. It also ensures that you are protected from all sorts of physical ailments that come with excess body weight, such as high levels of bad cholesterol, diabetes, and even the risk of a heart attack.
Furthermore, the right body weight makes sure that you are in a good place mentally. You tend to remain happier and have higher self-esteem if you know you look good.
Research has suggested that MCT oil can play a useful role in helping you shed pounds and also keeping those pounds off you!
In fact, it is this idea that is at the root of the popular ketogenic diet that encourages more fat consumption along with reduced consumption of carbohydrates.
Most ketogenic diets prescribe a high consumption of fats, and the majority of these fats are medium-chain fats such as MCTs.
High consumption of MCTs allows your body to burn any excess fat in a process called ketosis.
According to findings, medium-chain fats are far superior for weight loss and weight reduction, especially in someone who is overweight, as compared to longer-chain fats or LCTs.
MCTs typically make you feel fuller when you consume them. As such, you are likely to consume smaller portions and quantities of them.
Furthermore, because MCTs allow for a greater expenditure of energy, they also result in more calories burnt.
There are many claims by researchers stating that MCT oil allows for both weight loss as well as weight management.
According to a 2003 study, consumption of MCTs significantly increased the amount of fat and calories burnt by those looking to lose weight.
The findings of the study were that MCTs cannot only help enhance weight loss but also help prevent obesity in those for whom excess weight is a concern.
Another study conducted in 2014 discovered that MCT consumption (in comparison with lower-chain fats) led to a growth in hormones that make a person feel quicker, faster, and reduce appetite.
The evidence derived from this research concludes that MCTs may certainly play a useful role in both weight loss as well as management.
We must keep in mind, however, that most of these studies have researched the role of MCTs as a dietary fat rather than as a supplement.
2.Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Research has discovered that MCTs may, in fact, play a role in improving blood sugar levels in the body. In fact, MCTs may even play a positive role in managing diabetes.
According to a study conducted in 2007, MCTs can reduce factors that may lead to type 2 diabetes, such as insulin resistance.
This study was conducted on a group of participants, all of whom suffered from type 2 diabetes.
3.Reduced Cholesterol Levels
MCTs are considered good for the heart overall. Not only has it been discovered that MCTs may improve blood sugar levels, but it has also been found that MCTs can improve overall heart health by reducing the cholesterol levels in your body.
According to a study conducted in 2009 on a group of 40 women, consuming MCT enriched coconut oil can lower levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while simultaneously increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in your body.
The study compared the effects of oil rich in MCTs to soybean oil and made this particular comparison along with a calorie-controlled diet.
The overall results of the study concluded that oils such as coconut oil that have a high composition of MCTs are likely to improve cholesterol levels in the body.
4.Improved Energy and Stamina
MCT oil is extremely useful to athletes because it is known for its qualities of boosting energy and stamina required during an intensive workout session.
According to a study conducted in 2009, athletes who consumed foods that contained a higher MCT proportion (as compared to longer-chain fats), could maintain a highly intensive work out for a significantly longer time duration.
Those who advocate for MCT oil and MCT oil supplements think of it as a very effective performance booster, especially when athletes consume it regularly by making it a part of their diets.
Although we do not have significant evidence for a direct correlation between MCT oil consumption and improved stamina, there is evidence enough to suggest that it’s certainly worth a try.
In fact, some athletes, especially recreational athletes, use MCT oil as a supplement in their salads and protein shakes in order to redeem its many benefits.
This is because research has indicated that MCT oil can help improve their performance while decreasing body fat. Both of these are important to athletes because their focus is on building lean muscle.
According to another study, MCTs are effective in reducing an athlete’s perceived sense of exertion, and their acid build-up during a high-intensity performance.
5.Improved Gut Health
MCTs aren’t only useful for effective weight management and improved athletic stamina. In fact, MCTs can also be effective in aiding gut health.
It can help the digestive processes of the body and may even function as a probiotic for the gut.
Furthermore, findings have suggested that MCTs may effectively boost your body’s immunity and also improve your overall gut health.
This is because MCTs tend to attack the harmful bacteria that can potentially grow in the stomach. Once the harmful bacteria is out if the way, the good bacteria has the opportunity to thrive.
Furthermore, it has been discovered that MCTs can potentially raise levels of intestinal permeability and improve gastrointestinal health in every other shape and form too.
As such, if you consume MCT oil, you are most likely going to be protected from conditions such as the ‘leaky gut’ syndrome, the inflammatory bowel disease, gallbladder infections, and Crohn’s disease.
6.Better brain and memory function
There has been an outstanding body of research associated with MCTs and improved functioning of the brain as well as memory recall.
According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, MCTs may potentially benefit those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness common to those above the ages of 70 and 80 and is characterized by a loss of memory as brain functioning deteriorates.
According to a 2016 review of three separate studies, the brain’s absorption of ketones was the same in those with Alzheimer’s and those without. Contrastingly, those who had Alzheimer’s found it increasingly difficult to absorb glucose in their bodies.
The same research found that ketosis (the process whereby the brain makes use of ketones instead of glucose for energy) can be beneficial for those who have Alzheimer’s.
There is a growing body of research that focuses on MCT oil and its many benefits for the functioning of the brain and overall memory recall.
7.Help With Autism
MCTs can be beneficial for overall brain functioning. As a result, a study discovered that children who had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), characterized by learning disabilities, can also benefit from MCT oil intake.
Those who are diagnosed with Autism often exhibit symptoms such as nervousness and fear. But according to the study, children who were given MCT oil supplements displayed a significant improvement in behaviors.
They appeared to be less frightened and anxious if they had been consuming supplements made with MCT oil.
The study was conducted in over 15 participants. At least 10 of these showed a massive improvement in their autistic symptoms within a duration of six months.
8.May Prevent Seizures
A ketogenic diet is a type of diet that is high in fat in low in carbohydrates. For years it has been used for effective weight loss and management.
Ketogenic diets usually comprise of high concentrations of MCT oil. In fact, this is one of the reasons researchers drew a parallel between MCT oil and effective weight loss/management.
However, ketogenic diets aren’t only useful if you want to lose weight. They historically popped up as a means of preventing seizures in children.
As such, it can still be useful to use MCT oil in order to achieve this purpose. Ketogenic diets (where MCTs comprise about 60% of the fats consumed) are still useful for preventing seizures.
9.Might Fight Cancer
If you choose to add MCT oil to your diet, the results may be so great that you might just end up surprising yourself.
According to research, MCT oil might have a tumor-suppressing quality. One study focused on human tumor cells being exposed to MCTs in a lab. The researchers concluded that MCTs led to a very strong anti-tumor effect on the cells.
Yet another study on mice found that when the mice consumed a ketogenic diet, rich in MCT oil, there was a reduction in the growth of their tumors. Tumors in the study were measured by a decrease in blood supply in the body of the mice.
Although the findings of the research are still inconclusive, there is clear that there is some link between MCT oil and tumors.
10.MCTs Have Useful Anti-Microbial and Anti-Fungal Properties
According to research, MCTs have both anti-microbial as well as anti-fungal properties.
MCTs are made up primarily of acids called lauric acid. Lauric acid can be found in great concentrations in coconut oil.
Coconut oil, which in itself is mostly composed of MCTs, has been shown to reduce the growth of a type of yeast called Candida albicans by roughly 25%. This particular variety of yeast is responsible for various skin infections and irritations,
Another test-tube study also found that coconut oil can reduce the growth of Clostridium difficile, a disease-causing bacteria.
Coconut oil’s ability to reduce bacterial growth and yeast and bacterial growth may be linked to the various acids found in MCTs such as lauric, caprylic, and capric.
Lauric acid is, for example, particularly known for its anti-microbial properties. These properties do not allow the growth of microorganisms, such as acne on your skin’s surface.
Because MCT oil has anti-microbial properties, it can be an effective form of topical treatment for skin injuries, irritations, and acne.
MCTs, by themselves, might even suppress the growth of a widespread fungus that can cause deadly infections in hospitals by up to half.
In fact, fatty acids and oils are very effective in getting rid of oral bacteria (bacteria inside the mouth).
Many types of mouthwash are therefore composed of oils, such as coconut oil.
Although most of the research that we have for now is based on animal studies, in time, there will be a greater number of human studies that can provide conclusive evidence of the benefits of this oil.
These were some of the key health advantages of using MCT oil. While we wait for more research supporting the benefits of this oil, for now, it’s still a great idea to buy a bottle and see for yourself whether or not your health begins to improve drastically!