MCT Oil Benefits: 6 Science-Backed Reasons to Use MCT
- MCT oil is a purified form of saturated fatty acids. It typically comes from a mix of coconut oil and palm oil.
- The benefits of MCT oil are: rapid weight loss, suppresses hunger; digests easily; more brain power; strengthens the gut; and boosts your workouts.
- MCTs are largely missing from the typical Western diet, so adding MCT oil to your daily routine can be a powerful way to get the benefits of these multi-tasking fats.
- Drizzle MCT oil over your food or drink it in your Bulletproof Coffee.
It seems nearly every coffee shop you walk into nowadays has some variation of a Bulletproof Coffee (aka coffee with butter and MCT oil) on the menu. Or, you just started keto, and keep hearing how MCT oil helps with ketosis. Even if you know a bit about MCT oil, you probably still have lingering questions. What is MCT oil exactly? Are all MCT oils created equal? Can it really help you to burn fat and lose weight? Read on to discover why MCT oil is such a powerful addition to your daily routine, and how it can power your brain and help you burn fat — and fast.
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What is MCT oil?
“MCT” is short for medium-chain triglycerides. Triglycerides are simply the molecules that make up most fats, and medium-chain refers to the length of the fat molecule’s tail. You can learn more here about the different fat structures.
MCT oil is a purified form of saturated fatty acids. It typically comes from a mix of coconut oil and palm oil.
MCT oil benefits
There’s a reason MCT oil is everywhere right now. It’s a great ally if you’re looking to lose weight or you need loads of brain power.
“MCT oil increases energy, endurance, metabolism, satiety, and brain function, especially when compared to other forms of fat, including olive oil,” says Kelly Schmidt, RD, author of “What’s the Deal With Paleo and Primal Eating?”
MCTs are largely missing from the typical Western diet, so adding MCT oil to your daily routine can be a powerful way to get the benefits of these multi-tasking fats. Here’s why MCT oil is so good for you:
Rapid weight loss
MCT oil can help you lose weight quickly. Studies show that MCTs, particularly C8 and C10, cause your body to burn fat and calories, no matter what kind of diet you follow. MCT oil also creates ketones, and ketones increase your metabolic rate (aka your metabolism) and burn the fat you already have.
“People on a the Standard American Diet may still lose weight from MCT oil from the positive effects it has on hunger hormones, the boost in metabolism, and reduction in inflammation,” says Schmidt, although the weight loss won’t be as dramatic as someone following a low-carb diet, which fuels ketosis.
MCTs are also satiating and quickly digested by the body, which spurs weight loss. Keep reading to find out how.
MCT oil fills you up. The healthy fat is satiating, so you can go for longer periods without eating, and get to lunchtime without an energy crash. There’s science behind it: MCTs raise ketones, and ketones suppress ghrelin (aka your hunger hormone), and increase cholecystokinin (CCK), which makes you feel full.
Easy to digest
The shorter chain lengths of the fat molecules means your body breaks down MCTs quicker than the more common long-chain triglycerides found in other fatty foods.
“MCT oil is digested differently as it gets absorbed directly from the gut into the liver, bypassing the physiology of being stored as fat,” says Schmidt.
More brain power
High-quality MCT oil turns into ketones within minutes, providing your brain with an almost immediate jolt of energy. “When someone’s carbs are low enough, MCT oil can be converted into ketones, which unlike glucose, can cross the blood-brain barrier and be used as a fuel source for brain cells,” says Schmidt. As a testament to their brain power, MCTs may also help treat neurodegenerative diseases. Research has shown that MCTs provide energy to dying brain cells, keeping neurons alive in the face of Alzheimer’s and potentially even reversing symptoms.
Strengthens the gut
MCT oil encourages good bacteria to grow and heals the gut lining. When you have holes in your intestine, toxins, bacteria, and food particles can escape and enter your bloodstream, putting you at risk for serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and food allergies. MCTs are also strong antifungals, antivirals, and antibacterials.
Boosts your workout
Use MCT oil to fuel your workout. Studies show that MCT oil can help you exercise for longer and improve your stamina. In one study, mice who ate a diet rich in MCTs showed more endurance during a swim test compared to mice that were fed long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). In another study, recreational athletes who ate foods containing MCTs for two weeks could do longer sessions of high-intensity exercises.
RELATED: Feed Your Mitochondria and Boost Your Workout with MCT Oil, Says Study
How to use MCT oil
You can use MCT oil in your coffee, tea, smoothies, or drizzled over your favorite foods. Learn more here about the different ways to use MCT oil.
Try it today to power your body and mind.
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